Every Christmas, my dad, his siblings, and all of us kids (and, now, some of our kids) get together for a one-day holiday extravaganza. We travel in from Iowa, New York, and Pennsylvania, and — if all of our geeked out Facebook status messages are any indication — we all look forward to this day a lot. We rent the basement of a local church (and have rented the same room for the past 25 years or so), everyone brings a dish, we talk, we catch up, and we play games. Lots of games.
As soon as the meal is wrapped up and the gift exchange completed, they come out. One table might set up a game of Trivial Pursuit. Another, Taboo. Another, dominoes. If we’re feeling extra old-fashioned, someone will bust out a deck of Pinochle cards. And there’s usually at least one game of Dutch Blitz going somewhere, sometimes with several extra decks in play. It was here, two years ago, that I was first introduced to Mastermind.
ABOUT THE GAME
I’d say that many of us are thinkers — we like games that challenge us to use our brains and strategize and Mastermind fits this bill well. Mastermind is a two-person code-breaking game. One person creates a secret “code” using multi-colored plastic beads and it is up to the other person to try to break that code by making multiple guesses. After each guess, the codemaker uses small white and red pegs to indicate how many beads are the right color and/or in the right spot (these pegs are black & white in the photo to the right). From there, it is up to the codebreaker to logically deduce which pegs are correct, which are not, and take another guess. If the codebreaker guesses correctly in 10 attempts or fewer, s/he wins. If not, the codemaker reigns victorious.
In general, I am not very good at this sort of thing. Logic puzzles are not my strong suit and that’s basically what this game is. That being said, however, I do actually enjoy playing Mastermind. It’s just challenging enough to be interesting, but not so challenging that I get discouraged. And if I am feeling discouraged, I can rest easy knowing that it will be over in 10 turns or less ;)
After meeting them at BlogHer ’10, Pressman Toy was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of Mastermind to review here. T and I took the game with us to Vermont last week for a refresher since the first and last time we’d played was nearly two years ago, and we weren’t disappointed. After the baby went to sleep, we were able to squeeze a couple of quick games in, and although he beat me in all of them (guessing my codes faster than I did his), I don’t hold it against him (much).
In addition to traditional Mastermind for adults, Pressman Toy recently introduced Animal MASTERMIND® Towers for children and sent me a copy for review, as well. This children’s version is similar to the classic, but in vertical form and featuring cartoon animals rather than beads. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone local with a kid 6 or up, and Poppy is still too young for logic games, so we played it ourselves. And although we’re more than 20 years beyond the stated age range, we quiet enjoyed ourselves anyway :)
* THE GIVEAWAY *
In addition to sending me complimentary copies of each of the games to add to my own game closet, Pressman Toy was kind enough to offer me one copy of each game for a lucky reader, too. If you’re interested in entering yourself in the giveaway, find out how below. The giveaway will open today, Wednesday, September 8 and end next Wednesday, September 15 at 8 p.m. EST I’ll use random.org to choose a winner and announce it that evening.
How to Enter
- Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite board (or card) game is and why. That is all. (Please make sure it includes some way to contact you!)
If you want “extra” entries for extra chances to win, you have a couple of more options. Simply leave a separate comment for each thing you do. Each comment is worth one entry.
[Note: Leaving separate comments for each is important as random.org will simply tell me which # comment is the winner. No comment/no entry!]
- “Like” my blog on Facebook.
- Follow me on Twitter @outtajo.
- Tweet about this giveaway and help me get the word out. No more than one tweet/per day. That stuff gets annoying quickly. You can use this text, or make up your own. (Include a link to your tweet in the comment!)
Like #BoardGames? @outtajo is giving away copies of Mastermind & Animal Mastermind (for #kids!). Enter here: http://bit.ly/bIOnrz #giveaway
Good luck to everyone who enters!
* AND THE WINNER IS… *
I tallied up all the valid entries, numbered them, headed over to Random.org and asked it to pick a number, and the winner is…
*~* Julie! *~*
I’m going to send you an email to verify your snail mail address and a copy of MASTERMIND and Animal MASTERMIND Tower will be heading your way, courtesy of Pressman Toy.
Thanks to everyone who entered!