Leisure Genius
Not Known
1985
Board Game
£9.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
SpeedLock 1

John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

MURDER is the only illegal move you are allowed to make in Cluedo, the authorised computer version of Waddington's board game.

As a firm believer in cheating, Leisure Genius left me smarting. What fun is Cluedo if you cannot hide the identities of your clue cards or make suggestions about locations which you hold in your hand?

Cluedo closely follows the original board game, using exceptional graphics to depict the board and the 3D dice which roll over it. When a player enters a room and makes a clue suggestion a view of that room appears. The switch between displays is incredibly fast and expertly done.

Once chosen, the characters are assigned clue cards which depict locations, suspects and weapons. One card from each of those categories is chosen by the computer to form the situation for the murder. The characters must then move around the locations asking whether other players have particular cards which, once seen, can be eliminated from their enquiries.

Movement and suggestion phases form the main part of the game and the speed at which those cycles take place can be controlled at the start.

The sound effects slow down play considerably. They introduce players onto the screen as their turns roll around. Music includes Onward Christian Soldiers for the Rev Green, Air on a G String for Mrs White and Land of Hope and Glory for Mrs Peacock.

The grand denouement can come when a player makes an accusation. It is a one-time-affair for that player and it is done using three menus from which the choice is selected. If wrong, the player faces expulsion from the game. The computer can then either take over the play of the loser's cards, the player can keep them but not participate, or the game can be ended.

The big advantage that computer Cluedo has over the board game is that you can play against the computer at any time. You do not need a full complement of friends.

The Spectrum is certainly not a good competitor for all its large memory and logical powers. Cluedo is, therefore, best played with a number of human and a few computer participants.

John Gilbert

Publisher: Leisure Genius
Price: £9.95
Memory: 48K

***

3/5