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Game Review


"The Challenging Game of Logic and Deduction"
Ages 8 and up
Game © 1996 Pressman Toy Corporation
game in play
Uncle's Games link

2 Players30+ minutes


Break the code of your opponnent in fewer tries than they can break yours.


Players choose which of them will be the codemaker. The codemaker selects 4 colored pegs and places them in the code compartment in the order that they wish.

Once the code is set, the other player becomes the codebreaker. The codebreaker attempts to guess the code using 4 colored pegs in the first row on the board.

After the guess is made, the codemaker scores the guess:

  • a red score peg is given for each colored peg that is the correct color AND in the CORRECT position;

  • a white score peg is given for each colored peg that is the correct color but in the WRONG position;

The score pegs are placed next to the code pegs -- but the order does not matter for the score pegs.

The codebreaker makes a new guess based upon the scoring of the previous guess; and the codemaker scores it again; the codebreaker's goal is to get 4 red pegs (break the code) in 10 or less tries.

codebreaker's perspective

Winning Conditions:

If you are playing without rounds --

  • The codebreaker wins, if they correctly discover the code.

  • or

  • The codemaker wins, if the codebreaker cannot break the code in 10 attempts.

If you are playing in rounds --

Both players take turns as codebreaker and codemaker.

The codemaker receives points for each row of pegs the codebreaker played to solve the code -- an 11th point is awarded if the code was not broken in 10 tries.

  • The player who has the most points at the end of the game wins.

codemaker's perspective

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Up!Don't let the copyright date above fool you, this is an old game -- I can remember playing it in the late 1970s. This copy happens to be very new. I would not have bought this game had I not enjoyed it as a kid. I like it -- and it is inexpensive, too.

This game emphasizes logical thought. Sure, the code can be guessed -- but when played well, the logic required is amazing.

As with any good game, the rules are brief and simple -- you can't forget them because there are so few to forget. The hardest part of the game is not giving away the code by facial expression -- younger kids are easier to deduct the code from simply because their expression acts as an extra score peg.

There are a few minor downsides to the game, but they don't affect gameplay that much... First, the game is constructed to used a lot of little pegs -- these pegs can get lost or scattered easily; second the scoring pegs are so small, it is difficult to place them properly -- small and dextrous fingers are a huge plus for playing as codemaker. Again, neither of these are big issues against buying this game, unless you have small children who try to eat game pieces.

This game is fun in a very cerebral way -- if you don't like to think with logic, don't buy it. But, if you do like this style of game, and need a quite 2 player game, this is an excellent choice.

Where to buy:

Any local toy store -- Our copy was from a Target and cost about $8.

Uncle's Games link

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