Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ClueMurder at Boddy Mansion

Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion
by Atari
Platform:   Windows 98 / Me / 95
4.1 out of 5 stars(8)

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Rediscover the fun of a treasured childhood board game with Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion. With network play options and an animated "accusation screen" that incorporates your suspicions into an incriminating video, Clue is more mysterious and fun than ever.

There are two different ways to play: Classic and No Die Roll. Both include play with up to six human or computer opponents, three being the minimum. Computer players are offered to make up for missing challengers, and they can even play by themselves (which is almost worth it just to watch all the animated videos of the accused). Players must choose their character--Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Professor Green, and the rest from the original board game--receive the appropriate amount of cards dealt from ghostly hands, and step into Boddy Mansion.

The difference between the two types of gameplay lies in the title of No Die Roll. This version takes you beyond the dice of chance and provides a standard nine options for each turn. Be wary that some actions cost more options than others. Making a suggestion or taking a secret passage each costs three options, while steps to each room cost one.

The newfound enjoyment of the game lies in the graphics. You can view the board as a 3-D mansion, seeing the furniture, looking through the walls and the hidden passageways; or view it as the traditional playing board--which is not as snazzy, but is easier to navigate. Characters are well animated, whether they're walking through the mansion or displaying their prowess with candlesticks and ropes in the accusation screen (don't worry parents, it is more exciting than morbid). The only drawback in this new version is that you may have to ask your noncomputer opponents to close their eyes when you peek at your cards, but reverting to the pen and paper system won't hurt, and the game will be just as suspenseful as you remembered. --Madeleine Miller

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