Revealing: Left-click on a hidden cell to reveal it. (The first click on a brand new puzzle is always safe, so just click near the middle of the grid)
- The revealed cell turns into a number to show how many of the 8 neighbors (up, down, left, right, or diagonal) contain a monster.
- If the cell has zero neighboring monsters, the cell is emptied out and the game automatically clears neighbors until it gets to cells with 1 or more neighbors. This might clear out a whole chunk of the board. Hooray!
- If you made a mistake and the cell contains a monster, the monster is revealed! This generally causes you to lose life (and if you lose all your life points, you lose the quest). Oh no!
Along the way you might also reveal other things - loot (like coins) strangers (like mercenaries), or other objects (like signposts).
Flagging: Right-click on a hidden cell to flag it as containing a monster. The objective of each level is to correctly flag all the cells containing monsters. Once all the monsters are flagged or revealed, and no extra flags are placed, the level is complete. If you notice you flagged a cell by mistake, right-click it again to un-flag it.
Chording: If you click on a number (a revealed cell), and you've already flagged enough neighbors, the game will automatically reveal that number's neighbors. For instance, if you click on a 1 after flagging one of its neighbors, clicking the 1 again will reveal all hidden neighbors except that flagged cell. This kind of click is called chording.
Strategy: In general, you want to avoid having to guess by revealing a cell you're not sure is safe. Clear as much of the board as you can without guesses - then, if you can, use items to avoid guesses, or to prevent taking damage from a wrong guess. See "Basic flags" and "Tricky flags" for examples of how to figure out which cells to flag.
Here are some diagrams showing situations where you can flag a cell. In the diagram, a question mark indicates a hidden cell. A dash indicates the edge of the board. A number indicates a revealed cell with that number, and a dot (period) indicates some other revealed cell.
Flag the one hidden cell that's next to the 1 (one step up and one step left).
- ??.. ---- ??.. ??..
- ??2. or ??2. or ??2. ?.2.
- .... ??.. ---- ??..
Flag both the hidden cells next to the 2.
- ??.. ..??
- ??3. or ..3?
- ??.. ....
Flag all three hidden cells next to the 3.
In general, if the number of hidden neighbors is the same as the number in a cell, flag the hidden neighbors.
If you you left-click and hold a number (a revealed cell), the game will highlight all the neighboring cells that haven't been revealed yet.
Here is a situation that comes next to the edges of the board.
- ---- ----
- ??1. ?A1.
- ??1. ?B1.
- ??.. ?C..
On the right the diagram has letters to make it easier to refer to cells. We know from the top 1 that out of A and B there's exactly one monster. We know from the other 1 that out of A, B, and C there's exactly one monster. Putting that together, we know that C can't have a monster, so we can left-click C to reveal it.
- ---- ----
- ??1. ?A1.
- ??2. ?B2.
- ??.. ?C..
We know from the 1 that out of A and B there's exactly one monster. The 2 is next to two monsters. So we know that we can right-click C to flag it.
- ..?? ..AX
- .11? .11Y
- ..?? ..BZ
The left 1 has exactly one neighbor in A and B. The right 1 has that same neighbor...so we can left click X, Y, and Z to reveal them.
If you you click and hold a number (a revealed cell), the game will indicate all the neighboring cells that haven't been revealed yet. That can make it easier to spot places where you can easily flag cells. If you left-click the revealed cell and it already has enough neighbors flagged, its remaining neighbors quickly get revealed. When in doubt, left-click on revealed numbers!
There's a count at the upper left showing how many monsters are left to be flagged. If you're down to the last few monsters, sometimes checking that count lets you rule out a possibility and avoid a guess.