A year and a few days ago, I was at PAX East 2020 in Boston, my last big adventure before the stay home orders kicked in and the reality of the pandemic took over. It was my first PAX East as a tabletop enthusiast and I loved looking for games to play that I had seen on Dicebreaker. Break The Code was one of them.
Break the Code is a great logic puzzle of a game. You can play with 2 people and up to 4 people. Everyone gets their own code and a little stand to hide the numbers behind. There are two sets of numbers – 0-9 in black and white (Both of the 5s are green, just to mess with you). Each player gets a little notepad to write down hunches and help them deduce what their opponent have behind their screen.
In the two player game, you just need to figure out your opponents cipher. Great, you might think, I’ll just ask them what numbers they have! NOPE – you don’t get to make up your own questions. You can only ask the questions that are on the cards sitting face up on the table.
The questions on the cards help keep the clues you are given very controlled – for example: How many even tiles do you have? how many white numbers? Where is your #3 tile?
Whichever player manages to take the right notes, ask the right questions and break their opponent’s code wins!
But now for the three-four player variant, there is another piece of the puzzle. You are not just deciphering the other players codes – an additional code is set up in the center of the table between the whole group and everyone is trying to figure out what that code could be! When you ask a question, EVERYONE at the table must answer, including yourself, so you have to be careful not to give away too much while interrogating your friends. When you feel confident that you know the numbers that are sitting in the center of the table, you can take a chance and look. If you’re right, you are the winner! If not, gameplay continues and you’re out. It is a chance you have to take to Break the Code before your friends.
This is a great warm-up or cool-down game, it’s not very long (I think even the four player version only took us about 20 minutes) but it is engaging and you end up playing a few times in a row because everyone wants one more chance. My friend Zac was really good at figuring out the code, and I kept challenging him to a rematch! It’s very easy to teach to new players since it is just a really big logic puzzle.
If you want to see a play-through, as always I recommend watching the Dicebreaker video below!