3M also made a series of "Gamettes," which were smaller sized boxes containing games made up primarily of cards. SLEUTH, arguably the best of the bunch, is sort of like CLUE for grownups, combined with the deductive logic elements that make MASTERMIND and other games of that type so challenging. A jewel is missing, and you have to determine which one it is. There are two decks of cards. The standard sized deck (known as the Gem Deck) consists of Diamonds, Pearls and Opals, which come in Red, Blue, Green and Yellow, and in Solitaire, Pairs, and Clusters. There's one card for each combination. At the start of the game, one jewel card is removed from the deck. The remainder of the cards are dealt out to the players, with any odd number left over revealed to all. Each player has a grid showing all 36 of the possible combinations. You can obviously eliminate the cards in your hand, and the leftover cards that were revealed at the start.

The way you narrow this down is by using the second, smaller deck, known as the Search Deck. This deck consists of 54 cards which are used to gather evidence from the other players. There are one-element cards, featuring a gem, a type, or a color. There are also two-element cards, such as "Red Diamonds," "Blue Pairs," or "Pearl Cluster." Additionally, there are "Free Choice" cards, which may be used as wild cards.

Each player is dealt four of these Search Cards face-up. On his turn, he can use one of these cards to ask any **one** player about his hand. If it's a one-element card, the chosen opponent announces the number of cards he has in his hand that the card describes. If it's a two-element card, the opponent, after announcing the number, also passes the cards that apply to the questioner.

The first player who thinks he's got it narrowed down announces that he has the solution, and writes it down. He then peeks at the card that was removed at the beginning of the game. If he was correct, he wins. If he was wrong, he's out of the game, and it continues until someone else is ready to make a guess.

Again, a very simple concept. And again, very challenging. It's worth noting that this game gets exponentially more difficult with each additional player in the game.

It's not widely known that this great card game originally started out as a board game put out four years earlier by Ideal, called "The Case of the Elusive Assassin: An Ellery Queen Mystery Game." This makes use of a board which players maneuver around in order to get to specific squares that allow them to make specific inquiries. Certainly quite interesting, but nowhere near as elegant as SLEUTH.

SLEUTH was later reissued by Avalon Hill when 3M abandoned their game business, and even later in a German edition called "Diamantenjagd."

Click to see if Funagain has:

The Classic 3M SLEUTH, the Avalon Hill SLEUTH (almost identical), or the German DIAMANTENJAGD.