Friday, February 3, 2012

The Gaming Corner: Clue

Who killed Mrs. Peacock?
What was she killed with?
Where was she killed?

If you know all three of these, then you are about to win a game of Clue.

In this game for 2 to 6 players, you take the role of a house guest at a party where the host has just been killed. It's your job to play detective and figure out the details.

Clue has undergone a mild revision from the game I played as a kid, and I will only be referring to the rules in the new game. In the new version of Clue, there are six guests whom are all represented by a color: Green, Mustard (Yellow), Peacock (Blue), Plum, Scarlet, and White.

The Guests
There are nine weapons: Ax, Bat, Candlestick, Dumbbell, Knife, Pistol, Poison, Rope, and Trophy.

The Weapons
There are also nine rooms (starting in the upper left of the board and traveling clockwise around the board): Kitchen, Patio, Spa, Theater, Living Room, Observatory, Hall, Guest House, and Dining Room.

The Rooms
Each guest, weapon, and room all have a 'rumor' card associated with them.
This is what the back of a rumor card looks like.
At the beginning of each game, one guest, one weapon, and one room card are removed and placed in an envelope, with the envelope then being set in the center room. The remaining cards are then shuffled together and equally dealt to each player. If there is an uneven amount of cards the remainder get placed in the pool room (the one in the center) as well.

From then on, you travel from room to room, making guesses as to who did it, with what, and in what room (the room you are in). For each guess you make, if the player directly next to you has a rumor card with one of the three guesses on it, he must show it to you. If he doesn't have a card with one of the three guesses, then the player after that must look through his hand and see if he has any of the guesses. This continues until you are either shown a rumor card or all players tell you that they cannot help you.

While playing, you may roll a magnifying glass or move over one of the squares on the board with a magnifying glass on it. When you do, you must draw an Intrigue card. There are two types of these cards: a clock or a keeper. If a clock is drawn, you must immediately play it with the other clock cards. If all 13 of the clock cards are played, the killer strikes again and you are no longer allowed to move your piece or make any guesses (you still have to show rumor cards if you can). The keeper cards have very specific effects on the game. There is one that if you play it after your roll but before you move, you can add six to the die roll. There's another card that allows the player holding it not to show any cards to the person who just made a guess. If there are any rumors in the pool room, you can enter it to see them. The only other reason to enter this center room is to make an accusation.

The back of an intrigue card, a clock card, and four randomly selected keeper cards.
Additionally, each guest has a guest power that they can use once per game. These are very powerful abilities, like being able to make multiple guesses in a single turn or guessing a room that you are not currently in. This power can only be used once.

The guests' power cards - they are turned over once used.

Once you believe that you know who, what and where (I guess when and why just aren't that important), you must move into the pool room to make your accusation. After stating it out loud, you can look at the cards in the envelope. If you are correct, you win, but if you are wrong, you are out of the game. You must still show rumor cards to the other players when appropriate.

Though the game has been altered a little from when I was younger, none of the changes make me feel as if I am no longer playing Clue so I wouldn't complain about them too much - of course, other than to point out that they don't need to be there and that fixing the wheel usually doesn't turn out this acceptably and they better beware if the continue to make changes to such a great game... okay, rant over.

Play this game! I really mean it. If you are one of our readers not from the United States, you might try looking under the name Cluedo at your local game store.

-Gamer Jason

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