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Clue (Board Game) 101: An Intro (What Is It, Purpose, Tips,…) 

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Board games are a popular pastime for many families. Clue, or Cluedo, is probably one of the most popular board games. However, if you have never played Clue before, you might be wondering what Clue is and how to play it.

The objective of Clue is to find the guilty party that murdered Mr. Boddy. You must guess who killed Mr. Boddy, in which room he was killed, and what weapon was used to commit the murder. Clue helps develop your reasoning skills, and it takes about an hour to complete it. You need three to six players. 

This article gives you an introduction to Clue. It covers the game’s history, how to play it, and the objectives. Board games often help develop specific skills, such as deductive reasoning and attention to detail. Clue is no exception. So, read this article before playing your first game of Clue.

An Introduction To Clue: A Brief History

Clue is a board game with a long history. The game was created in England in the 1940s when it was first known as Murder. The game was modeled after a parlor game enjoyed by Anthony Pratt and his friends. It was also Pratt who first released the board game in 1949. He named the game “Cluedo.” 

Unfortunately, Pratt would never come to know what a success this board game would be. He sold the rights to Clue in 1953 after it reportedly didn’t sell well. Since then, however, Clue has become a raging success, and for a period in history, everyone either had a Clue game or wanted one. 

The game was then sold to Parker Brothers in the same year. They introduced the game in America. Finally, in 1994, the board game was acquired by Hasbro. The game is still known as Cluedo in the UK and Clue in the USA. 

Although Clue has been in existence for many years, the aim and styling haven’t changed much. Initially, the game had ten characters and weapons. However, that was later changed to six to make the game more streamlined. 

Since then, the characters, rooms, and weapons have remained similar to when they were first released. However, Hasbro has also released many themed versions of Clue since 1994, including a Simpson’s version and a Game of Thrones edition. 

Hasbro has also released other varieties of the Clue board game, including a children’s version and Clue: Secrets and Spies. Clue is such a popular board game that it has inspired a movie and musical. Although only one movie is known as “Clue,” various other movies are also based on the same theme, such as “Knives out.”  

Clue is a fan favorite among many, especially those who like to solve mysteries and use their deductive reasoning skills. With the history of Clue covered, we can now explain the rules of the game and how to go about playing it. 

How To Setup The Board Game Clue

Clue is a straightforward board game with many exciting additions that add to the game’s appeal. To play Clue, you will need the following:

  • The board on which you play Clue
  • One dice
  • Six-character pieces: yellow, blue, white, red, green, and purple
  • Six-character cards: Ms. Scarlet (red), Mrs. Peacock (blue), Mrs. White (white), Mr. Green (green), Cornel Mustard (yellow), and Professor Plum (purple). 
  • Six weapons: rope, candlestick, revolver, knife, lead pipe.
  • Notebooks
  • A pack of cards. There must be one character card for each character, one card for each room, and one for each weapon.
  • A confidential case envelope.

Before playing, sort the cards into each category and shuffle them. Then, without looking, take one card from each category (character, room, weapon) and place them in the confidential case envelope. These cards are the answer to the murder of Mr. Boddy. Finally, give one card from each category to each player. 

Place all the character pieces at the starting point on the board and put the confidential case card in its designated location. You are now ready to start playing. 

Clue: Gameplay

Miss Scarlet always plays first, and then you move clockwise around the table, giving each player a turn. You can roll the dice and move forward or across the board’s blocks upon your turn. You can move as many steps as the score on the dice. However, you cannot move diagonally or onto a tile where another character stands. 

Therefore, if another character is blocking the entrance or exit to a room, you must wait for them to move before you can gain access to or from that room unless you use the secret passages between rooms. 

The objective is to move into a room and take a guess of who murdered Mr. Boddy. When you make it to a room, you must take a guess. For example, if you are in the lounge, you can say: “I suggest Mr. Boddy was murdered in the lounge with a knife. I think Cornel Mustard was the murderer.” 

Now, the other players can look at their cards. Starting from your left, they can show you a card if they have one that proves you wrong. For example, suppose any other player has a lounge card, a knife card, or a Cornel Mustard card. In that case, your theory is disproven, and it’s the following player’s turn. 

Make notes in the notebook of your findings to determine which cards are held by other players. This will help you decide which cards are left in the envelope and who killed Mr. Boddy.

Each player gets a chance to play. When you think you know exactly who killed Mr. Boddy, where it happened, and what weapon was used, you can make an accusation. An accusation is different from suspicion, as this is your final guess. 

Once you have made your accusation, open the envelope and see if you are correct. Do so discretely as the remaining players shouldn’t see the cards. If you are right, lay the cards on the board, facing up. However, if you are wrong, place the cards back in the envelope. 

If you have guessed incorrectly, you are eliminated from the game. The first person who makes the correct accusation wins the game. Otherwise, the last person to be eliminated is the winner. 

Tips For Playing Clue

Apart from taking notes to help you determine the suspect, location, and weapon, there are some other tips to help you win and enjoy the game of Clue

First, always suspect who committed the murder and what weapon was used when you enter a room. This will help you rule out the incorrect locations and weapons and help you to make an accusation. 

In addition to moving when it is your turn to throw the dice, you can also move through the secret passages from one room to the next. You can move around much faster this way, enabling you to make more guesses about who killed Mr. Boddy and with what weapon.

Don’t forget to take notes as the game progresses. Deductive skills and logic are your greatest assets when playing Clue. Try to determine what cards the other players have and mark them in your notebook. 

Last Word

Clue is a fun board game popular in America, the UK, and all over the world. The game was first released in 1944 and has been in circulation since. You need between three and six players to play the game, and the aim is to determine who killed Mr. Boddy, where they did it, and what weapon they used.

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.