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Designer Anthony E. Pratt[1]
Publisher Waddingtons
Parker Brothers
Players 2 to 6
3 to 6
(editions vary)
Age range 8 and up
Setup time 5 minutes
Playing time 15 to 45 minutes
Random chance Low (dice rolling)
Skills required Deduction

Cluedo (pronounced /ˈkluːdoʊ/; Clue in North America) is a deduction board game originally published by Waddingtons in Leeds, United Kingdom in 1949.[2] It was devised by Anthony E. Pratt, a solicitor's clerk and part-time clown from Birmingham, England. It is now published by the United States game and toy company Hasbro, which acquired its U.S. publisher Parker Brothers as well as Waddingtons.

The object of the basic game is for players to strategically move around the game board, in the guise of one of the game's characters, collecting clues from which to deduce which suspect murdered the game's perpetual victim: Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in North American versions), and with which weapon and in what room.

More games, books, and a film have been released as part of the Cluedo franchise. The board games form an overall story whose complete chronology can be found at Cluedo chronology.

In 2008, Cluedo Reinvention was created (with changes to board, gameplay and characters) as a modern spin-off.



In 1944 Anthony E. Pratt filed for a patent of his invention of a murder/mystery-themed game, originally named "Murder!" Shortly thereafter, Pratt and his wife presented the game to Waddington's executive Norman Watson, who immediately purchased the game and provided its trademark name of "Cluedo" (a play on "clue" and "Ludo"). Though the patent was granted in 1947, due to war shortages the game was not officially launched until 1949, at which time the game was simultaneously licensed to Parker Bros. in the United States for publication, where it was re-named "Clue" along with other minor changes.[3] However, there were several differences from the original game concept and that initially published in 1949 (which also remains the most enduring version of the game). In particular, Pratt's original design calls for ten characters, one of whom was to be designated the victim by random drawing prior to the start of the game. The game allowed for play of up to eight remaining characters, providing for nine suspects in total. Originally there were eleven rooms, including the eliminated "gun room" and cellar. In addition there were nine weapons including the unused axe, bomb, syringe, poison, shillelagh (walking stick/cudgel), and fireplace poker. Some of these unused weapons and characters would appear in later spinoff versions of the game. Some aspects of the gameplay were also different. Notably, the remaining playing cards were distributed into the rooms to be retrieved, rather than dealt directly to the players. Players also had to land on another player in order to make suggestions about that player's character through the use of special counter-tokens, and once exhausted, a player could no longer make suggestions. There were other minor differences, all of which would be updated by the game's initial release and remain essentially unchanged in the standard classic editions of the game.[1][4][5][6][7]


The game's current equipment consists of a board which shows the rooms of an English country house called Tudor Mansion (previously Tudor Close and Tudor Hall), and the corridors and passages linking them, several coloured playing pieces (character pawns), some props representing murder weapons (dagger, rope, etc), one or two six-sided dice/die, three sets of cards describing the 9 rooms (scene of crime), the 6 suspects and 6 weapons (corresponding to the playing pieces), along with a Solution Cards envelope to contain one card of each, and a Detective's Notes pad (often with 6 pencils) for keeping detailed notes during the game.



The current and traditional set of North American & UK suspect tokens

Depending on edition, the playing pieces are typically made of coloured plastic, shaped like chess pawns, or character figurines. Occasionally they are made from wood or pewter. The standard edition of Cluedo comes with six basic tokens representing the following original characters:


The current standard set of North American & UK miniature weapons tokens
The original traditional UK miniature weapons tokens

The playing tokens are typically made out of unfinished pewter, with the exception of the Rope, which may also come in plastic or string depending on edition. Special editions have included gold plated, brass finished and Sterling silver versions, which have appeared in a variety of designs.


There are nine rooms in the mansion where the murder can take place, laid out in a circular fashion on the game board, separated by pathways overlaid by playing spaces. Each of the four corner rooms contains a secret passage that leads to the room on the opposite diagonal corner of the map. The center room (typically called the Cellar, or Stairs) is inaccessible to the players, but contains the solution envelope. Coloured "start" spaces encircle the outer perimeter which correspond to each player's suspect token.

 †     Ballroom     ‡ 
Kitchen Conservatory
Dining Room "Cellar"
Billiard Room
Lounge Study
 ‡ † 

† ‡ denotes secret passages to opposite corner


At the beginning of play, three cards — one suspect, one weapon, and one room card — are chosen at random and put into a special envelope, so that no one can see them. These cards represent the facts of the case. The remainder of the cards are distributed among the players.

Players are instructed to assume the token/suspect nearest them. Play begins with Miss Scarlet and proceeds clockwise. Players roll the dice and move along the board spaces accordingly, and entering rooms in order to make suggestions from that room.

The aim is to deduce the details of the murder; that is, the cards in the envelope. There are six different characters, six possible murder weapons and nine different rooms, leaving the players with 324 distinct possibilities. In the course of determining the details of the murder, players announce suggestions to the other players, for example, "I suggest it was Mrs. White, in the Library, with the rope." All elements contained in the suggestion are moved into the room in the suggestion.

