A great version of the classic board game is killed in the living room by a lack of local multiplayer.
I might have gotten a little ahead of myself with Clue on Nintendo Switch. When I heard that the classic board game was making its way to the platform, my mind raced with how it could be adapted for a local multiplayer experience, calling to mind fond memories of long lost Wii classic Guilty Party. For better or worse, Clue on Switch is limited to single-player and online multiplayer modes, but those modes are incredibly well put together. The options with which to play might be restrictive and suboptimal, but the presentation and execution of this video game version of Clue is great.
Single-player is relatively straightforward: you can play against up to five computer-controller opponents and get to murder solving. Six variants are available, including the basic locale and other ones, such as a wild west theme and a snowy mountain resort one. Each variant also has its own goofy interpretation of the classic characters, including muscled blacksmith Green and hipster sweater-wearing Plum. Play follows as in the board game where the correct answer is sealed in an envelope and the rest of the cards are dealt to everyone else. Dice rolls lead to moving around the venue and then you make your guesses and try to use logic and the process of elimination to find out whodunit. The clue sheet is always displayed on the side of the screen and can be interacted with while the other players play, which helps keep the pace going as you try to solve the mystery.
It’s totally fine by yourself, just not ideal. Clue is better with friends. The online multiplayer comes in two forms: with randoms and with friends. Thanks to crossplay with the other versions of the game, the pool of online players is healthy and it’s not too hard to hop into a game. It’s better playing against others than playing against the computer, but random online play in Clue is still not a good substitute for the board game. Weekly leaderboards can add some competition, but it’s still nothing all that compelling by your lonesome.
Custom game rooms can be set up and you can play with others on other platforms. Honestly, while I feel very weird about saying this in my review of the Nintendo Switch version of the game: if you want to play this with a friend, get the mobile version. It’s a fraction of the cost and if you and a bunch of your friends buy it, you can play a polished version of Clue with everyone using their phone or tablet as their personal game board and clue sheet.
This version of Clue is a perfectly fine recreation of the board game in video game form; however, the lack of single-system multiplayer kills a lot of the utility of the Switch version. The mobile version offers a far better deal and is also way easier to get a bunch of friends together to play Clue digitally.