Cluedo Columbine edition

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If the year 2009 stays on everyone’s mind for decades, it’s only because of one thing: it marks the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre and, even more important, the 60th anniversary of the first appearance of the board game Cluedo onto the market. Such a coincidence is for sure a sign of destiny. In any case this is certainly the way the families of the victims have interpreted it when they asked Parker Brothers (the maker of the Cluedo) to develop a special release of their game, finding a new way to make money with their little family stories.

And this is how the Cluedo Columbine edition was born. A fun and easy game everyone can enjoy with friends and family.

edit Main changes

Parker Brothers have decided to make some important modifications from the original Cluedo game, a nice way to honor and give tribute to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two murderers who “by their actions have permitted this project to exist”, emphasized Jonathan Manson, spokesperson of the game publisher Parker Brothers. This way even the people who enjoy playing Cluedo for a long time will be facing something new and not just a bad and disappointing cover.

edit Victims


The "Deluxe" release also contains a special Columbine edition of the famous "Guess Who?" game. This way kids under 7 can also have a lot of fun playing with their favorite victims of massacre.

In the Cluedo that everyone knows, the goal of the game is to find who killed the mysterious Mr Boddy. I use the word mysterious just to add a little mystery because in fact, he’s just a regular made up character. As Columbine tells the story of a huge massacre, it would have been a shame to have only one victim. The scenario of the Cluedo Columbine edition includes 12 corpses (13 in fact but this is bad luck so we won’t consider the Black dead body as one of the victims).

Ok, I see some of you guys considering that this story with a lot of victims killed in such a brutal manner would be too hard to handle. But don’t worry; you won’t have to solve 12 murders! This game is mainly design for kids and teenagers and we would never ask them to use your brain too much, that would be a first?

Each victim is represented by a card. We will see later how to use these cards. By the way, I want to take this opportunity to salute the endeavor of Parker Brothers publisher who made absolutely no concession to authenticity: all faces and names you will find in the game belong to the original victims. It’s not because we talk about a funny game designed for kids and teenagers that we have to disrespect Truth and History. Shouldn’t we sing “The star spangled banner” at this point? Ok maybe later.

edit Suspects

This is the part where the game has been the most altered. The former scenario of Cluedo – one victim and a dozen suspects – has basically been reversed. There are 12 victims and in fact no suspects because we know from the start who “made it”. So this is more a roleplaying game like let’s say Dungeons and Dragons than a police investigation. Indeed, the goal is to seek and destroy the victims, some of them sometimes hiding in tiny spaces and other acting in a way we could qualify as not really fair for the game (pretending they are already dead, hiding behind the corpse of a classmate, etc…)

This big change compare to original Cluedo also explains that the Columbine edition is only limited to 2 players. Sorry, you can’t have it all. But you can always form teams or ask some of your friend to play the role of the victims; everyone has the right to have fun.

edit Weapons


That was pretty cool, wasn't it?

If I may criticize a little something about the Cluedo Columbine edition, it would be about the arsenal the murderers can use. In the original Cluedo, we can enjoy various and unexpected items like a chandelier or a wrench. It was really funny to try to imagine Mrs White butchering Mr Boddy smashing his face with a chandelier while all the teeth were flying around and the blood spilling on the floor, in the library.

There is no such thing in the new game. The creators showed some lack of creativity and we can only enjoy a classic set of weaponry really similar to what we can find in games like Crysis or Far Cry. Although we can only praise the realism of the models coming with the box. Would they not be made of plastic and not 100 times smaller than the originals, we would surely want to use these weapons immediately.

This tab shows the way the arsenal of the new game matches with the original one:


Pretty basic stuff.

"Classic" Cluedo "Columbine" Cluedo
Rope .357 Magnum
ChandelierAssault riffle MP5
Iron bar Kalachnikov AK-47
Knife Bazooka M9
Wrench Heavy machinegun 92 (modified)
Poison bottle M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System

edit The board

Parker Brothers didn't have to think too much before coming with the right idea to implement the board of this new game. They only had to get to Littleton Town Hall and ask politely for the architect plan of the Columbine High School, and that was it. Instead of the mansion of the original game, we now have a view from above of a classic high school, with just a few more places to hide. But future victims will have to be smart to stay away from the two hungry-for- blood-merciless-serial-killers! Oh my God this is so much fun!


Each player picks his favorite murderer and seats on the corresponding side of the board.

Rooms are connected one to another by something the creators of the game named after the technical expression “corridors” (colored in brown on the sketch above). A potential victim can wait in a room or in a corridor. Never in both places at same time except during the phase of the game called “grenades at will”. But we will talk about this specific part of the game later on. Don’t be so impatient for Christ sake!

There are some special locations on the board you should better be aware before starting to play. For example the “cafeteria” (in the middle of the plan) is a very exposed place and victims should be more careful here. Toilet may represent a good hiding place but remember that a simple lock will not resist too long against two heavy machine-guns firing with no rest. Rooms with windows are convenient exits. But be careful, the board is not limited to the building: pursuits can occur on the campus where victims have less chances to hide themselves.

