A few weeks ago I was reading some discussions on a Clue fan website when someone posted a video from ABC's Good Morning America. It was a short feature on how in today's economy, boardgames seem to be making a comeback.

Clue: Secrets & Spies (Source: BusinessWire.com)

During the piece, a rep from Hasbro was featured, showcasing some newer takes on games they would be offering. One of those was a new version of Clue called Clue: Secrets & Spies.

Can you see the new gameboard in the lower-left corner? (Source: ABC & TheArtOfMurder.com)

Per a press release, this is the first boardgame to include live text messaging. An excerpt:

In Clue: Secrets & Spies Edition, each player takes on the role of a top international spy tasked with infiltrating the Criminal League for Ultimate Espionage to stop its evil scheme for world domination by intercepting the nefarious Agent Black. True identities of Agent Mustard, Agent Scarlet and crew are kept secret as players work independently to complete missions by using clues from the game and real-time tips sent via optional cell phone text messages. The agent who completes the most missions before being discovered by Agent Black will be known as the world’s number one spy and will win the game.

Per the video, blacklight-powered clues are involved (Source: ABC & TheArtOfMurder.com)

I'm not sure what to say here. More than anything, this would seem to be an extension of the Clue brand that probably has the least to do with the original game. Hasbro seems to just be using the familiar characters as their default "mystery/dectective" brand in the hopes of selling something "new". Those who played 1991's Clue: The Great Museum Caper can relate, as this was originally a game called The Great Museum Caper, but rebranded with the Clue cast when Parker Brothers got their hands on it.

From the video clip, you can see just a little bit of the gameboard, which looks nothing like a standard Clue setup. International travel has entered into the mix… which is something the Clue Card Game experimented with.

Also, the mobile phone thing… interesting idea to bring in something "modern", but what happens when Hasbro pulls the plug on support for this. It would appear that the phone is an option, which is good. I just remember years ago playing the Clue E-mail Game that Hasbro Interactive released. It was quite fun, but relied on a central server to make it all work. When they pulled the plug on the server, the game was useless. Per an Associated Press article, "Hasbro said it is committed to maintaining text messaging support through December 31, 2011."

I'm going to take a wait-and-see approach on this game. It's due to hit in Fall 2009.

Previous Clue-related posts: