Dads and Moms, here is quick test to determine if you had a proper childhood…
#1. Did You Play Mastermind?
If you answered No – you are probably in expensive therapy trying to figure out why your parents didn’t love you. Well, don’t make the same mistake with your kids, Mastermind is back and it is the same as ever!
MasterMind – The Codebreaker Game That Is Actually Fun
Pressman Toy Company has brought the original Mastermind game back. Nothing has really changed, you still get all those colored pegs and the famous Mastermind board. This is all good news since Mastermind was a great game and really does not need improving.
For those tortured souls who have never played Mastermind, here is how it works. It is a two player game (ages 8 and up) with one player the codemaker and the other the codebreaker. The codemaker secretly picks 4 colored pegs (out of 6 possible colors) and places them in the secret codemaker spot. The codemaker can repeat colors, so a valid code could be 3 red and 1 blue.
Now the 2nd player, our codebreaker, tries to guess the code. She does this by placing pegs in the 1st row of the board, attempting to duplicate the exact color and order of the pegs the codemaker created. The codemaker then “scores” the codebreaker’s attempt. For every correct color you guessed, but in the wrong spot, you get a white peg. If you have the correct color and the correct spot, you get a red peg.
What makes Mastermind so much fun and really gets kids thinking, is that the codebreaker doesn’t know which of the four pegs she got correct. So, if you get “scored” with 1 red and 3 white – you know you have all 4 colored pegs correct and you know one peg is in the correct spot (that is what the red peg tells you) – the problem is you don’t know which of the 4 pegs is in the right spot. This leads to different strategies to try to get the code right in the fewest turns.
Who Will Be The True Mastermind?
Players take turns being the codebreaker and codemaker. The goal is to guess your opponent’s code in the fewest moves. The codemaker gets a point for each row it took you to guess her code. If the codebreaker needs 9 rows to guess correctly, the codemaker gets 9 points. You can play an agreed upon amount of games and the person with the most points at the end is the evil Mastermind!
What makes Mastermind so much fun is that both roles are cool. Kids love trying to come up with an “unbreakable” code as the codemaker. On the other side, it is great fun being the codebreaker and cracking that unbreakable code. The only problem is that Mastermind can be too challenging and frustrating for kids under 8 years old, but Pressman has a solution…
Introducing Animal Mastermind Towers
Animal Mastermind Towers is made for kids ages 6 and up and is a simpler, yet still very enjoyable, version of Mastermind. The best way to understand Animal Mastermind Towers is to watch this short video….
As you can see, the game is much easier for younger kids to play, but it still has a lot of strategy and thinking involved.
Animal Mastermind Towers is NOT Just A Dumbed Down Mastermind
I have to admit, when Pressman said they were sending us the Animal Mastermind Towers to review I was a little concerned. I love Mastermind, and usually when a company tries to make a “younger version” of a classic game they fail miserably! To my utter surprise, I really like Animal Mastermind Towers and more importantly, so did my kids.
The concept of guessing a sequence is the same as Mastermind, but the rest of the game is really a different experience. Much more talking involved, which keeps the kids into the game. Also just fun to say things like, “Is The Mouse Above Your Cat”
A Simple Game To Learn With Some Complex Strategies
The game play is as simple as asking questions back and forth, but there is some real strategy going on. Get a yes answer to your question and you can ask another question, or try to solve the code. You can take three cracks at the code, if you get all three wrong the other player wins. So, do you ask another question or try to solve it? If you don’t try to solve on this turn, will your opponent win on his next turn? Oh, decisions, decisions!
Join In On the Fun! We Are Giving Away MasterMind and Animal Mastermind Towers
What is better than having Mastermind in your house? Having Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers in your house. Would could be better you ask? Getting both games for free!
On Monday May 2, 2011 One Lucky Reader Will Win Both Mastermind and Animal Mastermind!
How do you enter? If you clicked that nice little Join Us button in the past – you are all set to win! Any member of Dad Does is automatically entered into any giveaway we do.
Not a member yet? No problem, all you have to do is Join Us – requires just your email, 100% free and takes about 6 seconds. So, just Join Us once and you are automatically entered in any giveaway we ever do – simple – right?
We will randomly pick a winner on Monday May 2nd, 2011.
Conclusion: Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Are Portable Fun
Mastermind was a great game 40 years ago and it is still a great game today. Kids need to use their brains, but the whole code breaking aspect makes it feel like a spy game and is loads of fun. The downside is that it has all those little pegs which can get lost, but there is something fun about manually putting pegs on the board to guess.
Animal Mastermind Towers is an excellent game in its own right. Kids love games with animals and it really forces younger kids to think and develop strategies, all while having battery free fun! The game uses flat tiles, so at least when you lose them and step on the pieces it will not kill your foot (as the Mastermind pegs do).
Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers Gets 4 D’s (scale of 1 to 5) -
Any Product That Receives 4 or 5 D’s is Dad Does Approved!
Here is our complete rating chart –
Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers Are Made by Pressman Toy. Mastermind sells for around $15 and Animal Mastermind Towers is about $13.
FULL DISCLOSURE: We received Mastermind to review and offer as a giveaway. We received no money for doing this review and receive nothing if you do decide to buy Mastermind. If your child grows up to be a code breaking genius, don’t forget that we got her hooked on Mastermind. This is a real review, by a real Dad (and his kids)!
Have A Question/Comment? Let Us Know!