CluedUpp, Clued In

CluedUpp game in Raleigh
CluedUpp game in Raleigh

A body has been found in downtown Raleigh. It’s a murder-mystery too confounding for the Raleigh Police Department. Only you, your closest friends, and maybe your kids and dogs can solve the mystery. Oh, and don’t forget your fedora, because in this mystery, style is rewarded.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, then CluedUpp, the newest game craze out of the UK, may be for you. CluedUpp is a virtual murder-mystery gaming event that’s played via a smartphone app. On August 17, it’s coming to Raleigh for the first time and teams of up to six people are invited to participate in the day-long adventure to track down virtual witnesses and crack the case.

In other words, imagine playing the board game Clue with an interactive app similar to Pokemon-Go; add in a team atmosphere, plenty of British accents and wit, wrap it all in fancy dress and you’ve got CluedUpp.

The game’s current storyline, “Sneaky Finders,” is inspired by the BBC hit drama series “Peaky Blinders,” an epic gangster drama set in the 1920s Birmingham (England, not Alabama). Teams who compete in the Raleigh adventure are encouraged to dress in 1920s costumes. The mystery begins between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and must be completed before 5pm. Most teams complete the “Sneaky Finders” mystery in between two and three hours.

Founded in 2016 by Tref Griffiths, CluedUpp has become an international phenomenon. More than 50,000 “detectives” played the game across the UK and Ireland in 2018. This year, the app’s owners have made a push to bring their brand of excitement to this side of the pond.

“We’ve held a few events in America now and they are getting a fantastic turnout,” said Griffiths in a press release. “We can’t wait to see if our detectives are up to the challenge of solving our hardest case yet [in Sneaky Finders].”

The company expects more than 100 detective teams to take part in the Raleigh event. That’s potentially 600 people wandering about, dressed in pinstripes and flapper gear, talking in hushed tones and interacting with pretend people. If nothing else, count it as a potentially fantastic day for people-watching.

K-9 Tom Selleck from a past CluedUpp event.
K-9 Tom Selleck from a past CluedUpp event

At $46 per team, it’s an affordable adventure. Also, the company invites you to bring as many kids and dogs along as you’d like, without any extra charge. All you need is a team of at least two detectives, access to a smartphone (Android or iOS), a sense of adventure and a good grasp of mystery solving.

Encouraged, but not necessary, are clever team names and, of course, exquisite costuming.

Prizes are awarded in six different categories:

  1. Fastest team
  2. Best fancy dress (Sneaky Finders/1920s inspired)
  3. Best team picture
  4. Best team name
  5. Best little detective (kids prize)
  6. Best K-9 detective (dogs prize)

Get your tickets, round up your teams, follow the clues and share your best photos. Who will win the big prizes? And, more importantly, who will solve the mystery?

As for me, I accuse Sir Walter Raleigh at the Belltower with a giant bronze acorn.