Clue: The Legend of Zelda board game review

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

Clue: The Legend of Zelda is a fun combination of two things we love.

Clue is one of the most popular board games in the world.

So it’s not surprising there are a ton of differently-themed version of Clue in the world today.

Normally we’d stay clear of various themed versions of popular board games. However, there are a few instances where we make exceptions. And this is one of those times!

Why?

First of all, because our family loves playing Clue.

And second, because all the guys in our family are HUGE Legend of Zelda fans!

(Yes, that even includes dad.)

We know it may seem strange to talk video games on a board game site, but Zelda is one video game where dad makes an exception. And it’s really okay to talk about it now, because we’re talking about a Zelda board game.

Thanks to USAopoly, we’re ready to tell you all about our impressions of Clue: The Legend of Zelda!

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

Classic deduction game play with a Zelda twist.

 

How to play Clue: The Legend of Zelda

As you might expect, Clue: The Legend of Zelda plays like the original Clue with just a few differences.

Instead of trying to discover the killer, the murder weapon, and the location of the crime, players are trying to discover who the hero is that can defeat Ganobdorf, what magical weapon they’ll wield, and where Ganondorf has hidden his evil lair. Yep – that’s pretty much the same thing – but with a fancy Zelda theme.

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

Head to the land of Hyrule for some fun deduction.

The game is played just like standard Clue. Players roll dice and move around the board entering different locations. When they get to a location, they can make a guess of who, what, and where (the ‘where’ being the location they’re in). Starting with the player to their left, if they have a card matching something guessed, they must show it to the active player who made the guess. If they don’t have anything to show, it goes to the next player and so on.

Based on the guesses made and cards shown, players deduce who, what and where. When they think they have the solution, on their turn they move to the central location and make their final guess. If they’re correct, they win. If they’re wrong, they’re eliminated and play continues.

As you’d expect, the characters in the game are main characters from the Zelda franchise. In particular, they’re from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In addition to this, each character has a special power that they can use one time during the game. For example, Princess Zelda can make a guess (“rumor”) about a location different from where she is. Link’s special power is that he can move twice on a turn. And Impa’s special power is to make 2 guesses on a turn.

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

The character pieces are easy to identify.

The game board also boasts locations found in Ocarina of Time. But all 9 locations are still placed around the edge of the game board with indicators for their entrances. Unlike the original Clue game, all locations only have one entrance/exit. There’s also a central location that’s used as the final guessing place for the game.

The weapons in the board game are also major items Link finds and uses in the video game.

The major difference with this version of Clue lies with the Boss Encounter card deck.

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

Getting Boss cards give you special bonus actions in the game.

If a player rolls a question mark, stops on a board space with a question mark or is taken into a location by another player, they may draw the top Boss Encounter card. If they draw a Boss card, they have defeated it and can use the stated power. Some boss cards say “play immediately” and others can be used at any time. Players can play as many cards of their turn as they’d like. Once used, Boss cards are discarded.

There are 8 Ganondorf cards in the Boss Encounter deck. When a player draws one of these cards, they just set it to the side of the game board. The first 7 drawn are harmless. However, when the 8th Ganondorf card is drawn, that player is defeated and out of the game. They place all their cards face up and the 8th Ganondorf card is shuffled back in the remaining Boss Encounter deck (as it may be drawn again) and play continues.

The game ends when someone correctly guesses who the hero will be, what weapon they’ll use, and where Ganondorf’s lair is located.

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

It’s going to be Princess Zelda, with the Hookshot, in the Kokiri Forest.

 

Can the whole family enjoy Clue: The Legend of Zelda?

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

Having different versions of Clue isn’t a problem since we enjoy each for different reasons.

Clue: The Legend of Zelda is a great version of Clue to play with the whole family.

It has the same depth of deduction as the original game with the themed fun of Zelda. If you have any Zelda fans in your family, we’d recommend grabbing a copy of this version of Clue.

We can also confirm that it still appeals to even non-Zelda fans.

Perhaps the biggest Clue fan in our family is Brooke. When asked what game she wants to play, 9 times out of 10 she’ll call for Clue. She also hasn’t touched a Zelda game a single time in her life. So we think it’s pretty telling when she’s been the one to suggest playing Clue: The Legend of Zelda.

Maybe it’s the colorful board. Maybe it’s the special character powers. Maybe it’s the randomness of boss encounter cards. Who knows. But the mere fact that she pulls it out says it’s a fun game for all.

