Inside the box is everything you need to play: Plastic character tokens (including the new character Dr Orchid), the game board, press-out furniture tokens, special dice, stands and clue ticksheets. The character tokens are excellent little 3D models, which really bring their personalities to life.
Clues are stickers which are hidden during play until you turn over characters and furniture pieces. It takes 10 minutes for initial set up, but afterwards it's incredibly swift.Not even enough time to make a cup of tea.
The ticksheets for clues are really clear and easy to use, including for children who aren't yet independent readers. Picture clues on the sheets match those found underneath furniture, and clues to the cake thief themselves are found by questioning - turning over - the suspects.
The game board is a really handy, compact size. The box itself is also small, and great if you want to take it on holiday or visiting. There is still plenty of space to seat players around the board, but the size is ideal for children, and no-one is reaching a long way to move playing pieces. The rooms are nicely illustrated and as a manor house it is believable - unless you think about it too long...
The Case Of The Missing Cake is an easy one to crack by looking at clues hidden under furniture or catching up with suspects on the board. The trickiest part for my almost 7 year old to grasp was that after throwing the special dice, you don't have your own token, you can move any of the characters in order to question (look underneath) them or examine furniture in the different rooms.
My youngest son especially enjoyed playing Cluedo Junior. It suited him really well, and both the 7 and 8 year olds were able to keep track of what they had found out without help. More experienced players do get a slight advantage, but in the end it is the luck of the dice, and random chance which can win it for anyone... Or, as my 8 year old realised, looking at your neighbours ticksheets...
Cluedo Junior is made by Hasbro and we've had a lot of fun playing. A classic which has been made simpler and more accessible to a wider age band, I think the 5+ suggestion is right because for younger children the frustration or lack of reward may be off-putting. This is a great family game for multi-generational play and quality time together, or for younger family members to play alone.
Cluedo Junior is available at all good toy shops instore and online rrp £16.99, including Smyths, where it is currently on offer at £13.99. If you are a family who enjoys games night, it's a bargain.