The other players must then disprove the suggestion, if they can. This is done in clockwise order around the board. A suggestion is disproved by showing a card containing one of the suggestion components (for example, the rope) to the player making the suggestion, as this proves that the card cannot be in the envelope. Showing the card to the suggesting player is done in secret so the other players may not see which card is being used to disprove the suggestion. Once a suggestion has been disproved, the player's turn ends and moves on to the next player.

The player's suggestion only gets disproved once. So, though several players may hold cards disproving the suggestion, only the first one will show the suggesting player his or her card. A player may only make a suggestion when his or her piece is in a room and the suggestion can only be for that room.

Once a player has sufficiently narrowed the solution, that player can make an accusation. According to the rules, "When you think you have worked out which three cards are in the envelope, you may, on your turn, make an Accusation and name any three elements you want." Players may name any room (unlike a Suggestion, where a player's character pawn must be in the room the player suggests).[8]

The accusing player checks the validity of the accusation by checking the cards, keeping them concealed from other players. If he has made an incorrect accusation, he plays no further part in the game except to reveal cards secretly to one of the remaining players when required to do so in order to disprove suggestions. Also, according to the rules, "If, after making a false Accusation, your character pawn is blocking a door, [you must] move it into that room so that other players may enter." Since a character pawn can only block a door by being outside of a room, this clearly demonstrates that the character pawn need not be in any room to make an Accusation. If the player made a correct accusation, the solution cards are shown to the other players and the game ends.

It is possible for a player to be using the piece representing the murderer. This does not affect the game play; the object of the game is still to be the first to make the correct accusation. If the game is played with two people, the process of elimination diffuses the same information to both players. Such a game tends to pass quickly. All editions of the current version of the game are advertised as a three-six player game only. Traditionally, the UK version was advertised for two-six players.


Though gameplay is relatively straightforward as described above, various strategies allow players to maximize their opportunities to make suggestions and therefore gain the advantage of accumulating information faster. As alluded to above, blocking the entrance to a room is one way to prevent an opponent from entering a desired room and making a suggestion.[9][10]

Choice of suspect: The first opportunity is in choosing the initial playing piece. Mrs. Peacock has an immediate advantage of being one space closer to the first room than any of the other players. However, Miss Scarlet moves first.

Navigating the board: The next opportunity is choice of initial rooms to enter. Again Mrs. Peacock has an advantage in that she is closest to the Conservatory, a corner room with a secret passage, enabling a player on his turn to move immediately to another room and make a suggestion without rolling the dice. Miss Scarlet has a similar advantage with the Lounge. Making as many suggestions as possible gives a player an advantage to gain information. Therefore, moving into a new room as frequently as possible is one way to meet this goal. Players should make good use of the secret passages. Following the shortest path between rooms then is a good choice, even if a player already holds that room in his hand. As mentioned earlier, blocking passage of another player is way to prevent them from attaining rooms from which to make suggestions. Various single space tracks on the board can therefore become traps, which are best avoided by a player when planning a path from room to room.

Making Suggestions: Each player begins the game with a minimum of 3 cards in their hands and a maximum of 6. Keeping track of which cards are shown to each player is important in deducing the solution. Detective Notes are supplied with the game to help make this task easier. The pads can keep not only a history of which cards are in a players hand, but also which cards have been shown by another player. It can also be useful in deducing which cards the other players have shown one another. A player makes a suggestion to learn which cards may be eliminated from suspicion. However, in some cases it may be advantageous for a player to include one of his own cards in a suggestion. This technique can be used for both forcing a player to reveal a different card as well as misleading other players into believing a specific card is suspect. Therefore, moving into a room already held in a player's hand may work to his advantage. Suggestions may also be used to thwart a player's opponent. Since every suggestion results in a suspect token being re-located to the suggested room, a suggestion may be used to prevent another player from achieving their intended destination, preventing them from suggesting a particular room, especially if that player appears to be getting close to a solution.


Parker Bros. and Wadingtons each produced their own unique editions between 1949 and 1992. Hasbro purchased both companies in the early '90s and continued to produce unique editions for each market until 2002/2003 when the final current edition of Clue/Cluedo was released, which for the first time shared the same design in both markets, localized for regional differences in spelling and naming conventions only.

