Is it possible to write a positive review of a game that you really don’t like? I don’t mean say nice things because the publisher gave you a copy (which in this case they did). I mean, is it possible to appreciate a game’s quality even though you’d rather not play it again?

For Code 777 by Stronghold Game, I’m going to try.

You see, for me Code 777 wasn’t fun. And yet, I think it’s a good game.

Code 777 is a deduction game. Remember Mastermind? Yeah, like that, only multiplayer and tougher. The game includes 28 tiles, numbered one through seven and in seven different colors. But it’s not that each number matches a particular color. No, numbers one through four are each a single different color, but numbers five and six come in two colors each, and number seven in three colors. (By the way, colors are matched with symbols to make the game colorblind friendly.)

To start the game, each player draws three tiles and places them in a rack facing away (so they can’t see what they have on their own rack). Then in turn, each player draws a question card and answers it based on what she sees on the other players’ racks. For example, one question is, “On how many racks can you see 3 different colors?” Another is, “Do you see more yellow twos or more yellow sevens?” As they go around the table gathering more information from each other’s answers, the players should eventually be able to deduce what tiles are on their own racks (numbers and colors). A player that guesses correctly gets a point. A player who’s guess is incorrect must swap out for three new tiles, thus starting over with zero information. The first player to three points wins.

Though the game comes with special notepads to help players keep track of answers to the questions, sorting through the information is no easy task. Concentration is necessary. On top of that, there’s the pressure to guess before an opponent. Overall, Code 777 presents a very challenging puzzle. If you like that sort of thing, Code 777 delivers. These days, I’m generally looking for something a little less intense.