The original Clue pokie machine by Williams Interactive has been a favourite of Las Vegas casino players for a couple of years now, appearing countless times in “big win” Youtube videos and trip reports.
Williams often keeps their games as casino floor exclusives for a while such as their hugely popular Wizard of Oz – Ruby Slippers game, which achieved an almost unprecedented level of hype and anticipation prior to its disappointing online release. It’s possible that Williams learnt something from that experience and decided to create a slightly different online specific game this time around.
About The Developer
Williams Interactive is the gaming-specific division of parent company WMS Industries, a company with one of the longest heritages in gaming. The company dates back to 1943 when Harry Williams founded the company to create pinball tables and games of chance for amusement arcades.
The company has expanded steadily over the years, achieving considerable success in a wide range of markets such as video games and social gaming. Today they are perhaps most well known for their Monopoly and Wizard of Oz series of video pokies, and of course smash hit videogames such as the Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam franchises.
How To Play
The Cluedo user interface features just two buttons, one to spin the reels and a second to open the games menu which hides all of the remaining buttons and settings. The menu has four subsections; the first sets your bet size, which is a simple case of choosing an overall stake as the forty paylines are not user-selectable.
The second icon opens the autoplay configuration window, which allows you to choose a stop-loss and stop-win limit as well as selecting the number of spins you wish to play. The third control opens the game’s paytable, which is unfortunately crammed into a tiny window making it difficult to absorb the information displayed.
The fourth and final button opens a further submenu with a single option for muting the games sound. I don’t understand why Scientific Games always choose to place this option inside a second level menu when a simple toggle control would work just as well, but it’s more of a personal annoyance than a major problem.
You can tell this is going to be a unique pokie from the moment you first load it up thanks to the rotating stack of rooms which are displayed to the left of the main reels. To actually enter one of the rooms you need to land its relevant symbol during the base game, for example hitting the knife symbol begins the Kitchen bonus feature.
You only get a single spin in each of the rooms, but each one does have a progressive jackpot attached to it which is much larger than the maximum win possible from the base game. The room features work in much the same way as those offered by the original Clue pokie machine, but the graphics are far inferior and all of the symbols and animations look very badly drawn.
The mansion symbol acts as a scatter but appears only on reels one, three and five. Hitting all three scatters takes you to the conservatory where you are awarded seven free spins. From here you can progress through the various other rooms collecting envelopes which contain clues as to the details of the murder, just like in the Clue(do) board game.
I suspect there will be an option to solve the mystery at some point for a bonus prize, but I didn’t see this myself while playing the game. I might be wrong as I couldn’t find anything about this in the rules of the game, but it would be fairly pointless to have the clues in there if such a feature were not included.
The original Clue pokie machine was a high variance monster capable of paying out thousands of times your stake, so I was hoping Spinning Detectives would have similarly huge payout potential. Sadly, it seems the top payouts have been lowered significantly for this game and even the top jackpot symbol only pays 250x your total stake for a five-of-a-kind.
That wouldn’t be so bad, but as with most Williams games, the wild does not act as a substitute for the jackpot symbol.
The progressive jackpots do add some excitement, but they seem to be limited to a few thousand on this pokie rather than the millions which some progressive games offer. On the plus side, that means these jackpots will be won quite regularly, but I suspect most players of progressive games would have preferred much bigger jackpot payouts.
This felt like a horribly butchered version of an all-time classic to me, and I’m honestly surprised that Williams would go to all the effort of creating this pokie when they already had a much better game that could have been ported directly.
This isn’t a terrible game when judged on its own merits, but players such as myself who have already seen the cabinet-based Clue machine are sure to be massively disappointed with this release.