Frustrating strategy game

Playing against a demented computer is not much fun.

We will admit up front that we are not great at games of strategy. But we aren't stupid, and we also know that we tend to improve with practice. Not with Slide Mills, though. We'd sooner stab ourselves repeatedly with a fork than continue playing this nonsensical game.

We understand that Nine Men's Morris, on which Slide Mills is based, is a very old game. Never having played it before, we consulted the program's Help file, which is poorly written and only partially explained how the game works. Eventually we figured it out and set about playing against the computer. Even though we tried to adjust the difficulty level--a basic setting whose operation doesn't fully make sense--we were no match for the computer. There's nothing fun about playing an unbeatable opponent, and even the publisher's description admits that few people can beat it. You can chalk that up to our own mental failings if you'd like, but what really frustrated us is the completely irrational way that the game behaved when we did actually complete a mill and tried to remove one of our opponent's pieces. The game suddenly seemed confused about who was black and who was white and started moving pieces in an apparently random manner. If there was any rhyme or reason to this, neither the interface nor the Help file explained it.

Slide Mills is free. It comes as a ZIP file, installs desktop icons without asking, and leaves a folder behind on removal. We do not recommend this program; it's too confusing to be fun.

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