Ultimately, Peaky Blinders: Mastermind misses the mark. If you love the show, you might get a few more hours with your favorite characters, but not much else.
Games based on movies and TV shows are nothing new, and they’re usually nothing good. Peaky Blinders: Mastermind, based on the popular show Peaky Blinders, keeps proving this notion right.
The game takes place before the first season of the show, so you can play it even if you haven’t watched a single episode. Although I’m not sure why you’d want to.
Meet the Gang
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind, as is the show, follows the Peaky Blinders gang in 1919’s England, several months after World War I ended in November 1918. The story centers on Tommy Shelby, who comes back from the horrors of the war.
Upon returning home, Tommy immediately sets about making the family name one to be reconned with – causing trouble and havoc the minute he steps off the boat. Together with his brothers Arthur and John, sister Ada, and aunt Polly, he soon finds himself involved with a rival gang, the local Chinese mob, and, of course, Her Majesty’s shifty constabulary.
Mastermind’s storyline isn’t incredibly engaging, and the game’s 10 story missions feel like a forced chain of events. Those of you who like the TV show will get a few hours of added content, even if it’s not the best content out there. But the story doesn’t do Peaky Blinders justice, so if you haven’t seen the show – don’t judge it based on this game.
Turn Back the Clock
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind plays similarly to games in the Commandos series, but with its own twist. At first, that twist seems like a great idea that makes the game unique. However, it only serves to make it annoying to play in the long run.
I’m talking about the timeline system.
Each character takes their actions on a different timeline, or “layer,” and you can move backward or forward on that timeline. Sounds nice, right? Well, it is, until you try to open the first door… Then, you realize that you need to open the door and hold it open for a few seconds to “record” the sequence. Honestly, it’s not that bad when the puzzles are short. But when you figure you need to go so far back in the timeline just to get a different character through the door, it becomes a drag.
And you’re going to need each individual character since each one has its useful abilities that add to the game’s puzzle elements. For example, Tommy can persuade people to help the Peaky Blinders for a short time, and Ada can distract enemies from looking in a certain direction.
The missions are on a time limit, and you get a score (bronze, silver, or gold) according to how fast you solved them, which might make you want to redo them again. If you don’t go for gold or collect all of the watches scattered across the different levels, the whole ordeal takes about 4-5 hours from beginning to end.
Missed the Mark
As a puzzle game, Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is not very sophisticated. The game’s unique gameplay mechanic and clunky level design are ultimately its downfall.
But I still found some joy in solving the level thanks to the game’s music. I really enjoyed listening to the soundtrack while trying to figure my way through the puzzles. However, the lack of voiceover makes the whole experience much less engaging for fans as it could have been. I would have loved to hear the actors’ voices from the show during cutscenes.
Overall, Mastermind has missed its mark, but you still might enjoy it if you are a fan of the show and want to spend a little more time with the gang while you wait for season 6.
Publisher: Curve Digital
Release Date: Aug. 20, 2020
Our Peaky Blinders: Mastermind review copy was provided by the publisher.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.