According to a recent press release, Hasbro is taking board gaming to the next level with the upcoming release of CLUE: Secrets & Spies Edition. Setting aside their ropes, knives, and candlesticks, the iconic characters from Hasbro’s classic board game will embark on a “globetrotting adventure to foil the plans of the Criminal League for Ultimate Espionage (C.L.U.E.)” starting this fall.
Unlike the classic game of Clue, the goal of CLUE: Secrets & Spies is to infiltrate C.L.U.E. and intercept Agent Black before he discovers your true identity. Players work to complete as many missions as possible with the help of in-game clues using an ultraviolet secret decoder and optional tips sent via cell phone text messages. Jill Hambley, the Global Marketing Vice President of the CLUE brand, notes that Secrets and Spies “takes text messaging from mere novelty to world saving technology. By using their own cell phones, players will turn their every-day phone into a top-secret spy device that is certain to add excitement and suspense to game play.” Hasbro has committed to maintaining text messaging support through December 31, 2011.
Using text messaging to send independent missions and missions to players has the potential to detract from the communal experience of playing a board game. However, it also allows for increased immersion in the gameplay experience. I still have vivid memories of playing the Star Trek the Next Generation Interactive Video Board Game with family and friends, happily shouting responses to a VHS tape. And with the growing ubiquity of cell phone use in families along with decreasing data plan pricing, the time may be right for a board game that text back at you.
Thanks to Steve Peters for the tip