The Mansion Murder Mystery on Mobile
Very rarely does a game need as little introduction as Clue. Also known as Cluedo, the classic mystery board game was first manufactured in 1949 and has since become a Hasbro staple. Marmalade Game Studio developed this specific adaptation of Clue, and fans can pick it up for $4 on Google Play.
Marmalade’s Clue 2023 Edition supports both single-player and multiplayer and features three game modes. The first, Cluedo Classic, is the game players have enjoyed for the last 73 years. Meanwhile, Ultimate Detective mode allows players to ask a limited number of direct questions and introduces a few other changes. Finally, Clue Cards is a faster-paced mode where players draw special event cards.
Cluedo Classic is the version most players will already be familiar with, so I won’t go into much detail here. A random Suspect, Weapon, and Room card go into the envelope, and the player needs to figure out who, what, and where. They move around the board, suggesting possibilities. Another player then secretly shows them a card to rule it out. The first player decides who did it, how, and where wins the game. However, if the guess is wrong, then everybody loses.
Clue 2023 Edition dresses it up with some lovely 3D models, animations and sound effects. It also adds a bit of extra lore to the game. Players discover the victim is Boden “Bobby” Black, a real estate mogul who plans to build a luxury hotel in a public park. He intends to blackmail Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Professor Plumb, Mayor Green, Solicitor Peacock and Chef White into helping him. Players can also unlock suspect interviews and case files that provide additional information about each character.
However, the Classic mode is still just Clue with some extra visual flair. Fans will like it, but it won’t sell anyone on the game who already doesn’t like it. However, the alternate modes add enough new things that might make this version worthwhile.
Clue Cards is the same fundamental board game, but the cards shake things up substantially. In addition to their normal actions, players draw an event card each turn with special instructions. For example, one card asks players to reveal a card from their hand to the whole table. Another asks every player to secretly share a card with the next person in turn order. This lets players solve the case more quickly, resulting in a faster game.
That said, all three modes still take a long time for a mobile game. I understand why this wouldn’t work for multiplayer, but single-player badly needs a skip function. I don’t need to watch the five AI players go through the motions every turn.
Ultimate Detective mode changes the most about the game and was also my favorite. Granted, not all the rule changes fully make sense to me. For example, you only roll one die. Instead of the standard floor tile spaces, you move clockwise or counterclockwise based on your roll. You also can’t use the trapdoors to travel between opposite corners of the house.
However, factors in Ultimate Detective are changing how Suggestions work and introducing Key Questions. Players make suggestions like in standard Clue, but the other players all answer simultaneously instead of going by turn order.
After suggesting, players can then choose to ask a Key Question. Each player starts with one Key token. You can use the Key to ask another player about a specific Suspect, Weapon, or Room. If the other player has the card, they must show it to you. They then they take your Key, and you can’t ask another question until someone gives you their Key. There is no limit to how many questions you can ask per turn as long as you have enough Keys.
I like how it gives you another option for how you gather information. It adds an extra strategic layer to the game, and I think it is what makes Clue 2023 Eidtion stand out. If you hate Clue, it won’t change your mind. However, I think it is enough to make me recommend the game.
One thing I’m less sure about is Clue DLC. In addition to the standard mansion board, there is a resort board and tropical versions of all the characters. The new location alone is $5, while the fill bundle is $7. That’s almost twice the base game’s price for a cosmetic add-on. Clue 2023 Edition is a great board game adaptation, but the DLC is another matter entirely.
Is It Hardcore?
Marmalade Game Studio’s Clue is a straightforward adaptation of the classic board game, with a few alternate game modes to spice things up.