Looking for something crisp to add more fun to your party? Murder Mystery will do wonders. A Murder mystery is a game that is usually played at parties to have adventurous fun. One of the party attendees plays the role of the murderer, and the task of the other people is to discover the murderer.
These murder mysteries are often played at dinner parties, or for team building activities or corporate events. In the latter case, the suspects are played by actors, and the guests play the detectives.
In some variants of the game, the murderer is played by actors hired for the role, whereas in some other variants, the murderer discovers their own identity along with the other players.
A murder mystery is played in 2 forms:
- The game begins with a ‘death’ and the investigation is the main focus of the game.
- The murderer kills the guests throughout the game.
It is played with small groups ranging from 6-20 people or with large groups with 20 to 250 people.
Murder mystery games have had a long history and lineage, there are a lot of variations and adaptations of this game, and all the versions have proved to be super popular and fun to play.
The genre of murder mystery emerged in the first half of the nineteenth century. The popular party game, ‘wink-murder’, which we play at homes with cousins, dates back to the early twentieth century. In this game, the murderer goes around winking at people, and those people die. The killed person is supposed to count to five before dying. The murder tries to avoid being detected by the other guests.
The first murder mystery game, ‘Jury Box’ was released in 1935. In this game, the ‘jurors’ are given a scenario of murder along with the evidence presented by the prosecutor and defendant. Two photographs of the crime scene and ballot papers were presented. The players or the jurors need to decide who is guilty, and after their decision, the real murderer is revealed.
How to play Murder Mystery
Murder mysteries are structured to involve all the guests equally. Murder mystery game kits are available in 2 forms, a scripted one and an interactive one.
If your party is about family gatherings and people sitting around a table, then a scripted game is perfect for you. But, if you want your party to proceed with lots of guests, and you want people to move around and mingle with each other, then an interactive game is your best bet. Interactive games use clues rather than scripts and therefore, people eat and dance while playing the game.
Scripted Murder Mystery Game
In scripted murder mystery games, the participants are told what to say and when to say it. They are often provided with their character information, introductory statements for their characters, questions that they are supposed to ask from other players, the answers they need to give to other’s questions, and some shared dialogues to break the ice. This information is provided in an instruction manual/ booklet that the players need to refer to. Guests are supposed to sit around a table, and their sole purpose is to solve the murder mystery. The people playing the game are allowed to ‘act’ as the characters they are allotted, but their interactions are only limited to the information provided in the instruction manual. This format of the game was popular in the 90s.
Interactive Murder Mystery Game
In an interactive murder mystery game, the guests are given the character backgrounds and confidential information. Unlike scripted games, the game has many sub-plots and the goal is not just to solve the murder. In this type of game, the players are not restricted to sit around the table. They can move around and talk freely. The players can interrogate whoever they want and whenever they want. It helps them solve the murder mystery along with completing their own character goals. In this type of game, the players have full freedom to take their characters in any direction they want and play according to their own will.
In some games, the player knows that he/she is the murderer, while in others it remains a secret until the answer is revealed in a solution round. The guests use their character booklets and clues to know more about the character they are playing.
A lot of the time, the host invites the guests only to play a murder mystery. In that case, the guests come dressed as one of the suspects listed in the game booklet.
All the guests try to unravel the mystery of the murder by the means of a question, answers, hints, evidence, and clues. By these hints, the players can elicit more and more information about the murder. Eventually, the players know enough to suggest who they believe as the murderer.
Modern Era murder mystery games
In the early 2000s, portable escape room games came to life. With their invention, the traditional murder mystery game night has been upgraded.
These portable escape games offer a wide range of themes to meet the choice of many people. They come with interactive puzzles, quizzes, and props that add to the fun of the game. These portable games are played at any venue of your choice. They are perfect to play at home with family and friends.
They can be played at corporate events as a team-building activity too.
The portable escape games are the future of the traditional murder mystery games.
A murder mystery is a fun way to add a little jazz to your dinner parties or small family get-togethers.
They are perfect for grown-ups as well as for teenagers. These thrilling games are a lot of fun and make your birthday party unforgettable. As all the guests try their best to play their role, the game gets super immersive and interactive.
A murder mystery is a perfect game to play at corporate parties too, as it can serve a dual purpose there. It would facilitate team interactions and communication while also being a fun and recreational activity. Therefore, it is a win-win.
If you want to host an extraordinary dinner party or an interactive corporate event, a game of murder mystery is a full-proof plan to have fun while creating endless memories!