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Mastermind is a challenging code breaking logic game for two players. Mastermind is certainly a clever game where one player has to deduce the other player’s secretly made color code through guessing the position of the colors. In Mastermind game terminology, one player is the codemaker (who is going to form the color code) and the other player is the code breaker (who is going to deduce the position of the colors). The game comes with a decoding board, code pegs of different colors, and key pegs, which are smaller than code pegs; some colored, some black and some white. The decoding board has twelve rows containing four large peg spaces and four small spaces, and a shielded row of four large peg spaces.

The code maker selects a pattern of colors of code pegs, which may be of different colors or same colors repeated. The chosen code peg pattern is put in the shielded space of the decoding board (as this should not be seen by the code breaker). The code breaker has to guess the color pattern of code pegs that are kept in the shielded section of the board. The pattern has to be guessed within a limited number of turns, so deducing the position of the particular colors are important early on. Guessing begins when the code breaker places a row of code pegs on the board, to which the code maker offers feedback. A black key peg is put in the key peg space corresponding to the code peg position for a correct guess, and a white peg is placed if the color guessed is correct but the position guessed is not. After each feedback another guess is made, till either the code breaker gets the pattern right or the number of turns is exhausted without obtaining the code.

The code maker receives one point for every guess the code breaker makes. The number of colored pegs on the board determines the code maker’s points. If the code breaker does not guess the pattern correctly in the last turn, extra points are earned by the code maker. On playing even number of games, where the two players alternate with each other in being the code maker, the scores are tallied. The player with the maximum number of points from the games wins.

Each time you make a guess, look at the feedback the code maker gives you, and make a logical guess based on the position and color of key pegs placed in response to the guess you made. Logically deducing information about the position of the colors in the code, you move on the next turn. If you do not get any color or position right you can start with a new combination and deduce the pattern from that turn onwards. Mastermind has a word game version as well, inspired by the popular pen and paper word game, Cows and Bulls. The word game version has a similar game play, with one player guessing the other player’s secretly formed word through a series of guesses. Whatever version you choose to play, Mastermind is a riveting logic game that will keep you hooked.
May 6, 2008, 3:08 am

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