U.S. Bank Customer Clues - Circa 2008
Front Cover
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Who? Where? Which product? More questions than answers...

This uncopyrighted and assumedly unlicensed version of US Bank's takeoff of Clue is abound with the disclaimer: For U.S. Bancorp use only. This is not approved for distribution to the public and must not be copied, shown to, or used with the public, orally or in writing.


It's a shame, actually, that this game wasn't made available to the public. The details are great and it really does a good job conveying the whole Clue feel while transitioning itself into a functional learning tool for U.S. Bank Employees.
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The CUSTOMERS: Balancing Act - Miss Scarlet Economizer, Golden Years - Mr. & Mrs. Don Working, Upscale Investors - Mr. & Mrs. Wirth Millions, Mr. & Mrs. Greenbucks, Branch Manager - US Bank Branch Manager, Kids First - Professor & Mrs. Plumbusy

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The PRODUCTS: Internet Bill Pay, Credit Card, Business Services, Deposits, Loans, U.S. Bankcorp Investments, Inc. & U.S. Bankcorp Insurance Services LLC (USBII)

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The ROOMS: Mortgage Loan Office, Branch Manager's Office, Loan Office, New Account Desk, Internet Banking at usbank.com, Teller Line, USBII Office, 24-Hr. Banking & Financial Sales Room, Business Banking Office, Drive-Thru & ATM

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Playing Pieces
Instruction Book & Mystery Product Card Answer Guide
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Solution Envelope
Reverse Cover
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The point of Customer Clues is to, "solve the mystery of profiling customers and learn new and exciting U.S. Bank product and sales tips!" The game cleverly lists on its cover the number of players as: 2,340 U.S. Bank Branches and Five 24-Hour Banking and Financial Sales Sites. Ages: Fun for All Ages.

Well, while the game might not be fun for all ages, it certainly is a fun game to have for a Clue enthusiast. The game plays like standard Clue with characters roaming the board in search of what customer to offer what product where in the bank's ten - yes, TEN - locations. As an added learning twist, the bank manager (who for some reason can be a customer as well) plays host of the game. As the player travels the board, he will undoubtedly land on numerous "Five Star Service" symbols at which point he must answer a question posed by the host of the game about various aspects of the bank's service. Such catagories include General Bank Questions, Customer Senarios, Deposits, Credit Insurance, etc. There are WAY TOO MANY of these symbols to make the game proceed in anything but the slowest pace possible. Shouldn't the bank focus more on efficiency? Some questions are groan worthy such as, "A customer shows you photos of her new grandchild. How do you react." The answers, of course, are corporate, canned and fake. "Offer your congratulations and let the customer know that there are many financial options available to help with savings plans for the child as well as great gifts for birthdays and holidays with the Visa Gift Card and Visa Buxx Card."

The artwork of the game is actually kind of fun. The characters, while cartoonish, are stylish and attractive. The board is reminiscent of the Clue board with its furnished rooms and decor. One neat twist is that the confidential file (which unfortunately is the exact same length as the cards making it difficult to close) is placed in the vault next to the teller instead of in the center of the board. This allows the layout of the board to more resemble the actual layout of a bank. Another neat addition is the Drive-Thru with a car. Boddy Mansion doesn't even have a driveway!

Aside from the aforementioned problem with too many Five Star Service symbols, the only other real problem with the game - and this is true of so many non-standard editions - is that that the room doors and starting spaces leave unfair advantages. For instance, the Branch Manager needs nine spaces to get into a room. The Accumulators only need four! As the players endlessly wait for their turn, however, they can at least kill some time looking at all the little details on the board.

Overall, is evident that a lot of thought and effort went into producing this game. It certainly worthy of standing up as an example of what other companies could do with the Clue theme and a little ingenuity. (Maybe they could give Hasbro a few pointers...)
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