“A thrilling game of intrigue and suspense…”
Released in 1963 from Lowell Toy Mfg., the Hawaiian Eye board game was based on the TV series of the same name that ran on ABC from 1959-1963.
With box art featuring three of the show’s stars — Robert Conrad, Anthony Eisley, and Troy Donahue — the strategy game drew inspiration from Clue. Players took on the role of detectives for Hawaiian Eye, the fictional Honolulu-based detective agency from the show, to solve a crime committed on the island.
The game board consisted of four concentric, coloured squares, with each square representing a clue in the case. Players began the game in the center of the board, the Suspect square, before moving outwards through the Weapon, Motive, and Time squares, respectively. Where Clue had objects, Hawaiian Eye used playing cards.
All moves in Hawaiian Eye were made as the result of winning a hand of cards. Rules for each round were straightforward. The player with the highest number of the colour that led the hand was declared the winner of the round and allowed to move their pawn around the board. To keep players on their toes, two Hawaiian Eye cards were also included in the mix — these wild cards allowed any player to win any hand.
As players moved around the board, they collected clue cards and attempted to match them to individual playing cards. Once a match was made, the cards were “melded”, or laid out for other players to see. Although Hawaiian Eye was primarily a solo endeavour as players worked to solve the crime, they could impede each other’s progress by taking melded cards from each other, forcing a return to a previous square on the board.
Once a junior gumshoe believed they had melded a Suspect, Weapon, Motive, and Time card, they headed to the Hawaiian Eye office to officially solve the crime. The first player to reach the office with a properly matched set of cards was declared the winner.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included a game board, a pack of large playing cards, a pack of small clue cards, and four playing pieces. Printed instructions were included in the box.
The Hawaiian Eye game hit store shelves shortly before the series was cancelled by ABC. Its limited shelf life can make it challenging to find a used copy of the game in excellent condition.