The objective of board game Mastermind is to correctly guess the secret code chosen by the codebreaker (another player or the game itself) within a certain number of attempts.
One player is the codebreaker and the other is the codemaker. The codemaker chooses a secret code consisting of a specific number of colored pegs (usually 4) from a larger set of possible colors. The codebreaker then attempts to guess the code by placing a row of pegs on the board and the codemaker provides feedback in the form of black and white pegs. Black pegs indicate a correctly placed peg of the right color, while white pegs indicate a peg of the right color but in the wrong position. The codebreaker continues to make guesses and receives feedback until they correctly guess the code or run out of attempts.
Mastermind was invented in 1970 by Mordecai Meirowitz, an Israeli postmaster and telecommunications expert. It was first marketed by Invicta Plastics in 1972. The game quickly gained popularity and has been published by various companies over the years. It has been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame and has been a best-selling game for decades.
Mastermind is typically a two-player game, with one player acting as the codemaker and the other as the codebreaker. However, it can also be played solo, with the player attempting to guess the code set by the game itself.
The number of colors used in Mastermind can vary depending on the version of the game. The original game featured six different colors, but some versions have more, sometimes as many as 10.