Reel Girl game of the week: Clue

If you follow Reel Girl, you know I am a sucker for narratives, and there aren’t many games out there that inspire storytelling like Clue.

Clue was my favorite board game when I was a kid. After 30 years, I played it last weekend at my sister’s with my kids and my nieces, and it was so fun. I love all of the rooms, imagining being in a mansion, and plotting or discovering a murder. The kids love all that, too, of course. The secret passages from room to room and the detective pads are also cool. If you’re not familiar with Clue, all of this may sound complicated, but it’s not.

So, now for the characters. There are three males and three females. You can’t get more equal than that, right? But here’s the problem. The male characters are Professor Plum (he must be smart, right?) Colonel Mustard (another status moniker) and Mr. Green. Poor Mr. Green, you think, he’s got no title, but at least his identity is concealed behind the ambiguous “Mr.” The females don’t fare so well: Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, and Mrs. White. Not a “Ms.” among them.

As a kid, I was always Miss Scarlet. I thought she seemed powerful and mysterious, and rebellious; she smoked.

I was disappointed to see that Miss Scarlet in my sister’s game looks far less dangerous.

Though I would’ve preferred modernizing Mrs. White and Mrs. Peacock to “Ms,” I am pleased with their new portraits. They look more complex and real than the originals.

Beyond the names or art, Clue is as equal opportunity as you can get: any character could have committed the murder with any of the weapons. The females are just as likely to whack a victim with a candlestick or a wrench as they are to shoot her. No sexism involved in solving this mystery if you want to win the game. That factor trumps all others in my book.

This game is a lot of fun for families. No tears so far.

Reel Girl rates Clue ***HH***