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CODA

Reviewed by Herb Levy

(Winning Moves, 2 to 4 players, about 15 minutes, ages 8 to adult; about $10)

 

To Conceal your secret code, Outguess your opponent, Deduce the solution and Amaze your foes is the object of Coda, the new code-breaking game from Winning Moves.

Coda comes small boxed to hold its 26 numbered tiles – a set of 13 black andCoda a set of 13 white. Each set is numbered from 0 to 11 with one tile containing a “dash”.Coda

In the basic game, the 24 numbered tiles, both black and white, are mixed and placed face down to form a pool. Each player now draws four tiles, black or white, at random (3 tiles if four players are in the game) and places them, face up, towards him so that they are unseen by his opponents. The tiles are placed in numerical order, lowest on your left to highest. (If you happen to draw a black and white tile with the same number, the dark tile goes on the left.) The resulting numbers are your “code”. Your job: discover the codes of the opposition. With the youngest player leading the way, you will try to do just that.

On a turn, the active player draws a tile from the pool and places it aside for the moment. Now, the player must “attack” any opponent’s code. An attack is a guess as to which number is in an opponent’s hand by pointing to a specific tile and announcing which number you believe it is. If correct, your opponent must expose the tile and you keep making guesses until you are wrong. Guess wrong and YOU must expose the tile you just drew and then insert it in the appropriate position in YOUR code. Now play shifts to the player on the left and the sequence is repeated.

Once a player has ALL of his tiles exposed, he is out of the game. The last player to have at least one tile hidden wins!

In the “advanced game”, the tiles with the dashes are added to the pool to add a little misdirection. These tiles, when drawn, may be inserted ANYWHERE in a code making your “educated guesses” a bit more difficult. This is a recommended addition to the game.

Although fitting into the Mastermind family of logic and deduction, Coda is a much simpler offering and, as a result, probably a more attractive game for non-gamers. For sure, a lucky guess can be devastating to your opponent but logic is rewarded. With a few well thought out “guesses”, you can run the table and leave your opponents in the dust. The game has a little bit of that “addictive” quality that makes you want to play it again. Because the game takes so little time, requests for rematches are easily to fulfill. – – – Herb Levy


 

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