Sunday, November 29, 2009

Clue: Harry Potter Edition

GREETINGS! As promised here's a review for November 2009!!

While at the department store a while ago, I found the HP edition of CLUE was on sale and thought I would try it out, especially since I never much cared for Clue but knew people who did/do.

- queue the ominous mystery music -

CREATOR: At the moment the box still says " Parker Brothers " Though a quick cursory look tells the shopper that Hasbro owns the whole thing! The original creator was a Brit named " Anthony Pratt", a clerk and part-time clown.

The game itself is for 3-5 players, which is an odd amount as its not very handy for 3 couples to play. But as its marketed as a game for children, perhaps they cannot be bothered. My personal belief is that a game is generally best if three couples can play it. The 30 minutes play time means you can get a game done and then have another or get some food to refuel the belly. Good choices both.

GAME BASICS: WHO? WHAT? WHERE? This much remains the same in the HP edition, with a few interesting changes. Wandering about, suggesting possible solutions, and using secret passages is familiar enough, but the various Potter touches add a new flavor!

Not only do you play against the other players, but against the game itself, for just as in the Harry Potter books themselves, you are battling the forces of Lord Voldemort and should you fail, ole snake-face wins!!

GAME DISSECTION: A lil polyjuice potion never killed anyone....

ART: In the movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban, there is a marvelous item known as the Marauder's Map! The very layout of Hogwarts is created using inked words on parchment and it looks intriguing and magicky as only HP can make it... this also sets the tone for the game board and pieces and they look stunning! The images on the cards are of the movie actors and the non-photo images mesh nicely! The game LOOKS cool, even before you play it!

PRICE: I got mine on sale for 21.00$ Only to find it again for 18.00$ as Christmas season rolled in. Yes, I was paying for a brand, but I LIKE Harry Potter so though it cost 11.00$ more than basic standard Clue, I was not deterred.

REPLAY: The night I bought it I played it three times. Lost twice and won once. The third match being the grudge match of course. My way of playing annoyed my team mate and we have to have a rematch soon lol especially now that she knows my tactics! For non-Clue fans, they might take to the HP version as its not as cut and dry and regular Clue, and of course, HP devotees will happily brave the Chamber of Secrets itself to play I am sure. Its Clue, its going to be replayed, so consider any investment well done.

MECHANICS: There is a House Die in the game representing the Four Houses of Hogwarts, ( cool points to those who can say them by heart ) When your House appears upon the die, you turn a part of the board and some doors become locked, while others open , and secret passages change as well. If the Dark Mark of Lord Voldemort appears, you and your opponants must battle with items and resources gatherted in the game!!! These resources take the form of cards representing, people, spells, and potent magical objects used to battle the menacing Dark Deck. Don't lose... for if your House loses all its points... evil shall triumph!! Though these new, 'fiddly-bits' might seem uneeded for the game, they added a new dimension which I relished, having grown bored with traditional Clue tactics decades ago as a boy.

FUN: Is hunting down clues to find a missing person and battling the forces of evil with little more than a wand and a Sorting-Hat fun??? You bet your pet rat it is!! Clue has its appeal in a never-the-same-game mystery, and coupled with the flavor of all-things Harry Potter, it is an excellent way to spend a Thursday night or a rainy afternoon.!

GAMER PROFILE: The Sorting Hat says you belong......

CASUAL: Maybe you remember Clue as a child, or maybe you just love Harry Potter. Either way, its a fun game that you can play with almost anyone and not commit a huge chunk of your life/time to in the prosess. Worth keeping in the closet for when your Sister brings her kids over for the day ad they get restless.

ACTIVE: You probably have the traditional Clue in your closet. Maybe the reason it stays there is because your gaming group needs some more kick in their pumpkin juice.... Harry Potter can help!! Give it a go and see what you can make happen!

GAMER: It might not be the Elemental Temple of the Were-weasals of DOOM, but its still a castle and there is still danger and magic and mayhem. Besides.... the Twilight fans only have Trivia games.... remind them what started all the fantasy goodness of late!

CREATOR: The original Clue was created by a clerking-clown. A little research shows that before the game was produced, it was revised and edited a few times. A quick walk through the game isle at the department store shows you that those revisions, built upon a good idea, have stood the test of time. Your game should have the same enduring power. I've seen lots of game that are basically just a simple idea that never got revised, honed, refined into something more. Take that extra month, get some friends, and have them run the game into the ground and make sure that your game not only works, but works well and maintains the holy of holiest ideals.... ITS FUN!!!

FOR THE LADIES: My girlfriend kinda giggled at me when I bought the game, she then kindly agreed to play the game with me that night. She kicked my bum twice and almost beat me a third time. Women are clever, women are decisive, and women can suss out a solution to a mystery on little more than a hunch. This is a nice way to show off your intelligence and have fun at the same time.

ABOUT ME: I'm a gamer, game designer, and above all a good guy that enjoys sharing games with people! If you have any questions, drop me a line here on the forum or at

No comments: