Title: Clue: The Grinch
Published By: The Op
Player Count: 2-6
Time to Play: 60 Minutes
Whether you are looking for games to play with you kids or your grandparents, Clue: The Grinch makes the perfect tabletop game for families this holiday season. In this delightfully rethemed version of Clue, the Who's of Whoville work to figure out How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
What's purr-ty cool:
Nostalgia: Clue is one of those classic games I still love. I think it is because unlike a lot of classic games, Clue actually has meaningful decisions for players to make. I believe the whole line of social deduction games that now exist were at least some part inspired by this beloved classic. The nostalgia I feel when playing a game of clue is great. It brings you back to the joy of being a kid and spending your afternoons figuring out "who dun it". I love how the OP keeps making variants for Clue and this one is definitely one of my favorites. Combine an oldie but goody with one of the best classic Christmas movies and it makes for a super cute game.
Great for the Holidays: Despite the very large selection of games that exist these days, there are still surprisingly few good Christmas games. I think I can count all the ones I know of on less than two hands. I love that Clue got a Christmas edition. The fact that many people, even those who do not heavily play games, are familiar with Clue, makes this a great option for family gatherings during the holiday season. Playing with up to 6 people means that you can keep a bunch of your family engaged at once. For those familiar with the standard version of Clue, learning to play this version will only take a few moments, so you can spend more time making memories with your family and less time reading a rulebook.
Theme: I really love all the references to the story that are included in the game. The board is straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, and the items that are stolen even contain your own can of Who Hash and a Roast Beast. I enjoy the fact that they kept the pieces metal in this version. I also like the new twist with the "You've been Grinched" cards. For these cards if a player roles a "?", lands on a "?" space, or gets called into a new room by another player, they can draw a mystery card. Most of these cards have benefits that the player can use. Some are immediate and others can be used when the player chooses. However this deck also contains 8 Grinch cards. The first 7 do nothing when you draw them, though they do not offer a bonus as the other cards do, however if the 8th Grinch card is drawn the game immediately ends and the Grinch steals Christmas and everyone loses.
I like the push your luck element that these cards add. In the beginning of the game it is relatively safe to try and take the bonus card and hope for the best, but as the game goes on you have to think about if you want to risk the game ending before you figure out the information. If you are behind and in need of more information it might be worth it to risk it, especially if you think you might lose anyway. It is not exactly a catch-up mechanic but you can take everyone else down with you if you choose to.
This version also adds player powers. Each character has a one time use card that allows them to do something unique during the game. They are easy to understand and a great way to start teaching people about asymmetry in games.
The cat's meow:
"Clue: The Grinch makes a nice game to put under your tree! I also look good under trees, no?" - Elmo
This review is written in memory of Leyla the Pudgy Cat who passed away on 11.13.22. This is the first review I have written prior to her passing and it is strange to not have her be able to be featured with new games anymore. She always loved the boxes messing up all my photos. Thank you to the board game world for letting me share her with all of you.
Elmo may not be Leyla, but he tried his best to step in as the honorary pudgy cat for this game. I like to think Leyla is proud of him for actually looking at the camera.
Disclosure: Pudgy Cat Games was provided a copy of this game in exchange for a review, however, this review reflects the honest thoughts of the author.