Code breaker is a game of ingenuity, memory and reasoned guess work. You need a minimum of two people, but it works for larger groups too.
The Code Maker secretly draws a four unit code using the six coloured pens/pencils.
The colours can repeat as many times as the Code Maker wants. For example blue, red, yellow, yellow; or orange, green, orange, green.
Everyone else, the codebreakers, take turns to guess the correct code by drawing out their own sequence. After each guess the the Code Maker provides feedback. The Code Maker’s reply should indicate how many of the code colours are correct in both colour and position (a circle) and how many are correct in colour but wrong in position (a triangle).
For example, if the code is blue, red, yellow, yellow and a codebreaker guessed yellow, red, green, yellow. The Code Maker would reply with two circles and one triangle, that is they have two correct colours in the correct position (red and the final yellow); and one correct colour in the wrong position (yellow).
Players take it in turns to guess, learning from the information provided by the Code Maker until they crack the code! Then switch around and let someone else be the Code Maker.
Take it Further
Had fun cracking codes? Why not do some research into real life code breakers and some of the ways that codes have been used and broken in history. There is some information here about real codes that have been used – including some to try out yourself. And the Bletchley Park website has lots of information about how those working secretly there during the second world war cracked the code the Germans were using.
If you enjoyed code breaker you might like the What3Words treasure hunt which involves finding and sharing codes for different places near you. Another good game to play with your family is top trumps – find out how to make your own set of Inspirational Women Top Trumps cards.