Updates Wednesdays

Comic 378 - Board games

Posted on Wednesday, the 9th of October at 12:00 AM, 2019 in 2019

Author Notes:

DanVzare Wed, 9. Oct 12:00 AM, 2019 edit delete
If you can't name at least five board games that were made within the past thirty years, you have no right to call yourself a fan of board games in any way, shape, or form.

Now if you know anything about Cluedo, you'll know that the name is a combination of the words "Clue" and "Ludo". Ludo being a really terrible board game that's nothing like Cluedo.
It's like how Splatoon is a combination of the words "Splat" and "Platoon". So if you think Cluedo is a dumb name, you've got to also accept that Splatoon is a dumb name.
As for Stratego. I have absolutely no idea. It's like someone saw the word "Strategy" and just shoved an "O" at the end. Which admittedly, is kind of what it looks like they did with Cluedo, but at least Cluedo has a reason for the -do suffix. But I guess words ending in "O" are fun to say.

I'm not saying Cluedo is a great name. I'm just saying it's better than Clue. But then again, almost any name would've been better than Clue. Clues, Murder, Mystery. "Clue" looks nice, but it sounds horrible, and is incredibly difficult to search for as well (looking for it on an app store, points me to menstruation apps).
And if you disagree, maybe try looking at it from the perspective of someone who didn't grow up with the game being called "Clue". After all, I'm looking at it from the perspective of something who didn't grow up with the name "Cluedo" and while it does admittedly sound silly (although fun to say), it's still a better name than "Clue".
(Although I will give credit where credit is due, "Clue" as a word, does look aesthetically pleasing.)

Now if you know anything else about Cluedo, you'll know that the 2008 version, usually called "Discover the Secrets" is despised as being one of the worst versions of Cluedo out there.
I won't deny that the quality of the components, and the overall aesthetics, is a huge and I mean HUGE downgrade from the previous 2002 version. But I think the improvements in gameplay more than make up for it.

At it's core, Cluedo is a card game with a board shoehorned in. In fact, the most notable problems the game has (other than the fact that the majority of people don't play the game correctly) are all related to the board. If you look up why modern board gamers don't like Cluedo, you'll find the same reasons, over and over again. The randomness of the dice, having to get to rooms to ask questions, and being dragged to rooms whenever someone asks a question about you. Which begs the question, what is the point of the weapon tokens, other than to serve as a declaration of what you're asking? You could lose all of the weapon tokens, and suffer no consequences.

Personally, I think that those problems people have with Cluedo, just highlight the fact that they aren't playing the game properly. If you truly need to get to a particular room to ask a question about it, then why not go to a different room? Surely you're trying to get to a particular room, because you only have two left on your list right? And even so, you don't even need to get into that room to cross if off, if you can deduce if someone else has already shown the card. And if they haven't, then obviously that must be the room the murder was done in. While the absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, it usually seems to be the case when it comes to Cluedo. Just get good at the game and start playing a warped version of Poker instead. It's way more fun that way. Especially when you cross off two cards with one question.

That all being said, while I don't consider those as problems myself, I must acknowledge them as being problems, simply because people smarter than me have brought them up as problems. And based on what I know about game design, they do come across as flaws. The board in Cluedo, as much as I hate to admit it, really does the game more harm than good.
And that's where Discover the Secrets comes in.
Discover the Secrets, finally gave a damn good reason to have the board!
Through the use of some rule changes, a new set of dice, and special cards that let you do things, suddenly the board has a reason to exist! (They also added three extra weapons, which was nice. Since otherwise the game tends to run too short in my opinion.)
The simple act of having to run to the center to make an accusation is exhilarating, and definitely needed in a game where everyone knows how to play the game properly (since you all tend to reach the solution at the same time).

Now I'm not saying the game is perfect. It still needed a few tweaks and improvements. A notable complaint are the clock cards, which when all of them are drawn, causes you to be out of the game (personally, I think if you end up drawing them all with less than six players playing, then you're either extremely unlucky, or playing the game wrong). But overall it was definitely an improvement over the basic game.

Unfortunately, everyone hated it. And as such, these improvements were all scrapped!

Now why did people hate it?
Well mostly it was the aforementioned quality, both in terms of aesthetics (modern times, ugh) and components (plastic rectangles for characters, really?). It was a huuuuuuuge drop from the previous version. And I can not overstate that enough.
But there's also the fact that the only people who really go out to buy a copy of Cluedo, are the same people who have been playing the same three board games for nearly a hundred years. They don't want change! They want their immutable classics!
So really, Discover the Secrets never stood a chance. Well, not as a mainline version. They should've released it as a spinoff. It probably would've gone over better if they had.