When I was a kid, our go-to family board game was Clue. I loved traveling the board using the secret passages. I loved using the slow process of deduction to narrow down the suspects until I could finally make the accusation to solve the murder mystery.
Now that I have a family of my own, I couldn’t wait to introduce Clue to my kiddo. Unfortunately, when I did introduce it, I think my daughter was still too young to really appreciate the game. Bummer. But shortly after my attempt to play Clue with the family, my mother gifted us with the perfect intermediary game that lives in the same whodunit world as Clue, but has much faster game play and challenges that working memory more directly. That game is LineUp. I love a good game that challenges working memory, it is perfect for kids who have working memory weaknesses resulting from learning disabilities.
How To Play
For 2-6 players, ages 8 and up!
The object of LineUp is to be the first player to correctly identify and collect the “Suspect Cards” of 4 guilty suspects from 4 different crime scenes. The guilty suspects are identified in police lineups at the police station.
To Set Up
Players choose a color pawn and place all LineUp Count Chips in the “4” space located in the police station at the center of the game board.
Throughout the game the LineUp count chips determines how many suspect will be in your lineup. The game always begins with 4 suspects, hence the placement of 4 initial Count Chips on the board. The lineup count will change through game play, but will never go below 3 or above 10.
To Begin Game Play
The youngest player starts and moves around the remaining players clockwise.
- The first player rolls the die and moves their pawn across the board in any chosen direction towards a crime scene to view the first suspect.
- Once a crime scene is reached (there are 6 crime scenes total on the board), the player craws the top card from the crime scene’s Suspect card deck to see who committed the crime. The player has 5 seconds to study the details of the suspect’s face. Then the Suspect card is placed face down in front of the active player. This concludes the active player’s turn and the player may not look at that face-down suspect card again.
- On that player’s next turn, they may choose to roll the die and head to the police station or, alternatively, they can head to another crime scene on the board (repeating step 2). But if the player chooses the latter, then they will have to identify multiple suspects once they do choose to go to the police station. That player’s working memory had better be photographic because identifying multiple suspects is really difficult.
- Once the player chooses to go to the police station, the player can try to identify the guilty suspects in the police lineup. To do so, another player will take the active player’s face-down suspect card and place it secretly in the card start labeled “Guilty.” This player (the non-active player) will then draw additional suspects from the same suspect deck and place them in card stands labeled “Innocent.” The total number of cards in the suspect lineup should equal the amount of Count Chips shown at the police station. As mentioned in the Set Up, the first suspect lineup will always have 4 total suspects.
- The non-active player prepares the lineup behind the Security Shield, placed in random order with the faces of the suspects facing the active player. The non-active player then lifts the Security Shield and the identification begins!
- The active player reviews the Lineup and selects one suspect as the one they think they remember as the guilty party viewed at the crime scene.
- If the active player is correct and the suspect is the card labeled “guilty,” the player takes the suspect card and places it face up in front of them. The player then adds another Lineup Count Chip to their chip count at the police station. The next time the player will identify the guilty suspect in the card lineup, there will be one more Suspect Card added to the lineup, making it slightly more difficult to choose the correct card.
- If the active player is wrong and identifies a card labeled “innocent” as their guilty suspect, all the suspects are released back to the bottom of the Suspect Deck. The player removes a Lineup Count Chip from their lineup count at the police station signifying that the player will have one less suspect in their next lineup.
- If a player, on their turn lands on a Lucky Break Space. Draw a card and read it silently, these cards can help the player identify a suspect or help the player block another player’s moves. the card can be used hen drawn or saved for later. But once played, the Lucky Break card is returned to the bottom of the lucky Break deck.
The first player to collect 4 correctly identified suspect cards wins!