I really don’t need to say anything. The cover says plenty. Go on, I know you just want to look at it for a bit. I’ll be right here when you’re done.
I Love This World posted about the cover to Mastermind, and made my day. Has any game ever had better packaging? I think not. Hanford said it all, when he looked over my shoulder as I was preparing that photo to post — “Ooh, Mastermind! That was a very adult game.” Yes, yes it was. It was a game that demanded the most refined demeanor your seven-year-old self could muster (which mostly involved one raised eyebrow and a lot of “hmmm… interesting”s and soft, knowing chuckles under one’s breath). I loved this game, but even to this day, I cannot tell if it was really the game I loved, or if it was the cover. Mastermind was mental dress-up in a box.
I mean, look at it! Clearly, those two are plotting world domination, and are taking a break from their evil schemes to play a little mind game with you. They will win. It is a foregone conclusion. But you’re happy to be their little plaything, because they are so urbane and suave, and maybe if you play along with them they’ll be nice to you after they take over the world, and MY GOD THEIR TABLE IS SO SHINY.
And that woman — is she just along for the ride? Is she playing him, and biding her time until she can cast him aside? Or has he warped her to his purposes? Hm, maybe you should try to save her. But you can hear her laughs mocking you even now, at the thought that she might need saving. Yes, we will play this game as a distraction, while you suss out what’s really going on here.
If you’d like the mystery broken (and by broken, I mean shattered into a thousand little pieces, never to be reconstructed), move along past the jump, and learn the story of the making of the Mastermind cover, and see a recreation of the photo with this same couple, 30 years on. (Hint: They didn’t succeed in taking over the world.)
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