Playing the board game Monopoly stresses me out. Of course, I’m only playing it with my kids. But on the first round out around the board, they grab up as much property as they can, and buy everything they land on. They waste money, burning through it like they have a hole in their pocket. And, I wonder, what have I done? To raise such irresponsible spenders? I can’t focus on my own game, as I watch their dwindling piles of money, and think about them growing up and having mortgages, watching their faces as they get hit with property tax, estate tax and everything else on those yellow and orange cards. Please DO NOT ASK ME TO PLAY ANYMORE! The game is made up of purely chance and good luck.
But Clue is a far different genre in the board-playing world. This game matches strategy, with the allure of a good mystery novel. Yes, you might not roll a high enough number to move into the room you want at the time you want to place a guess there, but the element of chance is far removed as you really have to think about what you see on the board, and what you learn from your moves. (You know, the quickest way to figure out if the candlestick is the murder weapon, is to be sure your guess includes a person and a room that you already have.) Each room invites you in to explore, each with opulent names. The library, the ballroom, with guests dressed in their finest clothes, and the silliest names. Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock, etc. We’re just doing something as simple as solving a murder — no fortunes are being lost.
Our game is getting a bit worn and tatty… so the boys think it might be nice to get me this deluxe Clue game with indents for each room. Each room is one that you can actually “sink” down into and explore. Nothing like living in the game.
And already, it turns into Monopoly-type stress, as I look at the price tag that stings too much.