Thinking about playing the Cluedupp Detective Day with friends? Before you start this murder mystery game, make sure to read my insider tips!
I got just back from a day running around in Fisherman’s Wharf here in San Francisco playing a real life Clue game called Cluedupp with friends. 2 and halfish hours later, we solved the crime, walked close to 3 miles, got sunburns and finally sat down for margaritas to celebrate our success of putting the murderer behind bars.
20 witnesses, 16 suspects, 5 murder weapons…
>> Got a question about Detective Day you need answered fast? DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul and I’ll be happy to help!
I found out about this June game on Facebook Events and went with a few of my old co-workers and Robin. It was just $40 per team, so split between a few people, it was a very cheap way to hang out with good friends. (Minus the fact it was in Fisherman’s Wharf, my least favorite neighborhood in San Francisco, but that’s beside the point.)
Most of us are crime nerds and love True Crime podcasts and reading mystery novels. One of my friends is even a published murder mystery author, so we figured we’d have this game in the bag. Well, not so much.
Cluedupp Detective Day: 6 Essential Things To Know Before Playing
There are a lot of quirks to Cluedupp that I wanted to share with you. Keep on reading for all the tricks we learned that can help you win the game!
1. Download App At Home
How this game works is you are basically buying a voucher code to use during your city game. Everyone on your team can use the app to make an account and play along, so it’s key to download the app before you leave (so you can download it on wifi instead of data!) They don’t make that very clear in the intro emails.
Also, be prepared to download a LOT of game assets when you start and some video. Once you launch a new game, you have to download 240+ assets which I’m sure sucked my data. Would be great if they could figure out how to minimize that data suck in the future.
They do tell you in the app that you should be connected to wifi, but you also have to start the game in the middle of a city park so I’m not sure how they are expecting users to suddenly have strong enough wifi to download everything? Seems like a lazy cop-out to me
2. You DON’T have to return to a witness to ask a question or use informant
We made the mistake of doubling back a lot to ask old witnesses questions or use an informant card. Turns out, this wasn’t necessary at all! Once you have visited a witness location, you can ask them questions, use a hint, or use an informant without actually being at the location.
We kept backtracking to ask this one witness information, and then we use an informant (which is a 5 minute time penalty, by the way.) Wasn’t until we grabbed lunched and sat down to review case notes that we realized this hack!
REALLY wish I knew about this, I think we could have shaved 30 minutes off our time.
3. Witness Statements Are Facts (They Don’t Lie)
Maybe it’s because we had a murder writer in our midsts, but we all thought WAY too hard about all the witness statements. A lot of “well, that’s suspicious, maybe she’s lying and really doing xyz” or “It could have been this person AND this person working together, they just don’t want to tell the cops…”.
Turns out, if a witness tells you something, you can pretty much guarantee it’s fact to help you solve the case. Like, if a woman names Jane Joe tells you that she saw John Doe passed out in bar at the time of the crime, that really happened and you can eliminate both of them.
Or, we figured out the murder weapon because it was the weapon that was never mentioned, like at all, by any of the witnesses. We kept thinking things like “ooh, well that person could be lying about the syringe just having water in it…” but nope.
If we knew this, I’m pretty dang sure we could have won the game because we spent a LOT of time trying too hard. It’s a simple game.
4. Bring A Backup Phone Charger
As I mentioned, you’ll need your phone to play this game. It’s most important that the team leader brings a charger as they’ll be using their phone to log witnesses, accuse murders, etc. But everyone should bring a backup charger. I love this portable one, by the way!
5. Some of the Trivia Answers Will Be Wrong
So, when you get to a witness, you have to answer a trivia question before you can see their statement. Sometimes it’s basic things you can google, some are word problems and some are math problems.
Well, I’m not sure who logged the math questions, but at least two were 100% incorrect in our game. For instance, one questions was something like “find out what year this building was made and add up all the odd numbers” Many plaques on the building said “1873” but NONE of the provided answers in the game added up to 11.
We ended up guessing 12 because it was the closest but were slapped with a 15-minute penalty because obviously, it was the wrong answer. This happened a few times in the game and we found it extremely frustrating. Just a heads up, if you are very confused with the trivia answers, part or all of it may be wrong!
6. Overall, don’t think so hard
Again, at the end of the day, don’t try so hard and you’ll probably win. Of all murder solving games I’ve played, this one ended up being the most simple in terms of story. There are some problems with the trivia questions, and we found the app the be glitchy and slow.
That being said, we still had a lot of fun and I want them to come back for a Cluedupp Detective Say San Francisco Round 2 so I can win this time!
My Detective Game Story
I’m not sure if every city location story changes or what, but our murder took place in Millingham. It went like this:
Millingham is a sprawling industrial town. It is home to thousands of factory workers and its commercial power has attracted migrants from every corner of the world. But where there are people and money, there is crime, and Millingham Is no different.
One of the most vicious of the local gangs is theScarlet Street Cutters. The Cutters are involved in all manner of crime: robbery, smuggling, counterfeiting and gun-running to name a few. For eight years, they have been led by the charismatic but ruthless Timmy Selby.
One morning, a passing delivery boy finds Selby lying dead in the shadows of a towering viaduct. Special Branch detectives establish that the cause of death was poisoning, but the coroner cannot be specific. After a fingertip search of the surrounding area, five possible sources of the fatal agent are found:
- A canister of WW1 chlorine gas
- A bottle of rat poison
- A vial of cyanide
- A jar of deadly nightshade
- A medical syringe
Millingham Special brand needs assistance to solve this mystery and you have been seconded from the Murder Squad to help!
Who is the murder or murders? I won’t say. Spoilers!
So, that’s what I spent my Saturday this past weekend doing. Running around solving cases and bad trivia questions, and I would do it all again. I’ll be keeping an eye out for cities we travel to in the future to see if the game is being played there, would be a fun thing to do one afternoon.
If you have any comments to add about Detective Day or any other Cluedupp tips to add, leave a comment below! Got questions? Comment or send me a DM on Instagram @thewhimsysoul!
I just did this in Ottawa, Canada, today.
It was the exact same storyline and structure. It was fun at first. Walking around to talk to the witnesses turned out to be a fun few hours out.
However, like you, my team found that the witness statements were only somewhat useful, since two friends giving each other alibis are not necessarily reliable. We definitely overthought this and there was no evidence other than the word of known criminals.
One of the locations was not accessible due to construction and we had no choice but to take a 15 minute time penalty to read the statement without getting to the witness.
And in the end, all the extra interview questions, informants, and hints, were completely useless. Mostly the witnesses just answered in one-liners with no real information.
So, while the concept is brilliant and the game has a lot of potential, the content of the game is really lacking for such a large-scale operation.
My advice: do a walking tour instead.
Oh, bummer you had construction on a site! You would think that would be noticed and fixed (same with the simple math problems that I encountered on my game!)
Yeah, I can echo the above. The Sydney one that’s happening today. Some of the triva questions were clumsy and had multiple answers that could work. The witness statements all being truthful is unrealistic and the extra questions being useless is a real time waster and frustrating.
A shame they didn’t improve it since the Canadian one.
Ugg, that’s disappointing to hear! I’ll be actually playing again this upcoming summer (June 2020) when they come back to California so finger crossed it gets an update by then.
Going to play this in a week but was taken back by your #5. I got 11. 1873…odd numbers are 1+7+3=11. Thanks for the “don’t overthink it” tip. I’m sure it will help.
11…1 + 1 = 2 ?
I thought the same thing!
How about 1 + 73 = 74?
Hi.. I belive 1873 translates to 1+7+3 which is 11 and further translates to 2.
So 2 could be the answer.
I just went on the game this last weekend in Buenos Aires. No problem with the trivia questions, but found it disappointing that the witness questions and hints were mostly unhelpful ??
Also I would suggest having some actors play the role of a couple of suspects/witnesses. I think it would make it a lot more fun ?
Oh I agree!! That would be so cool to have actors dressed up and around the game. Though I could see it being hard for all the groups to be able to ask them questions, etc in a timely matter so I see why they don’t do it.
Is the game in Buenos Aires in English or in Spanish?
I’m playing next month in Tampa. So excited! Our team will be dressing up in 1920’s fashion with hope to win the best dressed contest! Thanks for the tips!
Oh fun!! Let me know if you guys win it!!
Playing this weekend in Charleston! I think it will be a fun day with friends and just something different!
Yes!! You’ll have so much fun!! Let me know how your game goes 🙂
We are playing in Tampa on Saturday too! Go team Jelly Bean!!!
Thank you for all the tips! We’re playing in August in Salem, Oregon.
I know the team is six people, but my now my husband wants to go…how strict are they about a 7th tag along? I’d buy another ticket, but that is a separate team!
there’s no way they would know, it’s very self guided!
I’m playing in Pittsburgh in a week. Bough a team ticket (PayPal confirmed) but have received no info about how to access the game for day of. Tips or help? I’ve messaged clued up twice with no response.
Me and the sisters are playing in Kuala Lumpur next week. This is our first time to join clued up and i dont have any idea if this is also the first time this game held in malaysia. Been googling for more tips and cheats ? and hope to know more about this game before we get started ?
Was 13 an answer to your math problem? Because the south end rowing was established in 1873, but it was moved to the Aquatic park by barge decades later and portions of the remaining bathhouse we constructed in 1938. 1+9+3 would be 13.
Am I missing something…..1+8+7+3=19
As noted, the instructions were to add up all the odd numbers. 8 is an even number. 🙂 1 + 7 + 3 = 11
Could the answer be 3? As one thousand is even, eight hundred is even, and seventy is even as well. So, 3 would be the only odd number. 🙂
PS: We are playing in DC in April. I am excited!
It says to add the ODD numbers so 8 should not be included.
I’m playing with some friends this weekend, but not sure how to download everything in advance without officially starting the game
Simply do a walking tour of the area- no witnesses (live people) or crime scenes to look at. Fun with friends, we had a good time but kind of a ripoff. No real value to your money. I’ll stick with escape rooms.
Nice post. Thanks for sharing with us and please keep posting.
One is planned for June 5th in Saskatoon was wondering if it would be worth it
Playing Jack The Ripper in Barrie Ontario Canada 17th June. Thanks for the tips. Hope we have have fun and not overthink things.
Just signed up for one in OCtober,,, any more tips and advice from anyone will make this fun.
Thanks for all of your tips…
So, it’s not a race then? Or is there a timer in the app and whoever finished fastest (No matter what time of day they start) wins?
Is every city getting the same murder? (In Edmonton,Ab)
What are the prizes for the different categories?
I thought the witnesses always told the truth? How do you know who’s a witness playing the game?
Any info is appreciated!
All the odd numbers in 1873.
1 + 7 + 3 + 73 = 84
What about 😏
If you’re doing it that way, technically 187, 87, 873, and 1873 are all odd number as well.
Came here to say this… 😆
Did this in Brisbane Australia yesterday. Wasted a lot of time trying to work out how to play. Instructions are not very instructive. Also gps was glitchy to we didn’t get a few statements. Walking around to get the statements is not interactive. Just us all looking down at our phones and not the surroundings. Don’t think we’ll do it again.
Did one in Sweden this weekend and it wasn’t super fun sadly. Agree that the questions are kinda wasteful and the informants not helpful either, we kinda just had to guess the murder weapon. Would have been fun if they had included some photos or images of stuff like crime scenes that made it more interactive. Good idea but not great execution.
Im trying to see if I solved the mystery but I dont know how? I just played on Saturday, June 10, 2021. You tips are spot on. Family had a great time and walked around a place that we discovered great new places to eat.
We are doing this next June 2022 in MD. Any other tips for first-timers would be welcomed. Any other teams doing the one in MD in June?
I am planning to join this event with a few families this April in Osaka, Japan. Thanks for your tips. I hope there’s more to it than just walking around and looking at your phone.
Am I understanding this correctly, we pay for a crime scene investigative experience with “hundreds of other families and friends” but in reality there isn’t anyone from cluedupp truly putting on an event? It’s really us participating via an app?
that is correct
Do you need a smartphone to participate? I know in the beginning of this blog it said to download the app ahead of time but do you need connectivity all throughout the game? My fiancé and I would like to participate but we don’t have smartphones, just an iPad mini so I can download the app ahead of time but I wouldn’t have any sort of connectivity while running around town…?
This feels like something you should ask the company, not me. I have no idea I’m sorry
New information & areas “pop up” as you uncover other things so you’d need internet for that and to see your location in relationship to virtual areas during the game. If you have a cell phone with shareable internet ( hotspot capability) or a jetpack for hotspot internet you could use the mini…but you definitely need internet to use the gps in the game.
I like your article, it helps me understand more things I don’t know.
your post is so good