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Clue has a new look for a new generation of board game fans — and it goes on sale today

You can almost see Ryan Reynolds lurking just out of frame

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The human character pawns from Clue, 2023, are brightly colored and dressed in modern clothing. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

A new version of Clue, the classic game of murder and deduction, is out today. Hasbro’s refreshed 2023 edition features new art, new miniatures, and the same solid gameplay that fans and families have come to enjoy for... jumpin’ Jehosephat, 76 years?

Cluedo (known in the United States at Clue) was conceived by Anthony Pratt in 1947. The musician was inspired during the blackouts of the London Blitz by fond memories of parlor games that he played pre-war. The result of his tinkering — alongside his wife, Elva Pratt — was a simple, yet compelling board game that was cheap to produce. Players take on the role of guests at a manor home, all witnesses and suspects to a murder that must be solved. Gameplay takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes.

The contents of Clue, the 2022 refresh of the classic board game from Hasbro, laid out for play on a white background. The cover shows a party of six — including a Black man and a thin, female chef with dashing white hair. They’re in the study. Image: Hasbro

This latest version of Clue is the result of some thoughtful rebranding by the team at Hasbro. It retains the charming Britishness of the original (there’s still a billiard room and a conservatory, of course) while tossing in the kinds of colors and silhouettes that modern audiences have become familiar with. It’s one part Agatha Christie, two parts Knives Out.

“One of the best parts about being in the games business is that you have all this rich history,” Julien McCluney, Hasbro’s vice president of global brands, told Polygon in an interview late last year. “One of the brands that we really have decided that this is the time [for] is Clue. Because of the popularity of true crime [...] podcasts, movies, even all the various versions of CSI and Law and Order, true crime is not going away. [...] I’m super thrilled to be able to use this as a launching point for lots of exciting news for Clue [this year].”

This new version of Clue will be available at mass market retailers and online from today, including at Walmart, and Amazon. It joins the elegant Clue Signature Collection (a monochrome treatment trimmed with gold foil) as well as an assortment of at-home-escape-room experiences in the Clue-themed “escape and solve mystery” games like Clue: Sabotage on the High Seas, Clue: Robbery at the Museum, and Clue: Treachery at Tudor Mansion.

But what about that Ryan Reynolds movie? Announced in 2011, Reynolds’ involvement in a starring role broke cover in 2018. The chatter stalled out until Aug. 2022, when Oren Uziel (The Lost City) was announced as the film’s new writer. James Bobin (The Muppets, The Muppets Most Wanted) will direct.

So will the new film show up in theaters before the original game turns 80? If she knows, McCluney is certainly keeping her cards close to the chest.

“This is not tied to the movie,” she said. “Whatever [information has been] released to the public is what we know.”

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