Mastermind Review (iPhone/iPod touch)

Happiness is when you discover that your favourite board games from your childhood made the transition into digital form on your favourite handheld console. In my case, the iPhone has been home to my favourites: Scrabble, Monopoly, Chess and Mastermind.

I could hear some of you go “huh” over the mention of the last game, so here’s a primer. According to Wikipedia, Mastermind was introduced back in the 1970s by Israeli postmaster and telecommunications expert, Mordecai Meirowitz. Essentially a codebreaking game, one player will take the role of the codemaster (otherwise known as the Mastermind) and the other player would be the code breaker.

The Codemaster will create a code consisting of a row of coloured pegs and this combination is hidden from the Codebreaker. The Codebreaker will then assemble coloured pegs on the decoding board. Using smaller black and white pegs the Codemaster will indicate the number of pegs that are of the correct colour and position (using the black pegs) and the number of pegs of the correct colour but in the wrong position (using the white pegs). The game ends when the Codebreaker breaks the code or runs out of rows on the decoding board.

The iPhone version by GetApp operates on the same rules as the board game but with some additions that hardcore players will definitely appreciate. First up are the difficulty settings. The game is by default at Easy, with 4 holes to put the coloured pegs. Ramp up the difficulty and you’ll find 5 holes and an increased number of different coloured pegs to deal with. Set the game at Master level and you’ll find that coloured pegs may repeat themselves in the code.

Another addition would cater for those who don’t like to play with coloured pegs. In place of coloured pegs, symbols are used. These range from the normal playing card symbols to geometric shapes. Presentation wise, the game looks great and it’s simplicity at its best. On the other hand, I wished there was something like a time trial option to see how fast one could actually break the code. A leaderboard would have been nice as well.

In any case, GetApp certainly has a winner here with their version of Mastermind for the iPhone, and it’s available for free! Click here to check it out over at the App Store.

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