Most helpful positive review
139 of 143 people found the following review helpful
Concept good, design bad
on June 18, 2002
Okay, who designs and tests these games?? I don't get it. I also loved Mastermind as a child and bought this one for my 6 year old, figuring it would be easier to learn and play than the 4 peg version. Also it looks really neat in a picture. We opened it up yesterday and she loves it, but it is driving me crazy already. Granted, it is cute, all the pieces are bright colors and of animals, but they are small and they have shallow holes to fit into on the board, so they fall over a lot. A lot! Especially when you have a kid that can't refrain from squirming around for more than 20 seconds. Then, after one falls over, when you try to put it back in its spot, your big fingers knock over their neighbors. Any bump to the board and they all go toppling. Same thing with the red and white pegs. I feel like I am a giant trying to play a little kiddie game. Plus, I really expected it to be harder, more challenging. It took a few rounds for my daughter to get the hang of it, but now the 'secret codes' seem pretty easy to break. There are two different ways they say you can play, and we skipped right over the easy one because it was way too easy. Another minor pet peeve is the little 'cave-like' space you put the hidden color code in. You have to lift that part on and off the board each time you play a game, and in doing so you spill the red and white pegs out of their holder. My daughter always has me lift it off for her as she can't do it gently. AND (I know I am picky, but why don't the designers see these things?) the 'cave-like' space for the secret code gets dark because it is covered, so it is hard to differentiate between colors when you put the pegs in there, the pink, purple and red start to look the same in the cave.
So, if I could go back and do it again, I would just go for the regular Mastermind. In all, my daughter thinks it is great and I like the way it makes her think (flawed logic and all), I just wish it wasn't so clumsy to play though. My rating is high as it is fun (for her), educational and durable because the plastic will last a long time. I just think someone should have seen how unstable the pieces are on the board, and just made it a little more user friendly.