Updated: Feb 17, 2019
My favorite board game of all time is analyzed for logic holes, namely: questioning the motivations and forgetfulness of the characters, the asinine murder weapon list, and the fact that Mr. Boddy died in a terribly designed house. Great game though!
Clue (Cluedo, for our British friends) is a wildly popular board game among at the very least myself, but I’m pretty sure a few other people enjoy it as well. It’s a fun strategy-lite board game that’s got an intriguing enough story for me and it’s easy enough for people who like Apples to Apples. I’m not really questioning whether this is a good game or not (because it objectively is), but rather, I just want to take a moment and ponder what on earth is going on.
First of all – Why are the party guests wandering the mansion alone trying to solve the murder when in fact one of them is the murderer?
I know, I know, I know: if people weren’t stupid, no story would ever have a plot – especially the ones that involve a nightmare fuel monster (See also: Jaws, Friday the 13th, Norbit). But I am hard pressed to understand why once the guests discovered Mr. Boddy’s body they each went to SEPARATE CORNERS OF THE HOUSE to look for clues. Someone else always dies when that happens. Also, I have no idea why the suspects themselves are doing the detective work. Are they just finding a way to kill time until the police arrive? I assumed someone called the police, right? If they didn’t – why? Are they all in on the conspiracy to kill Mr. Boddy and just trying to figure it out right then and there to protect the real murderer’s innocence?
Also, the murderer him or herself is walking around the mansion looking for clues to deduce the identity of the killer – and it’s a genuine process to uncover who is really the killer. The only real explanation I have for this phenomenon is if the board game is taking place in a morning after a night with way too much alcohol scenario: think The Hangover, but this time Zack Galifianakis is strutting through Mike Tyson’s house in a peacock feather boa. That’s the only way that it could possibly make sense – unless everyone is incredibly stupid and bad at everything.
Second of all – the list they come up with of possible murder weapons
Let’s take a look at this list: the revolver, the rope, the knife, the lead pipe, the wrench (spanner, for our British friends), and the candlestick. Who can forget that nifty little rhyme – Jack be nimble, Jack be quick / Jack, come over so Mrs. White can beat you senseless with the candlestick?
If used as a murder weapon, these six items would appear on Mr. Boddy’s body quite differently: a clear bullet hole through a vital organ from a gun, some kind of imprint resembling a rope, clear stab wounds from a knife, or blunt force trauma. A blunt force trauma death would be the only one of the four that would leave any kind of question open – was it the wrench/spanner, lead pipe, or the candlestick? Taking one look at the Boddy (lol) would at least place his murder weapon into “he was shot” or “he probably wasn’t shot”
Third of all – why does the murder weapon (or location, for that matter) even matter? Isn’t the goal to catch the killer?
Even if a murder suspect/sleuth deduces the identity of the murderer, somehow it’s equally important to know how Mr. Boddy died and where in the house it happened. Even if – like it says in the instruction manual – Miss Scarlet found the body at the foot of the stairs, wouldn’t you just follow the inevitable trail of blood to the scene of the crime? Who’s to say it had to have happened somewhere else? I only think Colonel Mustard (or maybe Mrs. White – have you seen those guns on that woman?) would be physically capable of carrying Mr. Boddy anywhere beyond the place where the murder occurred.
Lastly, really this is just a gripe with Mr. Boddy – you died in a poorly designed house.
I don’t have much else to say here, other than the fact that sometimes rich people make asinine design choices. And even if he inherited the mansion, obviously Mr. Boddy would have the money to do some remodeling. Or put a bathroom somewhere in that enormous murder house.
Anyway, that’s that. Now you know for absolute certain that the characters in Clue are incredibly stupid and bad at everything. Even mansion design.
Fenton out. (Master Peter bids you all “Cheerio”, for our British friends)
Addendum: Clue FX almost – ALMOST – got it right. But I have a gripe nonetheless
OK, so in the fresh new take on the game from like 2003 called Clue FX, my biggest gripe with the Clue game set-up is solved. The four playable characters (Lord Gray, Lady Lavender, Miss Peach, and Prince Azure) are not suspects in the murder! Yay! It’ll be an actual mystery for all four of the people involved!
Although, in this game you search the Boddy estate for the murder suspects and they’re just casually still partying – AS IF A MURDER DIDN’T JUST HAPPEN THERE. Further proof that the colorful, murderous characters we know and love are incredibly stupid and bad at everything.
Master Peter bids you all “Cheerio”.