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Board Game Analysis and Re-design – Cluedo

Continuation of board game analysis task…


Type of game: Strategy/Family Game

Age range: 8+

Number of players: 3-6

Aim of the game: “To solve the case and win the game, find out the three correct answers of the cards in the Murder envelope.”

How to play:

  • Place suspects on their coloured bases
  • Each player selects a suspect
  • Place each of the weapons in a different room as follows, the dagger in the ballroom, the lead piping in the conservatory, the revolver in the study, the rope in the lounge, the candlestick in the dining room, the spanner in the kitchen
  • Place the Murder Envelope in the centre of the board and sort the cards into their 3 groups, Suspects, Rooms and Weapons face down
  • Take the top card from each group and place them into the Murder Envelope so no-one can see them
  • Shuffle all the remaining cards together and deal these cards face down around the table
  • Secretly look at your own cards, because you have them in your hand, they can’t be in the Murder Envelope which means none of your own cards are involved in the crime
  • Each detective receives one sheet from the detective notebook
  • Fold the sheet in half and note down which suspects, rooms and weapons are in your hand so you can cross them off
  • Miss Scarlett is always the person to play first, if she isn’t playing, the person to her left plays first
  • On each turn you roll the die and try to get from room to room in the house to investigate
  • You can use secret passages in corner rooms to move around as well as the spaces on the board
  • When you enter a room you make a “suggestion,” to do this move a suspect and a weapon into that room you have just entered
  • Starting from the left the other detectives try and prove your suggestion as false, if the detective has one of your cards named, he or she must show it to you and no-one else, they can only select one to show you
  • You can then make a note of this in your detective notes
  • If you believe that your suggestion is true then you can make an accusation, you need to check in the murder envelope if you are correct, if you are you win the game, if you are not then you are out of the game, you can only try and prove false to other suggestions after losing


  • 1 gameboard
  • 6 weapon tokens
  • 6 suspect tokens
  • 9 room cards
  • 6 weapon cards
  • 6 suspect cards
  • 1 murder envelope
  • 1 die
  • Detective notebook sheets

How could it be re-designed?


For Cluedo the major elements are

  • Strategy of finding the murderer, logical

The minor elements are

  • Rooms
  • Weapons
  • Characters

Cluedo is a very specific game and so to re-design this one I didn’t actually change the main gameplay I just added a major element. As part of the game, the point is to get from room to room to make accusations. To add a bit more excitement and fun to the game I thought there could be challenges set to get through the door of a room, each room could have a different challenge to promote some skills and also learn a bit of general knowledge.


To enter this room the player would have to pick up a card and solve a maths/science problem. This would help promote visuo-spatial abilities and logical thinking.

E.g There are 2 more pears than oranges, if there are 6 pears how many oranges are there?

Answer: 4

Dining room

To enter this room the player would have to answer some trivia about parties, dining, etiquette or manners. This isn’t directly connected to a skill but would be a fun bit of trivia and a good way to learn about manners in life.

E.g “Licking fingers was alright before the invention of knifes and forks”, true or false?

Answer: False


To enter this room the player would have to answer some trivia about cooking. This could be directed as a more stereotypical feminine skill and help teach children about food.

E.g What herb is this?

Aaron Tait Photography

A. Sage

B. Mint

C. Basil

Answer: Basil


To enter this room the player would have to answer some trivia about plants/flowers. Not really directed at a particular skill, just a fun bit of trivia.

E.g How many species of roses’ are there?

A. 15,000

B. 35,000

C. 50,000

Answer: 35,000

Billiard room

Similar to the challenge I showed in mentalogy, this could be a targeting accuracy challenge. There could be a board with enter and do not enter written on it, the “enter” being small and “do not enter” parts being larger. The player would have to aim at the board helping develop targeting accuracy which is seen as a stereotypical masculine trait.


To enter this room the player would be shown a card with a dance move on that they would have to perform. Dancing is usually seen as a feminine thing to do so this challenge could help boys get in touch with their feminine side.


To enter this room the player would be asked a literature/spelling trivia question. This would help teach about the subject of literature and spelling which is a skill that is helpful throughout life.


Which word is spelled correctly?

A. Austrillia

B. Australia

C. Austalia

Answer: Australia


This room could have a spinner with it where the player had to spin to get set a random challenge from one of the other rooms. The reasoning behind this is because players may avoid certain rooms if they don’t want to take the challenge, with the randomness of the spinner they may have no choice but to do them challenges.

Analysing this game: Cluedo is so specific that it was a difficult one to re-design. By adding in the elements for entering the rooms this was the only way I could think to try and include ways of making the game more fun and help promote skills to make a child more androgynous. The ballroom in particular I think would help boys get in touch with their feminine side.

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