Guide to Clue

Those who enjoy playing detective will enjoy the board game Clue, in which they must determine who the murderer is, where the crime was done, and how the mansion’s owner was killed. It’s a fascinating and challenging board game that requires careful planning, memory, and fast reflexes. The game’s unusual mechanisms make one question where the creator got the concept. Let’s go straight into the history of Clue to find out!

History of the Board Game “Clue”

Around 1944, Anthony E. Pratt came up with the idea for Clue. Before becoming famous as the creator of Clue, Pratt was a musician who frequently performed at hotels hosting murder mystery events.

To determine who committed the murder, hotel guests and the actors employed for the event will play the role of investigators. During murder mystery evenings, visitors would have access to a variety of hotel rooms, each of which has a unique set of clues to the identity of the murderer.

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The Birth of “Clue”

Pratt, inspired by his experiences as a witness at murder mystery parties, merged aspects from actual occurrences with those found in detective fiction to create the board game “Murder!”  On December 1, 1994, Pratt sought to patent the board game.

Pratt talked to his friend and fellow game designer Geoffrey Bull about getting the game into stores. Bull had previously created the board game “Buccaneer.” To connect Pratt with Norman Watson, the general director of game manufacturer Waddingtons, Bull introduced them.

The Production and Success of “Clue”

After playing the game with Pratt in February 1945, Watson grew fascinated and ultimately decided to manufacture the board game. Before he would give his approval, however, Watson insisted that the board game’s name be altered to the more kid-friendly. He suggested that it should be renamed to “Cluedo,” which is a combination of the words “clue” and “ludo” (Latin for “I play”). 

Production of Cluedo didn’t begin until 1949, primarily due to a lack of raw materials following World War II. However, Cluedo was an immediate success after its introduction that year. Before being introduced to North America, the board game was renamed “Clue.”

The Gameplay of “Clue”

At the start of a game of Clue, one player is responsible for shuffling the “Suspects” deck, the “Weapons” deck, and the “Rooms” deck and placing one card from each deck into a designated envelope. These cards will reveal the murderer’s identity, the murder weapon, and the crime scene location. To deal cards to each participant, the person who shuffled the decks must collect and jumble them together. Remember that other players can have better cards in hand.

Choosing a Character to Play

Players may select a character from the board to portray when all the cards have been dealt. This cast of characters must likewise be dispersed about the mansion at the outset. Remember to set them all to the side of the board at the beginning.

The roster of playable characters includes the following:

  • Miss Scarlet (Red): between the Lounge and the Hall
  • Mr. Green (Green): between the Ballroom and the Conservatory
  • Professor Plum (Purple): between the Library and the Study
  • Mrs. Peacock (Blue): between the Conservatory and the Billiard Room
  • Colonel Mustard (Yellow): between the Dining Room and the Lounge
  • Mrs. White (replaced by Dr. Orchid in the 2016 version, White): between the Kitchen and the Ballroom

In this game, one of these people is the murder suspect, and not even the player knows which one it is.

Before the rule was amended, whoever played as Miss Scarlet would always go first. This caused some contention between players. Therefore, newer editions scrapped this rule, and the game begins with the player who rolls the highest number on the dice.


Moving Around the Board

A player must roll the dice to advance on the board. There are nine rooms, not counting the Cellar where the unique envelope is hidden. After a player’s character enters one, that player can offer a proposal on who committed the murder and what weapon was used. The player’s suggestion must also include the room in which they are now located. If the player is in the Lounge, the player may remark something like, “Colonel Mustard is in the Lounge and killed the victim with a Wrench.”

To make a suggestion, you can point to any piece of the board, whether a character or a weapon. However, your current location does limit the available room options. This is why it’s essential to focus on learning about the rooms, as they are often the most puzzling. Enter a room and provide a suggestion. If you’re dragged into a new room after someone suggests you, you can use your next turn to suggest something in that room.

When a player makes a suggestion, the other players might refute it by revealing a card that rules out the murder weapon, the location, or the suspect. Only the player who made the proposition can see the card used to refute it; no other players may be privy to the information.

The Secret Pathways

Suppose one person is occupying a room by blocking its entrance. In that case, the other participants in the game may be unable to enter. Players can save time by using the secret pathways that connect some of the mansion’s rooms on the board. 

What follows is a list of rooms that have hidden pathways:

  • The Lounge and Conservatory are connected by a hidden pathway.
  • The Kitchen and Study are also connected by a hidden pathway.

You can avoid rolling the dice and traverse from room to room through the hidden pathways. This way, instead of having your chance to provide suggestions snatched away by an unfavorable dice roll, you’ll get many opportunities in a row to do so. You may alternate between the two rooms until one of the cards is revealed if you still need to do so.

Making Accusations and Winning the Game

There will be a lot of elimination of suspects, weapons, and rooms as the game progresses. E everyone will get closer to the truth as they realize which cards are not in their possession.

A player may submit a murder accusation at any time, specifying the murder weapon, the suspect, and the location of the crime. A player’s area on the board has no bearing on the validity of an accusation. Once a player has made an allegation, they must secretly examine the cards in the special envelope before showing everyone else.

Each participant makes an allegation, and the winner is determined based on the truth of their claim. Suppose the charge turns out to be untrue. In that case, the player must return the cards to their original envelope and may no longer make suggestions or accusations. Nevertheless, the player can continue refuting ideas made by other players.

Whether with close friends, parents, or siblings, a game of Clue is a terrific way to relax and spend time with those you care about. It takes a lot of working memory to keep track of all the hints in a game of Clue. Players will need to talk, listen to other players, and write down what they learn while making a suggestion or allegation. In this way, communication is being fostered to assist players in improving their speaking and reading abilities while enjoying playing board games.