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Clue (Board Game): 25 Fun and Intriguing Facts (Trivia, History,…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Clue is a worldwide phenomenon that was first released in 1949. Since its release, the board game has maintained its position as one of the most popular games of all time, with multiple versions on the market today. But how much do you know about your favorite board game?

Clue was first invented in 1943 and began selling in the U.S. in 1949. Invented during World War II, this best-selling board game has a lot of history and some interesting trivia behind it. Did you know that the original concept game was called ‘Murder’ and included weapons like poison and a bomb?

Was it Miss Scarlett in the Billiard Room with a Wrench? Or was it Colonel Mustard in the Library with a Revolver? If you love Clue just as much as we do, you’re sure to love the list of our favorite Clue facts, including trivia, game history, the evolution of the game, and more. 

1. Designed By Anthony Pratt

Clue was initially designed in 1943 by Anthony Pratt, a skilled pianist and musician. Pratt had intended to create a game that people could play and enjoy while hauled up in air raid shelters. 

2. Invented During World War II

As a musician in the early 1940s during World War II, Pratt frequently played private gigs for wealthy clients in luxurious homes. Many of these clients would play murder mystery games. These games piqued Anthony’s curiosity and eventually led him to invent the game. 

3. Originally Named Murder

Anthony Pratt’s concept version of the game was initially named ‘Murder.’ Still, it was later changed to Clue or Cluedo when it was published by Waddingtons in 1949. 

4. The Game Changed Over Time

Pratt’s original concept version of the game included eleven rooms, including the gun room, nine different weapons, and ten characters. The version we know today only has six weapons, six characters, and nine rooms. 

5. Clue Had A Co-Inventor

Anthony Pratt’s wife, Elva Pratt, helped him create the original concept version of the game. She had a hand in naming the ten original characters. 

6. Original Artwork

Of course, while Elva Pratt had a hand in naming the original characters, she was also responsible for the original artwork of the concept version of the game. Her husband named her co-inventor because of her enormous contribution to the game’s original concept. 

7. The Murder Victim Changes

In the American version of the game, the murder victim was named Mr. Boddy. However, in the U.K. version of the game, the victim’s name is Dr. Black. 

8. Miss Scarlett Finds The Body

In the game, Mr. Boddy or Dr. Black is found by Miss Scarlett at the bottom of a staircase. 

9. The Weapons Changed Over Time 

There are six weapons in the version of Clue we know today, including a candlestick, revolver, dagger, lead pipe, rope, and wrench. 

But in the original concept version of the game, Anthony Pratt suggested weapons such as an ax, hypodermic needle, poison, fireplace poker, and even a bomb. 

10. The Original Characters

Anthony Pratt’s version of Clue included ten characters. These characters were named Mr. Gold, Professor Plum, Colonel Yellow, Nurse White, Mr. Brown, Miss Scarlett, the Reverend Mr. Green, Mrs. Silver, and Miss Grey. 

Of course, you can’t forget the victim, Mr. Boddy, or Dr. Black (depending on which version you play).

These characters were eventually whittled down to the six we know today, including Mr. Green, Mrs. White, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, and Mrs. Peacock. 

Both Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White had their names changed when the game was initially published by Waddington’s in 1949.

11. Recent Name Change

While Mrs. White already has a name change from her original character’s name – Nurse White – she was renamed entirely (and replaced) in 2016. In this revision of the game published by Hasbro, Mrs. White is completely replaced by Doctor Orchid.

12. Hall Of Fame

With the popularity of Clue over the years, it should come as no surprise that this worldwide sensation was introduced into the National Toy Hall of Fame

13. Clue vs. Cluedo

If you’re familiar with the game – or you’re a complete Clue fanatic like we are – you may also have heard other players call the game ‘Cluedo.’ 

This name change is because Anthony Pratt’s ‘Murder’ game was initially produced and sold as ‘Clue’ in the United States. In contrast, it was sold under ‘Cluedo’ in the U.K. and other parts of the world. 

14. Cluedo Name Meaning

As it’s known in the U.K. and other parts of the world, Cluedo is made up of the words “clue” and “ludo.” Ludo is Latin for “I play,” which means that the original name roughly translates into “Clue I Play.” 

This name seems fitting to the concept of the game. As a deduction-based board game, we couldn’t think of a better way to title this murder mystery sensation. 

15. Rolling The Dice

While the rules have changed and adapted over time, the original game stipulated that Miss Scarlett’s character was to roll first. This stipulation means that the player controlling Miss Scarlett started the game. While there isn’t a clear reason for this rule, we believe it could be because Miss Scarlett is the one who first finds the murder victim!

Additionally, the last character to roll the dice is Professor Plum. While these were part of the original Clue rules, we’re sure that every player has their own unofficial rules for rolling the dice – and possibly for other gameplay aspects. 

16. The Original Lead Pipe

The lead pipe was one of the original weapons that Anthony Pratt suggested with the concept version of the game. What you may not know about this game is that the original pipe game piece was made out of real lead. 

17. More Than Half a Century Old

Clue was initially sold in the U.S. in 1949, which means the game will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2049. 

18. The Ballroom

The biggest room on the entire board is the Ballroom. 

19. Clue Has A Secret Room

The newer versions of Clue feature nine rooms. The rooms include the Kitchen, Ballroom, Conservatory, Study, the Hall, Lounge, Library, Dining Room, and Billiard Room. But there is also a secret room. 

The secret room is the Cellar, which is not accessible to players during gameplay. However, this room contains the clue combination to end the game. 

20. Cluedo Became A Gameshow

In 1990, Cluedo was presented as a T.V. gameshow in the U.K. 

21. Clue World Champion

The game of Clue swept the world by storm and is still widely considered one of the most popular board games today. But did you know that Joseph Kollar became the Clue world champion in 1993?

22. Clue: The Musical

There was also a Clue Musical based on the popular board game adapted for the stage in 1995. 

23. Clue: The Movie

Like the musical, Clue was made into a movie in 1985 and starred famed actor Tim Curry. 

24. Clue’s Facelift 

In 2008, Hasbro changed Clue to reflect more contemporary themes. This new game version was adapted and altered for a modern audience. It transformed the original 1920s theme into a game full of ‘celebrity’ characters. 

25. Ending The Game

The original game of Clue has a whopping 324 weapon, location, and suspect combinations that determine the game’s outcome. 

Conclusion

Clue is an undisputed fan favorite in the board game community. With thousands of players and a myriad of spin-off games, movies, T.V. shows, and even Broadway musicals, this game changed the course of gaming history forever. 

So, what are you waiting for? With our list of 25 fun facts, trivia, history, and more, you can break out all of your favorite facts to impress your fellow players! Gather your friends and family and break out your Clue board for game night.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.