Clue - Dastardly Review #035
Updated: Jul 2, 2018
Mrs. White: Well, one of us must have killed him!
Anthony Pratt was a talented musician who travelled Pre-World War II Europe extensively. Who-Done-It mysteries were the rage at the time and often there would be murder mysteries held on large estates where actors portrayed victims and suspects and the guests had to figure out who was the murderer. From these seeds grew the idea for a board game that Anthony and his wife Evla created … the game that would eventually sell over 100,000,000 copies and spawn a movie.
The Pratts filed for their patent in 1944 for a game called Murder!. Waddingtons immediately bought the rights to the game and renamed it Cluedo. World War II got in the way of actually producing the game so it wasn’t until 1949 that the game hit the shelves as Clue in the US and Cluedo in the rest of the world.
Clue is played on a game board that shows the rooms of a mansion, hallways and a couple secret passages. The rooms are sprinkled with various weapons including the famous candlestick and lead pipe. Suspects such as Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett and Colonel Mustard
are represented by colored pawns.
Cards are dealt randomly with three cards to each player and a set in a secret pile which says who killed using what weapon in what room. Players move around the board and make accusations such as “Mrs White in the Study with the rope.” Starting on the accuser’s left the other players get a chance to secretly show the accuser a card they hold which would disprove the accusation. If a player holds a card then it can’t be in the secret stash which shows the real murder info.
Play continues in that manner until no player can disprove an accusation and the stash is revealed proving that the accusation is correct!
The Good: Lots of fun. Teaches logic skills.
The Bad: Candlesticks were never looked at the same.
The Dastardly: The movie Clue was a dud at the box office despite a strong cast. It has since become a cult hit. The movie was released to theaters with three different who-done-it endings. The idea was that movie goers might go see it more than once to see the other endings or that it would increase interest and discussion about the film.