Number of players: 2 – 6
Year of publication: 1949
I Have No Clue…Do:
Clue is probably one of the most popular board games of all time after Monopoly. For those of you living in the UK and a few other places your know this game by the name Cluedo. While it’s a classic its far less boring (and infinitely continuous) than Monopoly and even has a slightly role playing feel to it without directly inviting you to step into a character at all (you may choose to anyway due to physiological imbalances… Like my self).
What’s In The Box:
- Game Board (with 9 Rooms)
- 9 Room Cards
- 6 People Cards
- 6 Weapon Cards
- 1 Confidential Case File
- 1 Die (2 dice in later editions of the game)
- 6 Miniature Weapons:
- Lead Pipe (Lead Piping in Cluedo)
- Knife (Dagger in Cluedo)
- Wrench (Spanner in Cluedo)
- 6 Character Pawns:
- Miss Scarlet (spelled Scarlett in Cluedo)
- Professor Plum
- Colonel Mustard
- Mr. Green (Reverend Green in Cluedo)
- Mrs. White
- Mrs. Peacock
- Pad of Detective Notebooks
- Confidential Case File
- Instructions – found printed on the box of our copy (not pictured)
Playing The Game:
Objective: To be the first player to correctly accuse the right person of the murder in the right room with the right weapon.
The game starts by the three decks of card being shuffled separately and the top card of each deck being placed into the case file (without anyone knowing what they are). The rest of the cards are shuffled together and dealt between the remaining players. Each player also has a detective notebook and a pencil. The weapons are randomly distributed between the rooms (only one per-room).
Each player may then look at the cards in their hand and mark them off on their detective notebook so they know they’re not the cards in the case file. Make sure your notebook and cards are kept out of the sight of other players. Play then starts with Miss Scarlet who roles the dice and moves accordingly (you cannot move diagonally). Play then proceeds clockwise around the board.
When a player enters a room he/she may make a suggestion of who committed the murder. They can suggest any character (even themselves or one not controlled by a player), on doing so they move the character to the room they are in and then they also choose the weapon they think they may have used and move that into the room.
The player to the left of the person making the suggestion must then show one of the cards relevant to the suggestion if they have one, if they do not then the next person must show one relevant card and so on. They must only show the player making the suggestion and none of the other players. If the player to the left of the one that made the suggestion has more than one of the relevant cards they may choose which one to show, and as the game progresses this can be used to your advantage to throw the other players off by making them believe you don’t have a a card that you’re actually holding.
Once you have done this enough and someone is confident they know which three cards are in the confidential case file (and therefore not in play) they may make an accusation. To do this they say “I am accusing, <a person>, in <a place> with <a weapon>”. They do not move the relevant pieces, nor do they need to be in the correct room. They then look in the case file to see if they are correct; if so they are the winner, if not they are out of active play and only stay to show their cards upon the suggestions of other players.
- Like in real life DON’T BE TO QUICK TO ACCUSE – While you might be eager to win the game and are being hasty to attempt to beat the other players to it, be sure of your facts before you go yelling accusations – otherwise it’s game over for you!
- BE AWARE OF WHO’S SHOWING CARDS ON SUGGESTIONS – Always take mental notes of who’s showing cards with regards to certain things. If a suggestion gets all the way round the board with no one showing any cards then the only person who might have any of the components of the suggestion is the person who made the suggestion themselves.
- PLAY YOUR CARDS CLOSE TO YOUR CHEST – An easy game to accidentally cheat on, especially if someone’s stretching at the right time or “just leaning back”. So keep your cards and your detective notebook well covered.
History and Interesting Things:
- The game was initially patented in 1944 by Anthony E. Pratt under the name Murder!
- The game was originally created to be played in air raid shelters during the War.
- Anthony E. Pratt’s wife then presented it to Waddingtons‘ executive, Norman Watson, who purchased it.
- It was then given the name Cluedo which was a play on the words Clue and Ludo (which means ‘I play’ in latin).
- Whilst the game was created in 1944 and the patent granted in 1947 the game was not launched ’till 1949 due to war shortages.
- The game was also licensed to Parker Brothers and renamed Clue to be distributed in the United States at the same time as it was launched in the UK.
- The game that was launched in 1949 differed in a few ways from the original concept. The games original design had been to have ten characters one of which was randomly assigned as the victim at the beginning of the game, leaving eight playable characters and nine suspects. Mr. Brown, Mr. Gold, Miss Grey, and Mrs. Silver where eliminated from the game and Nurse White was renamed Mrs. White and Colonel Yellow was renamed Colonel Mustard. Originally there were also eleven rooms, this was canceled down to nine, eliminating the gun room and the cellar. There was also supposed to be nine weapons, some of the eliminated or replaced weapons were the bomb, syringe, shillelagh (walking stick), fireplace poker and the (later used) axe and poison. Some of these weapons and characters were used in later spin-offs of the game.
- Additionally, the game play was different from the published version. The cards were distributed into the rooms for the players to collect. Players also had to land on other players to make suggestions about them through the use of tokens that, once exhausted, prevented you from making any more suggestions.
- Both Parker Brothers and Waddingtons‘ produced a number of unique editions between 1949 and 1992 when they were both purchased by Hasbro in the early 1990s. Hasbro continued to produce unique editions for each market until 2002/2003 when it produced the modern version of Clue/Cluedo which was unified for all markets with only localised spelling and regional changes made to each edition.
- The version we own (appearing in this post) is a 1989 Parker Brothers North American copy (even though we live in the UK) and we also own the modern UK version.
Clue (Cluedo) is a good game… It’s easy to see why it’s been such a commercial success. However, in my opinion, it suffers from the same thing Monopoly does… It’s boring. Now this isn’t because it’s inherently boring, it’s just because most people most places have played it LOADS since they were children and therefore have no interest in it. In a sense it’s a victim of its own success when it comes to catching my interest. Like when you’re sitting there with some people and you go “Hey guys, let’s play some Monopoly” and everyone groans and goes “PLEASE NOOOO!” it’s a similar response with Clue just not quite to the same extreme. This being said, it’s still a good and well developed game, and its easy to understand why it’s been around and been popular for over half a century.