“No Philip, you don’t understand. The murderer is in this envelope!”

The frustration in my mum’s voice was noticeable, even to my six year old self. For as long as I could remember I’d wanted to play this game, this holy grail of board games, this shining, sparkling game at the top of the stairs that dad had told me to not to touch. And now here I was actually playing it – actually getting to touch the small metal weapons, not forgetting the real bit of string acting as the rope. 

Dad’s Original Cluedo

I was ecstatic. I can remember the feeling to this day, some twenty years later. Something about this game was different, not like Connect 4 or Monopoly or all the other games Santa brought me to distract me from asking about that old dusty box upstairs. This game was a mystery even before playing it. My dad explained that this game was very old and this version was one of the first made. The box had that old smell to it, like my grandad. The board itself looked pristine but the metal weapons were no longer shiny but dull and rough. The dice were wooden and slightly worn away and some of the cards had folds or tears in them. I blamed my older brother and sister, who’d clearly been given this privilege years before. 

It was this game and this initial first time playing “Cluedo” that blossomed my love for murder mystery films, and playing board games with my family. There’s nothing like it. Nothing can make a family laugh, or argue or come closer than a good board game – and “Cluedo” epitomises everything that’s great about a board game. It’s different every time you play it. It’s an instant mystery that needs to be solved, and creates an instant discussion for grandchildren and grandparents alike. The characters are actual people, the setting is a real place. I remember one of the things I loved most about my dad’s original version was the small booklet that came in the box that told the story of Cluedo. The weekend party, the guests arriving, the murder of Dr. Black. 

The New Cluedo App Logo

Flash forward twenty years, five different versions of “Cluedo” tucked away in the attic later and we come to the brand new version. The CLUEDO App for Android and iOS by Marmalade Game Studio! I stumbled upon this by accident after discussing my love for the board game with some friends, and they said they were surprised there wasn’t an App of the game. I had never even thought of it and immediately looked up the App Store. Lo and Behold I found it and for the amazingly cheap value of £2.99. Instant download!

There is not enough good things I can say about this App. I’ve played a few games on my phone during the years but I wouldn’t call myself an avid gamer, so I’m not one to judge the technical aspects. But for me, Marmalade Game Studio has captured everything I loved about that original board game my dad had, and more. For with this App we get a notepad that automatically keeps track of everything for you, and it wasn’t until using this that I realised I had been using the notepad of the board game completely wrong! We get music playing throughout the entire game, which one can imagine is playing on the record player in the ballroom. We get beautiful illustrated reinactments of the crime-scenes, each intricately different from the last depending on who, what and where. 

Cluedo App Screenshot

I couldn’t stop playing. It’s just a brilliantly laid out, designed and easy to play game but also awakened so much nostalgia and joy from memories of playing the original board game(s). I have yet to stop playing it, and although I’m not the world’s greatest at it I pride myself in getting to position 20 in the country leaderboard. 

Leaderboard 20th Position

When I think someone has done a good job with something I have to tell them. Whether it’s a restaurant where I leave a good review, or a photographer I see on Instagram – I think it’s important to reach out and tell people that their work is appreciated. Which is what I did with Marmalade Game Studio. I had to write to them and not only tell them how great their work was but also thank them for making such a good game. I had the absolute pleasure of getting a reply from them and also getting to ask a few questions I was dying to ask them.

How big is the team working behind the scenes on a game like “Cluedo”?

– It’s a very small team working on the game so it’s always tough work doing big updates! There are 10 of us!

The artwork for the game is brilliant, how many artists are there?

– We have 3 artists on the game but they wish to remain anonymous 😊

DId you go back and play the original game, and how hard  was it developing it for a modern “iPhone” generation?

– We played many, many weeks of Cluedo trying to figure out what would be right for a mobile version of the game. It was quite hard trying to find a balance between what was right for casual/new users to Cluedo who would want quick games versus more experienced users who would want the challenge. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen some of the characters, especially the “International Guests” such as the awesome new-look Mrs. White. What was it like creating brand new characters for the franchise?

– Our new characters so far are lesser known official members of the Cluedo universe and come from spin offs of the main Cluedo game (e.g. the VCR game and Super Cluedo). These were all challenges to the concept artist – trying to figure out what felt right for them in the game but also trying to remain faithful to the originals in some aspect.

Are there any plans to make the game Multiplayer?

– We still intend to have Multiplayer in our next update. We know a lot of players have been asking for it for a long time but with such a small team we’ve faced many technical challenges which are taking us some time to address 🙂 

Have the developers seen the awesome film “Clue” based on cluedo? Do you think there could be a special movie edition of the characters? 

– The whole team has watched the Clue film of course 😀 We got a few good ideas from it for our game. We don’t know about a movie edition yet – it’s a possibility! 

So all that’s left to say is I believe it was Marmalade Games, with the dagger in the Library who absolutely nailed the App version of “Cluedo“, a beloved and monumental game that is now hopefully being enjoyed by younger generations around the world just as I enjoyed the original as a child. Well done to all the team for such a beautifully designed and clever game that really shows true appreciation of it’s roots.