This article is for quizzes on Wednesday September 16th...

Cluedo (/ˈkld/), or Clue in North America, is a murder mystery game for three to six players, devised by Anthony E. Pratt from Birmingham, England and currently published by the American game and toy company Hasbro. The object of the game is to determine who murdered the game's victim ("Dr. Black" in the UK version and "Mr. Boddy" in North American versions), where the crime took place, and which weapon was used.
In 1944, Anthony E. Pratt, an English musician, applied for a patent of his invention of a murder/mystery-themed game, originally named "Murder!" The game was originally invented as a new game to play in bomb shelters. Shortly thereafter, Pratt and his wife, Elva Pratt (1913-1990), who had helped in designing the game, presented it to Waddingtons' executive, Norman Watson, who immediately purchased it and provided its trademark name of "Cluedo" (a play on "clue" and "Ludo"; ludo is Latin for I play). Though the patent was granted in 1947, due to post-war shortages, the game was not officially launched until 1949, when the game was simultaneously licensed to Parker Brothers in the United States for publication, where it was renamed "Clue" along with other minor changes.

There were several differences between the original game concept and that initially published in 1949, 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. These ten included the eliminated Mr. Brown, Mr. Gold, Miss Grey, and Mrs. Silver, while renaming Nurse White to Mrs. White and Colonel Yellow to Colonel Mustard. 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 bomb, syringe, shillelagh (walking stick/cudgel), fireplace poker and the later used axe and poison. Some of these unused weapons and characters appeared later in spin-off versions of the game.

Some gameplay aspects were different as well. 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 were later updated by the game's initial release and remain essentially unchanged in the standard Classic Detective Game editions of the game.

author profile image