Turtle Minesweeper

I’ve mentioned a few times on various blog posts that I got my first Mac back in 1999. It was a iMac G3 266Mhz running MacOS 8.6. I loved that computer, it was bullet proof compared to previous Windows PCs I’d owned. One thing I missed when moving to the Mac however was Windows Minesweeper. I played the game quite a lot and couldn’t find a clone that did the Windows version justice.

During my time at College I wrote a number of applications in Visual Basic 6 and was quite comfortable with how it worked. An equivalent development on the Mac was REALbasic (which has recently been taken over by Xojo) which I started using in my spare time whilst studying at University. In the summer of 2001 I set about creating a Minesweeper clone for the Mac.

I recently bought a new MacBook Pro 2016 model and was curious to see if the app still worked in macOS Sierra (it was originally written for Classic Mac OS (8.6-> 9.x) and MacOS 10.1 -> 10.5. I stopped supporting it back in 2006 so wasn’t really expecting much.

Analysis and design

Whilst restoring files to the new MacBook Pro, I found the TurtleMine folder and found all the analysis and design documentation I’d written. At University, a few of my modules were about systems analysis and design using UML. I’d tried to apply what I’d learnt to the Minesweeper app.

I’d written a few¬†use cases:

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 11.13.21 am

Example use case for uncovering a square

Created some wireframes:

GUI Designs


Sequence diagrams:

ISD - Uncover a square

Sequence diagram for uncovering a square on the minefield

And state charts:

Statechart - Square

State chart for a square on the minefield

All in MS Excel! I must have been a glutton for punishment. Nowadays, I like to use tools like Pencil for wireframes, and Visual Paradigm for UML diagrams.

Running the game

I opened up the latest release of the source code I could find and tried to double click the Turtle Mine application icon:

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 12.59.58 pm

And to my total surprise, the app ran!


I don’t have my Turtle Soft website any more, but thought macOS people might still like to be able to download Turtle Mine. If you’d like a copy, you can download Turtle Mine from the DropBox link below: