Live Clue
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How to Play

This activity was used at our first lock in. Live Clue is a murder mystery program played like the Clue® board game, except the teens are the characters (suspects) and the library is the gameboard. The playing time was about an hour. The theme of the game can be adapted to your Summer Reading Program or other program theme.

The group was divided into teams, each with an adult sheriff (staff member). Each team is solving the crime independently, so there will be a different solution for each team, like several mystery games going on simultaneously. All the playing pieces for each team were color coded, so there was a Red team, Green team, etc.

Medieval was the theme for summer reading that year, so castle words were used for the names of the rooms, medieval weapons, and characters. The 6 rooms I used in the library were not public areas so there was the added thrill of seeing behind the scenes for the first time.

A vignette was set up in each room, with a weapon, an outline of a jester's body, and a jester hat. The jester had been practicing or entertaining when it happened, as every scene also included some article of his profession.... juggling balls, magic flowers, scarves, playing cards, coins, etc. A sign and other articles indicated what castle room they were in. There were gargoyles and swords and battleaxes in the battlements, a wooden bowl of bread and a candle on a tablecloth in the keep, and the moat had an alligator.

Each player received a small folder with the story on the front, an envelope to keep his clues in, the playing card inside, a name tag with a character's name, and a pencil. The story is read aloud to the whole group to introduce the game.

The sheriff has 18 clue cards, one for each character, weapon and room. The sheriff chooses one character card, one weapon card and one room card and hides them in a pocket... that is the solution for his team. The remaining cards are passed out to the teens. They mark the clues off their lists that they have and the game is to deduce which of the remaining clues are the solution by asking questions of the other suspects (teammates).
In theory, the players are supposed to keep their suspicions secret and hide their own clues from the other players until they are asked a question, but there was some collaberation!

To keep confusion down to a minimum, each team started off in a different room and followed the order on the playing card for the consecutive rooms. The sheriff kept track of whose turn it was to go first in each room. The players' turns followed the order of characters on the playing card.

The player would ask his question the the next character on the list.... "I think the Scullery Maid did it with the Battle Ax in the Dungeon". If the next player can show one of those cards to him, then he can mark that clue off his list and it is the next person's turn. If not, he asks the same question of the next player and the next, until someone can show him a clue. Each player gets one turn in each room. The team then moves on to the next room.

When a player thinks he has the solution, he officially announces to the Sheriff he is giving a solution and makes his best guess. If anyone can show him a card that proves him wrong, his turns are over but he must remain with the group to be asked questions. If his solution is correct, he wins for that team.

Our prizes were small, so I gave one to the winner of each team and also one to the guilty character of each team!

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© 2012, 2002. RoseMary Honnold.