Kamil Muranski’s record time of a 31.13 second clear of an expert Minesweeper grid, a time which had stood uncontested since 2010, has finally been – not only broken – completely crushed by a 12 year-old named Ze-En Ju.
On September 12, Ze-En Ju cleared an expert Minesweeper grid in a staggering 29.43 seconds, beating the previous record by a full 1.7 seconds. 1.7 seconds may not seem like much, but for a speedrun as short as this, and for a game as old as Minesweeper, a 1.7 second timesave is absolutely massive. The previous record that Ju had beaten was set when he was just two years old, and it is very unlikely that it will be beaten by anyone else any time soon.
The pattern recognition skills that Ju displays in his world record run are honestly astounding. He begins clearing out safe tiles surrounding the nearly uncovered numbers before you can even process what those numbers are. It’s safe to assume that he’s practiced enough to be able to recognize patterns based on the colors of numbers out of the corner of his eye and act on them through muscle memory, likely while analyzing other nearby patterns that he’ll move onto next.
His mouse precision is absolutely incredible as well. To be able to solve the patterns as quickly as he does is impressive enough, but to clear them without a single mis-click may be even crazier. All of these factors, plus an in-game timer, make Minesweeper a very appealing game to speedrun, hence the competition is very high.
On top of having the fastest time for expert level grids, he’s also got some other incredible feats in the game. His 0.28 second – yes, 0.28 second – clear time for a beginner level grid ranks 35th in the world, with the record being an absolutely impossible 0.09 seconds. Ju’s intermediate time ranks second in the world, at a time of 8.76 seconds, a mere 0.25 seconds short of the record. His overall time, which is his sum of best times of the beginner, intermediate and expert level grids is a world record of 40.47 seconds, a full 2.36 seconds ahead of second place, in a league of his own.
Sub-30 seconds, as well as utterly destroying a 10 year-old record is a massive milestone for the speedrunning scene, perhaps the biggest barrier break after Super Mario 64’s 14:59 16-star record from this year. Not only that, but for it to have been done by someone as young as 12 is truly remarkable, and it should be exciting to see what he does next.
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