Cluedo? CD-I Companion!

OK, who still has CD-I? Well, I do. We only bought ours about two years ago, for 2 euros, and since then we've been collecting the various games available for the CD-I. Unfortunately CD-I's fortes are often brought down by its weaknesses. CD-I has easy controls, a CD load so that programmes may also have a CD-track, and FMV options for extra high image quality. However, as the CD-I is a low-quality CD reader by today's standards, it's very sensitive towards dirt, and any speck will cause you to have to break off your game. The controls are sluggish, especially with the remote. And CD-I's manner of writing leaves little space for data: high-quality image programmes will often have very little content.
Before dissing the Philips invention as a gaming console, one has to remember that it was never intended in this way. CD-I envisioned a world of multimedia, audio CDs with extra information, Video CDs that won't wear down and have superb quality, watching your own photos on your TV screen, visiting museums from home, and even dialing into the Internet to get information. Unfortunately CD-I was way too ahead of its time. Few people were prepared to get the special photo-CDs made until digital cameras took over. Internet was a geek thing in the mid 90s. Films still were produced on 2 CDs. There are much better ways of learning to play an instrument than what the CD-I programmes offered.
Philips started relatively late with marketing CD-I as a gaming console. Early CD-I games are relatively crude, have only the basic game repertoire (Connect-4, Chess, Battleships, Pong, Dodgems, Space Invaders, Concentration, poker) and at that a miserable AI.
After that it was already too late to save the console, simply because there was better out there. Though there were some really nice CD-I releases. The 7th Guest for instance works great with the medium. Voyeur and Cluedo? were both reasonably popular and were transported to CD-Rom.

This page though, deals with Cluedo?. It's the third in a series of BBP pages on Cluedo.

Game Introduction

Cluedo? is set at Arlington Hall. Three different stories take place here:
The Hooded Madonna about a work of art that gets stolen;
Happy Ever After about Mr Boddy's upcoming wedding to an unknown person, and
Deadly Patent about synthetic rubies.
Like the board game, there are the 6 standard guests plus all-knowing but never-killer butler, the 6 standard weapons, and the 9 standard rooms. To move between rooms, the Cluedo board is used, with the same spaces and the same starting positions. And the same secret passages. Moving between rooms is done with 1 die, like in most (but not the Dutch) versions of the board game.
Unlike the game, the actor's starting position is at random. Players have 3 chances to guess correctly. To make an accusation, the player HAS TO GO TO THE MURDER ROOM. Unlike most rules and like the Dutch rules, a suspect can stay in a room as long as he wants. There is no limit to the use of secret passages.

In every story line, every suspect has a motif. When you play a story, the killer may be at random. However the story isn't, the flashbacks will all be the same, and the alibis will be similar.
As in all stories the method of working will be the same, I'll just sketch out the winning strategy. It's very important to realize the following:
ONLY THE MURDERER LIES. No innocent character will claim he was in a room when he wasn't there or claim he didn't touch something while he did.


The strategy is fairly simple. It involves looking around in every room where you come, and questioning the suspects.They are slightly intertwined though, so for a complete strategy check, view them all.
There are a number of ways to find out who killed Mr Boddy. First of all, ask your character for his alibi. Write this down. Your character will list about 3 rooms (s)he has visited, and all the people who were there. Then, ask any other character for theirs.
You'll find that the murderer is the only one who'll lie about his/her alibi. (S)He will say (s)he was somewhere with a number of others, while the murderer was in fact with Mr Boddy. So look for the character whose alibi doesn't check out.
Alternatively, you may find the murder weapon. All murder weapons are lying about in the house, and usually there's more than 1 candlestick. The murderer may have wiped it clean, but there might just be prints on it. The rope however never has prints, but it does leave some fiber behind in the murder room.
When the weapon has prints, ask all the people who touched it. If one of them claims he never saw the weapon, then there's your culprit! If everybody explains how their prints got on, then it's never the murder weapon.
The rope works differently. There are never fingerprints on it. You would be able to find string fibres in the murder room.
The scene of the crime can usually be indicated by some sign of a struggle, such as knocked over furniture, bullet holes, rope fibres, and broken glass. But sometimes hints are more subtle, like unexplained liquid stains or remnants, or even a simple, intact and still full glass. Also, there just might be red herrings. These are to cover the alternate endings: eg if you have an ending in which Boddy wasn't shot, you may be able to find bulletholes, and asking the suspects about the revolver might just result in a bizarre, but always true story on why the gun was fired. You can also look at the clock for a flashback, in case no weapons were involved.
On the whole, the Suspect Statement and the Suspect Observation can be ignored. They may be entertaining to watch and they will give you some nice background on the story, but they are much more likely to draw your eye on red herrings and they are never evidence.
When you arrive in a room, look around thoroughly for clues. Returning to a room is nasty, so it's best to find all the evidence straight away.
Always look at the Flashback by clicking the clock. It's always enjoyable and it manages to eliminate some red herrings. If it shows some people plotting; remember that EVERY SUSPECT has a motive.
You can ask all your suspects as many times as you want, there's no harm in that.
If all else fails you could call the butler for help, but it'll cost you one guess and it will take away a lot of the fun. It'll only be useful if you've searched all the rooms and missed some evidence.
Should you take notes? Well, yes, especially on the first time you play a story. Make good note of the alibis: who's where in what room and when do they leave? Alibis may be the only way to find the culprit in case there are no prints on the murder weapon. And make sure you note the murder room once you find it: forgetting which room the crime scene was, is VERY frustrating.

Cast & Location

Butler: Terence Harvey. Butler is all-knowing, but never the murderer.
Miss Scarlet: Nicola van Dam
Colonel Mustard: John Standing
Mrs. White: Joan Sims
Mr. Green: Stuart Milligan: His name is spelled Stewart on the box.
Mrs. Peacock: Susan Wooldridge
Professor Plum: David Healy: The game was released two years after the actor's passing.
The game was shot at Arley Hall, in Cheshire.


I bought Cluedo? at a flea market in Eindhoven for 2 euros, as I am a massive fan of the board game and the movie. And as I collect CD-I games. Cluedo? is known to be one of the best games ever made for the console. It is not facing a strong competition at that, but the game was considered to be nice enough to be transferred and expanded to CD-Rom.
The game has a mighty attractive packaging. It comes in a nice cardboard box along with note cards + dry wipe pens, which is an excellent idea and should be transferred to regular Cluedo. The game has three compelling stories. It sets a great mood. The music is very nice and the acting is superb. The sets and location are very beautiful. The characters were nicely adapted, all can be both friendly and loathable, but they are never annoying or tedious.
Unfortunately that cannot be said for the gameplay. When playing alone, one has to continuously roll the die to get somewhere: this of course has no purpose. It's especially annoying when you have to return to the crime scene. But the worst part is that there are only 18 stories to play, as the crime scene and murder weapon are locked to the murderer. This was probably done to save cost and disk space, but starting up the game is lengthy and as soon as you find that you've played the game before, there's no fun in it. The game also tends to favour a story, so that when you start up, say, Deadly Patent, you are most likely to get the Plum story.
In short, the CD-I game is nowhere near a match for Cluedo. It is definitely an enjoyable title that will last longer in your enjoyment than most of the other programmes for this console.