What It Is
Ultimate Mastermind is a strategy game where one player tries to guess the color sequence of a row of five pegs hidden from view in as few turns as possible while the other player gives feedback to help solve the code.
To get started, separate the code pegs from the key pegs. Decide which player will be the Codemaker and who will be the Codebreaker. Position the board between the players so that the five, shielded holes for the secret code face the Codemaker. The Codemaker secretly places any combination of five code pegs into the five holes concealed by the shield. The Codebreaker places five code pegs in the first row of holes closest to him. The Codemaker then responds by placing zero to five key pegs in the key holes using these rules: a red key peg means the code peg is the right color and in the right position and a white key peg means the code peg is the right color but in the wrong position. If a code peg is the wrong color, the Codemaker places no key peg. The Codebreaker keeps placing rows of code pegs and getting feedback from the Codemaker until the code is solved. Then players switch places and play again.
There are two ways to keep score. After one round, whichever player broke the code using the fewest moves slides their scorekeeper up to 1. The player who wins 10 games first wins. The second way to keep score is with points. After each code is broken, the Codemaker gets one point for each row played by the Codebreaker. After an agreed upon number of games have been played, the player with the highest score wins.
The game comes with a game base with built-in storage area and score counter, 144 code pegs (18 of each eight colors), approximately 40 key pegs (about 20 each of red and white), and rules. Ultimate Mastermind is for two players.
Why It’s Fun
Ultimate Mastermind is an update to the original Mastermind game, and it adds a fifth peg to the code. (Original Mastermind only had four, which made it simpler.) Fans of the original will like taking on this more challenging version of the game. With 59,000 possible code patterns, it's a different game every time you play. It might take practice for some players to get the hang of the game and solve the codes using the Codemaker's clues.
Who It’s For
Ultimate Mastermind is for ages 8 and up.
What to Be Aware of
There is a second way to play Ultimate Mastermind. Play is the same but the Codemaker may leave one or more code peg holes vacant, which creates increased challenge for the players.