Home > Games > Right colour, but in the wrong place

Right colour, but in the wrong place

April 12, 2016

It was a few months back that Miss B and I were talking about old puzzle games, and I explained the concept of Mastermind to her.  In case you don’t know, this is the game where one “player” sets a sequence of four coloured pegs and the other has to guess what the sequence is; on each guess, the code setter has to reveal how many pegs are fully correct and how many are the correct colour but incorrectly placed. With this information (and a little luck) the guesser should be able to figure out the sequence.

100_2086

Confident about the red there, and getting closer on the others…

At the beginning of this month Miss B found a Mastermind set in a charity shop and waved it in front of me, making a hopeful face as she did so.  I took the hint and, as the set looked to be complete and in decent condition we made the purchase.

Since then we have had several plays, each comprising one go at guessing each, and we score according to the number of guesses taken so we end up with a winner each time.  Miss B has clearly taken to this game in quite a serious way and so far she has won more games than I have.  It’s fascinating to hear her talking through her logic when she is starting to get enough information to solve the puzzle and eliminating options to deduce a solution.

It must be something like thirty years since I last played Mastermind, so I was a little nervous about the prospect, but we’ve been getting on great with it.  This is a game (it’s really a moderated puzzle, but we play it like a game) that Miss B is currently really enthusiastic about, and the set we have is good for travelling with, so I expect it will see a fair bit of use over the coming months.  I think it’s doing my addled brain some good too.

The verdict from Miss B (aged 9¼): “Mastermind is a brilliant game because of how clever you have to be to work it out.  I will rate it 99% for how clever it is for such a simple game!”

The game: Mastermind (Parker Brothers), 2 players aged 8+.

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  1. April 16, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Sounds good! I might try and find it.

  2. Barnetto
    April 19, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I used to love this game when I was about 10 or 11 – when I could persuade my parents to play it – they were not big on games and certainly didn’t enjoy thinky games! We recently brought an old copy back from my parents-in-law – my wife used to play it too – and it is sitting in a draw somewhere. I think it is time it made an appearance even if it is perhaps a little on the dry side compared to most of the games we play….

    • Rob
      April 19, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Maybe it needs to be livened up by playing two games simultaneously, one each way? Or having a circular multi-player arrangement, so you set to the left and solve to the right?

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