During Cluedo's long history, eight unique Clue editions were published in North America. However, only three distinct editions of Cluedo were released in the UK – the longest of which lasted 47 years from its introduction in 1949 until its first successor in 1996. The ninth and fourth respective editions of each territory comprise the current shared game design. International versions occasionally developed their own unique designs for specific editions. However, most drew on the designs and art from either the US or UK editions, and in some cases mixing elements from both, while localizing others – specifically suspect portraits.[11]

While the suspects' appearance and interior design of Dr. Black's/Mr. Boddy's mansion changed with each edition, the weapons underwent relatively minor changes, the only major redesign occurring in the fourth 1972 US edition, which was adopted by the second 1996 UK edition and remains the standard configuration across all versions since. The artwork for the previous US editions tended to reflect the current popular style at the time they were released. The earlier UK editions were more artistically stylized themes. From 1972 on, the US editions presented lush box cover art depicting the six suspects in various candid poses within a room of the mansion. The UK would finally adopt this style only in its third release in 2000, prior to which Cluedo boxes depicted basic representations of the contents. Such lavish box art illustrations have become a hallmark of the game, since copied for the numerous licensed variants which pay homage to Cluedo.[11]

In 2003, Hasbro began offering a retro Nostalgia edition of the game, essentially a re-issue of the 1963 US design in a wooden box, under both brand names.[12]


Waddingtons, Parker Brothers and Hasbro have created many spin-off versions of the game. Spin-off games consist of alternative rule variations of the original game, which are not to be confused with themed "variants" which otherwise utilize the same rules and game configuration. In addition, commencing in 1985, the brand expanded to include feature films, television series, a musical, as well as numerous books.

Other games

In addition to revising the rules of gameplay, many of the games also introduced new characters, rooms and locations, weapons and/or alternative objectives.

  • Clue VCR Mystery Game (1985)[13] released as Cluedo: The Great Video Detective Game in the UK. It uses an hour-long VHS tape containing humorous scenes of the suspects interacting at Boddy Mansion shortly after Mr. Boddy's death instead of a board. Players uncover details of several murders per game by matching clues given on cards to the action on the video. Only five weapons (candlestick, knife, revolver, rope, and poison) and five rooms (Dining Room, Kitchen, Hall, Conservatory, and Library) are featured but there are a total of ten suspects (the original six plus M. Brunette, Madam Rose, Sgt. Gray, and Miss Peach).
  • Super Cluedo Challenge (1986)[14] is an advanced version of the Cluedo rules, introducing three new characters (Captain Brown, Miss Peach and Mr. Slate-Grey) and three more weapons (the blunderbuss, poison and axe). The rules are greatly expanded, with each card having coloured and numbered squares in each corner, which are uncovered by special card holders. These allowed 'clues' to be given by uncovering a small segment of the card, showing only a colour/number. Rather than the remaining cards being dealt out at the start of the game, they had to be 'discovered' by reaching one of the many blue counters scattered on the board.
  • Clue VCR II: Murder in Disguise (1987)[15] Sequel to Clue VCR Mystery Game; more scenarios with the same 10 characters from the first VCR game. The rooms this time around are the Dining Room, Lounge, Hall, Billiard Room, and Hotel Room.
  • Cluedo Master Detective (1988,[16] released as Super Cluedo in France, Germany and UK) is an expanded version of the original game. In addition to the original characters, weapons and rooms, the game adds four characters (Madam Rose, Sgt. Grey, M. Brunette and Miss Peach—the same four new characters from the VCR games), two weapons (poison and horseshoe), and seven rooms (courtyard, gazebo, drawing room, carriage house, trophy room, studio and fountain) to the mansion. This version was also made into a computer game.
  • Clue Jr.: Case of the Missing Pet (1989)[17] This game was a clue variant aimed for kids. The player played as one of the old six suspects, who are kids, and try to find out who took the missing pet and where they hid it.
  • Travel Clue (1990)[18] More than just a miniaturized version of the standard game as offered for the UK Cluedo editions, the first US travel edition is played somewhat differently. Instead of rolling dice, players move from room to room on their turn, viewing the color-coded cards placed there and questioning each other about what they've seen.
  • Clue: The Great Museum Caper (1991)[19] is rather different from the original. One player is a thief moving in a museum stealing paintings, while the other players cooperate to catch the thief. The thief keeps track of his position secretly on paper and is thus not seen by the detectives, until the thief is spotted by a detective or the museum's security system. Ideally, multiple rounds are played, with each player getting to be the thief once. The winner of the match is then the thief who stole the most paintings without getting caught.
  • Cluedo Card Game (1992)[20] is a shedding-type card game, where players attempt to match cards featuring the locations, weapons, and characters from the original game with a central pile of cards.
  • Clue Little Detective (1992)[21] Perhaps in one of the biggest departures from the standard game, the object of this game is to be the first to reach the front gate from the attic after hearing a scary noise.
  • Junior Cluedo (1993) [22][23] is the first Junior game for Cluedo. Instead of finding the murder, the players need to find the ghost of their ancestors and remember where they are.
  • Travel Clue Jr. (1994) [24] Like the regular Travel Clue game, it is not merely a miniaturized version of theClue Jr. series, but a unique format with its own set of rules. Instead of rolling dice, a spinner is used, to move around the board for an opportunity to open a door and obtain a clue.
  • Cluedo Super Sleuth (1995)[25] is another advanced version of the Cluedo rules, though in a different manner. There is no set board to this game, instead the board is made up of twelve tiles which are laid out randomly as players enter new rooms, to create a 4x3 grid. The murder cards remain unchanged to the basic edition, but are not dealt to each player, instead there are 'clue' squares on the board marked by small plastic magnifying glasses, which players collect to get clues. In addition to the "clue" counters there are also item counters, which allow the player to pick a card from an item deck. These item cards allow such things as making more than one suggestion per turn, or moving an incidental character. There are three incidental characters in the game (Inspector Grey, Hogarth the Butler, and the Black Dog) who can serve as help or hindrance, and are controlled through the item and event cards. Event cards are drawn from a deck upon a certain roll of the die and can have varying impact on a game.
  • Clue Jr.: The Case of the Hidden Toys (1998)[26] is themed for children. Instead of solving a murder, the children search for clues for the whereabouts of some lost toys. The rules are significantly different from those for the regular board game. The characters, which look like the original game's suspects as children, are named Mortimer Mustard, Georgie Green, Peter Plum, Wendy White, Polly Peacock and Samantha Scarlet.
  • Cluedo: 50th Anniversary (1999)[27], also released as Clue: 50th Anniversary, this standard edition came in a "deluxe" format with the option to play with an extra murder weapon, a bottle of poison. This edition was also issued in a miniaturized Cluedo European travel version. Drew Struzan provided artwork for the game, which was originally created for the US 1996 edition and additionally used for The Limited Gift Edition and the US Clue Card Game (he did not create the Rev. Green portrait used in the Cluedo editions)[28].
  • Cluedo: Passport to Murder (2000)[29] was an update of Super Cluedo Challenge with the setting changed to an Orient Express style train in Istanbul station. There is very little change to the mechanics of the game (except each player can only play the six original characters), with mainly cosmetic changes and updates to the characters.
  • Cluedo Card Game (2002)[30] is a different card game from the previous game, this time the user has to deduct the Dr. Black's killer, their escape vehicle and their destination.
  • Cluedo SFX (2003)[31] released as Clue FX in the US, (2004), and Super Cluedo Interactif in France, (2004) is another departure from the original rules. Each player plays as one of four new characters (Lord Grey, Lady Lavender, Miss Peach and Prince Azure, adding a non-Caucasian character since the early Asian Miss Scarlet, none of whom are suspected in the crime. The murder is not of Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy) but of his attorney Miles Meadow-Brook. The usual suspects are in place, this time bolstered by two new people Mrs. Meadow-Brook and Rusty the Gardener. The game play is completely different though, with the introduction of the electronic section announcing moves and clues and no die rolling. Instead players move from location to location to track down each of the suspects to gain their clues, before finding Inspector Brown to make an accusation.
  • Cluedo Junior: The Case of the Missing Cake (2003)[32] is another children's variation where the players have to find out who ate a cake.
  • Cluedo Mysteries (2005)[33], released in the US as Clue Mysteries (2006) This is another change of rules, and this time the game play is based heavily on another board game called "Mysteries of Old Peking".
  • Cluedo DVD Game (2005)[34] This edition of the game has different rules based around DVD interaction. Instead of a murder, Dr. Black has had an item stolen and, in addition to guessing the criminal, location (room) and stolen object, the time of day when the crime took place also has to be discovered. In each turn players guess three of these four unknowns; and from time to time Inspector Brown and the butler, Ashe, show up via the DVD with helpful information.
  • Clue Suspects (2007) A single-player logic puzzle version of the game. Players are given a set of clues and must deduce the location of the murder and the murderer.
  • Cluedo: Discover the Secrets (2008) This is the most recent edition of the game, and has been created to replace standard Cluedo. The game features new, up-to-date weapons, rooms, and suspects as well as changes to the rules of gameplay (see below).

