History of Board Games: Cluedo

Ever wonder where your favourite game came as a child? Or question if it had some hidden past? Over the coming weeks the VMS team will be revealing some of the hidden secrets of the most loved games of our childhood.

Everyone loves a classic ‘who dun it?’ and the inventor of Cluedo was no exception. Anthony Pratt allegedly invented the game during the Second World War in 1944 as something to occupy the time during air raids for him and his wife. And it was his wife, Marjorie, who designed the original layout for the board. The murder mystery theme has maintained popularity throughout the years.

An English country house is the setting for the game which is named ‘Tudor Manor’. It is the fictitious home of the victim Dr. Black. Pratt approached Waddington’s and the game was officially released in 1949. The original name was Murder! However Waddington’s changed this to Cluedo as a merge of the words ‘clue’ and ‘ludo’ (meaning play in Latin).

The object of the game is to work out who killed the victim; there are a number of suspects (Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mrs Peacock, Mr White, and Reverend Green), a number of weapons and a number of possible rooms in which the murder could have taken place.

Cluedo is named Clue in North America. There are few differences in the two versions including the name of the player ‘Reverend Green’ which was changed to simply Mr. Green’ for the American version, as it has been said that Americans could be upset at the possibility of a parson being a murderer.

The game has a number of spinoff version released, and in 2008 ‘Cluedo: Discover the Secrets’ was released as an updated version. Cluedo was even the subject of the 1985 film, ‘Clue’, directed by Jonathan Lynn. Set in a Gothic Revival mansion with a murder mystery dinner party theme. In theatrical releases it was shown with one of three possible endings in keeping with the game.

Upload a photo
Upload a photo of your item
Item is appraised
Experts appraise your item
Receive appraisal
We send you your appraisal