1949 Clue Board Game


The 1949 Clue Board Game is an iconic murder-mystery game, which has been around since the late 1940s. The game was initially developed by Anthony E. Pratt and was first published in England by Waddingtons under the title “Cluedo”.

In 1949 Clue, players gather up to six visitors at a stately Tudor mansion to deduce who killed the victim—and with what lethal weapon from six options: candlestick, lead pipe, revolver, rope, spanner (wrench) and dagger. As each guest checks his alibi and cleverly rules out innocent suspects one by one, the detective advances closer to the truth of who did “it” in what room with what instrument. Each player assumes as character and receives his own corresponding weapon and room cards that only he holds. By asking questions of other players about their cards to determine or eliminate possibilities for each clue item being sought out—motive, murder weapon, location of crime—the detective attempts to solve the mystery before anyone else would do so. A secret envelope contains an answer card with the unique solution – identifying one person as murderer with that sinister implement in the notorious setting in what transpired on that ill-fated night of despair.

Today’s version of Clue takes advantage of updated design elements while still keeping true to its classic origins. It also incorporates many modern elements improving game play like a transparent plastic character movers on wheels instead of pewter tokens; removable plastic sheets akin tiles that reveal secret passages when moved instead of paperboard chits; 3D weapons including sculpted replicas of lead pipe and others; electrified switches to set off lights when a hint is found for all players see in tandem; ten insider hints ranked from rookie to Senior Detective based on player level among other additions like entry hall card pockets magnetized boards and more!

Antecedents of Clue

The 1949 Clue board game was, and still is, a timeless classic game. It has become one of the most popular board games in history and continues to bring joy to players all over the world. But what led to the creation of this now-beloved game? To understand its success, one must explore its historical and cultural factors.

The origins of Clue can be traced back to Britain during World War II as an espionage based game. During this time, many military groups used partially hidden maps with arrows indicating where they would send their spies in search of valuable intelligence. In Clue, each weapon represents a direction arrow while the rooms are locations given on those maps and cards signify different pieces of information collected by the spy team. The rules were revised and changed along with social dynamics at the time, creating the final form of Clue that we know today.

Clue has been heavily influenced by British culture throughout its evolution. From popular crime novels such as Agatha Christie’s Murder on Orient Express to detective television shows like Sherlock Holmes, mystery solving has become an ingrained part of British culture that contributed to the development of Clue. Many adaptations have been released based on these influences, including variations like “Cluedo” and “CluedUpp” which feature additional classic characters for more complex play.

From secret maps used in warfare to entertainment inspired by a nation’s culture, these historical and cultural factors have had a major influence on why so many people still enjoy playing Clue today. Generations have grown up loving it and with every adaptation featuring even more beloved characters and clues, it is sure to remain just as beloved in years to come.

The Creators

Created in 1949, Clue was designed by Anthony Pratt, a British composer and civil servant. He originally envisioned the game to be played out as a race to solve a murder – with players each representing a different suspect – moving around the board picking up clues and secrets. His vision was to create an entertaining game that allowed players to make deductions about who did it and with what weapon – presenting a unique problem-solving challenge for its players.

In order for this vision to come alive Anthony Pratt teamed up with artist George Parker from Waddington’s games in England. It was George’s illustrated artwork, featuring famous suspects such as Mrs. White and Professor Plum, that would make Clue an iconic international hit that it is today! After its initial release in 1949 the US Parker Brothers company saw the potential for success of the game and purchased the rights soon after.

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Over 70 years later and several versions of Clue released worldwide, Anthony Pratt’s original vision lives on as millions enjoy playing his classic murder mystery detective game. The contributions of both him and George Parker have lead to many generations discovering this classic puzzler, making it one of the most beloved board games of all time!

Mechanics of Clue

Clue, released in 1949, is a classic detective-themed board game played by friends and family members. The objective of the game is to narrow down which character has committed the crime, in what room, and with what weapon. Players circulate around the mansion-like game board collecting clues that help them identify who did it.

The mechanics of Clue involve making deductions based on clues about who, where and with what weapon. Before the start of each round, three cards – one suspect card, one room card and one weapon card – are placed in separate envelopes called the “Case File” at the center of the board. These three cards make up the real solution to “Whodunnit?” Throughout gameplay players ask questions like “Who was in what room?” They can also move their pawns to different locations on the board as they search for clues. This allows them to gain more information while investigating different suspects, rooms and weapons; ultimately helping them determine who did it.