Video games

Various versions of the game were developed for Commodore 64, PC, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, CD-i, Sega Genesis, PC, Mac, and Apple iPhone / iPod Touch. Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion, was released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows. In 1999 Cluedo/Clue Chronicles: Fatal Illusion was released, which was not based directly upon the board game, but instead uses the familiar characters in a new mystery.

An arcade version of the game was released on an itbox terminal which involves answering questions with a chance to win money. It is available in many pubs throughout the UK.

In 1994–1996, there were 6 mysteries: "The Hooded Madonna," "Happy Ever After", "Deadly Patent", "Blackmail", "The Road to Damascus", and "Not in my Backyard", with actors.

Clue Classic was released on June 3, 2008 developed by Games Cafe for Hasbro. It is a single player interactive game based on the latest 2002/2003 boardgame artwork featuring the original 6 characters, weapons and 9 original rooms.[35]

In May 2009 Electronic Arts released a version of Clue for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch on the Apple iTunes Music Store. This version is an entirely new game, based on the most recent spin-off game of Clue: Discover the Secrets.

On the iWin website, there is a Hidden Object Game called "Clue: Accusations & Alibis."


A comedic film Clue, based on the American version of the game, was released in 1985. In this version, the person murdered was Mr. Boddy. The film, which featured different endings released to different theatres, failed at the box office, but has subsequently attracted a cult following. All three endings released to theatres are available on the VHS and DVD versions of the film, to watch one after the other (VHS), or to select playing one or all three endings (DVD).

