Cluedo is a murder mystery board game that puts you in charge of finding the killer of Dr. Black in his mansion. There are six suspects—Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Reverend Green, Mrs. White, and Colonel Mustard—all guests of Dr. Black. Your goal is to play as one of the guests and find the killer first.
Choose your playing character. Place the six character tokens on the spaces with their names on the game board. All tokens must be on the board, even if six of you aren’t playing.
Place all the weapons in separate, random rooms.
Separate the cards into three decks—characters, weapons and rooms. Shuffle each deck face down.
Take the top card from each deck and slip it inside the case file envelope so no one sees. The envelope now contains three cards that answer the questions—Who committed the crime? With which weapon? And where in the mansion was it done? You need to figure out which three cards are in the case file envelope. Leave the envelope on the centre of the board.
Shuffle the remaining character, weapon and room cards all together and distribute all of them among the players. Some of you might receive more cards than others but that is fine.
Give one sheet from the detective notebook to each player, along with a pen or pencil.
Secretly look at your cards and strike off on your sheet the suspects, weapons and rooms you have. They cannot be in the envelope! Keep your sheet and your cards a secret.
Image Credits: Aparna Sundaresan
Whoever plays as Miss Scarlett begins the game. The order of play then goes clockwise as per the next character on the board. If no one is playing as Scarlett, then the game starts with the next character on the board clockwise. When it’s your turn:
Roll the dice. Move your character token the number of squares as per the dice roll and enter a room.
Make a suggestion in the room. This is where you say out loud who your suspect is and what weapon they used for the murder in the room that you are in. Move the suspect’s character token and weapon into this room when you make your suggestion.
The player on your left secretly shows you one card from your suggestion, if they have it. If they have more than one card, they choose which one to show you.
If they don’t have a card, they say so and the player after them secretly shows you a card from your suggestion if they have it. And so on. If no one has a card, that’s also fine. It could be in the case file envelope.
Mark your sheet with the response each player gives you. What the other players show you or don’t show you will help you eliminate suspects, weapons and rooms from your sheet.
That’s the end of your turn. The player to your left goes next.
Once you think you know who committed the murder, with which weapon and where in the mansion, make your final accusation during your round. Immediately after you make your suggestion, declare your accusation out loud. You can say, “I accuse [character], with [a weapon], in [a room].”
Secretly look inside the case file envelope. If all three cards you mentioned in your accusation are in there, you’ve won! Show everyone the three cards.
If your accusation and all three cards don’t match, you’re out of the game! Put the cards back in the envelope without showing them to anyone. You can’t take any more turns and make suggestions, but you must show cards to other players when they make suggestions.
The remaining players continue playing until one of them makes a correct accusation. If no one makes a correct accusation, then the murderer gets away with the crime and nobody wins.
Cluedo is an exciting and fun game to play with a group of friends. It’s not so much a game about questioning suspects and gathering clues but about finding the answer through the process of elimination. At every turn, you need to figure out who has which card or cards. The three cards that nobody has is the final answer of the game.
Your detective sheet is your biggest ally. You need to make notes diligently. You can’t afford to not pay attention during gameplay. Even when it’s not your turn, you can figure out which player holds which cards.
For diehard fans of the feature You Be the Detective in Tinkle, this game might be a bit disappointing since there is no active crime solving. Those who enjoy solving puzzles might find Cluedo to be right up their alley, since this game is essentially a big puzzle waiting to be solved. All said, Cluedo is definitely worth a shot purely for the hours of fun and entertainment you will have with your friends.