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Game Reviews: KMines and KPatience

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 21 Sep 2005

I think it's time for another game review or two. I haven't done one in quite a number of months. I think I'll go classic, this time. If I were to say "Solitaire" or a "Mine Sweeper," I'd bet most everyone knows what at least one of those is. Well, I'd like to introduce a couple of seriously addicting Linux versions of these games for KDE. They are called KMines and KPatience. Let's take a look.

First, you'll want to make sure they're installed. Open YAST and search for kdegames3. This package contains both KMines and KPatience. When it appears in the right pane, tick the box next to it to install the package. Then, click ACCEPT in the lower right corner of the window:

YAST will then install the program.


Now, let's run KMines and check it out. To run it, open the K Menu, then GAMES, and then KMINES:

NOTE: It might be in a slightly different location than this. It may be in K Menu => GAMES => PUZZLE => KMINES.

The main window appears, looking similar to this:

The purpose of KMines, as explained in the handbook, is as follows:

    "KMines is the classic Minesweeper game. You must uncover all the empty squares without blowing up a mine."

    "When you uncover a square, a number appears: it indicates how many mines surround this square. If there is no number the neighboring squares are automatically uncovered. When you find a square that you are sure contains a mine, it is very useful to put a flag on it (by right-clicking)."

One trick that helps with this objective is something called "Auto Reveal." If, for example, you have a square that has a 1 in it, this means that square is touching 1 other square that has a mine in it. Once you are positive of where the mine is, middle-click on the square containing the 1. All the squares around it will automatically be revealed. I'll illustrate with the following example:


In this example, not many boxes were revealed (only one was). Sometimes, however, many boxes will be revealed. This will help you in being more accurate and faster as you play. You'll get the hang of this game very quickly. You can get additional help and tips by reading the fine manual. To view this manual, just go to the HELP menu, and click on KMINES HANDBOOK. This game is really addicting.


The other game that I'd like to take a quick look at is called KPatience. To run it, go to the K Menu, then GAMES, then PATIENCE:

NOTE: It might be in a slightly different location than this. It may be in K Menu => GAMES => CARD GAMES => PATIENCE.

You then see the main window appear. In my case, it automatically dealt me some cards:

KPatience offers many types of card games, each with their own set of rules. Most of this can be gleaned from the manual. To open this manual, go to the HELP menu. Then, click on KPATIENCE HANDBOOK. Each type of game has some instructions found here in the handbook.

KPatience is also highly configurable. You can customize the card backs, the background of the game, select a game type, and set other preferences. Most of these types of things are available from the SETTINGS menu:

Configure it to your taste. You'll be addicted in no time.

Sometimes, you need to detach a bit, and distract yourself. KMines and KPatience are excellent ways to do this. They are fun, free, and very easy to learn. Have fun playing these two great games.

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