I haven’t watched a single episode of the Netflix show Peaky Blinders. Despite that fact, that wasn’t going to stop me from checking out developer FuturLab’s new game that is based on it called Peaky Blinders: Mastermind. I’m a fan of the developer’s past games like Velocity 2X, Tiny Trax, Mini-Mech Mayhem, and others so that was enough for me to see what their new game was about.
The game actually takes place before the first season of the show which turns out was a good thing for someone like me who hasn’t watched it. It’s a puzzle adventure game where you control six different characters from the show and have to work out how to best solve the levels. The story is set in Birmingham before World War I and follows the Shelby criminal family led by Tommy who discovers that there is some shady stuff going on that threatens to put his family out of business. It’s up to you to take control of Tommy and the other family members and lay out a plan to stop this plot.
There are ten missions in the game and you get to control Tommy, Arthur, Ada, Finn, John, and Polly during them. Each of them has something different about them that only they can do which reminded me a lot of Desperados III which I also reviewed this year. Tommy can sweet talk people into doing what he wants them to do while. Polly can pick locks, Finn can get through areas others can’t, and Ada can pull of distractions. You have to learn each of their abilities and make the best use of them to solve the different scenarios you go through.
What is really cool about the game though is how I was able to mix their different actions together through the timeline rewind mechanic. This lets you plan out different actions and then rewind through it to perfectly set things up. You have a time limit to work with though so you can’t spend too long putting your plan together. Every level grades you from bronze to gold depending on how fast you can complete it so while there are only ten missions you can get some replayability out of it by getting a better medal then maybe you did the first time. There are also some collectibles scattered about that can also encourage you to replay the levels.
The presentation work in the game shows the game didn’t have a very high budget behind it. Story is told through still images and there is absolutely zero voice-work here. It would’ve been nice if they could’ve got the actual show actors to voice the characters in this game. The actual levels themselves look alright though with some nice detail being in the different environments that you play through. I also thought the instrumental soundtrack fit the game quite well making it an enjoyable listen while I played. Those interested in the trophies will find 31 of them here including a Platinum. It’s a very easy list for the most part so long as you can find all the collectibles and get gold on all the levels.
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is a bit of a different direction from what I’ve come to expect from developer Futurlab but I think they pulled it off quite well. Figuring out the different puzzles in the fastest time possible using the cool timeline mechanic was really fun. I was also able to follow what was going on in the story quite well even having not seen a single episode of the show. While the presentation is kind of limited and no voice-work is a bummer don’t let those things deter you away from what is a great puzzling experience.
*Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind$24.99
- Well designed puzzles with a fun time rewind mechanic
- Each of the characters feel unique to use
- Story is easy to follow without having watched the show
- Levels look great and it has an enjoyable soundtrack
- No voice-over work
- Story is told through still images
- Game is kind of short