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

It’s fun to play even if you don’t have a big Zelda fan in your family. But it’ll be more fun for those who are fans.

 

Our Impressions

There’s no doubt we have a great time playing Clue: The Legend of Zelda. But we can also put our critical hats on to give an honest review of the game.

The first gripe I have with the game is the box size.

There’s absolutely no reason why the game box needs to be so long. The only reason we can imagine the game box is this size is because that’s the size of the original game. And if you’re going to have multiple copies of Clue, they can stack nicely on top of each other. But in all honesty, we think the box size is ridiculous.

Take a look inside the box and you’ll see what we mean. It’s pretty obvious as soon as you open it that almost half the box is dead space. Even the insert doesn’t go with the game. It looks like it’s an insert from a completely different game with lots of different (and empty) slots. The box size should really be limited to the size of the folded game board. Everything else fits easily underneath it.

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

The right 1/3rd of the box is dead space and the slots on the insert are also unnecessary and confusing.

The next gripe I have with the game is the low quality cards.

With thousands of different games played, we’ve played many games with lower quality cards. Unfortunately, the cards in Clue: The Legend of Zelda are among the lowest quality we’ve played with. They feel like a low grade card stock paper. We’ve also played a number of USAopoly games and know they can do much better (Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle for example). It’s too bad they cut corners on these cards.

One reason why we think this is such a big deal for this game is because it’s a deduction game. The low quality paper makes it even easier for the cards to become marked (bent, torn, etc.) which then gives away the identity of the card without having to look at the front of it. The solution is to quickly sleeve all the cards. But then they won’t fit into the sleeve that hides the 3 cards with the solution.

Definitely a miss.

Those two issues aside, there’s so much we really enjoy.

For starters, the weapon pieces completely rock!

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

The quality of the weapons are fantastic!

We don’t know what material they’re made of, but they’re solid quality pieces. Not only do they look just like the items in the video game, but they’re also weighted nicely and are a blast to play with. Maybe the cost-savings on the cards was bumped over to these metallic weapons items, because they’re awesome!

Another element we like are the special character powers.

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

We all like having special powers.

Since some powers seem more helpful than others, we like to randomly draw which character we’ll be for the game. Sure, we all might like playing as Link, but Nabooru’s power to look at a card shown to another player can get you much closer to the solution than rolling again. It’s also good that they’re each only able to be used once per game.

We also get a kick out of the secret passage locations on the board because they match exactly with secret passages in Ocarina of Time. Zora’s Domain and Lake Hylia connect to each other and Death Mountain and the Lost Woods connect to each other. A very nice tie-in.

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

The secret passage locations are a perfect tie-in.

Then there are the Boss Encounter cards.

Are they good or bad?

Clue The Legend of Zelda board game

The 8th Ganondorf card will hurt. But it’s up to you whether to draw them or not.

First of all, we aren’t typically fans of eliminating players during a game. In fact, that’s my pet peeve with Clue: Harry Potter where I always get eliminated by losing all my House Points before I even get a chance to make a final guess.

But in Clue: The Legend of Zelda, since you have a choice of drawing Boss Encounter cards or not, it’s not as big of a problem. Drawing from the deck when you roll a question mark, stop on a question mark space, or get pulled into another location is tempting because we like the added special powers we might game from getting a boss card. But as the risk of drawing an 8th Ganondorf card gets higher, we most likely skip drawing more of those cards.

And that’s what makes the Boss Encounter deck a fun element to the game. Yes card draws are randomized. But players get to make a choice based on their assessment of how risky it is whether to draw or not. So we vote in favor of this element being a good thing.

 

How does Clue: The Legend of Zelda score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Clue The Legend of Zelda board gameIf you haven’t guessed, Clue: The Legend of Zelda is a keeper for us. It’s going to be played a lot in our family.

Knowing that, we’re putting all the cards in card sleeves so they’ll last. And we’ll stack the long box on top of our 3 other Clue games (original, ClueFX, Clue: Harry Potter) where they’ll all fit nicely together.

Playing a Legend of Zelda video game is a solitaire experience. But with Clue: The Legend of Zelda, we can all get a bit of Zelda in our day together.

(I also have to admit, moving my character piece from location to location on the board tempts me to pull out Ocarina of Time and revisit the adventure.)




We’d like to thank USAopoly for a review copy of Clue: The Legend of Zelda.

 

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