Cluedo SFX
| Cluedo SFX

Forget fictional murders. Whenever we sat down as nippers with the family at Christmas back to play Cluedo, it generally threatened to turn into a real-life bloodbath. Y'know, Grandad, in the dining room, with the turkey knife. The government should ban anyone from playing it after a couple of glasses of port.

However, on mobile Cluedo hasn't caused any deaths recently, mainly because you play against yourself. iFone originally released it in a faithful conversion of the board game, and it's been extremely popular. Like Grandad, though, it's getting on a bit. So Cluedo SFX is the all-new version.

Except it's not, really, because it's actually 'inspired' by the board game. If your alarm bells aren't ringing now, they really should be. iFone has messed with the Cluedo formula and you don't need to be an experienced detective to realise that what it's introduced doesn't improve the game.

For starters, it no longer takes place on a board. Instead, you walk around a mansion and its grounds, questioning other characters as you go. This works by suggesting the standard weapon, suspect and location combination, with them showing you any of the cards they're holding, meaning you can eliminate that item, person or room from your enquiries.

However, this means that if you want to question a certain character, you have to traipse round the mansion trying to find them. They can hide, though, so sometimes you have to search for them in a location, meaning you can't question them that turn.

It's all a bit frustrating really. As is the fact that to make your final accusation, you must find a separate character, the Inspector. And, yes, he's running around the building, too. You do get short bulletins about characters' whereabouts before your turn but they don't ease the frustration.

The graphics aren't bad, being a step up from the top-down visuals you'd associate with most board game-based mobile titles. It's not quite 3D, more an elevated viewpoint enabling you to walk around the locations.

Also welcome is the inclusion of a multiplayer mode, although whether you'll want to share this with your friends is less certain.

That's entirely down to the fact Cluedo SFX isn't a great game and will invariably disappoint anyone who's a fan of the board game and is expecting to play that on their phone.

We understand the temptation to take the Cluedo licence and do something different with it, and there probably is an ace whodunnit game to be made for mobiles. This, sadly, just ends up murdering the original concept.

Cluedo SFX

Cluedo SFX messes with the Cluedo formula, and the results are a bit gruesome