Everyone loves a good murder mystery! And, everyone loves ‘Clue’, the extremely highly established board game with over one hundred and fifty million copies sold. Clue allows you play detective while you collect evidence and eliminate suspects as you seek out the murderer. It is both thrilling and exciting, and a great game to play with friends and family!
So, how did this beloved game come to be? Let’s go back to the early 1930s. During this time period, a man by the name of Anthony Pratt, a British musician, played the piano in wealthy European homes. These grand estates would often have large dinner parties, where the guests would play exciting games. One of the games that Anthony observed very frequently was one where the guests would act out a murder mystery. As Anthony’s fingers moved across the piano keys, he studied the individuals who would shriek and cry out and collapse “dead” on the floor whilst playing. Pratt felt inspired, and his fascination with murder mysteries grew.
During the second World War in the year of 1943, Pratt created a board game called, ‘Murder!’, which showcased recreations of the murder mystery games he watched play out during his time performing piano. During the course of air-raid blackouts where you were trapped inside, Pratt came up with a myriad of suspects and weapons. Elva, his wife, helped him create and design the game.
The war had passed and during the year 1947, Anthony Pratt patented the board game. It was sold to Waddington, a United Kingdom based manufacturer. It was also sold to Parker Brothers in the United States, which is now owned by Hasbro. The war caused shortages everywhere, so Clue, known as ‘Cluedo’ in the U.K., was not on the market until 1949. The game takes place in an elegant Victorian styled mansion, similar to the ones Pratt played piano in years ago.
The characters for Clue are all related to people Anthony Pratt met during his time as a pianist. Mrs. White was a maid and cook, but her character has since been updated during the year of 2016 to Dr. Orchid, a knowledgeable biologist and daughter of Doctor Black. There is Mrs. Peacock, an extremely classy and stylish character, and Professor Plum, the scholarly archeologist. There is also Colonel Mustard who was a sly military figure, but since he has changed to a clumsy, cartoonish character. Miss Scarlet is the daughter of Mrs. Peacock and known as the “femme fatale” of the bunch. Then finally, you have Reverend Green in the U.K., a priest, and Mr. Green in America, a businessman. As for who is murdered? In the United Kingdom Doctor Black is the victim of this crime, who is the owner of the manor named Tudor Close. Mr. Boddy (get it, Boddy as in dead body?), is the murder victim in the United States version.
There are tons of extravagant rooms in Clue that Pratt designed. The four rooms at the corner of the Clue board each have a secret passageway. Just to name a few rooms, there is the ball room, lounge, library, study, dining hall, kitchen, and hall. Each of these rooms are beautifully decorated and designed. Looking at them makes you feel as if you are actually roaming the hallways of a Victorian styled manor.
After Clue was created, so many versions were formed afterwards. There are ‘Star Wars’, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, ‘The Office’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Big Bang Theory’, ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Clue Junior’, and even more Clue games based on your favourite television shows and movies! You can play as your favourite characters and move through locations based off places in your favourite series!
Also, fun fact, did you know that there was a series of novels, a film and a musical created based on Clue? The book series was made for children during the 1990s by author A.E. Parker. The film was made in 1985 and directed by Jonathan Lynn. The musical was written by Peter DePietro and was preformed first during the year 1997.
We at Playmore are extremely grateful for Anthony Pratt’s fantastic idea to create this treasured game! It has been an enormous amount of fun for families all over. If you haven’t, give Clue a try!
The classic version of Clue takes about forty five minutes to play. It is recommended for ages eight and up and up to six people can play.