Cluedo: Discover the Secrets
|Players||3 to 6|
|Setup time||5 min|
|Playing time||60-90 min|
|Skill(s) required||Deductive reasoning|
Cluedo: Discover the Secrets (Clue: Discover the Secrets in North America) is a 2008 board game designed by Hasbro to modernize the world-famous game Cluedo. Though the game's main title is still simply "Cluedo" or "Clue", many retailers list the game with a "Reinvention" suffix, to distinguish it from the original game. The game was created in an effort to update what Hasbro considered to be an old-fashioned game, and became available in October 2008. However, the traditional version of the game remained on sale as well.
The six suspects from the original crime have been updated to include first names and more modern-day lifestyles. Each character has a special ability or "power" which can be used once during a game.
- Miss Scarlett becomes Kasandra Scarlet, a famous actress often featured in tabloids.
- Colonel Mustard becomes Jack Mustard, a former football player.
- Mrs. White becomes Diane White, an ex-child star seeking the spotlight.
- Reverend Green becomes Jacob Green, a go-to guy "with all the ins".
- Mrs. Peacock becomes Eleanor Peacock, a manners freak from a political family.
- Professor Plum becomes Victor Plum, a billionaire video game designer.
The lead pipe and spanner/wrench have all been dropped from the original list of possible weapons used and replaced with the baseball bat and dumbbell. Likewise, the knife and pistol officially replace the dagger and the revolver, respectively. In addition, an axe, trophy, and poison have been added, bringing the total number of murder weapons up to nine as follows:
- Rope (orig., used in many editions)
- Candlestick (orig., used in many editions)
- Knife (orig., replaces Dagger in US ed.)
- Pistol (orig., replaces Revolver)
- Bat (new, replaces Lead pipe)
- Dumbbell (new, replaces Spanner/Wrench)
- Trophy (new, once in some spin-off editions)
- Poison (new, used in some previous spin-off editions and included with the 50th Anniversary ed.)
- Axe (new, used in some previous spin-off editions)
The nine standard rooms on the board have been changed as indicated by an asterisk (with the original room name in parentheses). In addition to these changes, the center room, Swimming Pool (the "cellar" in the original game), is now a playable, accessible room in the game, to be entered by the player prior to making the final accusation. The starting spaces for Scarlet and Mustard have also moved clockwise by 3 positions. Secret passages still connect the rooms of opposite corners of the gameboard.
|Living Room* (Library)|
|Guest House* (Lounge)||Hall||Observatory* (Study)|
While the game generally follows the classic rules, there are several new additions to the game. A new deck of cards has been added to the game: the Intrigue cards. This deck consists of two types of card: Keepers and Clocks. Keepers give the drawer special abilities, such as the ability to look at another player's cards; however, these cards do not override the original rules. Of the eight Clocks, the first seven that are drawn do nothing. The player who draws the eighth Clock is "killed" by the murderer, and is out of the game. Intrigue cards are linked to new "?" spaces on the board, which require one to be drawn when landed upon.
The player must move to the indoor swimming pool in the center of the board to make an accusation. This adds some challenge versus the ability to make accusations from anywhere in the original game.
Kate Summerscale wrote that the "Englishness and datedness of the original game are intrinsic to its appeal". She notes that "the contemporary detail is bound to feel tacky before long". She concludes that elements of Cluedo have become cultural reference points, and states that "the game itself has always had a nostalgic aura, blurrily reminiscent of creepy old houses and buried family secrets".
Journalist Cole Moreton compares the release of the new game to the New Coke debacle in 1985 and suggests it is only a matter of time before Hasbro makes the correction. In the meantime, he suggests that one should "borrow granny's. Far better to die in England than Blingland".
Robert Colvile of The Telegraph questions Hasbro's stated rationale: "that the game should reflect 21st-century society — but do its makers really imagine that the faux-Edwardiana of the original, in which the vicar and the doctor and the local spinster gathered at the manor, was an accurate reflection of late-1940s society?" and suggests that "the appeal of these games is not that they reflect the real world, but that they take you away from it."
Grab & Go
Though Hasbro no longer sells Discover the Secrets, a variation of the game still exists in their Grab & Go travel series. Notably, it plays identically to standard classic rules, but visually continues to use the new Discover the Secrets room layout, and 3 of the new weapons (poison, dumbbell, and pistol) as part of the standard 6, as well as retaining other design artwork. However, the Intrigue cards are no longer a part of the game.
- Hasbro Store
- Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Cluedo The Times, 10/15/2009, by Damian Whitworth (retrieved 11/26/2009
- Jack Mustard, in the spa, with a baseball bat by Kate Summerscale, The Guardian, Saturday, 20 December 2008, retrieved 02/23/13
- Who killed Cluedo's Col Mustard? by Cole Moreton, The Independent, Sunday, 17 August 2008, retrieved 10/20/09
- The makers of Cluedo have gone and killed Professor Plum Telegraph.co.uk By Robert Colvile Published: 12:01AM BST 15 Aug 2008 (retrieved 11/1/09)