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"A Color-coded Classic for the Translating Mind"
It's been a favorite
because of it's addictability and it's portability, but now the Master
Mind decoding puzzle game has made it to QuickBasic, courtesy of Per Ericcson!
Try to decode one
of 1,296 possible codes, with only ten tries at hand! Luckily with each
guess you make, black and white pegs will clue you in on how close you
are to the answer. But even then, it will take a while to gain the expertise
to be a true Master Mind!
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Even though Master Mind does get a poor
graphics rating, I honestly don't see how the graphics could be any better
than what it is. The very nature of Master Mind and the way it is played
makes it best when the graphics of the game don't slow down the gameplay,
so you can concentrate fully on the game. Per Ericcson's version of the
game does just that; the graphics are flickerless and very smooth to the
eyes, so nothing gets in the way of the gameplay. But at the same time,
since there aren't a lot of graphics to judge in the first place, that's
probably the reason why this game got a poor graphics score. It would be
difficult to balance between the two elements.
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
||Peg as many times as you like, but don't
expect to hear any sound effects or music as you think your way through
each new code. This version of Master Mind comes with no sound.
|Gameplay (n.)The precision of control
and involvement of character within its universe
|Master Mind is a puzzle decoding game.
The idea is to guess a combination of four colors in ten tries or less.
To help you out, whenever you make a wrong guess, a series of black and
white pegs indicate how many colors you did enter correctly, and if they
are at the right location. To add a confusion factor to the game, a single
color can repeat more than once in a code.
Because Master Mind is not an original
game idea, the game itself could get an average or good gameplay score
at best, depending on the control scheme and game features. But Per Ericcson's
version of Master Mind is pretty straightforward, the only special feature
being the fact that there's a "cheat" button so you can see the answer
before you enter a code.
Controls also take a few moments to get
used to, as your hands have to be oriented on the number keys on the top
of the keyboard while occasionally switching to the enter key to tell the
computer that your code has been inputed. Thankfully though, the controls
are handily printed to the right of the screen at all times for reference.
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
||Understandably, Master Mind does not have
any story elements, and therefore did not get any story points. Again,
adding too much to any one element other than gameplay would disrupt gameplay
in a game like Master Mind, so it's tough to find a balance between the
|Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience
can be repeated again and again
|Playing Master Mind can be a lot of fun,
but once you've mastered how to play the game, there's not a lot of reason
to try to beat the game, let alone warrant another try. If you use your
deductive skills carefully, you should be able to answer any code they
give you in ten tries or less. If you really want to see if you're a pro,
try finding the code consistently in five or less tries per game (which
requires a little luck as well as deductive skills). And no pressing the
"cheat" button while trying this tactic! Let's shoot for an honest game
of Master Mind.
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought
|The most challenging codes are probably
the ones where less colors are used multiple times, because it's pretty
hard to dissect just how many times the same color was used without having
to invest a few extra turns. Other than that, the bulk of the challenge
is probably learning how to play the game. If you've never played Master
Mind before, the rules at the right of the screen should help get you into
the game rather quickly, as well as welcome you to the game's controls.
|Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|Per Ericcson has pretty much made Master
Mind from the face up. Don't expect any zany gimmicks because this game
is probably as close to the real Master Mind as you're going to get it.
Still, it would be nice to somehow get your friends involved as you play
a game. One of the neatest things about Master Mind is making your own
code and seeing if you could outsmart a weary buddy. This version of Master
Mind doesn't quite have that feature since the computer always chooses
the codes for you.
Still, despite the simplistic technical
elements, the fun factor in this QB Master Mind game grows strong. If you
like a puzzle game that has a little more casual than fast-paced, then
QB Master Mind would be a good place to start.
Master Mind reviewed by Vance Velez
||Genre: Puzzle Game
||To solve: 10-15 min Final Rating: 7/35
To download this game, click here.
run this game, you must have any version of Microsoft QuickBasic.
Master Mind is unzipped, run "MASTERM.BAS" from QuickBasic.
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