OBJECTIVE: Solve the murder! Correctly name the murderer, murder weapon, and murder location.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3-6 players
MATERIALS: Clue game board, six suspect tokens, six murder weapons, 21 cards, secret envelope, one die, a pad of detective notebook sheets.
TYPE OF GAME: Murder Mystery Board Game
AUDIENCE: Kids and adults
The original game, dubbed Murder!, was created by Anthony E. Pratt, an English Musician, around 1944. Pratt and his wife Eva presented the game to Waddingtons, a board game publisher in the United Kingdom, who immediately wanted to publish the game under the name Cluedo (a conjunction of clue and the Latin word Ludo meaning “I play.”) Despite the patent being granted in 1947, due to wartime shortages, the game wasn’t released until 1949. It was simultaneously licensed to Parker Brothers for US distribution under the name Clue.
The original game included 10 characters, one designated as the victim by random draw at the start of the game. These characters included the eliminated Mr. Brown, Miss Gray, Mr. Gold, and Mrs. Silver. Nurse White and Colonel Yellow were changed to Mrs. White and Colonel Mustard for the game release. The original game also included a gun room and a cellar as well as a plethora of weapons such as a bomb, syringe, fireplace poker, and an ax which were eliminated for the actual game release.
Samuel Black was found murdered inside his luxurious mansion. Within it’s nine rooms, detectives uncovered six possible suspects and weapons. They were unsuccessful in solving the murder, so it’s up to you!
In order to win the game you must find out three things about the murder:
- Who did it?
- What weapon did they use?
- Where did the murder happen?
Ms. Vivienne Scarlet, the gorgeous and seductive actress.
Col. Michael Mustard, the sporty and militant colonel.
Mrs. Blanche White, the invasive but warm-hearted maid.
Rev. Jonathan Green, the deceitful religious priest (mobster).
Mrs. Elizabeth Peacock, the corrupt senator.
Prof. Peter Plum, the uptight intellectual.
Rope, Dagger, Wrench, Pistol, Candlestick, Lead Pipe
Courtyard, Game Room, Study, Dining Room, Garage, Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom
- Put all 6 characters and weapons the center of the board, even if there are not 6 players. Players now choose a suspect character to play, as this token will get them across the board. Take turns placing the weapons in the rooms of the mansion, no room can have 2 weapons or more.
- Shuffle and sort clue cards into decks of weapons, rooms, and suspect decks. Take the top card from each deck and place secretly into yellow murder envelope. This is the answer to the murder mystery! Place envelope to the side or on the center X on the board, depending on which version you are playing.
- Shuffle the rest of the Clue cards and distribute them evenly among the each of the players, face down. Keep these cards secret. Place leftover cards which don’t evenly distribute face up on the board.
- Each player needs a clue sheet (keep this secret!) and a pen. Secretly cross off the Clue cards they have been dealt, including the leftovers, on their clue sheet. During the game, you will have the opportunity to see other player’s cards one at a time. Each one you see, mark off on your clue sheet- these cards are not involved in the murder.
Win the game by being the first player to solve the murder by correctly naming the murderer, the weapon used, and the place it took place.
- Start the game by having each player roll the dice. Whoever rolls the highest number goes first. In classic game play, Ms. Scarlett always goes first.
- If it is your turn, roll the dice. Move your character around the board the same amount of spaces indicated by the dice. You can move horizontally or vertically, but you can not move diagonally. If you can, try to enter a room. Even if your roll has moves left, stop in the room You cannot pass rooms which have blocked entrances by suspect characters, similarly, you cannot exit a room if it is blocked by a suspect character.
- Once you enter a room, inquire about the murder. This is called a clue question- hypothesize about the possible suspect and weapon that may have been used. The room you’re in must be used in the clue question. For example, if you land in the Dining Room, you might ask: “Was it Mustard? In the Dining Room? With the Lead Pipe?” Move both the weapon and suspect into the room. Ask about suspects and weapons which are not crossed off your clue sheet. The player to your left will be the first to attempt to answer, they do so by flashing a card- secretly- which answers part of your question. If they do not have a card about which you ask, they must answer “I cannot answer,” and the question passes to the left until you are shown one card. If no one can show you a card, and it is not your own, it is in the envelope.
- End your turn by marking off new clues on your sheet. Leave both the character and weapon in the room, even if the character belongs to another player. They can ask their next question from there without moving. Play passes left.
Winning the Game
Once you’ve eliminated all but three cards on your detective sheet you are ready to solve the murder. Acquisitions may be made preemptively. Depending on the version, to make an accusation, move to the center space on the board or simply just announce you accusation to loud: “I accuse ____ with the ____ in the _____!” After making an accusation, secretly check the envelope.
If your accusation was right, you have won the game.
If your accusation was wrong, secretly return the cards to the envelope and keep your cards hidden. You are not allowed to ask any further questions and cannot win the game.