Ludum Dare 29 — April 25th-28th Weekend — Theme: Beneath the Surface

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by davecheesefish - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Cavernsweeper is the almost-excruciatingly difficult aftermath of smashing together probably the world's easiest maze and Minesweeper.

How to Play
Find blue control tiles in the bottom grid to move your character. Click any blank tile to reveal what lies beneath it. Revealing empty green tiles will give you information about any control tiles in the 3x3 square surrounding them, while finding a blue control tile will cause your character to move in the direction indicated.

For example, a green tile with "<1 >2 V0 ^0" on it would have 1 left-pointing control tile and 2 right-pointing control tiles somewhere in the squares directly around it (including diagonals).

To keep track of any control tiles you think you've found and don't want to activate accidentally, right-click to mark them with an arrow.

Revealing all of the green tiles on the control board will refresh it with a whole new set of tiles.

Get to the treasure and it's all yours, but bash into a wall or fall into lava and your circuits are toast. Not the tasty kind, the frazzled robot kind. Ouchies.

Downloads and Links




Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:49am

A good remake of a classic game style. I've always loved mine sweep and this does it justice.

Great work.

jadams says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:45pm

Really liked this idea, although I've yet to actually complete it. The only real criticism would be that it takes forever to get anywhere since you have to 'solve' the board over and over to get the arrows you need. Also I think there's a bug in how the tiles are revealed where not all empty tiles in a group are revealed in one go. Great game overall though.

tanjent says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:55pm

I think this is a really good concept. Also a very extension of this classic :) The first level needs to be a bit easier. Some hidden tiles with bonus/cheats had been nice to have.

TijmenTio says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:29pm

Love the concept! Maybe it's just a tat too difficult, but great work!

Udell Games says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:50pm

Thought it was pretty interesting. I like the graphics and the idea of the control tiles!

Moosefly says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 3:31pm

"almost-excruciatingly difficult" ALMOST?! Yeah, right, I gave up after three tries, those command were not on my side (Only up and down when trying to navigate the 1-tile tall corridors? Thanks!). The planning for this must've gone something like "Hey, you know how annoying those 1st turn instant losses are in minesweeper? Let's make that into a game!".

I think it has potential, but it's just too frustrating as it is. And yeah, the automatic tile-reveal isn't working correctly.


Dominator_101 says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 8:05pm

Really nice idea, I like it!

A couple things, though:

First off, I think this game REALLY needs the classic minesweeper 1st click invincibility. During one of my plays, I got most of the way through the maze, got a new board, and proceeded to smack my face into the wall on the first click, and that's pretty frustrating because I didn't do anything wrong, yet I'm being punished for it.

Second, I think that the maze was a little difficult/repetitive. Single wide segments are good, but I think the ones you had were just a tad too long. I think you need to occasionally give the player a little bit of breathing room to relax and be able to make a mistake. I felt the maze was a little repetitive in the fact that I felt like I always needed a left arrow. Most of the maze involves going left. On the other hand, I never cared about right arrows. They were never useful. Now, they wouldn't kill me that often, but they would still set me back a bit. I think a more well-rounded maze would have alleviated that symptom a bit.

Also, I think what would have been nice is if revealing all the green squares activated a button that would give you a new board, so I could still have the option of clicking any remaining arrows I had and wanted you use. Not too big a deal, but would have been nice.

Overall, pretty nice game. I think it just falls short in a couple areas that make it more frustrating than it should be, but they still could be fixed to make this a more enjoyable game.

The rant may sound like I'm hating on your game, but it just makes me kind of sad when a nice idea ends up being blocked by a couple shortcomings.

Great job!

Andy Gainey says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 8:08pm

This was pretty awesome. I think it has a lot of potential.

One idea that came to mind to reduce the difficulty and give some more control to the player is two have two different bottom grids. It was frustrating when I had cleared out the entire grid without finding the direction I needed, only to be left with a fully reset grid and a random chance of failing. Being able to choose when to clear out and reset one grid, while keeping the safer partially known grid in reserve, would help. Or perhaps a way to pick up or otherwise save control tiles across a reset.

Combined with that, have some more safe spots in the upper level, so the trick is to reach a safe spot before having to reset the grid, or else be stuck taking a gamble.

A visual nitpick was that I really wished there was something visible that immediately indicated how many adjacent controls tiles there were for any given tile, regardless of direction. Sort of like how minesweeper used colors (but yeah, colorblind issues would pop up). Granted, not having this only meant I had to do simplistic adding of single digit numbers in my head, but I'm lazy! :-)

CiderPunk says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 9:07pm

nice idea but a completely random blank tile wall of death clicking got me grr!

May 20, 2014 @ 12:53pm

Hi all! Thanks for the great comments.

It's true, I'd be the first to admit the game's not perfect. I have a list about as long as my arm of things that need fixing but I just ran out of time in the compo. ;)

I'm going to come back to it when I've got some spare time, so if you're interested in updates follow me on Twitter (@davecheesefish) or check my website ( for new versions and all my other games! </shameless plug>

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