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Master Mind
(Per Ericcson)


"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!

Graphics (n.)
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.
Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
N/A 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 v
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.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) 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 two.
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.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
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

Players 1 player Genre: Puzzle Game
Rating To solve: 10-15 min Final Rating: 7/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wTo run this game, you must have any version of Microsoft QuickBasic.
wOnce Master Mind is unzipped, run "MASTERM.BAS" from QuickBasic.

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