A Game I played: Clue

Entry made on April 2nd, 2020.

Today I played the board game clue with my father and sister. Clue is board game where there has been a murder in a mansion, and the players must walk around the mansion making guess in rooms to find out the details of the crime; who committed the crime, weapon used, and the room the murder took place in. The board consists of 9 rooms, 6 people and 6 weapons.

How to play

There are cards for rooms, people, and weapons. At the start of the game, they must be divided into 3 piles based on the type of card they are. 1 card is then randomly selected from each pile and placed into a black confidential file and placed in the middle of the board. These cards in the file are what tells you how the crime happened. The end goal of the game is to correctly guess what cards are inside the file.

The remaining cards are then placed into one pile and shuffled and dealt out to every player until there are none left. These cards are a player’s cards. These cards help players by letting them know that the cards they have cannot be what is in the file. Players must keep these cards hidden from each other. 

Players then select a piece to be their character. There are 6 people pieces on the board and players choose which they want to be.

A Player’s Turn

On a player’s turn they roll a 6-sided dice and move their character for as many spaces as they rolled on the dice, if players walk up to a room door and have remaining movement they can enter the room. 

Once a player has moved, if they are in a room they can make a suggestion. A suggestion is where a player makes a guess at what they believe the weapon, room, and person are. Players can select any person and weapon on the board, but can only guess the room they’re currently in. They then move the person and weapon into the room they’re in and make their suggestion. 

When a player makes a suggestion the person to their left has to secretly show them 1 card from their hand that matches the weapon, room, or person that the player suggested. If a player doesn’t have any cards that match what was suggested, then they simply say they don’t have any of the cards and the next player to the left has to show a card to the player that made the suggestion.

When a player’s turn is over, play continues to the player on their left. The last thing possible for a player to do on their turn after their suggestion or at any time during their turn, is make a final accusation. 

A final accusation is a guess that a player makes when they think they know what is in the file. The player will list what room, weapon, and person they think is in the file, unlike a suggestion the player can guess any room, and doesn’t need to be in a room to make a final accusation. After the player declares their guess. They take the file and secretly look at the cards in the file to check if they are correct. If the cards all match what the player guessed then they win the game. If any of the cards don’t match what the player guessed, they must put the cards back into the file and not let anyone else know what the cards are, and are then out of the game, other than showing other players their cards when a suggestion is made.

Strong Elements of the Game

Some aspects of Clue that I think are very good are things like the sense of mystery and distrust that the players have as they play. This is caused by the cards players have in their hands. As players made suggestions in rooms, a strategy that was used a lot was players including a weapon/room/person that they had the card for. This was because it helped you narrow more choices down and focus on specific types of cards (Ex: Suggesting Mrs. White, in the Ballroom, with the lead pipe when you have the cards for Mrs. White and the Ballroom in your hand since it meant players had to show you the lead pipe if they had a card, if a player showed you the lead pipe, you know for move on to the next weapon for your next guess until no one has that weapon and it lets you know for sure that that weapon is in the case file.)

Since many players would do this, there was also a sense of distrust and uncertainty with suggestions a player makes, since if a player made a suggestion and no one had any cards, people were unsure on which of the 3 cards in the suggestion the player that made the guess had in their hand, and while of the 3 was a card in the case file.

Another thing players did is trick other players by keeping certain cards in their hand hidden and trying to not show them unless they had no other card to show, causing other players to possibly think for sure they know a card inside the file but in reality the player with the card in their hand had just never shown the card yet and managed to keep it a secret. 

These many aspects worked well with the investigating theme and led players to analyze the actions, and guesses made by each other to try to figure out what the cards were.

How I think these elements would be good for my game

I believe the sense of mystery and distrust that clue creates so well, is a good element to have in a game, and think it would be good to incorporate into my project. This is where the idea of having a player’s character hidden in Escape the Dungeon came from. Keeping a player’s actual character hidden and having them move any character, is something that will hopefully cause players to act in a similar way to in clue, by analyzing the characters a player moves and where they move them each turn a player could possibly get an idea of which character another player has.

Images

Confidential Files that the 3 cards are placed into
Game Board

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