In 2008, Universal Pictures reported that Hasbro, the makers of Cluedo, had licensed several of its board games to the film company for feature film adaptations; among these was Clue.[36] Gore Verbinski was announced as director.


There have been several television game shows based upon this game. There have been, to date, four seasons of the British version of Cluedo (and a Christmas version that in fact shows some similarity to the North American movie), and there have been other versions in Germany, France, Australia, Portugal and Scandinavia. The format for each puts two teams (each usually containing one celebrity and one person with law enforcement/research experience) against six in-character actors as the famed colour-coded suspects. There is a new murder victim every episode, who usually has it coming to them for one reason or another.

On American television, the Clue title and theme were used in the 1986 documentary Clue: Movies, Murders and Mystery, which took a look at mystery-related pieces of media, including Murder on the Orient Express, Murder, She Wrote, Sherlock Holmes and other television series and movies, as well as a look at the board game itself, among other things. The one-hour special was hosted by Martin Mull, who had starred in the feature film adaptation the previous year; clips from the movie are seen intertwined with the footage.


A comedic musical of Clue, based on the American version of the game, ran Off Broadway in 1997, closing in 1999. At the start of each performance, three audience members each select one card from over-sized versions of the traditional game decks and place them in an envelope. The chosen cards determine the ending of the show, with 216 possible conclusions.


Penned by Robert Duncan with the cooperation of Waddingtons, the first official theatrical adaptation of Cluedo was presented by the amateur theatre group: The Thame Players in Oxfordshire in July 1985. The play was subsequently picked up by Hiss & Boo productions and began a successful tour of the UK. A second tour was undertaken in 1990. Like the musical, the play involved the audience's random selection of three solution cards which were revealed towards the end of the play, whereupon the actors would then conclude the play by performing one of the 216 endings possible. Presently the play is not available for performance due to a restriction by Hasbro.[37]


A series of 18 humorous children's books were published in the United States by Scholastic Press between 1992 and 1997 based on the Clue concept and created by A.E. Parker (possibly of Parker Brothers)[citation needed]. The books featured the US Clue characters in short, comedic vignettes and asked the reader to follow along and solve a crime at the end of each. The crime would usually be the murder of another guest besides Mr. Boddy, a robbery of some sort, or a simple contest, in which case they must figure out who won. The tenth and final vignette would always be the murder of Mr. Boddy. Somehow, Mr. Boddy would always manage to cheat death, such as fainting before the shot was fired or being shot with trick bullets. However, at the end of the 18th book, Mrs. Peacock kills Mr. Boddy out of starvation and Mr. Boddy stays dead. A similar series of books featuring the Clue Jr. characters was also published. The first book, unlike the others, features thirteen mysteries, not ten, and is titled simply enough Who Killed Mr Boddy?. The name of the book is usually the name of the tenth mystery in which Boddy is killed.

The books notably depart from the film. Mr Boddy is a trillionaire, and the guests are his friends. But since Boddy has his will made out to his friends, they each try to kill him at one point with the intent on cashing in on his will. The guests are all given some sort of defining characteristic for comic effect, as well as to help the reader discern the culprit. Colonel Mustard constantly challenges other guests to duels, Professor Plum often forgets things, even what he is doing or his own name, and Mr. Green is notoriously greedy. Mrs. Peacock is highly proper and will not stand for lack of manners, the maid Mrs. White hates her employer and all the guests, and Miss Scarlet is beautiful and seductive. The traits all help the reader identify the guests. For example, if a mystery thief suddenly forgets what he is doing, and another guest scolds him for his bad manners, the reader can safely assume the two guests are Plum and Peacock. Mr. Boddy himself is ludicrously naive, to the point where he accepts any attempt to kill him as an accident or a misunderstanding (such as a dropped wrench flying all the way across the Mansion and hitting him in the head), and invites the guests back to the mansion. This explains why he never seeks any legal action against his "friends," and invited them back despite repeated attempts to kill him. However, after a few books, he wises up enough to be suspicious of them, but continues to invite them over against better judgment.

The Clue Jr. series originally had all six characters, but suddenly, some of the characters were taken out, leaving only four. The mysteries usually only included cases similar to the theft of a toy, but sometimes the cases were more serious. They are usually solved when the culprit traps himself in his own lies.


A collection of puzzles (500 piece Clue/750 piece Cluedo/200 Jr. ed.), based on the game was introduced in 1991. These puzzles presented a detailed story with a biography for each of the standard suspects. The object was to assemble the puzzle and then deduce the solution presented in the mystery story from the clues provided within the completed picture.


The following games are licensed thematic variations of the original Cluedo game, which follow the basic rules and configuration of the original edition.

