Cluedo - the board game resting somewhere in the dusty depths of most closets, attics and game shelves of even the most casual board game player - will be receiving a major facelift that, among other things, reimagines the cast of suspects from stuffy erudites to modern thirst traps.
Publisher Hasbro recently announced the changes as part of a larger effort to modernise Cluedo (known as Clue in the US). While the core experience of travelling through a Tudor mansion in order to ascertain the who, what, and where of Boden “Boddy” Black’s murder, almost everything else has been retouched or expanded in the upcoming edition.
For starters, the physical board will be expanded to a 20x20-inch play space, and the box will contain diegetic information about the blackmail Boddy has collected on all of his unwitting guests - Hasbro says players can scan the box for hints at a wider conspiracy. Gone are the dinky pawns and flimsy weapons, replaced with sculpted miniatures depicting the suspects in their eponymous colours and metallic implements, respectively.
It’s the suite of murder suspects that enjoy the bulk of the work, though. Some have been granted new titles - Solicitor Peacock and Chef White, for example - which reflects an expanded backstory for each that connects them to Black and provides ample motive for wanting him dead. It sounds very close to the plot of the 1985 Cluedo film, starring Tim Curry, and will probably closely mirror that of the upcoming remake film with Ryan Reynolds in a major role.
Like most editions since Cluedo first hit shelves in the 1940s, this new version will showcase all of the characters - Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mayor Green, Chef White, Solicitor Peacock and Professor Plum - on the cover, and one can’t help but notice how extremely attractive everyone is, now. Mustard has gone from portly veteran to a bearded bear of a man, and Scarlett might as well be Lupita Nyong’o at a red carpet event. Plum looks like a dreamy post-doc who really knows how to work an, uh… lectern, and White will likely be the Helen of Troy that launches a thousand sapphic ships.
Cluedo’s modernisation is part of a larger effort to translate the 70-year-old board game into something of a powerhouse brand that extends beyond the table. Along with the aforementioned film remake, Cluedo will also become an animated series and a spate of escape room-esque murder mystery boxes. The first in that tabletop line, Treachery at Tudor Mansion, is already available with more planned throughout 2023.
Fans can expect to get their murder-loving mitts on the reimagined Cluedo sometime in 2023, but those who agree with detective extraordinaire Benoit Blanc that it’s “just a terrible, terrible game” can peruse Dicebreaker’s list of better whodunits sure to scratch that sleuthing itch.