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Games and Toys


Cluedo was a weird board game. Its great if you’re an adult, trying to deduce who did what where and to whom. But as a child I never understood it because it was just a little too complicated.

It is a board game in which you have to work out who committed a murder. There are 6 suspects; Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Reverend Green, Mrs. Peacock and Professor Plum. For ease of identification, each player piece was the same colour as their surname.

As well as trying to identify which person committed a murder, you also have to try to work out which item they murdered with. There are 6 potential weapons; Candlestick, Dagger, Lead Pipe,
Revolver, Rope and a Spanner. These were physical miniature items also in the box. (Ironically, the early version of the miniature items were made out of actual lead and therefore did actually pose a risk of lead poisoning.)

Finally there were 9 potential murder places; Kitchen, Ballroom, Conservatory, Dining Room, Billiard Room, Library, Hall, Lounge and Study.

At the start of the game a person, an item and a location are placed into a secret envelope, without anyone knowing which cards they are. These cards represent the crime, and are left in the sealed envelope until the end of the game. All the other item, people and area cards are distributed between all the players.

What follows is a sort of combination between a board game where you roll a dice and move around, and a game of cards like Old Maid in which you have to guess, by process of elimination, who has what. As soon as you know who has what, you know which remaining cards are in the envelope and you’ve solved the crime.

I felt like a game of Cluedo took hours to play and finish.

After all this setting up, sorting, covert card enveloping and the like, it was more boredom than an 8 year old like me could take. I wish my parents would just get Buckaroo out again.

Thanks to Sophie Duffy for the image.


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