  • Clue! The Collector's Edition (1995) [38][39] After the success of the first "collector's tin anniversary edition" of Monopoly (for the 50th anniversary), a "luxury" edition of the game was produced by the Franklin Mint, the first edition to be published outside Parker Brothers.[40] It is a three-dimensional representation of the gameboard encased in glass and wood with 24K gold-plated playing pieces and gameboard accents. Drew Struzan provided Victorian-themed artwork for the game. It was also sold as Cluedo, however it used the North American localizations.[41] Though only sold for a brief time, the edition was re-issued in 2007 by Restoration Hardware as the Premiere edition, however it is a smaller, scaled-down version with gold-coloured plastic pieces and accents which sold for significantly less.[42][43]
  • Clue: Limited Gift Edition (1997)[44], this edition produced by Winning Moves, came in a deluxe format also with the option to play with an extra murder weapon, a Poison Chalice. It also utilized the 1996 US edition artwork by Drew Struzan.
  • The Simpsons Clue[46] (2000) is themed after the TV series, The Simpsons, with the players trying to find out who killed Mr. Burns. It features Homer as Prof. Plum, Bart as Col. Mustard, Fat Tony as Mr. Green, Lisa as Mrs. Peacock, Edna Krabappel as Miss Scarlet, and Marge as Mrs. White. The weapons are a plutonium rod, necklace, saxophone, poisoned doughnut, slingshot and the extend-o-glove. In the United States and Canada, the game had Homer as Mr. Green, Bart as Prof. Plum, Lisa as Miss Scarlet, Marge as Mrs. Peacock, Krusty as Col. Mustard, and Mr. Smithers as Mrs. White. Early promotional material had Maggie as Mrs. White.
  • Clue Dungeons & Dragons[47] (2001) was produced by Hasbro shortly after their purchase of Wizards of the Coast, owners of the Dungeons & Dragons license. The characters are D&D character types (such as Monk, Rogue, Wizard, etc.). The rooms depicted on the board are fantasy-themed (Dungeon, Dragon's Lair, Lost Crypt, etc.), and the weapons also draw inspiration from the popular role-playing game (Mace of Disruption, Flaming Axe, etc.). Game play is identical to standard Clue unless the optional Wandering Monsters deck is used. Using this deck, players must battle monsters when landing on special spaces on the board. The players must battle monsters via dice rolls and are rewarded with magic items that confer special powers.
  • Clue - The Haunted Mansion[48] (2002) The Disney Theme Park Edition features the Haunted Mansion attraction from the Disney theme parks as the board game, relying heavily on the Walt Disney World version of the attraction as far as design. One of the six guests in the house (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto) was scared by one of the six ghosts (The Traveller, The Skeleton, The Prisoner, Emily the Bleeding Bride, The Opera Singer, and the Mariner) in one of the nine rooms (Foyer, Portrait Gallery, Library, Conservatory, Seance Room, Ballroom, Attic, Graveyard, and Crypt.) The detail on the board draws from the scenes depicted in the Haunted Mansion attraction and contains Hidden Mickeys.
  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Clue[49] (2002) is themed after the TV series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. Like the episodes, the gang has to figure out whodunit. It features Fred as Mr. Green, Shaggy as Prof. Plum, Scooby as Col. Mustard, Velma as Mrs. Peacock, Daphne as Miss Scarlet, and Mrs. White as their host. This edition takes place in a run-down version of the mansion where the Study is replaced with the Lounge, the Lounge has been replaced by the Kitchen and the original Kitchen has been turned into a cemetery after its walls started crumbling.
  • Clue: First Edition 1949 Classic Reproduction. [50] (2003) Winning Moves released a re-issue reproduction of the original 1949 US Clue edition. Accurate in every way, notable features include wooden pawns and the original string rope, as well as a pewter version of the traditional plastic rope.
  • Dunhill Cluedo (2003) [51] Following in the vein of "luxury" editions of family boardgames, Dunhill released a custom edition of Cluedo designed by British game maker Geoffrey Parker. Like the Franklin Mint edition before it, the game consisted of a hand-inlaid leather clad box, with Sterling silver playing pieces. The design won a British Interior Design Association award in 2008.[52][53]
  • Clue - The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror[54] (2007) The Disney Theme Park Edition features The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction from the Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park as the board game. Rather than a murder, the players are trying to discover who disappeared, where, and with which prop. The details, of the characters, props, and rooms draw from the scenes depicted in the Tower of Terror attraction. This version also contains Hidden Mickeys much like the Haunted Mansion version.
  • Clue - Harry Potter[55] (2008) is themed after the Harry Potter series. When a student disappears from the school, players use the characters Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna or Neville to find how, when and what spell was used to attack the student.
  • Clue - 24[56][57] (2009) is themed after the TV series, 24. The game itself features Audrey Raines, Bill Buchanan, Chloe O'Brian, Mike Doyle, Nadia Yassir, and Tony Almeida. Players must find out which of the six characters is about to launch one of nine attacks (weapons) from within one of the rooms inside CTU. Gameplay is based on Clue: Discover The Secrets adding special "intrigue" and "clock" cards.
  • Clue: The Office[58] (2009) is themed after the US version of the TV series The Office. Players take on the role of one of six characters as their boss Michael Scott forces them to play out a real-life version of Clue in the Dunder Mifflin office to find out who "killed" HR rep Toby Flenderson. Gameplay is based on Clue: Discover The Secrets adding special "intrigue" and "clock" cards.[59]
  • Clue: The Classic Edition. [60](2010) Another standard edition produced by Winning Moves, combines design elements from its Limited Gift Edition and its 1949 re-issue edition, to produce a new traditional edition of the game using the original 6 suspects, weapons and 9 rooms – the first of its kind released since the introduction of the Discover The Secrets spin-off game in 2008.

