Aspects of Play: Cluedo

As part of the module, the task was to look into the various types of games within the 3 specific bands of play. The band this game I shall be discussing ‘Cluedo’ belongs to is Board Games.

When playing Cluedo, a murder-mystery board game of which players move around the board as one of 6 guests within the in-game house, attempting to deduce who killed Dr Black by collecting various pieces of evidence dotted around the map, fail in deducing that individual correctly and you’re out of the game, do it correctly and you win. I found that it belonged to the following categories of play in relation to Roger Caillois’ theory of play; Mimicry, Alea and Agon

In terms of Mimicry you play as one of the 6 characters available within the game and go around the board discovering clues and trying to decipher who killed Dr Black. Agon appears in the desire to win, the individual who is the murder is primarily exploring the map in the attempt to grab all evidence that would make others assume it was them and making others falsely accuse. Illinx doesn’t take form in this game, being that it’s a board game. Alea takes its form in navigation on how you move around the board, rolling the dice to see how far you can travel encompasses most of the random aspects of the game.

In terms of the elements in this game that I liked, I really liked the whole murder-mystery element to it and the fact that you have to purposefully look for substantial clues that would lead you to win.

State of Flow, was it achieved?

No. It’s a very interesting, immersive game that allows the player to be a pseudo Sherlock Holmes for half an hour, but the turn-based side of it made it fairly difficult to attain flow because of how long winded other players turns would be.

If I were designing a game similar to this, I would have a larger player base for the required amount of people to play, even though the games would be long winded and flow wouldn’t necessarily be achieved, the games would be far more interesting with more diverse larger pool of players all vying for crucial pieces of evidence to make the right accusation.


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