Review: Clue, By Electronic Arts
Clue, by Electronic Arts
• Solve a mystery
• Not the classic board game!!!!!!!
• Game involves little more than going around and getting clues
The board game Clue was always a favorite of mine, so I was very excited to see “Clue” appear in the app store. I figured it might have been “updated” for the times (like the board game “Life”) but I figured it would probably be similar. Wrong. This actually has very little in common with the board game, other than the name and the idea you are trying to solve a murder. If you are looking for the classic “Clue” board game, avoid this app! However, if you are looking for a murder solving mystery game, you might want to give this a try.
In the game of Clue, there has been a murder (Mr. Boddy is found dead). You have a group of suspects (including Professor Plum, Mrs. Scarlett, Ms. White, and other), various rooms in a mansion where the deed may have been done (library, kitchen, study, etc), and various potential weapons (gun, razor, poison, etc). Your job, as a novice reporter, is to piece the clues together to figure out what has happened, and make an accusation before your newspaper deadline is up. Depending on the accuracy of your accusation, you can get promoted and sent to harder and more complex cases (which begs the question why they keep letting the guilty parties out of jail).
This is the premise behind both the board game and the app, but the different is how they are played. In the board game, you play with other people, each having various clues (cards) that indicate possible people, rooms, or weapons to eliminate as suspects. In the app, you go around from room to room, interviewing the suspects, looking for clues (erased emails, things burned in the fireplace, etc) until you feel you have enough information to make an accusation.
This was my main problem with the game – you do little more than compile clues by talking to people, looking for hidden clues in the rooms, etc. Clues are often rather obvious (such as a person saying “I was eating cake last night, even though I am on a diet”, indicating they were in the kitchen), leaving little room for deduction and actually solving a puzzle. You basically just go around and figure out who was in what room, what weapon was used (using clue like “you find traces of gunpowder”), all the while trying to beat the clock so you can make you accusation.
If you accusation is correct, you get a number of stars and can proceed to the next mystery. If you make mistakes (correct person, wrong room for example) you then have to re-try the level. This is one of the nice things about the game – the mystery changes each time, so you CAN replay the game with a different ending each time.
In general, I get bored rather quickly just walking around the rooms, trying to find the right object to click on to find a clue. It is like a standard logic problem, but with a tedious interface built in. The graphics look like they are out of a 90’s PC game – not bad, but relatively simply drawn cartoonish images. I might be somewhat jaded since I was looking for an actual translation of the board game, but this game left me wanting more. More mystery, more suspense, more difficulty, instead of simply wandering around a mansion.
This is a kind of game I could completely see being a multiplayer game (competing with a rival newspaper, each of you taking turns looking for clues) and I was disappointed to see there is no online/multiplayer option to the game. Hopefully this will come out in some future update.
All in all, this is an okay game which some people may enjoy, but make sure you know it is not the same as the board game. The graphics and interface are okay, nothing incredible about them, but they don’t detract from the game itself. Instead, the actual game play seems a little tedious. You simply spend your time clicking on parts of the screen to gather clues, ideally before your newspaper deadline passes. For $1.99, it might be worth a try if you like logic problems, but overall I was disappointed by this game. Three out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.