I have been a fan of ThinkFun for quite a while. I am a fan of puzzles and they consistently make great brain teasers and puzzle games so I was excited to be able to try Code Master and share my thoughts. The first thing that caught my eye was the packaging, the art in both the box and game are reminiscent of Minecraft, but I’ll get back to that in more detail latter. The box itself was a surprise, I love the layout and insert that has more than enough room for all the chits (cardboard pieces), as well as the plastic gems that stack nicely into one area, both the main figure and the portal have their place as well and the programing board and play board and instructions fit wonderfully. The box itself is shiny and fits very tight. While the chits are a good thickness and made of a nice mat cardboard. The large and small playing and program boards are both ring bound with multiple pages.
The theme works well with the programing nature of the game, and the Minecraft style art and pieces resonated well with my 7yr old. Gameplay is pretty straight forward and easy to understand. You have a smaller programming board and each map has a key on the left to let you know which tokens (2 red 2 green for example) can be used to “program” your movement on the smaller board, then you “test your program” by moving your man to the portal, by moving him along different colored paths, and in more difficult levels collecting gems and avoiding trolls, if he makes it with the moves you programmed you beat that level and move on to the next by flipping the board to a new level. Otherwise you “debug” the program and figure out the correct sequence.
The game is single player only but with 60 levels there is enough for anyone of any age (box recommends 8+) to pick it up and find a good challenge, my son and his friend did play it in almost a co-op style screaming out answers to each other and having fun.
Nice box insert design stores the contents wonderfully
60 levels of difficulty ranging from beginner to expert
Teaches logical thinking and how programs work wile being fun
Tight box can be a bit hard to open
Single player only (but a second player can be in a supportive roll)
The theme works, but the art could have benefited from an actual Minecraft license (but that would have also made the game much more expensive)
I have truly enjoyed this game and it has made it into my permanent game collection, I think anyone who enjoys a challenging puzzle would enjoy it as well, and the challenges do get quite tricky. The answered are in the back of the rule book incase you get completely stuck, but I personally have avoided them. ThinkFun did a wonderful job with this game and I’m happy to have received a copy in exchange for my review, I would highly recommend this gem of a programing logic game.
Here is the link: http://www.thinkfun.com/codemaster#ThinkFun