Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mastermind: a game of logic and codebreaking

Mastermind is a two-player codebreaking game, and is recommended for ages 8 and up. Click on the pictures for my Amazon affiliates links for the regular version and the slightly easier kids version.
Just playing the game develops logic and reasoning skills, but you can also use the game as a jumping off point for more mathematical thinking. For example: Can you devise a strategy which guarantees you can always break the code in 10 moves? 5 moves? See this blog post for some of the mathematics.

I've also seen Mastermind turned into a one-player puzzle, like the one below. You could even have students try to create their own!

Puzzle made by Elisa Giaccaglia for an elementary school enrichment class

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