Sunday, May 26, 2013


CLUE®, one of America's favorite board games, was created in 1944 in England by Anthony Ernest Pratt.  Pratt received a patent for the game, which he named CLUEDO.  He sold the game to Waddington Games, but it was not launched until 1949 due to post-war shortages of various materials.  Parker Brothers obtained the U.S. rights to CLUE® from Waddington's in 1949.  Hasbro now owns Parker Brothers.  CLUE® is sold in over 40 countries from Brazil to Sweden, New Zealand to Abu Dhabi. The same successful murder-detection formula seems to work well in any language. 


Pratt described himself as "an introvert full of ruminations, speculations and imaginative notions".  Who knew that meant murder and mayhem? 

The object of play is to discover who murdered Mr. Boddy, where he was murdered and with what.  In the UK, Dr. Black is always dead.
One of the few pictures of Dr. Black

Mr. Boddy
Players strategically move around the nine rooms and secret passages of a mansion as Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock or Professor Plum. 

Weapons are the wrench, rope, candlestick, revolver, dagger or lead pipe. 
My playmates and I used to play it for hours.  It was always the perfect thing for a rainy Saturday afternoon.
I'm not sure how modern kids view the game.  After 60 years of Perry Mason, Columbo, Rockford Files, Magnum PI, Law and Order, CSI, and Criminal Minds, everyone knows that the solution of every murder case requires that the perp must have the Means, the Opportunity and the Motive to have murdered the victim . . . M.O.M.

Will 21st Century kids immediately spot the lack of motive in Clue?

Why Dr. Black or Mr. Boddy were murdered remains a mystery.