These computer conversions of board games have been around for ages now, though we still can't really see the point. If you've got loads of friends wouldn't the original incarnation be more fun? And if you haven't, why not play something originally designed for one player?
Anyway, Cluedo, Scrabble and Monopoly are normally £9.99 apiece, but now you can get the complete set for the price of two. Barg or what? But hold on! Scrabble used to be included in the freebie set of games that came with the Speccy, so a lot of you will have got it already. That rather ruins the party! Still, here's a backward glance at the relative merits of each game.
Monopoly undoubtedly ranks as a classic. It's still the world's biggest selling board game and probably the greatest cause of domestic violence this side of Trivial Pursuit. As a computer simulation it's a case of spot the difference as amateur tycoons drift in and out of jail amidst the clamour to buy up London streets. There's the added pleasure of the one-player game which enables you to carry on buying up everything in sight long after everyone else has had enough, but its a shame you don't get the feel of that huge wad in your hands and the verbal abuse that should accompany even the smallest rent transaction. A faithful reproduction it maybe, but nothing quite beats squatting on the living room floor and throwing hotels at your granny.
Cluedo is another Waddingtons original and brought to the small screen more or less intact, with you playing a detective amid the confusion of an apparently motiveless murder. So who did the dastardly deed? The answer should become apparent as you move from room to room pointing the finger of accusation at the likes of the rather voluptuous Miss Scarlet. Graphically it's good, and in fact the pace of play is, if anything faster than the original which may help its appeal to those of you who aren't already keen Cluedo fans.
The game which has everyone secretly reaching for their dictionaries in search of the most ridiculous adjectives possible, Scrabble retains its almost total lack of visual appeal in the computer version. There's a choice of a one to four player games, though the latter seems a bit pointless as your letter rack is displayed on the screen in full view of your opponents. No problem when you take on the computer alone (of course), though it gets a bit frustrating when your go seems to take at least 20 times longer than your rather-too-clever electronic adversary.
All in all some competent replicas of very popular games, though there's not much new on offer save the option of playing alone.
Not good value, but if you like computer versions of board games, and you haven't got one or two of these already, it could be worth a look.