I’ve loved board games since I was a child and I’ve recently had the opportunity to introduce my Monkey 7-year-old son to a classic, with a modern twist. We received Cluedo Junior from Hasbro and it’s gone down a storm.
This version of the game is designed for children aged 5 years and over and can be played with 2-6 players. Cluedo Junior comes complete with a game board, 6 character playing pieces with white bases, 6 furniture tokens with yellow stands, detective notepads, die, label sheet and instructions.
There’s minimal construction required – basically drinks and time stickers on the bottom of bases and then you’re ready to start the game.
There’s no need to worry about anyone getting murdered with Cluedo Junior though, as the game really has been thought out with younger players in mind. Someone has eaten the last piece of cake (and no, just for once it isn’t Daddy P!) and players have to work out who did it, what time they ate it and what they drank with it.
Could it be Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Mr Green, Mrs Peacock, Dr Orchid or Professor Plum?
The green crumb label and 5 time labels are stuck to the bottom of the white bases, leaving one base empty. The drink labels are stuck to the underside of the yellow bases, two bases remain empty. You then stick the square labels to the die.
Place the game board in the centre of play, putting aside the white base with no label and the one with crumbs. With the white bases face down, pick one and place it in the centre of the board. Don’t look as this is the clue which tells you when the cake was eaten. Put the character pieces in the top of the remaining white bases and place them on their starting point on the board. One player will have the crumbs label on their base, making them the villain of the game. No looking!
Put the yellow bases with no labels to one side, put the rest face down, mix up and then without looking, place one of them in the centre of the board. This will tell you what the villain was drinking with their cake later in the game. Put the furniture tokens on the remaining yellow bases and place them in the correct rooms on the board.
Give each player a detective sheet and pencil (provide your own) and you are ready to play.
So with detective sheet in hand, roll the dice and take it in turns to move characters from room to room. If you roll the die and it lands on yellow, you can secretly check the underside of any yellow furniture token, and cross it off your list. Monkey didn’t always find it so easy to do this covertly, but it’s work in progress, and we’ve still had lots of fun. If you roll a white, you can secretly look at the white base of any of the characters, again crossing them off your list if you can. If you roll a number, you move any character that number of footprints along the board.
You’ve rolled the die and if you can move and then end on a yellow footprint in a room, you can secretly look under the furniture token in that room, making notes as you do so.
If you end up on a white footprint, you can look under the character that you’ve just moved.
But if you end up on a black footprint, that’s the end of your go and play passes on. Should you have picked up the player with the crumbs sticker on the base, be extra quiet! You now know who eat the cake, and you just need to work out the time and what they drank. Use your powers of deduction and some strategic moves to help you solve the mystery of Cluedo Junior.
When you think you’ve worked out the answers to who, when and with what drink, you can let everyone know when it’s your turn. Tell everyone your thoughts and then secretly look under the bases at the centre of the board and the base of the accused character. If you’re correct, show the other players and you’ve won the game. If you are wrong, you are out of the game, but keep the answers to yourself as play continues until a winner is found.
To play again, you just remove all the bases, mix them up and start again. So every time you play, the combination can be different.
Cluedo Junior is a cracking game, which has kept us entertained recently. You can find it available from all good retailers and Smyths Toys currently have it on offer for £13.99.