Product Type: other board games
Newest Review: ... a parent, talking and interacting one on one is meant to help children develop intellectually. Mastermind specifically teaches children to... more
It can't be any other combination.. oh wait.. no I missed one
Member Name: mjw92
Advantages: Good fun gameplay, suitable for older children and adults
Disadvantages: THOSE DAMN PEGS
Mastermind is another one of those classic games, where the structure of the game is so simple, however becoming a master is very hard work.
~~ Contents of the game ~~
When you first open the box, you see a very nice tray, with ten to twelve rows of four large holes, all set out in a line, and a final row of four holes behind an orange cover. For the first twelve rows of holes, to one side of them, there are four much smaller holes set out in a two x two square formation.
To the left of all of this is a massive covered area, containing different coloured pegs inside. However a dire warning, this is the ONLY time you will see the game as neatly presented as this, once that peg compartment is open, they gte everywhere.
Anyway, the pegs come in two different sizes, large and small in order to fit the different sizes of holes.
The larger pegs come in eight different colours (which sometimes vary depending on which version you have, and the colours I am describing apply to the set I have in front of me.)
The smaller pegs come in two different colours (also sometimes change upon set variety.)
According to the instruction leaflet, which is also provided with the game there are 12 large pegs in each colour, as well as 15 small pegs of each colour.
~~ Playing Mastermind ~~
Mastermind is a two player game, and the first decision you make before playing is who will set the code, and who will try to break it.
Whilst the person trying to break the code looks away, the person setting the code takes four of the bigger pegs (any colour combination) and places them in the final row of four holes (the one that is hidden from view.) Be aware at this point not to be in a room with any mirrors, as if people are tempted with cheating, they will cheat.
Once the code has been set the other player looks back and now has to try and guess the code that has been set. They have to choose from the eight different coloured pegs to place into the holes.
(The eight colours in my set are: white, red, yellow, orange, purple, blue, magenta and green. This can cause some problems as I will explain later.)
Back to the the rules: once they have chosen their combination, the combination is ranked.
Using the smaller pegs, you must score there guess by the following system:
Red peg = right colour in the right place
White peg = right colour in the wrong place
You can put these in any of the four holes, as they bear no correllation to the position of the guess. This way your opponent has to use their brain to deduce which colours are in the right places.
This continues until they have successfully worked out the code.
Then the tables are turned and you have to figure out their code. The winner of the game is the person who does it in the least moves.
~~ Alternatives ~~
For some players this variation of the game is too simple, if that is the case then you can add these features:
1. For a very slight increase make the rule: the same colour can be used twice in the sam combination.
2. For a major step-up in difficulty, include spaces in the combination. I have played this variation before and it is very difficult to get it within ten goes.
~~ Difficulties with the game ~~
There are a few difficulties with this game though. Firstly, you ALWAYS run out of one colour. There are only twelve of each colour, yet you always end up running out of one and having to use one from a previous guess to fill in.
You always run out of the marker pegs (small pegs) and have to take them from earlier guesses.
Some of the colours can be hard to distinguish, especially in certain lights. This happens mainly with reds and oranges, and blues and greens (as greens are more cyan in colour.)
Finally, and most of a nightmare: however careful you are, there is always one person who knocks the tray and all the pegs go everywhere. It is almost inevitable when my family plays this game (especially when grandma's had a bit too much brandy!) and also don't bother sorting big pegs from little pegs, they only move back and mingle with each other.
~~ Summary ~~
This is a great game, suitable for the ages of children, 6+ I'd say, as the pegs can be choking hazards for younger children.
My one message to you: you will always regret it when you say: "that can't be right, it's impossible for it to be anything else" as you will have missed something or your friend may have marked it wrong. However, most of the time it's one combination you've missed and then you feel like a complete fool for missing it.
Due to the fiddliness of the pegs however and lack of distinguishable colours, I will give it 4*.
~~ Oh wait.. ~~
Did anyone else find the brain in the jar on one of the old adverts for this eally disgusting? lol leave me a comment
Summary: If you want play it in black chairs, but you're not on the BBC