If you are like me, you may have grown up with fond memories of playing Clue/Cluedo with family and friends. The classic murder mystery detective game has been around since 1943. As someone who often finds herself playing board games with only one other person, Clue was not very easy to play. Sure, there are two player alternative rules for Clue…but they are definitely not how the game was meant to be played. However, in 2020 Hasbro Gaming put out a series of their popular games in two-player formats called the “Rival Editions”. Games such as Monopoly, Life, Sorry, PayDay, and of course, Clue. My Clue Rivals Edition game was a Christmas present, and one that I already know I will be playing many times.
The Game: Clue Rivals Edition
How Many Players: 2
Age Range: 8+
What Type of Game: Detective
Average Length: 10-20 minutes
You should try it if you like: Clue!
What’s The Story
In this version, we follow the same story as Clue. Ultimately you are tasked with discovering who killed Mr. Boddy, what was the murder weapon, and where did the murder take place. In Clue Rivals Edition the board is shrunk somewhat to only being in one room, however, the location must still be pinpointed. Was it by the piano? With the rope?
What the Gameplay Feels Like
If you have played Clue previously, you will see the gameplay is much the same. At the beginning of the game one murder weapon card, one suspect card, and one location card are all randomly selected and put into an envelope. You each take turns rolling the dice and walking to different locations on the board. Here you make suggestions of who, what, and where (including whatever you are standing on in your suggestion). If the other player has a card that proves the innocence of one of the suggestions then they show that card. Ultimately you each gather clues to become the first to correctly discover the truth behind the crime.
The differences for Clue Rivals Edition are very subtle. As I said, the board is one room rather than a whole mansion. Additionally, rather than only stopping to accuse at locations, you can also stop at weapons and suspects. On the board, there are marked squares where suspects or weapons sit which allow you more places to voice your suspicions more frequently. However, you also are not able to suggest all three things. In this version, you only suggest whatever you are standing on and one other thing. So, if I were standing on the sofa square, I could suggest the sofa and the wrench, for example. If my opponent were to be holding the wrench card (thereby proving it was not the murder weapon) they would then lay the card down on the table. As there are only two players, the proven cards are laid face-up on the table for all to reference.
What I liked
In Clue Rivals Edition the games go quick. Out of all the games we played, the average length ended up being around 15 minutes. This makes it convenient when you want to play something but don’t want a game that will take hours. Also, it is fun to be able to play multiple times in a row!
For a two-player edition of a larger classic which I grew up on…Hasbro knocked this out of the park. I am very impressed with how well this plays while still feeling consistent with the Clue I remember.
What I didn’t like
The board and the cards are not completely matching up as far as the names of locations go. This may not seem like a big deal…but it actually was very frustrating during the game. Now, it’s easy enough to see that the “Chess Table” and “Chess Board” are the same. But for someone looking at their cards, when “Desk” is called out, they can easily overlook “Writing Desk” thinking it is something different.
While it is a mistake that we only made once, it is still somewhat frustrating to lose the game because of a misread card.
Neat. I just learned about the Rivals series and it’s nice to hear this one translated well!