The classic whodunit mystery movie board game
Players: 3 – 6 Best with: 4 – 6
Age: 8 to Adult GN Age: Pre-Teen
Game Type: Board Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Publisher/Year: Parker Bros. – 1949
Game Play: Mystery, Deduction
Score: out of 12
What more can be said about this game? Is there anybody who has never heard about this game? Is there anybody who doesn’t already own a copy of this game? If so, what is wrong with you? Stop reading this review and go buy a copy right now. Seriously, go now.
This is my wife’s favorite game. It is in my Top 3. Both my boys have it in their Top 10. We own three different versions of the same game. This is my wife’s favorite movie. She can quote every line. She may be obsessed. I made a recreation of the house in Minecraft. I may be obsessed. Send help.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, in Clue, you play one of six guests invited to a mansion. The host, Mr. Boddy, is killed, and one of you is a Murderer! And now, you have to solve who did it, with what weapon, and where. How and why are irrelevant to the case.
The six suspects are iconic, Colonel Mustard, Ms. Scarlet, Mr. Green, Mrs. White, Professor Plum, and Mrs. Peacock. Frankly, I’m surprised that I don’t see more groups of people in these costumes on Halloween. You always see The Wizard of Oz gang or The Incredibles family, but never The Clue Murderers. What’s up with that?
There are six weapons, Revolver, Knife, Rope, Candlestick, Wrench, and Lead Pipe. Truthfully, I am disappointed that three of them are the bonk ‘em on the head type of weapon. C’mon, where’s the variety?
And then there are the nine rooms, including the four with the secret passages, the coolest thing ever. Admit it, when you were a kid you wished you had a secret passage somewhere in your house just like Clue. When I finally bought my own house, I built one.
Gameplay involves traveling around the board, making guesses as to murderer, weapon, and room. The other players have cards that might prove or disprove your claim. By process of elimination, eventually only one solution remains.
Yes, yes, this is all spiffy, but is Clue good to play as a family game? Absolutely, yes, with one caveat. It depends on the kid.
The game is listed for ages 8+. We started each kid playing this game around that age. But the fact remains that neither child, both of whom are quite bright, was able to understand the game right away. At first, this required one adult playing while the child looked on. Then gradually, the child had his own hand with plenty of help from another player.
By age 9, they were playing their own hand, but still not quite getting the intricacies of the game. Even by age 10, both boys understood the game, but played without any sense of strategy.
Based upon my completely unscientific test group, I would recommend that the starting age be around 10+, and it will still take several play throughs to really learn how to play. Yes, it might take a while to fully teach the game to the kids, but, for us, it was worth it and we had fun while they learned.
Of course, this game is fun, but it is also an important game to teach your kids. All that jazz about deductive reasoning and critical analysis and logical inference and yada yada yada is really quite relevant with Clue. Plus, the moment when my child says, “It was Colonel Mustard, in the Billiard Room, with the candlestick”, and he won, I felt proud and happy.
My wife has done a great job teaching them this due diligence and how to methodically deduce the solution. Meanwhile, I have done everything to obfuscate this.
I play Clue like its Texas Hold ‘Em. I don’t play the cards, I play the players. I look at how they hold their cards, where they mark answers on their clue sheet, and what rooms they favor on the board. Yes, I am that guy. I mark every guess made, by whom, and who revealed a clue. By Round 2, my clue sheet looks like the cork board in every conspiracy theorist’s basement. If I haven’t made a formal accusation by Round 4, I feel as if the game itself has defeated me.
My success rate is exactly 66.7%. This means that I correctly guess 2 of the 3 items (suspect, weapon, or room) and completely bone the third guess. This also means that I lose about 100% of the time. Argh, I’m too impatient. I hate this game. But I love it so.
My family loves it too. It is in heavy rotation on our game nights. We play it at least once a month. This game is easily in our Top 10 of all Time, and is a must have for every family. Go play this game and while you’re at it, go and re-watch the movie “Clue” starring Tim Curry. It is hilarious and severely underrated.
As always, that would be one plus one plus two plus one, not one plus two plus one plus one and Game on!
If you wanna know who killed Mr. Boddy, I did. In the hall. With the revolver. Okay, Chief, take ‘em away. I’m gonna go home and sleep with my wife. – Mr. Green