Unlicensed variants

  • Kill Doctor Lucky (1996).[61] An inversion and perhaps a parody of the series written by James Ernest for Cheapass Games. Whereas Cluedo begins after the murder has been committed and players compete to solve it, Kill Doctor Lucky ends when the murder is committed, and players compete to commit it.
  • Mystery Museum: The Biblical Artifacts Detective Game (2000).[63] A version of Cluedo but with Evangelical Christian elements to it. In the game, six people of different professions visit a Bible-history museum and steal one of the artifacts. It must be determined who is the thief, which artifact they stole, and where they hid it. Throughout the game, players learn about the Bible.
  • Whodunit (1972) [64] A similar game in which 6 players move around the board as investigators, obtaining opportunities to view other player's "alibi" tokens and collecting other "clues" to the identify of the murderer, weapon used, room in which committed, and a new category: motive. Whodunit draws on a similar setting and character types, including a colonel and maid, but in which the suspects are not the players.[65]
  • Clue of Cthulhu. (2000) A version of Cluedo using elements from the Cthulhu Mythos. This variant was offered at Gen Con 2000.[citation needed]
  • PikaClue. (2001) A version of Cluedo using elements from the Pokémon universe. Rooms are replaced with towns and cities, weapons are replaced with forms of energy and suspects are replaced with Pokémon creatures. This variant was offered at Gen Con 2001 and was inspired by the Clue of Cthulhu variant.[citation needed]

Cluedo: Discover the Secrets

On August 8, 2008, Hasbro redesigned and updated the board, characters, weapons, and rooms. Changes to the rules of game play were made, some to accommodate the new features.

The suspects have new given names and backgrounds, as well as differing abilities that may be used during the game. The revolver is now a pistol, the lead pipe has been removed, and a bat, axe, and trophy have been added. The nine rooms have changed to (in clockwise order): Hall, Guest House, Dining Room, Kitchen, Patio, Spa, Theater, Living Room, and Observatory.[66]

There is also a second deck of cards—the Intrigue cards. In this deck, there are two types of cards, Keepers and Clocks. Keepers are special abilities; for example, "You can see the card". There are eight clocks—the first seven drawn do nothing—whoever draws the eighth is killed by the murderer and out of the game.[67]

The player must move to the indoor swimming pool in the center of the board to make an accusation. This adds some challenge versus the ability to make accusations from anywhere in the original game.

The most significant change to game play is that once the suspect cards have been taken, the remaining cards are dealt so that all players have an even number of cards (rather than dealt out so that "one player may have a slight advantage"). This means that depending on the number of players a number of cards are left over. These cards are placed face down in the middle and are not seen unless a player takes a turn in the pool room to look at them.

The changes to the game have been criticized in the media for unnecessarily altering classic cultural icons.[7][68][69]

Alternate rules

A variant of the game involves removing the dice rolling in the game. Instead each player has nine "moves" to use on a turn with each move onto another space counting as one move, and an accusation, use of a secret passage, or guess, costing three moves, adding more strategy to the game. This variant is offered in the 1998 version of the Clue computer game.

Worldwide differences

Besides some rule differences listed above, some versions contain different names of characters, weapons, rooms and of the actual game.

In Canada and the U.S., the game is known as Clue. It was retitled because the traditional British board game Ludo, on which the name is based, was less well known there than its American variant Parcheesi.[70]

The North American versions of Clue also replace the character "Reverend Green" from the original Cluedo with "Mr. Green." This is the only region to continue to make such a change. However, modern editions of the game now call him Reverend Green. Minor changes include "Miss Scarlett" with her name being spelt with one 't', and the spanner being called a wrench. And until 2003, the lead piping was known as lead pipe only in the North American edition.

In some international versions of the game (mostly the Spanish-language ones) the colours of some pieces are different, so as to correspond with the changes to each suspect's name.[71][72]

There are also localised versions for Japan and China.


In addition to numerous games spinoffs, books and media, the Cluedo/Clue brand name can be seen on everything from umbrellas to miniature collectable automobiles. The name and themes have been successfully licensed to cologne makers, clothing manufacturers and food distributors among others.

