Classic Game Review: Mind Thrust 1981

MIND THRUST is a game played between you and the Computer. The goals are straightforward:

1.) To remove all opposing playing pieces, or

2.) To be the first to create a continuous chain of your pieces across the width of the board.

Play consists of alternate turns during which one may add a piece or attack abutting opposing pieces. The opponent may defend against an attack. The contest arises from correctly choosing which opposing pieces to attack or which of your pieces to defend. A successful defence is as important as a successful attack but is made more difficult by rules which make the allowable points of defence fewer than the available points of attack. MIND THRUST gives you two options at the start of the game.

You may choose which side of the board you prefer and whether you wish to begin first or let the computer do so. The first option is of little consequence. The second is much more significant. My experience was that if I started I almost invariably won but it was a much different story when the computer started the play. We were pretty well matched when “She” started first.

An interesting feature, which permits a bail out if going got tough, is the ability to switch sides at any point in a game and as many times as you wished. The rules called it ‘Legalized Cheating’. It may sound like a panacea but fortunately, it isn’t.

The play for this article was done on a TRS-80 Mod III 16K unit. Compatibility with the tape was good but you Mod III users will notice that the tape loading signal of two asterisks is not two is asterisks. While the one on the right does the expected the left asterisk becomes a rapidly changing run of characters.

Also, on the board, where an up arrow would appear on the screen of a Mod I it becomes a beginning bracket symbol ([) on your screen. This causes no problem. The program in itself is very well done, it moves nicely, says the right thing at the right time, and gives a nice clean ending when you choose not to continue play by returning you to a default start so your machine is ready to go to something new.

The rules and plays of MIND THRUST are easily and quickly learned making it an excellent home demonstration game to make believers out of those non-garners and non-computer players that may drop in. The information booklet is very well done and the packaging is excellent. I look forward to acquiring additional items from this manufacturer.

My rating for this game is 2.8 out of 5.