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The Time: The 1950's - The Location: London - Your Role: Matt Stuvysunt.

Matt is a very poor but ambitious thief, who finds the stresses of life are too much. To improve his standard of living, he decides to commit the ultimate robbery, to steal the Crown Jewels...

It is up to you to plot and plan the robbery, to interact with other characters and to use them for your advantage to achieve the most daring robbery of all time... Deceive the Police so that they help you unwittingly... Fall in love with Gangster Moles... But remember to keep your head as the pressure builds up...

Features include:
  • Over 20 buildings have been accurately reproduced which duplicate the actual invironment where the jewels are kept.
  • Over 40 period scenes from the second hand car dealers to bars etc., to give a realistic feel to the game.
  • Interact with over 60 characters, each of whom have different personalities - some of which have the ideal temperament to be in your gang!
  • Over 20 types of 1950s automobiles have bee reproduced - these can be bought and then souped up and re-sprayed.
  • 1950's style music and sound effects!
  • 90 page highly detailed manual.
  • Save as you play facility or highly sophisticated password system in CD-32 version.
~ from the back of the box

It may have released in 1994, and be based on a 1986 game called They $tole a Million, The Clue! nevertheless remains a rather unique game. Part adventure, part role-playing game, part strategy - one whole homage to heist movies. It's an interesting premise, but the age of the game's structure may put players with a more modern sensitbility off.

When you first boot it up, it feels like a pure adventure. You have a static image of the screen with instructions underneath it detailing what actions you can do. You'll soom realise that the image is only that; a graphical representation of the text description. The "Walk" command will give you a list of nearby locations though select "Taxi" if you want to travel to known locations further afield. Being their millionth customer, it's not like it will cost you anything. "Look" will give you a cold description of specific points or people in the scene while "Wait" will see the time fly past in the hope that shops will open, people will arrive or events will take place.

It's not easily signposted with what everything does and why. Even trying to "Think" will only bring up a list of stats that are quite confusing when you first boot it up - unless you're an avid manual reader that is. It's quite off-putting for the traditional adventure gamer.

A stay in the monastery (left) may grant you the means to buy a car from the dealership (right).

As you explore nearby areas, you'll come to understand that the game is more of a strategy. Think Floor 13 or Rockstar Ate my Hamster and you're close. Some people can be spoken to, but most will only have the same few questions open to them. These are:
"Well, maybe I've got a job for you there..."
You can invite said person to join your next sting. They will offer you their price which will shift depending on how many you intend to bring along. You can accept or decline their offer.

"What's your job?"
They will state their profession, whether it be car dealer, taxi driver, police inspector or housewife.

"Have you ever had trouble with the police?"
Surprisingly, everyone will give an honest answer. It will be a factor in how police behave should they appear during your raid.

"Got any experience yet?"
Will reveal how competent they'll likely be when under the pressure of doing crime.
Okay, so you've found your accomplace who will be your getaway driver. Thankfully, you've been given a car by an old friend of your mothers for the express purpose of stealing stuff (or if you declined his offer, you have to find a different way). Now you have to choose a building to burgle - let's say the Old People's Home. Time to scope it out.

With a clock ever-ticking forward, the police will always doing the rounds. You'll have to hang around and "Investigate" to see when the best time to strike would be. After that, scoping the building itself is a must. Enter and look around at every object to see where the valuables are. This will help you plan your heist with efficiency.

Scoping the ground will tell you where the best loot is (left),
while planning the heist will decide whether you can successfully take it (right).

Planning is done in your hotel room. Rooms do costs money, but you might be able to blag yourself into a freebe, just like you did with the taxi driver. Here you'll select your getaway car, your accomplice or accomplices, and plan your approach to the finest detail. This is done by way of a separate map. You can take direct control of all characters and move them to the desired spot and act out their desired action. If you have the right tools (which also cost money from the Tool Shop), you can jimmy open doors, disable security devices or even set explosives. Every action costs time, so the less time used, the more chance you'll have of making a clean getaway.

Afterwards, the police will investigate and be out on the lookout. Some can be bribed, some can't but get a perfect score and they won't suspect you at all. It's actually quite fun as a concept, but the presentation is archaic and fiddly. People show up at specific times and places and in most cases is randomised for each playthrough. It's particularly annoying have to wait around for a specific person to talk to just so you can uncover a location to visit.

As a straight-up point-and-click adventure, The Clue! is underwhelming. As a decision-based business strategy, it has oodles of originality pouring out of every pixel. If you treat those adventure-style moments as a prep phase and a way to witness post-pilfer consequences and you won't be disappointed.

To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 to bring the game to modern systems. Manual included. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 97.8 Mb.  Install Size: 123 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


The Clue! is © NEO Software Produktions GmbH
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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