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Genre: Quiz/Puzzle/Strategy :: Players: 1 :: Released: 19/4/06

Mastermind Review

Developer: Glu


Game Features


6 'levels' and 3 modes to play
Addictive gameplay
4 themes to unlock


No sound effects

Save Option
Bus/Tube Friendly
See Compatible Handsets












Review Details
Handset Nokia 6680

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 21/4/06

Mobile version of the classic board game - great fun for exercising your brains!

Mastermind opens with a little pic of the original Hasbro game that I never had and then a pretty decent 3D rendering of the old board. If you don't remember by now the game is about mental fortitude and analysis that would be great training for any wannabe Sherlock Holmes types.

You have a code consisting of four colours in a particular order. You have 10 attempts to guess it and each time you guess you are informed of whether you got the colour correct and in the right place) indicated by a red peg or whether you have got a colour correct but in the wrong place (indicated by a white peg). Believe me, it sounds a lot more confusing than it actually is.

The game looks pretty decent with several modes and lots of bright colours. The graphics are nicely done and really help add to the overall slick feel of the game but then again it is a Glu game so I wouldn't expect any less. The board itself isn't too complicated and the coloured balls are bright and easy to see. In between rounds, as you are facing off against a specific character you see a little pic of them with some kind of remark either complimentary if you win or derogatory if you lose. There are 6 themes as well which lend to the graphics ranging from the cute (see the animals smile occasionally!) to the bizarre.

Sound is decent as well with a funky little ditty on loading. In the game you get the same tune but when you complete a round you get a little victory tune! No sound effects (it would have been cool with the animals) but then this game isn't about the sound.

Controls are very very very simple. Use the D or key pad or joystick up and down to change the colour of the ball. Left and right changes the balls. When you have the balls in the colours you want then move the cursor over to the big tick and it will place them on a row detailing your results. Simple as pie.

Playability is excellent. The game is quite taxing, especially if you have never played before. But the tutorial talks you through it so you should find yourself understanding pretty quickly. The logic behind the game becomes more apparent the more you play. For instance if you take 4 different colours and one is in the right place, for the next attempt select only one of the original 4 colours for all the balls. If you see you have it in the right place then you know it was in the right place in the first attempt. If you see you have it in the right place and another white peg indicating that you have a correct colour in the wrong place then you know that there are actually 2 of that colour in the combination. One in the place of the original attempt you made and another of the same colour in one of the other slots. Confused? Don't be. Play it and you'll pick it up in no time. In fact, it's this logical, problem solving method that makes, for me anyway, the game so enjoyable. I feel like a bit of a detective as I puzzle out the logic, thinking to myself, it can't be any of those colours but what about this one here and that one there and slowly getting it right more and more until I solve the combination. There are only 10 attempts though and the time limit does count down. The quicker you do it then the higher your score.

You also have 6 people to play against in the tournament mode, each one having one more coloured ball than the last thereby increasing the number of permutations. When you do finally beat all 6 you unlock some special themes so instead of balls you get animal heads or bizarre shapes. There are 4 themes to unlock so you have to play the game through 4 times at least and the game will save your progress up to the round you just played and keep track of your score. There's also a quick play mode which dives straight into the action and multiplayer where up to 5 people can play taking it in turns to guess the correct colours. I haven't tried this yet but like many 'play and pass' multiplayer games it doesn't sound too attractive.

Still, if you're someone like me who likes exercising their brain and enjoys unlocking stuff on a phone game, this is one puzzler that should definitely grab your attention.