Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Game of the week: Clue

I grew up in a family that played board games, and my best friend's family played, too, so I got a lot of exposure to the limited stable of games available in the 1960s such as Go To The Head Of The Class, Sorry!, The Game of Life, Monopoly, Scrabble, Stratego, Operation, etc.
But somehow I missed out on Clue, which is another real classic, but one I didn't really get to play until fairly recently.
Clue is one of a fairly limited class of deduction games, where players use information gathered during the course of the game to deduce some hidden information. As such, it's a little rigorous compared to many other family games. You do have to think a bit. It's therefore a little hard for younger players to get into. Even some real "underagers" can play games like Monopoly with a little help because there's some luck involved and scope for advice and guidance because most information is open. Like Scrabble, Clue is really for a little older part oft he family.
For the ones old enough to get it, though, Clue is a good game and a lot of fun. It's a little clunky compared to newer games designs. The movement rules and spaces between the rooms are inelegant and inefficient, introducing a luck element that feels out of place.
I picked up the 50th anniversary edition, which comes in a tin and has deluxe pieces, including miniatures for the six suspects. This edition also has an extra weapon (poison) adding a little bit of challenge compared to the standard game, which has just six weapons.
All-in-all, it's a well-deserved classic game, still going very strong after more than five decades.

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