Vinesweeper is based on the well-known computer game minesweeper. The object of this members-only mini-game is to help the gnomish farmers find potato seeds buried in the fields before rabbits get to them. To do this, players can dig up mounds of dirt to uncover numbers that can help determine where seeds lie. Once a player figures out where a seed is likely buried, flags are placed to mark where the farmers should investigate. All actions that the player take can either earn or lose them Vinesweeper points which can be redeemed for rewards.
Vinesweeper does not possess any specific skill or quest requirements. However, completion of the Garden of Tranquility quest is required to redeem Vinesweeper points for super compost potions. In addition, players need level 40 Farming to attain the best Farming XP rewards. Players will also need a spade to play the game, which can be brought or purchased for 5 gp.
Getting to Vinesweeper
To get to Winkin's Farm and the Vinesweeper fields, talk to any one of the farming patch tool leprechauns across RuneScape that have the right-click "Teleport" option. Winkin's Farm is not accessible from the tool leprechaun on Harmony Island or near My Arm's Patch. Check the Farming guide for more insight as to where to find them.
Familiars and pets may not be taken into Vinesweeper.
How to play
Upon arriving at the fields, there are four sign posts located next to the portal which will provide information on how to play Vinesweeper. Players can refer to these for extra information.
There is no time limit to Vinesweeper and any correct flags may be collected from Farmer Blinkin. Players may also choose to redeem their Vinesweeper points with Mrs. Winkin at any time.
Players must first obtain some flags from Farmer Blinkin, who wanders in front of the small house, to begin playing. Unless otherwise noted, Mrs. Winkin and and Farmer Blinkin share the same functionality. Later references of talking to Farmer Blinkin will typically mean that players can also talk to Mrs. Winkin. New players who have never played Vinesweeper before will receive their first 10 flags for free. When leaving the game, these flags are automatically removed from the player's inventory; players who return to play later can retrieve them from Farmer Blinkin. Flags cost 500 gp or 50 Vinesweeper points to replace. A maximum of 10 flags can be held at one time.
While carrying at least one flag and a spade, climb over one of the stiles separating the farm from the Winkin's enclosure. Dig at a mound of dirt anywhere in the field. Upon digging a mound, it will be cleared out and numbers will appear (if the mound did not contain a seed). Each number indicates the total number of seeds in the eight mounds adjacent to the numbered mound. Each hole dug earns Vinesweeper points as long as a seed was not in the mound. Seeds cannot be found in mounds with numbers on them.
These numbered dug up mounds indicate how many seeds are located in all of the leftover adjacent mounds
Players also have the option to right-click a mound and select "Inspect hole". Inspecting a hole gives a chance to figure out if there is a seed in the mound or not. Inspection takes a fair amount of time and may take several tries for any given mound to gain useful information, but can help to figure out the presence of seeds.
Occasionally, digging up a mound will uncover numerous mounds and several numbers. This occurrence is caused by the game automatically determining which adjacent mounds cannot possibly have seeds in them and then revealing numbers on the perimeter of the empty space.
Digging up a potato seed will deduct 10 Vinesweeper points. A farmer will remove the dead seed and reset the numbers and mounds surrounding the dead plot. New seeds may be planted.
Once certain of a seed's location, players can right-click the mound and select "Flag hole" instead of digging it up. When a flag is placed, a farmer will eventually come over to investigate the marked mound. If a seed is found, it will be kept by the farmer. The flag will be returned to Farmer Blinkin, Vinesweeper points will be awarded, and all nearby mounds will have their numbers reset by the farmer in similar fashion to what happens when a dead seed is reset. Marking seeds correctly is where the majority of a player's points will come from. Points may also be gained by standing near a farmer who discovers a seed under another player's flag, although significantly fewer points are awarded in this case.
It is important to note that mounds with no seeds in them will cause Vinesweeper points to be deducted. Players will not be able to retrieve this flag from Farmer Blinkin. The plots will not be reset in this case.
When a farmer resets a plot, it removes the numbers from sight, resets new mounds, and may plant some new seeds, but it does not remove seeds that have not yet been dug up or marked with a flag. Use this knowledge to plant multiple flags in succession if several seed locations are known.
The gnomish farmers are not the only ones who are paying attention to where you place your flags.
As soon as a flag is placed, any nearby rabbits will also be attracted to the mound. If a rabbit reaches a flagged mound with a seed in it before a farmer does, it will eat the seed. The mound will be treated as if the player had placed a flag incorrectly.
Fortunately, there is a means of pest control in the form of ogleroot. These radish looking plants are non-edible for players, but can be fed to rabbits for a special effect. Simply click on a rabbit to feed it some ogleroot from your inventory and the rabbit will shrink from sight and then be removed from the game for a short time. This action will also earn 30 Hunter experience. Ogleroots can be randomly found while digging up mounds or purchased from Farmer Blinkin at any time for 10 gp each. The shrunk ogle roots used in the Grim Tales quest do not work in this minigame. Ogleroots cannot be taken out of Vinesweeper, but players will be given 10gp for every root in their inventory when they leave.
Mrs. Winkin accepts accumulated Vinesweeper points in exchange for seeds, farming experience, more flags, or super compost potions. Super compost potions are unique to this mini-game and when a dose is used on a bin of finished regular compost, the entire bin becomes super compost. Doses can also be used on single buckets of regular compost, but this is not recommended.
Vinesweeper points may be traded in at a ratio of 1:1 if they have level 40 farming. Players with lower Farming levels may still trade in points for XP, but at a reduced rate.
Tips and Tricks
There are also several patterns that players can learn to help them immediately identify the guaranteed location of a seed given a certain configuration of numbers and flags. Below are a few simple, but useful examples:
Looking at the "1" circled in green, it is clear that there is only one seed in any of the surrounding mounds.
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