London, 1899: The city is shaken by heinous crimes, and the solutions are shrouded in mystery. Scotland Yard is groping in the dark and has summoned you, the best detectives, for help in resolving their inquiries.
Each investigator will be assigned their own mystery to solve, and must use their instincts to identify which of the 13 Clues match their case before the others do!
- 30 Clue cards
- 6 hiding screens with transparent cardholders
- 6 pencils
- A pad of Casebook Pages
- 8 Magnifying Glass tokens
- 8 Letter tiles (A to H)
- 6 Top Secret tokens (only used with the game variant)
Object of the Game
To be the first player to solve your own Mystery, correctly identifying the Person, Location, and Weapon.
Before your first game, carefully detach the pieces from their frames.
Note: These are the rules for three or more players. Additional rules for a two-player game can be found at the end of these rules.
We also recommend that you play your first few games with less than 6 players.
Each player takes 1 hiding screen, 1 Magnifying Glass token, 1 pencil and 1 Casebook Page. Place the leftover Magnifying Glasses in the middle of the table as a general supply. Return the unused screens and pencils to the box.
Set up your hiding screen in front of you with the "13" pointing towards the center of the table; keep your Casebook Page behind it (so the other players cannot see it). Place your Magnifying Glass in front of your screen-the number of Magnifying Glasses each player has is always known.
Take the Clue cards. Depending on the number of players, remove all the cards from some suits and return them to the box, as shown on the following table:
Divide the cards in the game into three piles: Persons, Locations, and Weapons. Shuffle each pile separately, then deal each player one card from each pile, face down.
Then, shuffle the rest of the cards together and deal two more cards face down to each player. Each player now has a total of five cards: one from each pile plus two at random.
Put any remaining cards face down in a row in the middle of the table: these are the Secret Informant cards. Assign each of these cards a letter tile, starting with A, as shown in the chart above (return the unused tiles to the box).
Look at the five cards you were dealt. You must choose exactly one Person, one Location, and one Weapon card, and place them face down in front of you.
Playing Hint: You can choose any combination, but try to avoid three of the same suit.
Carefully insert the two cards you have left into the card holder behind your hiding screen so only you can see them!
After all players have selected their cards, insert the three cards you picked earlier into the external card holder on the screen of the player to your left.
Make sure that player does not see which cards you inserted in their card holder! Place the screen so that everyone except that player can see them.
Note: You will now have received a set of cards from the player to your right, including one Person, one Location, and one Weapon, attached to the outside of your screen so you can't see them.
Your goal is to guess the identity of these cards.
Choose a starting player at random. The game is played in turns in clockwise order. At the beginning of your turn, if you have no Magnifying Glasses, take one from the general supply.
If the supply is empty, take one from the player of your choice instead. Next, "spend" all your Magnifying Glasses. Each Magnifying Glass spent lets you choose one of the following actions.
You can take these actions in any order you choose, and you may repeat the same action more than once (exception: Make an Accusation, see below). Once you've spent all your Magnifying Glasses your turn is over and it's the next player's turn.
Playing Hint: Use your Casebook Page and pencil to keep track of the cards you have ruled out and take notes. Your hiding screen helps you keep your notes secret.
1. Question a Witness
Give your Magnifying Glass to the player of your choice, then ask that player how many cards they see that are of one suit or one category.
The number of suits in play depends on the number of players in the game (see "Setup").
There are always six categories: Male or Female (Persons), Indoor or Outdoor (Locations), and Up close or Ranged (Weapons).
When you Question a Witness, you can only ask for one of those two choices. You cannot ask any other questions. It is allowed to ask different players the same question.
Examples of valid questions: "How many red cards do you see?" (suit); "How many Indoor Locations do you see?" (category).
Examples of invalid questions: "How many earrings do you see?" "How many weapons without a barrel do you see?" "How many chairs do you see?" "How many Persons do you see?" (not a valid category).
The player you ask must answer truthfully (no bluffing is allowed!), based on everything they can see: all the cards on the screens in front of the other players and the two cards behind their screen.
2. Consult the Secret Informant
Give your Magnifying Glass to the player who has no Magnifying Glasses (if more than one, the tied player closest to you, counting clockwise.
If all players have at least one Magnifying Glass, discard it to the general supply instead), then choose one of the face down Secret Informant cards, look at it secretly, then put it back where it was, face down.
Note: This option is not available in a six-player game.
3. Make an Accusation
Give your Magnifying Glass to the player who has no Magnifying Glasses (if more than one, the tied player closest to you, counting clockwise; if all players have at least one Magnifying Glass, discard it to the general supply instead), then try to solve your mystery!
Name one Person, one Location, and one Weapon (for example: "It was the Butcher in the Park with the Sword!"). You cannot make an accusation that includes cards you can see (either behind your screen or on other players' screens).
The other players compare your accusation to the three cards on the outside of your screen:
If your accusation is correct, you have solved your mystery and you win the game!
If you're wrong, they just tell you! Your turn is over: discard any Magnifying Glasses you have left to the general supply.
Important: When you respond to an accusation, only tell the player if they are right or wrong. Don't make any other comments so you don't give away any clues!
Example: It's Mary's turn. She has 2 Magnifying Glasses, and she is pretty confident that she has deduced the 3 cards of her mystery (see figure).
She spends her first Magnifying Glass and declares: "I'm going to solve my mystery: it was the Officer, at the Market, with the Gun".
The other players check the cards on Mary's screen and tell her "Wrong!"Mary's turn is over: she discards her remaining Magnifying Glass to the general supply.
On a later turn, Mary spends a Magnifying Glass to try another accusation: "Then it must have been the Officer, at the Market, with the Rifle!''
The other players check again: "YES!" Mary wins the game!
Additional Rules For 2-player Games
Ignore the Magnifying Glasses and their rules. Each player always takes only one action each turn.
When you ask how many cards your opponent sees, you must also specify "including the card on your left" or "including the card on your right". Your opponent only takes into account the card behind their screen on that side.
Example: "How many Females do you see, including the card on your left?" "I see two Females, including the card on my left. "
Variant For 3-6 Experienced Players
Once you are familiar with the game, you can use the following variant: During setup, give each player one Top Secret token (return unused tokens to the box). Keep your token in front of your screen.
When you question a witness, you can use your Top Secret token (return it to the box) in addition to the Magnifying Glass you spend to ask a question and get an answer, all in secret.
Write down your question on a piece of paper and pass it to the player you are asking. They write down the answer on the same piece of paper and pass it back to you.
Neither the question nor the answer can be seen by the other players. Only you know the question and its answer!
Hints for your first games
If you rule out all of the cards removed during Setup and all the cards you can see, you will be left with 13 spaces. The solution to your mystery is among those 13 Clues.
If a player's answer to a question is "Zero!", you can rule out all of the cards that were asked about-no matter who asked the question-since you now know that those cards can't be on your screen.
A player receiving additional Magnifying Glasses usually gains no information, but he will have more actions when it is his turn: Think twice before giving a player too many Magnifying Glasses!
Be careful when making an accusation: each wrong accusation can give away clues to the other players!