Everyone has played Clue. It’s one of those ubiquitous board games every family owns, and its variability keeps people coming back time after time. Should EA have opted to make a straight port of this classic for the iPhone, it would have sold like hotcakes, just as its other board game properties like Scrabble and Monopoly have.
Not content to simply cash in on a sure thing, EA has completely reinvented the game. It’s still Clue at heart, but this is an entirely new experience that fans of the original and sleuth hounds in general will really enjoy.
The premise has been beefed up substantially. You play the role of a rookie reporter out to solve murder mysteries as you work your way up the journalistic ladder. Clue contains a few dozen unique mysteries to solve, but these never play out the same way twice, adding oodles to the replay value. Whether it’s an affair gone awry or a shady business deal gone sour, there’s always enough intrigue to keep the cases entertaining.
Communism was just a red herring.
With each case, you are given a set amount of time to piece together the who, where, with what, and how of the homicide. Each action uses up a portion of time, like interviewing a suspect (Scarlet, White, Peacock, Mustard, Plum and Green), searching for clues, or moving from room to room. You have to piece together the puzzle before the clock runs out, then make an accusation and tell your editor. Depending on your accuracy, you’ll earn one to four stars. Stars unlock new cases to solve and allow you to progress further in the game.
Keeping track of all the clues can be daunting, but there are all sorts of goodies to help keep your information straight. These include maps, notes, suspicions and hints from your editor. Navigating between them is handled seamlessly with taps and swipes on the screen. The locations and characters are also expertly drawn in a modern film noir style with vibrant colors, and the interface is beautifully designed.
Besides being more difficult than the original, which might turn off a few people, this new version improves on the original in every way. It takes a timeless game concept and makes it fresh without sacrificing any of the fun.