Genre: Board Game Developer: Sculptured Software Publisher: Parker Brothers Players: 1-6 Released: 1992
Colonel Mustard: And are you the host?
Wadsworth: Me, sir? No, I’m just the humble butler.
Colonel Mustard: And what exactly is it you do here?
Wadsworth: I buttle, sir.
What is a hilarious movie, a classic board game, and a title on the beloved Sega Genesis? That’s right, Clue! Everyone’s favorite murder mystery is on our sixteen bit system for you to enjoy. Grab a friend or take on the challenge yourself if you dare, as you unravel the mystery of who killed Mr. Boddy!
As soon as I put this in my Genesis, I knew I was in for a good time. The title screen acts out an accusation that would be made in the final moments of the game, showing the guest, weapon, and room, all with music that sounds as if came right out of the movie itself. With the mood now perfectly set, you are a start button away from a wonderful gaming experience.
I have always loved the board game, but simply found it to be too easy after awhile. This will not be the case here, as there are five levels of difficulty to choose from; Amateur, Gumshoe, Sleuth, P.I., and Detective. I was floored to see that six people can play this game at once, which is the same as the maximum number for the board game itself. You can choose whether you want to play with three, four, five, or six players, and you can make them either human or computer. This provides a huge reply value, as if even if you can beat the game on Detective, you can then add more computer players for an added challenge.
All of the original guests from the game are here: Mr. Green, Ms. Scarlet, Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, and Colonel Mustard. Once you have decided who will be which person, you are dealt out your cards and are ready to begin! Here’s where things get both exciting and troublesome. The cards are dealt out just as they would be in the board game. There are cards for guests, rooms, and weapons. If a player has a card, it cannot be part of the solution, and therefore must be eliminated. In the board game checklists were provided, such is not the case here. Do not distress, as many websites have Clue checklists that can be printed out. Once your cards have been marked on each player’s checklist, you are ready to begin (finally!).
The game itself is laid out exactly like a Clue board, so you really feel as if you are sitting down and actually playing. Each turn a player has a few options, they can either; Roll, perform an interrogation, accusation, and look at their cards. It is so realistic that you even have to hold down the A button to determine how long to shake the dice for. Sure, a computer generated hand shaking on a screen isn’t something to go nuts over, but its a neat touch that makes the game feel more genuine. This game looks like Clue, plays like Clue, and even in the movie sense sounds like Clue. When it comes to game play, graphics, and music, they really knocked ‘em dead with this one (sorry I couldn’t help myself).
Most of the game consists of rolling, performing “interrogations” (in Clue talk suggestions), and making accusations. When an interrogation is done, the player must choose the guest, the weapon, and be in the room in which they believe the murder to have been committed. Typically in the board game, one player would show another player a card to disprove their suggestion, or no one would be able to disprove it (meaning it could be part of the solution). Here, it is very different. Once a suggestion is made, a curtain arises and a scene is played out accompanied but dramatic music as a clue is revealed. While this looks great on screen and is helpful, it is not nearly as helpful as the revealing of a card is in the board game. If the game cannot disprove you, then you may well be on your way to solving the crime!
If you believe that you have indeed solved the crime, then you must make an accusation. But beware, once an accusation is made, it cannot be taken back, and if you are incorrect, the game is over and the other players will resume without you until the game is complete. However if your suspicions are right, you will be treated to a scene by scene re-enactment of the crime, as well as a shot of the murderer being taken to justice.
The game plays beautifully and the atmosphere fully lives up to the Clue name. The only things holding this back from a higher score is the somewhat awkward way of gathering clues, which while it makes for a more interesting and compelling game, can also make it rather difficult for novice players to catch on. In the end, the games huge replay value, multi-player capabilities, perfect Clue atmosphere and vast difficulty configurations make this a title you must buy if you enjoy board games or of course, Clue.