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Clue Master Detective» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review: Elementary My Dear Watson...Elementary. rss

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Matt
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Rank: 7

Objective:

To discover the murderer, the weapon used, and the room Mr. Body was murdered in. The first player to solve the mystery wins the game.


Bits:

Two six-sided die, 10 pawns of various colors, a pad of Detective Notebooks, eight weapons made out of metal, 30 cards that have the suspects, rooms, and weapons on them, a small envelope that says, “Case File-Confidential”, and a board with 13 rooms.


Set Up:

This game says it can be played by 3-10 players. However, I usually play the game with two players, and I find that it plays just as well that way.

Each player chooses one of the colored pawns that they will use to move around the board. The deck of cards is separated into three piles: suspects, weapons and rooms. Each pile is turned face down and shuffled separately. The top card of each pile is then placed face down into the envelope marked, “Case File-Confidential.” The envelope now contains the murderer, the weapon used, and the room that poor unfortunate Mr. Body was murdered in.

The three piles of cards are then all shuffled together and dealt out face down to all players. These cards are kept secret from the other players in the game. Players then look at their own cards and use their Detective Notebooks to check off any suspects, weapons, and/or rooms in their hand. Since there is only one card for each suspect, weapon, and room in the game; players know that the cards in their hand cannot be in the Case File Envelope.

Each player rolls the die; highest roll goes first. Play will go clockwise around the table for the rest of the game.


Flow of Play:

On your turn, you roll both dice and move your token around the board. If during your turn you land on a “Snoop” space (it has an illustration of a magnifying glass), you can choose which player you want to “snoop” from. You draw one card from that player’s hand, and mark it off in your Detective Notebook, and then give the card back to the player. If you have not used up your dice roll, you can continue to move your pawn until you do.

The game revolves around making suggestions (guesses). You can make a suggestion by moving your pawn into one of the rooms on the board. You then state, “ I suggest it was (Suspect name), in the (name of the room your pawn is in when you are making the suggestion), with the (weapon)." In other words you would say something like, “ I suggest that it was Mr. Green, with the wrench, in the dining room." When you make a suggestion, you place the pawn representing the suspect and the weapon token in the room. You can even suggest your own pawn as a suspect. If an opponent is using a pawn that is associated with your suggestion, you then move his pawn to the room you are in at the time of the suggestion.

When you make a suggestion, each player checks the cards in his hand and shows you one card in his hand that matches what you stated in your guess. If he has more than one card that matches your suggestion, he chooses which one to show you. You mark off the cards that you are shown in your Notebook. These suspects, weapons, and/or rooms were not involved in the murder.

When you narrow down the list to one suspect, weapon, and room you can then try to win the game by making an accusation. To do that you state, "It was (Suspect name), in the (name of the room you think Mr. Body was murdered in. Unlike making a suggestion, you do not have to be in the room of the murder when you make the accusation.), with the (weapon)." You then check the envelope to see if your accusation is correct, if it is, you then prove it by showing the cards to the other players and you win the game. If you are wrong about any of the cards, you then put the cards back into the envelope without the other players seeing them. You can’t win the game but still must show your cards when you are “snooped” and during suggestions made by other players.


Conclusion:

I like playing this game. The replay value is high because the suspect, weapon, and room involved in the murder are always different. I also enjoy the deductive reasoning that you must use to win the game.

I would rank the game as medium weight because it takes some thought to try an figure out what your opponents are doing as well as what suggestions you should make based on the reactions or patterns you may be able to pick up from other players. There are strategies that can be used to misdirect your opponents, so there is some sneakiness to the game as well.

Clue Master Detective went out of production in the 1990’s, but you can still find it being sold on Ebay. What is the difference between Master Detective and the original Clue game? Master Detective has three more rooms, two more weapons, and four more suspects. It also has “Snoop” spaces that are not in the original game. So what effect does having more rooms, weapons, and suspects have on the game? It comes down to two things:

1. It extends the length of the game.
2. It can accommodate up to ten players as opposed to the original Clue game that allows up to six players.

Other than that, the mechanics and game flow are the same, except for the addition of “Snoop” spaces.

Clue is a classic game that has been around for over 50 years. If you have never played it, or don’t own a copy, I would suggest that you add it to your collection. It’s a fun game that uses a clever concept not found in other mainstream family board games. Adding it to your collection is just...well...elementary.
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John Clark
Australia
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Actually, adding more stuff does more than make the game longer - it makes it better:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/173359
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Jarrah Hodge
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I agree with the review overall. One complaint I had about mechanics was that Madame Rose's and Miss Peach's playing pieces looked extremely similar colour-wise. I had to repaint Miss Peach to make her look less pink.

I found this better than traditional Clue but the weapon and room card art was unimpressive. My favourite part was the rule/background book with interesting trivia about Clue around the world, as well as background sketches for all the characters. In other words, a lot of fun and a more satisfying play than the vanilla version.
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