Its amazing how you can forget about such timeless games such as Cluedo, but after a spring clearout, I found a terribly old edition of Monopoly (with that awful stale smell!) and a 70's edition of Cluedo on top of my wardrobe. Cluedo seems to stand out the most, because it didn't cause as many as many arguments in the family, and its enjoyment factor is second to none.
Its hard to review games and try to convince the buyer how good or bad they are - everyone has their own tastes on what they find enjoyable. Cluedo however, is very much a neutral game, because few people dislike it, or indeed, find it the best thing since sliced bread. You don't need lots of players, but do you need more than 2 (for an interesting game). Its not boring, but its not too exciting... Get the idea?
I bought this modern edition to find little has changed since the times of my 70's edition, apart from that the board has some nice pictures on it (replacing the awful plain mucky cream board) and that the playing pieces were improved (replacing little plastic cones, with balls on top). The packaging was also thankfully smaller. The game's objective is fairly straightforward - you simply need to discover who murdered the victim, using what weapon, and in what room. This is done through the process of elimination, and of course, this is were people play it differently. Play to the proper rules, and you'll have cramp in your legs due to hours of studying other players cards. Or, as we discovered, you can just simplfy the game if you have a time limit, which when I was kid, wasn't long if the Lego was in the room too. So in our case, we simply played it so that each player walked around the rooms, and as soon as you walked into that room, the other players were called over, and they had to show you the cards of your selected situation. If your still with me, this means that in the process of elimination, I'll select a dagger, the room i'm in, and a character.
'Cards' are used as evidence - their are a small number of cards, with just one representing each character, room and weapon. At the start of the game, they are shuffled into 3 piles, with one random card from the character, weapon and room pile being placed in an envelope, containing the information as to who murdered, what weapon was used, and where it was done. Finally, the rest of the cards are shuffled all together and handed equally to each player, with no knowledge as to the cards identity. Once one has their cards, they are then 'ticked' off a score sheet, so that the process of elimination begins.
Play to rules, and this is made harder, as you have to stick with the weapon token that is in that room. And so as you can see, playing the game along your own rules makes life alot more enjoyable, and less arguments. The more people involved in the game, the longer it will last, as the possibilites become larger due to the fact that the situtation cards (weapons, characters, and rooms) are more spread out. The winner is the first person who identifies who the murderer was, with which weapon, and in whichever room it was. The players predictions must match the cards in the centre of the board, which are chosen at random at the start of the game. But who say's you can't just take a wild guess?
The quality of the product is second to none - as usual, a good stiff board, well detailed tokens, and good cards, just what you'd expect. In terms of target audience, it probably takes a group of people with good patience to last out a game (if theirs lots of people) and its more of a teens and older game, though maturer children, of which their are few these days, will probably last out.
Summing up, this is a classic game and its great to just relive entertainment that doesn't require electrics or TV's (though the Nintendo Wii is surely the must have gadget this year). Highly reccomended!