Play Mind – A Logical Game
There’s something to be said for short and sweet game play. Even though they don’t take long, short games can still be quite involved and captivate the players. One of the best family board games is Play Mind and that might be just the thing for those among us who have shorter attention spans.
History of Play Mind
The game Mastermind was invented in 1971 by Mordecai Meirowitz and was inspired by a pencil and paper game called Bulls and Cows. Over the years Mastermind has had several iterations, including PlayMind. I’m not quite sure of the differences between PlayMind and Mastermind since it’s been quite a few years since I’ve played Mastermind, and honestly, I can’t see much difference between the two.
Since the original Mastermind was invented in 1971, there have been many other variations of the game and, though I haven’t had the opportunity to play them all, I would imagine they provide the same level of amusement as Mastermind. In this blog post I will be talking about Play Mind.
Setting up the board
There are two players for Play Mind: the codemaker and the codebreaker. There are 4 rounds, 2 per player. The codemaker chooses 4 different coloured pegs (in the basic and easiest version of the game rules) and places them in random holes into the hidden area of the board so that the codebreaker can’t see the colours nor the positions of the pegs. Following this set up the game is ready to be played.
First round of play
The codebreaker chooses 4 differently coloured pegs and inserts them randomly into the first row of holes in the board. The codemaker then checks the colour and position of each of the codebreaker’s pegs against the pegs he or she has hidden. For every correct colour chosen by the codebreaker, the codemaker will insert a small white peg in the corresponding row of holes next to the large peg holes. For every correct colour and position chosen by the codebreaker, the codemaker will insert a small black peg into the corresponding spot in the ‘answer’ row. This tells the codebreaker where he or she got it right and where he or she got it wrong. If a hole in the answer row is empty, the codebreaker knows that he/she did not get one (or more) of the colours correct at all.
The codebreaker then takes 4 more coloured pegs and inserts them in the 2nd row. This second row will call for some strategy. If he was lucky, the player will have got a black peg and will know which colour to insert where based on that. If she gets empty holes, she can choose to eliminate a colour and choose one she hasn’t used yet. The more he gets right, the closer she gets to getting all the correctly coloured pegs into their corresponding positions. When that has been achieved the players can make note of how many rows it took to break the code and so put a red or blue (players choice) peg in small holes along the sides of the board to note which row was achieved.
The second player then takes their turn.
Winning the game
The player who manages break their codes in the least amount of tries down the board will be the winner. Ties are possible as well, but in all the games of Play Mind I’ve played, and there have been many, that’s only ever happened once. In that case, the players can go one more round if desired. The player who manages to use the least amount of rows before breaking the code wins the game.
Where it can be played
The age recommend for Play Mind is 7 years and up and it’s indicated on the box that the game takes 15 minutes to play. I would say that it could take a bit longer than that to play a full two rounds depending on the ages of the players. It’s a great game for those who enjoy logic type puzzles and strategy games. It’s also a perfect rainy day cottage game, or just a something to play while in a waiting room, dentist’s office or anywhere else where a wait is involved. It’s easy enough so that you can play a short game with one round.
I would not take this game to a beach. Obviously the kids might want to do other beach-type activities, but sometimes families take along other just-in-case games to keep boredom at bay. However, Mind Play has small pegs that are easy to drop or fumble with when clearing the board to set up a new game and finding those pieces in the sand would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
I’m don’t think Play Mind would make a good game for car/van/camper travel for much the same reason. If you go over a bump in the road, you might lose hold of a peg or two and no one wants to be fumbling around in a moving vehicle looking for small game pieces.