Right colour, but in the wrong place
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.
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+.