To win Clue, players must use observation skills to collect evidence and use deduction to rule out suspects or wrongfully accused characters. As they learn more information through questioning other players or finding clue cards throughout their exploration around the board they can then begin to narrow down potential solutions until they only have one answer remaining.. In order to prove themselves right, players must make a correct accusation by placing each card from the case file envelope into its correct spot on a vertical display above sections identifying either suspect room or weapon that won’t be revealed until that point during gameplay . After doing this final reveal players will find out if their accusation was successful or not depending on whether or not they guessed correctly when all three pieces matched up in one incriminating combination.


The 1949 Clue board game is a classic murder mystery-themed game where players are presented with the task of deducing who committed a grisly crime. The original 1949 edition includes nine rooms in which to search for clues, six suspects, and six weapons. As the decades have rolled by, so too have the variations on this beloved game.

In recent years, some new editions of Clue have been released that include various new features and aesthetic updates. In 2006, Hasbro released a special DVD edition of the game that comes with interactive artwork as well as a DVD featuring an animated version of private detective/explorer Mr. Boddy’s tour through Clue Manor.

The 2011 Golden Greats edition of Clue also came with a neat twist – iconic characters from four classic video games (Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong and Space Invaders) joined the lineup of usual suspects as part of a one-time promotion for that year only. Fans began to call these “game informer” versions since they included characters from popular video games added among stars such as Professor Plum and Miss Scarlet!

More recently Hasbro has debuted their retro San Francisco Edition where they changed out all the rooms in Clue Manor and replaced them with locations like Chinatown and Twin Peaks! This version comes complete with hard boiled private detective Dick Mustard who traverses through all the neighborhoods finding clues along his journey. No matter which variation you prefer, each edition of Clue brings its own special twist to your favorite murder mystery game!


The board game Clue was created in 1949 and has gone on to become one of the world’s most recognized, played, and beloved board games – with millions of copies and variations being sold worldwide. In the United States alone, it is estimated that more than 30 million people have played some version of this detective-themed game over the years.

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Clue continues to remain popular today due largely to its entertaining concept which allows players to “solve” a fictional murder mystery by essentially connecting together clues they collect throughout the game in order to determine who killed whom, where they did it, and what weapon they used. As well as its attempted murder mystery theme appeals to people regardless of age or gender.

In recent years, Clue has remained popular not only through sales of copycat versions but also in many other ways. For example, it currently stands as the longest running nonmusical stage play in London’s West End theatre district. It offers multiple licensed merchandise lines such as books, videos games, comic strips, DVDs and clothing items featuring its brand. Additionally, various online adaptations such as live action renditions also help maintain interest in the game among fans old and new during our modern times. Even celebrities have been known to promote their own versions of the classic game for charity auctions or cause awareness events among other causes – proving just how far-reaching this classic board game still is today!


The iconic board game, 1949 Clue, has demonstrated a level of timelessness that is rare. For more than 70 years, its clever—and often infuriatingly difficult—-game mechanics and mysterious themes have entranced players of all ages and drawn them into an immersive experience. As one of the earliest mystery games to exist, Clue lent itself as something of a pattern that future crime-solving entertainment would recreate: guessing the perpetrator by elimination. This fundamental concept has been adopted in many movies, television series, novels, and video games since 1949.

The original board featured a murder mystery involving six guests staying overnight in a stately mansion – Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Ms. Scarlet, Professor Plum, and the butler – who each had a unique weapon to commit the alleged murder with: revolver, rope, lead pipe, dagger, candlestick or poison. Players working together or alone had to solve the dark deed while navigating around the rooms on the gameboard before their opponents did so first by bringing notes back to their conclusion cards at every turn. These game elements gave someone points depending on which room they managed to find clues that could point towards definite answers and answers were arrived at by deduction through combining notes acquired throughout playtime. While this particular edition is considered outdated due to changes in the English language since its creation (for example words like “maid” becoming gender neutral), it still stands firm alongside other popular versions of virtual or analog improvements from various times in history like 1985’s Master Detective or 2000’s Super Sleuth editions published by Hasbro respectively .

The fact that 1949’s Clue has endured for decades is testament to its ingenuity and careful craftsmanship that have kept fans coming back generation after generation; despite today’s tech-heavy spending habits people continue to purchase manually operated board games as treasured mementos rather than throwing them away as quickly dated items. Even when faced with challenging obstacles Clue has continued inspiring young minds with its perfect blend of educational information combined with addictive intrigue worthy enough keep everyone around it entertained; To this day it remains one of those select few childhood passions allowed to enjoy longevity into adulthood making it an icon worth experiencing over and over again.

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