Different Ways to Play the Game Clue

By Robert Vaux

Parker Brothers' Clue is a board game classic in which players try to deduce the mystery of who killed Mr. Boddy. A number of variations have appeared, including reprints featuring the Simpsons, Harry Potter and Scooby Doo. In addition, Hasbro (which now owns Parker Brothers) has released a new version of the classic rules, and simpler rules variants have appeared allowing people to change game play on their own.

Basic Rule Changes

Two basic rule changes are used in most common variants of Clue, and you can use either or both. The first eliminates the use of dice: Instead of rolling to see how far pieces move, each player gets nine moves on his turn. It costs one move to travel one space and three moves to make a guess to eliminate possible suspects, accuse a killer or travel down a secret passage to the other side of the board. Playing their nine moves in the best way adds more strategy to the game.

The second rule change entails the use of a skeleton key in the center of the board. Players may travel to the skeleton key and then use it to lock or unlock rooms. If a room is locked, a player needs to retrieve the skeleton key in order to enter it and make guesses or accusations there.

Discover the Secrets

In 2008, Hasbro released Clue: Discover the Secrets, an updated version of the game. The board and pieces received a new look--with more modern characters taking place of the classic suspects--and a few new rules were added. The biggest change involved a new set of cards called Intrigue cards, activated by arriving on a board space with a question mark. The cards do things like provide an extra turn or allow a player to look at someone else's cards. In addition, a series of Clock cards are shuffled into the Intrigue cards. The first seven that are drawn do nothing, but the player who draws the eighth has been killed by the murderer and must leave the game.

Each player also receives a profile card that gives him a special one-time-only ability. For example, one profile card allows the holder to look at a random single card from the hand of another player.

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