Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion is a very competent translation of Parker Brothers' popular board game to the computer screen. Although I found the mouse-driven movements hard to do, and the game lacks the charm of Virgin Mastertronic's 1989 Clue: Master Detective, this modern update is still a very faithful one that brings the fun of Clue to a new generation of PC gamers. GameSpot's review explains it well: |
"If you've ever played Clue for any length of time, you'll be amazed at how good this translation to the PC really is. In fact, this is probably more fun than playing the board game.
If you've never played Clue at all, the basic setup goes like this: Six characters are at the mansion of Mr. Boddy, and through some underhanded means, one of the characters has murdered him. Playing one of the six characters, you move from room to room making suggestions about who killed him with which weapon. The suggested location of the murder is always the room in which you're making the suggestion. Once the suggestion is made, the other characters must show clues to disprove the suggestion if they have any. Through a system of cards, the actual murderer's name, choice of weapon, and location of the crime are chosen from a deck containing all the character names, weapons, and locations. The rest of the cards are handed out randomly to all the characters. When you make a suggestion, anyone disproving it shows you one of his cards that fills in one of the missing pieces of the mystery. By analyzing who's making what suggestions and knowing which cards you and others have, you try to accuse someone of the murder.
You might be saying that all this guessing still isn't going to get you excited about playing Clue. Here's where Hasbro Interactive has gone the extra mile. It added a bunch of great shortcut scenes that accompany the suggestions about the murder. You'll be amazed the first time you see Ms. Scarlet whacking someone with a lead pipe the size of Pittsburgh and hear the thud as the metal makes contact with the victim. Playing this game at work is one thing, but you really have to sit at home in a dark room with a couple of friends to get the true feel of murder solving. The cutscenes are different for each character and weapon, so don't think that they're just repeated animations. For a laugh, try suggesting Mrs. White with the rope, and you'll see her wrestle a chair out from under her hanging victim.
The other features during gameplay are also worthy of praise. Clue offers full animations of the characters walking from room to room. While this is interesting for a while, you'll probably want to play with the standard overhead view of the board. Along with the animations is a really good soundtrack that includes sounds of the storm outside the mansion and a forbidding butler who calls out each suggestion as it is played.
There's really just one problem with the game. The suggestions of the computer players go by so fast, that it's often difficult to follow what's happening. The "autonotes" feature that takes notes as to what cards you've seen doesn't record what suggestions have already been made, so making educated guesses as to which cards people don't have by their suggestions becomes a pen and paper experience.
Overall, this is one of the best translations to the PC that Hasbro has ever done. Beyond some extra features that weren't implemented to their best effect, there aren't really many faults with the game. There is one bug that locks the game when a large number of characters are played by the computer, but this happened rarely. Basically, if you love the board game, you're going to want this version. And if you haven't played the board game, buy this instead."
Reviewed by: Underdogs