Anyway you will note that this board is much more interesting and rich then the one presented in the original game. Something exciting and exploding can happen at any time.

edit What’s in the box?

You will find Cluedo Columbine edition in every store from September 2009, at the fair price of $39.99 for the “classic” version and $49.99 for the “Deluxe” version. Each box contains the following items:

  • A board representing Columbine High School and surroundings (scale 1:150)
  • 12 “victim” cards
  • 1 “Black victim” bonus card
  • 80 “missions” card
  • 2 “merciless murderers” pawns
  • 1 dice
  • 6 weapons (fake)
  • 200 “living targets” pawns (among them, 12 marked “victims” and 1 marked “Bonus”)
  • Instruction manual

The “deluxe” version will add:

edit How to play?

As we explain earlier, Cluedo Columbine edition is only a two-player game. If you are more than two, you can form teams of killers or even play the role of some famous and yet anonymous victims; everyone may have fun the way they want.

edit Setting up

  • Stack the “missions” cards face down on a neutral spot of the board
  • Stack the “victims” and “bonus” face up, it doesn’t matter
  • Take the 200 “living targets” pawns and spread them randomly but with harmony on all the surface of the board. At this point, no pawn can be found outside the building.
  • Put the weapons on a neutral spot of the board
  • Each player chooses his side, Eric or Dylan, and sit on the corresponding side of the board. You roll the dice to determine which player will be the 1st to play (it can be the one with the biggest score, the closest to 2, the more odd numbers, whatever, I’m not the one making the rules here!)
  • Place the two “merciless murderers” pawns at the main entrance of the high school.

edit “Missions” cards

When it’s your turn, pick a “mission” card on the top of the deck. There are several categories of missions:

  • Mission “Massacre”: it indicates your next living target, where you have to terminate him and the weapon you have to use. Here are two examples (please note the value of the bonus card):
  • Mission “Move”: these cards allow you to get directly to a certain location of the board. It’s very convenient to conclude rapidly a mission. For example, if you own that “Move” card “Cafeteria” and your mission is precisely to blow the head of “Steven Curnow” with your “.357 Magnum” in the “Cafeteria”, you are about to save a lot of time.
  • Mission “Victim”: these cards are there to help you maximize your score. Each “Victim” cards is associated to one of the 12 persons who actually died during the Columbine Massacre. If you have one of these cards and you get to kill the person on it through a mission, your score is multiply by 5! On the other hand if your opponent kills the victim while you hold the card, it becomes useless and you can muck it.
  • Mission “Bonus”: it has the same effect as the “Victim” card with one difference: your score is multiply by 10 if you accomplish the mission, as the victim is Afro-American.
  • Mission “Weaponry”: each weapon in the game is represented by a card. You can use a weapon only if you own the matching card. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have to wait before you can start slaughtering everyone. Each player owns at the beginning of the game the “Butcher’s Knife” Attribute which allows you to cut any throat you will find on your way. Although, each weapon has his own score multiplier, “Butcher’s Knife” counting only for 1.
  • Beside these categories, there is a bunch of special cards which make you win a lot of points easily. For example, you will find “Grenades at will”, very useful to perform combos in certain rooms, “Death Check” which allows you to fire at a person lying down to see if he’s really dead or not, or “Blockage” that authorizes a player to permanently close a door or a window, cutting off a way out.

edit Your turn


Well, this game seems pretty tight to me…

Once you have picked a “Mission” card, your goal is to succeed in it. You throw the dice and then you try to move your pawn towards the room corresponding to your mission. When you get into the room, you can start the massacre. You pick a victim, you indicate your opponent which weapon you intend to use (only if you have the matching “Weaponry” card of course) and you start firing. When the victim is down, both players check if it’s an “historical” victim of the Columbine Massacre. In that case, you score 5 points (10 if it’s the “Bonus” victim). If it’s a regular “living target”, you score only one point. Then you apply the bonuses, score multipliers and combos (check the notice of the game for more details).

Every five turns, one of the players must strongly hit the board with his fist. All the “living target” pawns getting out of the board are then considered as “rescued” and cannot not be killed anymore. This is why you have to act as fast as possible and use the “Blockage” cards.

edit Ending the game

When all the ex “living targets” are dead or rescued the game is over. Each player calculates his score. The player with the most points wins. Then the two players put their pawns on the center of the board. The winner picks the weapon of his choice and eradicates his opponent. Then he commits suicides. And all they have to do now is beginning a new game; it’s a brand new adventure each time!


…And apparently it’s a tie.

edit More to come, in the same collection

  • “Operation”, a tribute to Cher
  • “Jenga” World Trade Center edition
  • “Monopoly Darfour”
  • And much more…

This article is based on the Désencyclopédian text Cluedo édition Columbine, made freely available to French-speaking wildebeest gnus under the GFDL.


Come on ladies, it’s not worth crying! It’s just a game! You have to accept the fact that you are not going to win everytime! This is an inappropriate behavior. When I see that, it makes me want to kill everyone!

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