This is a simplified version of the old classic Mastermind game, where one player chooses a secret colour code, and the other player tries to work out the colours used and the order they have been placed in.
The Lego version is simpler because each colour can be used only once in the code (there are six to choose from). This makes the game easier for younger players. A multi-coloured die is used to limit the guess that each player can make: this introduces an element of chance.
One big plus of the Lego version of the game is that all players - up to four - can be both code-maker and code-breaker at the same time, so it's a better family game than classic Mastermind.
As with all of this range of games, there are suggestions for alternative rules. There are also pictures on the inside of the box showing how to turn the set into a Mastermind game - however, this lacks the black and white pegs you need to play Mastermind properly.
We had good fun with this set. However, we have since bought a version of Mastermind as well (Brainmaster
), and we're finding that we play that more often than the Lego game. Pirate Code is probably best for eight to ten year olds.