First published in 1985, Parker Brothers designed a new medium of gaming; combining videos played on the VCR with board games. A sequel game, Clue II: Murder in Disguise was published in 1987, with all-new mysteries.
In the first installment, your host is the butler, Didit, and each player takes on the role of one of the suspects. Unlike the original board game, players must solve at least two murders, possibly as many as five to win the game. Players are each given a collection of cards to help them keep track of clues and suspects, as well as investigate to gain more clues, but investigating actions are limited by a separate action deck.
The second installment, Clue II: Murder in Disguise, goes international, with the suspects now pursued by the game's new host - Inspector Pry, of Interpol - through Paris, Tangiers, and Rangoon. The gameplay is improved with the removal of the action deck for a standard menu of actions that can be used on any turn, and the clues are sorted and indicated so that a player can ask specifically for a hint about a Murderer, Victim, Weapon, or Room.
This game contains examples of:
- Black Widow: Mrs. Peacock is implied to be one. This gets confirmed later.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the sequel game, the suspects seem to have gotten a bit of Medium Awareness.
- When Peach asks Brunette where they are early in Chapter 1, Brunette points to the title on the screen indicating they're in Paris.
- One of the characters explains what they've been through since the last part. When the others remark they already know since they experienced it as well, the first character explains that she was telling the audience.
- In Rangoon, Miss Peach writes a diary and narrates her writings in voiceover. At one point, Madame Rose hears the voiceover and tells her to stop, because it's annoying.
- Rose ends up complaining again about the diary voice-over - except this time it's actually Mustard listening about a mission from a self-destructing tape.
- Canon Immigrant: Madame Rose, M. Brunette, Miss Peach and Sgt. Gray are all introduced in Clue VCR. They end up reappearing in Clue: Master Detective - a true board game with more options for suspects, weapons and rooms, that makes for a longer, more difficult game.
- Crazy-Prepared: After Mr. Boddy's will is burned, it's revealed there's another. After that will is also burned, it's revealed there's a third one.
- Cut Phone Lines: So many people do this that it's a wonder that nobody noticed bits of cut phone wire all over the carpet in the parlor.
- Foreshadowing: When Sergeant Grey helps Mrs. White make dinner, neither of them can tell a green pepper apart from a red one, revealing they're both color-blind.
- Game Between Heirs: The third will is a contest for who can reveal the most secrets about the others. Mrs. White claims that the contest was geared towards her since she has been cataloging secrets about the others in her diary.
- Lost Will and Testament: After the Tontine will is burned, it's revealed there's a second one, but no one knows where it is. Cue the search.
- Meaningful Name: Miss Peach is implied to be from Georgia (the state, not the country), which is famous for its peaches.
- My Card: During the video, Mr. Green hands Professor Plum a card that says "Lyman Green, business", parodying business cards in general.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: All the characters demonstrate amazing skills offscreen, ranging from the crime they committed prior to the events of the game, using Madame Rose as a battering ram to escape from a time bomb, to surviving 14 days from Tangiers to Burma in poverty.
- Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: During the dinner scene.
- Poison Ring: One makes an appearance in both the original and sequel games.
- Pretty in Mink: Miss Peach sometimes wears a white fox wrap.
- Punny Name:
- Didit, the butler, is a pun on The Butler Did It.
- Miss Peach's first name is Melba, as in Peach Melba.
- Race Lift: The earliest version of the board game has a European woman for Miss Scarlet, but later versions depicted Scarlet as an Asian Dragon Lady. This version stayed with the later depiction and cast an Asian actor as Scarlet.
- The Reveal: Wouldn't be a mystery without one...or several in this case:
- Miss Peach is actually a French con artist and M. Brunette's daughter. Or so she thinks...
- M. Brunette isn't actually Mr. Boddy's lawyer (or a lawyer at all), but a con artist as well. However, he's not Miss Peach's biological father, having adopted her, and is not actually French, only pretending for her.
- Professor Plum is revealed during the second will reading to have been married to Mr. Boddy's daughter (who's now deceased). But the reveal of secrets includes how she died. It turns out that he had to conduct an experiment on a new poison he concocted and was out of rats...
- Sergeant Grey is not a real police officer, but actually a homicidal maniac who escaped from an asylum and stole a police uniform. He's also the long lost love child of Mr. Boddy and Mrs. White.
- Miss Scarlet being a spy is more of a Captain Obvious Reveal. On the other hand, Colonel Mustard is a former spy forced to retire after getting a steel plate implanted in his head. A magnetic steel plate.
- Skewed Priorities: In the second game, when Mister Green checks the case where he has stored the money, he finds there is a bomb inside it, instead. He's more bothered by the money being missing, than the fact he has a ticking bomb sitting in front of him, which he just casually tosses to the side.
- Shout-Out: Madame Rose states that Mrs. White came recommended from a pair of brothers in Massachusetts, the Parker Brothers.
- Southern Belle: Miss Peach is portrayed as a rich woman from the Deep South in this game. It overlaps with Meaningful Name, since Georgia is famous for its peaches.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: During the dinner scene in Mr Boddy's mansion, almost all of the guests end up poisoning something that is served for the table.
- Tontine: Mr. Boddy does a variant in his latest will where the last surviving person among those who attended the reading would claim the entire inheritance. Naturally, all sorts of attempted murders occur.
- Troll: Didit is this in the first game, acting as though he's just been murdered, as well as cutting the lights just when Mister Boddy is about to revel who murdered him during a seance. He claims he does this as a joke to give everyone the push to get started.
- VHS Game: An adaptation of Clue, by Parker Brothers. The regular game of Clue, minus the board, gets elements brought to life via live-action actors. Players compete to try to solve the mystery of who killed Mr Boddy. Trope Maker and Ur-Example of the VHS Game.