See also


  1. ^ a b The Independent, Mr Pratt, in the old people's home, with an empty pocket, 11/12/1998 retrieved 10/11/2009
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Waddingtons Story: From the Early Days to Monopoly, the Maxwell Bids and into the Next Millennium, p.81, by Victor Watson, Jeremy Mills Publishing, November 11, 2008.
  4. ^ Fascinating facts about the invention of Clue Board Game by Anthony E. Pratt in 1944
  5. ^ Hasbro, THE HISTORY OF CLUE
  6. ^ European Patent Office, GB586817 (A), 1947-04-01, retrieved 10-10-09
  7. ^ a b Jack Mustard, in the spa, with a baseball bat by Kate Summerscale, The Guardian, Saturday 20 December 2008, retrieved 10/20/2009
  8. ^ Cluedo/Clue rules
  9. ^ Board Games Blog Clue Strategies
  10. ^ Board Games Blog Clue Strategies Part 2
  11. ^ a b Orbanes, Phil (2003). Clue: The Great Detective Game – Memories: The Game Through The Years. Danvers, MA: Winning Moves, Inc.. p. 2, 5-6. 
  12. ^ Nostalgia Wooden Box Edition at BoardGameGeek
  13. ^ Clue VCR Mystery Game at BoardGameGeek
  14. ^ Super Cluedo Challenge at BoardGameGeek
  15. ^ Clue VCR II: Murder in Disguise at BoardGameGeek
  16. ^ Clue Master Detective at BoardGameGeek
  17. ^ Clue Jr. - The Case of the Missing Pet at BoardGameGeek
  18. ^ Travel Clue at BoardGameGeek
  19. ^ Clue: The Great Museum Caper at BoardGameGeek
  20. ^ Cludeo Card Game at BoardGameGeek
  21. ^ Clue Little Detective at BoardGameGeek
  22. ^ Junior Cluedo from
  23. ^ Junior Cluedo at BoardGameGeek
  24. ^ Travel Clue Jr. at BoardGameGeek
  25. ^ Cluedo Super Sleuth at BoardGameGeek
  26. ^ Clue Jr.: The Case of the Hidden Toys at BoardGameGeek
  27. ^ Cluedo: 50th Anniversary at BoardGameGeek
  28. ^ Portfolio Products Clue/Parker BrothersDrew Struzan Illustrated Works
  29. ^ Cluedo Passport to Murder at BoardGameGeek
  30. ^ Cluedo Card Game at BoardGameGeek
  31. ^ Clue FX at BoardGameGeek
  32. ^ Cluedo Junior: The Case of the Missing Cake at BoardGameGeek
  33. ^ Clue Mysteries at BoardGameGeek
  34. ^ Cluedo DVD Game at BoardGameGeek
  35. ^ Clue Classic at Games
  36. ^ Another Clue Movie at
  37. ^ Current Shows from Hiss & Boo Official licensor of Cluedo (the play), retrieved 10/20/09
  38. ^ Clue! The Collector's Edition at
  39. ^ Portfolio Products Clue/The Franklin Mint Drew Struzan Illustrated Works
  40. ^ Orbanes, Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game, pages 135–136.
  41. ^ Franklin Mint French Brochure
  42. ^ eBay Guides Franklin Mint Clue
  43. ^ Restoration Hardware Clue Premiere Edition
  44. ^ Clue: Limited Gift Edition at BoardGameGeek
  45. ^ Alfred Hitchcock Edition Clue at BoardGameGeek
  46. ^ The Simpsons Clue at BoardGameGeek
  47. ^ Clue Dungeons & Dragons at BoardGameGeek
  48. ^ Clue - The Haunted Mansion at BoardGameGeek
  49. ^ Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! at BoardGameGeek
  50. ^ Clue: First Edition 1949 Classic Reproduction at BoardGameGeek
  51. ^ Dunhill Cluedo
  52. ^ Cluedo retrieved 12/20/2009 at Geoffrey ParkerGames
  53. ^ BIDA Awards at Decorex International 2008 Published on:29/09/2008 (retrieved 12/19/2009)
  54. ^ Clue - The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror at BoardGameGeek
  55. ^
  56. ^ "CLUE: 24 Edition". February 13, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  57. ^ "Investigate 24 Clue". 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  58. ^ Clue: The Office at BoardGameGeek
  59. ^ About Clue the Office Collector's Edition Board Game at USAopoly
  60. ^ Clue Classic Edition Game at ASIN: B00349MPQQ
  61. ^ Kill Doctor Lucky at BoardGameGeek
  62. ^ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Mystery at Hogwarts Game at BoardGameGeek
  63. ^ Mystery Museum at BoardGameGeek
  64. ^
  65. ^ Whodunit Mystery Detective Game – Rules at Welcome To Boddy Manor (retrieved 12/27/2009)
  66. ^ Celebrating the 60th anniversary of Cluedo The Times, 10/15/2009, by Damian Whitworth (retrieved 11/26/2009
  67. ^ National Public Radio (2008-08-08). "Hasbro Gives Clue Board Game A Makeover". Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  68. ^ Who killed Cluedo's Col Mustard? by Cole Moreton, The Independent, Sunday, 17 August 2008, retrieved 10/20/09
  69. ^ The makers of Cluedo have gone and killed Professor Plum By Robert Colvile Published: 12:01AM BST 15 Aug 2008 (retrieved 11/1/09)
  70. ^
  71. ^ International Cluedo / Clue from Comprehensive list of foreign edition variations
  72. ^ international from The Complete Clue Guide table presents the names of clue characters, rooms and weapons from around the world.

External links


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