1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Super MisterMind, by Julienne Dufrenne
    $0.99, ***1/2


    Decent import of Master Mind
    Customizable settings


    Multiplayer limited to one device
    Graphics are very basic

    I like math, and I love logic problems and logic based games. I figure anything where you have to use your brain, I have at least as good a shot of winning as anyone else (others might argue the point, but thats a debate for another day). I remember playing one game, Master Mind, when I was younger, and I was excited to see a version of the game, Super MisterMind, in the app store available as universal binary.

    The concept in Master Mind (or Super Mister Mind) is pretty basic you are trying to guess a hidden code of colored pegs. With each guess you make, you receive a clue about the accuracy of the guess, again based on colored pegs. These clues will tell you if you guess included the right color peg but in the wrong location (a white peg) or if you guess included the correct color peg in the correct location (a black peg). So, if the code is four colors long, and your guess one color correctly in the correct location, one color correct in the wrong location, and two wrong colors, your results will be one black peg and one white peg.

    It may sounds confusing, but it really isnt. Once you start to play, the game pretty much is self-explanatory. You have to try to guess the code in a certain number of guesses if you do you win, but if you dont your opponent wins. Simple, right? Well, for a simple premise, the game of Master Mind (and Super Mister Mind) can be lots of fun, and can be played an infinite number of times (basically until you get tired of guessing).

    One of the advantage of Super MisterMind is that you have a wide variety of settings that you can adjust. The standard game of Master Mind has 4 peg code, and you can choose one of six colors. With Super Mister Mind, you can make the game more complex by allowing for modification of those settings. You can choose a 4, 5, or 6 digit code (more digits is more complex). You can allow for 6, 8, or 10 different colors (again, more colors are more complex). You can even allow (or prevent) gaps in the code or repeating the same color. As a side twist, if colors arent your thing, you can use shapes instead. When adjusting the settings, the game also tells you how many possible choices (or codes) there are. With the simplest 4 digits, 6 colors, no blank spaces, no repeated colors, you have only 360 possible codes. If you move to 6 digits, 10 colors, with blank spaces and repeated colors possible, you have 1,771,561 potential codes that you will have to guess. Complicated, and at that point, luck will certainly play a role!

    Unfortunately, one thing you cant adjust is the number of guesses you make before you lose the game. While the default setting is 10 guesses, it would be nice to allow for more, such as when I play against my daughter who (at 7 years old) still sometimes needs to extra guesses.

    The game design is pretty basic the board game is designed to look like the Master Mind board game, and while the graphics are complete, they still are somewhat simplistic. It would be nice to have some options to pretty up the game a little big maybe choose the colors you want for the pegs, maybe have an option for multiple game boards or something. With the graphic capabilities of the iPad, it would be nice to see some expansion of the game to take advantage of those.

    My biggest complaint, however, is for multiplayer. The game allows for multiplayer, but only on the same device. So one person can set the code then hand the device to the next person to guess it. With wifi and Bluetooth options, and especially since this is a universal binary, I see no reason why you cant have a two-device multiplayer option (via local wifi or Bluetooth). This seems like a pretty obvious option to add. Certainly the game itself does not require another player guessing against the computer is the same as guessing against an opponent, but it would be fun to be able to keep track of scores and have a best out of three tournament or something.

    All in all, if you like logic games and especially if you have played Master Mind, give this game a try.
    Its fun, easy to learn, and can be played indefinitely on any iOS device you have. While the graphics dont overwhelm and the multiplayer is lacking, for $0.99 it still is a fun pick up and a good game to play while still working your brain. Three and a half out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. 
    03-03-2011 11:01 AM