This indie dev made a free, 3D horror version of Minesweeper set in a masquerade ball

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First spotted by Alpha Beta Gamer (opens in new tab), independent developer Sebastian "aare" Laitila stumbled on a novel idea during the 2022 Haunted PS1 Halloween Game Jam (opens in new tab): the classic desktop time waster Minesweeper, but zoomed into a first person perspective and gussied up with low-fi 3D graphics and a gothic vampire horror theme.

The Infernal Masquerade (opens in new tab), which is available for free on itch.io, casts you as a vampire hunter in a 19th century masquerade ball. Instead of uncovering tiles and planting flags on probable mines, you pull the masks of human guests while pinning roses on suspected vampires, with helpful guests announcing how many vampires they're standing near.

I found the new perspective really slowed down my play, and I was a lot more ginger with my decision making than in normal Minesweeper. Aare also does a lot with a little when it comes to the game's presentation. I'm not sure I'll ever get tired of the Haunted PS1 throwback look, and the Infernal Masquerade's creepy ambience does a lot to play up the inherent tension in Minesweeper's educated guesswork.

I'm also quite fond of the goofy names generated for the party guests. You're facing down inscrutable opponents with names like "Maddox Bryan," "Jerome Charles," or "Maxim Andrade." It gives me major Fighting Baseball on the Super Famicom (opens in new tab) energy, a distinct "Bobson Dugnutt" vibe.

In addition to the free game jam build on itch.io, aare is also working on a more substantial version of the game to be released on Steam (opens in new tab). The upcoming version will feature enhanced graphics more in line with PS2-era games, as well as new systems to reward speedy vampire unmasking.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.