Playing the Board Game Clue

How To Play ClueClue is a murder mystery board game, also known as the Cluedo board game. The game is based on the crime fiction genre of pop literature. Players take the role of crime investigator searching for clues.

To solve the crime, players must guess the correct answer to three questions: who committed the crime, where was the crime committed and with what weapon did they commit the crime? This is the source of famous quotes from the board game Clue, such as "Colonel Mustard did it in the Conservatory with the revolver."

There are six to nine possibilities for each answer, which each player can eliminate from suspicion as the game progresses. The game is over when one player guesses all three questions correctly. To guess any one of the three questions wrong is to immediately lose the game, and give the other players extra clues to help them win.

The History of Clue the Game

Clue (the game) was created in 1948 by Anthony E. Pratt, a bureaucrat from Birmingham, England. He termed the game Cluedo. Game players in England still use the name Cluedo for the game, in fact.. Mr. Pratt sold the distribution rights to Parker Brothers Limited, the famed American game manufacturer. Parker Brothers continues to distribute Clue to this day, though it is now a subsidiary of Hasbro.

Clue Game Pieces - Clue Characters and Weapons

Here's a summary of the Clue game pieces. Most of the Clue game pieces consist of the Clue characters and weapons.

The Suspects - Clue Board Game Characters

There are six suspects in Clue. The suspects in the classic version are Colonel Mustard, Miss Peacock, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green and Miss Scarlet. None of these Clue board game characters were fleshed out in the original; they were simply pictures on a card.

The characters are also represented by colored game pieces. Each color corresponds to a particular character. Therefore, Colonel Mustard is yellow, Miss Peacock is blue, Professor Plum is purple, Mr. White is white, Mr. Green is green and Miss Scarlet is red.

The Murder Weapons in Clue - Weapons List

There are also six possible murder weapons in Clue. The Clue weapons list includes the knife, the revolver, the wrench, the rope, the candlestick and the lead pipe.

There murder weapons are represented by game pieces, too. When a player suggests a possible combination for the murder, the corresponding game piece is moved to the room being suggested. Otherwise, these pieces have no role in the game.

The Rooms

There are nine rooms in which the crime might have taken place. These murder took place in a mansion and the nine rooms are ostensibly found in the mansion. It is these rooms that make up the layout of the game board.

The Game of Clue - The Game Board

The game of Clue has a game board with nine rooms in it. The rooms are found along the perimeter of the board, while two of the rooms are found on the interior. There is a secret passage which connects the Lounge with the Conservatory, and vice versa. There is also a secret passage which connects the Study to the Kitchen, and vice versa.

In the center is found what appears to be a secret closet or door, which is simply where the clue packet is found. At the start of the game, the three true elements of the crime are kept hidden in the clue packet. When a player makes a guess, that player opens up the contents of the clue packet and sees whether he or she is right.

If correct, that player shows the contents to the others and declares victory. If incorrect, that player returns the content to the clue packet and the game continues as before, except without the player who guessed incorrectly.

Setup - Clue Game Pieces

The Clue game pieces--game cards, representing the suspects, murder weapons and rooms--are separated. The murderer, murder weapon and room the murder was committed in are drawn and placed in the clue packet.

The remaining cards are shuffled together, then handed out face down to the assorted players. The players look at their cards.

By seeing these cards, a player knows the contents of that card was not involved in the crime. That character marks off that element of the mystery off his or her clue sheet, which starts the process of elimination for solving the crime.

The players then set their cards aside for later use.

Game Play

At the start of the game, players move their game pieces from prearranged starting spots to the various rooms of the mansion. Upon reaching a room, a player may make a suggestion about the crime.

The player moves the game piece of a suspect and a murder weapon to that room. That player then suggests these were at the murder. The other players must disprove the accusation.

This is done in a clockwise rotation around the table, starting with the player on the left of the player whose turn it is. If the player to the left has a card that is being suggested, then that player must show that card to the suggesting player, and only that person. The suspected player's game piece, which was moved to the room with the suggesting player, remains in the room into which it was moved.

Once the player whose turn it is has had his or her suggestion disproved, that player's turn is over. Play continues in this way until one player believes he or she has solved the crime.

Solving The Crime

Eventually, process of elimination will allow a player to solve the crime. It must be remembered that players have only one chance to guess the crime. This step of the game is called the accusation. The accusation should not be confused with the suggestion, which has no such consequences.

Clue Specifics

A typical game of Clue takes between 30 to 45 minutes. It is easy to learn, and not much harder to master. Children from ages 8 up can play the game. It is for three to six players.

The game does not play well with only two players. When a suggestion is made, both players involved in the suggestion are privy to the same information. This eliminates a large part of the suspense of the game, and makes it simply a matter of manipulating one's game piece to the correct room before one's opponent.

For groups of three or more, Clue is a surprisingly engaging game.

Clue Editions

Various editions of Clue and/or Cluedo have been released since the game's start in 1949. At least a dozen different versions of the original game have been released since 1949. I grew up playing the 1972 version, which was the first version to feature photographs of the characters on the box.

Clue also spinned off several different games with Clue branding. For example, Clue: Little Detective is aimed at very young children, ages 3 and up. The gameplay is similar to Candyland. It was a precursor to the various Clue Junior games which have been released through the years.

Special editions of Clue that just feature higher production values have also been produced through the years. The most expensive version of Clue you could buy is the Franklin Mint edition, which features three dimensional rooms with 24 karat gold furniture. The game was meant to be played on a custom Franklin Mint table.

A Premier Edition of Clue  was also produced with a $150 price tag, which had a beautiful box and game board. It wasn't as high a caliber as the Franklin Mint edition, but it's not far behind, and it's certainly more affordable.

A company named Winning Moves produced a limited gift edition that came in a custom tin box, and it was a numbered edition.

A couple of different wooden box nostalgia editions are also popular, and they feature art from decades ago. I enjoy the retro feel of these special editions, so they'd be high on my list of special editions of Clue to consider buying if I were in the market.

Various branded editions of Clue have been published through the years, too--including an Alfred Hitchcock edition, two Scooby Doo Clue editions, three or four Simpsons Clue editions, and a Dungeons and Dragons edition. Editions based on televisions shows are common, too, and Seinfeld, The Office, Family Guy, and 24 have all lended their likenesses to the list of Clue board games available.

In other countries, Cluedo has been released in various editions, too, mostly aimed at specific countries. There are versions of Cluedo for Arab, Australian, Brazilian, Colombian, French, German, Polish, and Spanish players. In some countries, the name is changed to something more appropriate. For example, in Brazil, Cluedo is marketed under the name Detetive.

The Clue Board Game Online - Clue Board Game

People searching for the Clue board game online are probably interested in actually playing Clue on the Internet. But some people interested in the Clue board game online are interested in websites and Internet articles that discuss Clue. This section of our page includes information about both subjects.

Pogo offers an online Clue board game called Clue: Secrets & Spies, which is an online version of the game. It updates the theme of the original game to give it more of an espionage flavor. If you want to play Clue on the Internet, then this version is worth a look.

If you're interested in websites with information about the game Clue, be sure to check out some of the following resources: