Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is a puzzle-adventure game that was released this past August. It takes place just before the first season of BBC’s hit series, Peaky Blinders. As the player, you are to execute Tommy Shelby’s master plans by moving the various Shelby family members through the streets of 1919 Birmingham. You’ll have to align each character’s timeline in order to maneuver them all successfully through various obstacles.
Despite unique and engaging gameplay mechanics, the game was met with lackluster reviews, garnering a meager 64% on the Metacritic scale and a 7 out of 10 on Steam. Admittedly, Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is not without its share of faults, but the gameplay is still worth experiencing for anyone who considers themself a puzzle game strategist.
Some people were thrown off by the art style and purported simplicity of the game, claiming it looks like it was made for the mobile platform. However, the aesthetic design is merely a stylization choice and one that’s well suited to the somber setting of post-WWI Birmingham. The levels and characters are painted in a minimalistic bleak comic-book fashion appropriate to the dismal streets and warehouses of 1919’s Birmingham.
At face, Mastermind’s objective of maneuvering the Shelby gang from one point to another does seem like a basic concept. However, the synchronizing timeline mechanic means you have a lot of steps to work out. Think of it like editing a video or sound reel, with overlapping layers. It would probably feel a little cumbersome on a mobile platform as the levels get more complex and require greater meticulousness in planning. Formulating a strategy and executing the master plan is certainly a smoother process with the map laid-out on the PC or console platforms.
Some complain that the characters and dialogue feel like watered-down versions of the show. But overall, the writing delivers an engaging storyline that serves as a believable extension to BBC’s retelling of the infamous Peaky Blinder gang.
Prospective buyers also doubt the price tag when there’s a mere ten levels of content to look forward to. But bronze, silver, and gold tier rankings, along with in-level pocket watch collectibles, give it sufficient replayability for completionists. No matter how much of a master schemer you are, there’s always room to tighten up the timeline and shave a few seconds off to improve your master plan in a second run-through. Even if you’re a true mastermind with perfect timing, the likelihood is you didn’t manage to snag all those pocket watches the first time around.
And of course, if you watched the show, Mastermind’s soundtrack is everything you would expect. An anachronistic indie rock playlist accompanying the Shelby gang’s every step will get fans pumped up to perfect each scheme.
While many will still debate if Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is worth the $25 price tag, it’s certainly worth nabbing this title during a Steam sale. In fact, it is on sale in the Steam store for 50% off right now until January 5. Mastermind is also available on the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.
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Kim is a freelance writer for TheGamer. She recently began writing online articles in the summer of 2019 when she was approached on Discord to contribute some articles and guides for Wizards Unite World. Kim is a fan of fantastical genres, some of her favorite titles including Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and The Witcher. She’s a bookish Ravenclaw eccentric, with an inquisitive sense for adventure. Kim seeks to use her writing as a means to travel and explore, hoping to share her findings and spread curiosity.
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