Game Reviews


Star onStar onStar onStar onStar off

Even though it's an all-time great boardgame, Cluedo has always lived a little in the shadow of its slightly more popular sibling. We are, of course, referring to Monopoly. The supremacy of Cluedo's johnny-big-bucks brother is never more evident than in mobile gaming.

Where Monopoly has had more than a handful of games based on its license in the past few years, Cluedo has only had the rather limp Cluedo SFX.

Thankfully, EA has taken the torch and brought the classic murder mystery back to our handsets. Avoiding the tricky-to-implement multiplayer brain wracking elements at the core of the boardgame, Cluedo is instead a single player adventure game.

Just about all the key elements from the original are included, from the cast of suspects to the roster of rooms and evidence-gathering gameplay.

However, instead of playing against fellow suspects, you're actually a journalist, scoping-out the crime scene Columbo-style to get the scoop on the story for your editor.

In the various murder investigations included, each of which is a level in game terms, you have a short amount of time to make your accusation, and each movement you make - each examination of an object and conversation with a suspect - chips away at your minute counter.

Fail to get the case solved in time and you'll miss out on one of the precious investigation stars. There are four to get for each murder, with the others awarded for guessing the right room, the murderer and the murder weapon.

At the start of each level, you're dropped into one of the rooms of the classic Cluedo house environment. From here, you can talk to a suspect - assuming there's one in the room - or you can scroll around the room, investigating any key objects.

Unless you really pick a dud object to investigate, this should lead you on to another object or suspect in another room, and so the mystery slowly begins to unravel.

The different cases take place in the same set of locations, but the earlier ones won't feature all of the weapons, rooms or suspects. It's a good job too because by the end you'll need to weave together a whole host of clues in order to find out whodunnit in time.

Cluedo does an excellent job of making it simple to keep track of everything you've learnt. There are easily-accessible screens where you can mark where each suspect and murder weapon was at the time of the murder, plus another where you can mark off places, people and weapons once you're sure they 'had nuffin' to do with it, guv'. The all-important notes page helpfully records everything you know so far.

The myriad menus are a little hard to get used to at first, but they're what lets this game be a pretty faithful version of the original without becoming a fun-free, aneurysm-inducing nightmare. There are two introductory cases to help you get ease you in as well.

Even slicker than the menu system are the visuals. Brimming with silky smooth animated transitions and stylishly drawn characters and locations, Cluedo manages to exude a classy noir-ish aesthetic without ever putting anything remotely monochrome or particularly understated on the screen.

The characters are cartoon versions of the real-life suspects used in the Cluedo Reinvention version of the boardgame, and while they're generally younger than the characters you may remember from the original, they fit the roles perfectly. Miss Scarlet, as you might expect, hasn't changed much.

The only slight criticism to be made of Cluedo is that once you've completed all twelve cases with a full star rating, there's not all that much reason to return. There are additional achievements to unlock, but by this point you'll have snatched most of them anyway.

However, you'll still be getting your money's worth, especially as the later cases take quite a while to get through.

Clearly a game that's had some thought put into it, Cluedo's bucketfuls of style only add to an already great game.


Classy and fun in even measure, Cluedo recreates the cerebral experience of the boardgame without cutting it down too much, or making it too frustrating