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Review: Clue

June 13, 2009



The original board game of Clue has been ported to the iPhone! With an interesting take on the game, in-depth graphics and exciting gameplay, Clue is a great game, but does it live up to its classic board game counterpart? Let's find out... When I first heard about the Clue game for the iPhone, I was wondering how they were going to pull it off. Would they still have you roll dice onto a board, just make it all virtual? Or will they completely redefine what Clue is? Well, I am here to tell you that they have done some major redefining. cluepic4 Clue for the iPhone isn't much like a board game at all. It is more of, well, a whodunit puzzle without a board or dice or anything like that. You are supposed to be a reporter in the mansion when someone gets murdered, so, in order to get the story for your publisher, you walk through each room interviewing suspects and witnesses, searching for evidence, and ultimately making your guess of the room, the murderer, and the weapon used. I actually like this better than if they had just thrown a virtual board onto the screen — this new way of playing Clue is pretty interesting and makes you think, but it can be confusing and a bit  overwhelming.


The graphics are great, but the gameplay sort of looks like a comic book, with flat, still pictures. What's cool is they managed to make it look somewhat 3D by panning over and having some 'cut out' parts move faster and slower than the other ones (it's hard to explain, but you'll get what I am saying if you play the game). Another feature of Clue for the iPhone is that it is one of the only games that I have played on the device thus far that actually has a story. Yes, it is a simple one, but it's there. You aren't just driving a car for the sake of it, or storming a castle 'just because,' but you are actually invested in a storyline that you help to develop, which is what a video game should be. cluepic3 Replayability is another key feature. There are tons of different combinations of clues, murders and suspects,  with multiple difficulties and stages.  You'll almost never have to play the same thing twice. Clue always keeps the gameplay fresh by presenting new aspects all the time.


The Good:

The format of playing Clue for the iPhone is pretty interesting since you never once see cards, dice, or even a board. But, they managed to pull it off pretty nicely, especially since this new format allows for almost endless replayability. The graphics, as stated above, are very pleasing to the eye, and add to the game's overall playability. Being a fan of the classic board game, I appreciate the fact that they retained the original characters, rooms, and weapons from the original game. cluepic2 Clue provides a new way to play Clue, eye-catching graphics, catchy music, and even manages to not stray too far away from the classic board game that everybody loves.

The Bad:

Clue for the iPhone is fun, but can also be confusing. There are a lot of facts to keep track of: evidence you find, suspects you talk to, facts you are given, facts that turn out false... There is a lot to take in and remember if you want to beat any given level by solving the murder. cluepic1 Although the game provides you with tools to keep track of your findings, these tools aren't nearly adequate to do the job. That's what makes the board game easier, I suppose — the fact that you have all of your evidence conveniently kept track of on one sheet of paper. Clue on the iPhone lacks a complete 'fact sheet.' But I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. Although it makes the gameplay difficult when you start out, you eventually get used to it and only gets more fun from there. The minor confusion within Clue for the iPhone is only tiny tarnish on an otherwise fun, replayable, classic game.


Clue for the iPhone is a fun game that is almost infinitely replayable, very pleasing to the eye and ear with stylized graphics and a catchy background soundtrack, and it has redefined how we think of the game of Clue, and, for that matter, how we think of adapted board games to devices like the iPhone. Clue is a game that is playable for hours despite its slightly confusing gameplay (which you'll get used to after a while). It makes for a game with satisfying gameplay that is worth the $4.99 if you like mysteries, the classic board game, or an exciting game with a story.

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