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Master Mind

Author: Juan F. Ramírez Machine Type: Spectrum 48K
Submitted on: 12th of May, 2020 Download or play online

Juan F. Ramírez strikes again with another game from his archives. This time, it’s a plain conversion of the classic board game, Mastermind, the classic game of cunning and logic that has sold fifty million units since its introduction in 1971.

Once the program has loaded, we are presented with a Chunk-o-vision rendering of the title, along with some copyright information (sadly, the famous Bond villain-wannabe and his assistant are missing from this incarnation). Following that, the instructions are provided, though I’m sure everybody reading this will have played at least one round of Mastermind at some point. One thing to bear in mind is that Juan’s version does not allow for colours to be repeated in the secret code, so that should make the game somewhat easier.

Finally, we get into the game proper. With a computer as artistically crippled as the Spectrum, one has to be very careful with the way they use the screen, with regards to composition and colour. Juan’s got half of it right, as the elements of the game are tidily arranged on the display, and look quite professional. However, even though he only had two colours to choose from for the background, he still went the wrong way, and made it magenta rather than cyan, thus rendering all of the red pegs difficult to distinguish on a modern computer monitor, and downright invisible on a television of the 1980s.

So, we enter our attempts, playing the game, getting buzzed at by the computer, going along, and all those classic Mastermind sort of things, until we either win or lose. A short beeper tune plays to fit the situation, and then the secret code is revealed, and everything’s okay in the world (well, metaphorically speaking). We then have the choice of playing again. If so, we get a new code to crack, and if not, we are unceremoniously booted back to BASIC.

All in all, there’s not much to say about this latest game of Juan’s. It runs at a decent speed, it does what it claims to, and it’s fun to play (though that last part doesn’t really have much to do with Juan). Gameplay is fine, graphics and sound are... meh, and innovation is near zero (though I gave him just a few points since it’s better than his last two games). You can try Mastermind for yourself by clicking the links in the info-box at the top of the page.

Scores

Graphics Sound Gameplay Innovation TOTAL
22% 20% 60% 4% 27%