Peaky Blinders Mastermind – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle, Stealth
Developer: FuturLab
Publisher: Curve Digital
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Tested On: Switch

Peaky Blinders Mastermind – Review

Site Score
Good: Good ideas
Bad: Poor execution, bad performance
User Score
(5 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.8/10 (5 votes cast)

Adaptations to, or from videogames, are always sketchy, and it is rare one will be actually good. Based on the TV series of the same title and featuring some unique and interesting mechanics, Peaky Blinders Mastermind could’ve been a great game; sadly, its many flaws ultimately weight it down.


The game’s story is set before the events in the series, right after the male components of the gang return from WW1. The first two levels of the story focus on the feud between the Peaky Blinders and the Gilroys over some stolen liquor. After this, the story suddenly jumps to Scout, one of the Peaky Blinders, having murdered a Chinese man while high on opium.

To protect Scout from the Chinese, Tommy gets him in jail, with plans to break him out later on. While carrying out these plans, the family finds out Scout has been murdered, assumedly by the Chinese. From here onwards the game’s story focuses on the feud between both gangs while two mysterious men pull the strings.

Despite the possibly good set-up, the execution is rather poor; dialogues are stiff and forced, there is no character development or introduction and definitely not enough story to amount to anything.


In contrast with the story, Peaky Blinders Mastermind’s graphics are rather good, with detailed areas and illustrations. All of the levels look different and have good attention to detail, with some including people going about their lives. That said, even this part of the game isn’t without sin, there is a lot of asset reuse in the game, especially so for the enemies, which have little variation. The animations also look stiff, particularly the fight ones but including the ones used while interacting with objects, during which the idle animations will play.


Following suit to the graphics, the sound department is well covered, particularly the soundtrack. Made by the band Feverist, the soundtrack features several tracks, with several appearing per level. The SFX are also of high quality, including plenty of sounds that convey the feeling of a lively city. Since most players might already live in cities, these may get tiresome though. Luckily the game allows its players to change the values for the sound effects, lowering or straight up muting them.


As previously mentioned, Peaky Blinders Mastermind is a  puzzle game with stealth RTS inspirations. This second genre is quite arguable due to the simplicity of most puzzles, but their existence makes it valid nonetheless. The main mechanic in the game is the use of a timeline which the player can rewind at will. This mechanic is used to synchronize and time the movements of the characters handled; at first only a pair and a handful later on.

Each of these characters has their own abilities; Tommy can convince people to help, Polly can lockpick and bribe, etc. Combining all of the individual skills, the player must accomplish objectives on time, these ranging from blocking streets to stealing documents. Most levels also involve timing puzzles, where the player must traverse areas covered by enemies while dodging their vision cones.

The initial levels are simple enough and, while bothersome to operate, the timeline mechanic is quite useful. As more characters get introduced into the gameplay, these mechanics gets incredibly convoluted, requiring constant back and forth to time up to seven characters. What makes the mechanic a pain to operate is the imprecision; there is no way to just jump to a particular time, instead, time has to be manually rewound in bulk or action by action. A particularly poor design decision involves disabling the fast forward after controlling a character who hadn’t taken action, forcing players to let everything play through again.

Besides the messiness of the main mechanic of the game, there are also other issues, such as new abilities or mechanics being introduced at the last moment for a single map. In particular, the main offenders are Finn’s pickpocketing ability and the telephone cabin mechanic. These are introduced in the second to last and last levels respectively, being only used a pair of times each.

Most of the levels are tremendously linear, with very little to get lost in; they also tend to be short, taking little more than 15 minutes at most. This changes in the later levels though, which become enormous sprawling maps which take a long amount of time to complete, just because of the sheer size and number of characters handled. To put it in perspective, if a single character is handled for 3 in-game minutes until the end of the line for their actions, the other characters still need to be handled during those 3 minutes. With up to 6 main characters, discounting people controlled thanks to Tommy, this can amount to 18 minutes in in-game time, which translates to more as the player figures things out. One of the worst offenders for this is the last level, a gigantic two-part map that splits the cast through the area.

The game also includes three different challenges; finishing levels without mistakes, collecting all pocket watches and finishing the levels under certain times. Doing all three at once is an absolute pain, a single mistake means resetting a whole level since going back in the timeline doesn’t erase it. Watches and time challenges are easily combined though, adding a layer of challenge without becoming awful.

It should be mentioned that the performance on Nintendo Switch is not sub-optimal, it’s completely horrendous. The levels with all the characters become laggy messes with constant frame-skipping while handling the timeline and white flashes at times. It seems to especially occur at lower battery levels but is still constant through these levels as more actions are queued.


Peaky Blinders Mastermind is an entertaining game with a lot of good ideas. On the other hand, it could’ve been something great, but due to the current execution, most levels become a drag to handle. Obviously this is in particular due to how the timeline mechanic works, being the main feature of the game, though the sub-par story doesn’t help it. Overall, the game is passable at best, though at the full price of $25/€ it is not particularly enticing.

Personal Opinion

“I don’t hate this game, though for the reasons mentioned in the review I don’t consider it good at all. I intended to play this during a 6 hour train ride, but after completing half the game in about an hour and a half I gave up out of boredom. It took me another 3 days to get to finish it, because I couldn’t play it for more than a pair of levels before getting bored. The piss-poor performance on the Switch doesn’t help at all either. Between the lag and the game eating battery, as if it were starving, is mostly a pain to play it. Would I recommend it? Definitely not, there’re way better things to play for the price. If you really love the series you may be able to overlook the mistakes. For those that still want to buy it, my recommendation is to wait for a sale as this game isn’t worth 25 quid.”

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Rating: 2.8/10 (5 votes cast)
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Peaky Blinders Mastermind - Review, 2.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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