Do TV crime shows fascinate you? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to star in one yourself?
You can get a taste of that by throwing a murder mystery party at your house. You can choose easy downloads or purchase boxed murder mystery dinner party games that outline a particular theme and era, describe characters and provide clues to fictional murders for your guests to act out. They can dress in costume, improvise dialogue and add some snazzy personal flourishes to their characters.
Here you'll find side-by-side comparisons of some of the best murder mystery games around. We looked at length to compile the best murder mystery game comparisons and reviews and we found the companies producing top-notch products are Dinner and a Murder, Shot in the Dark Mysteries and SimpliFun. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™
There are different types of murder mystery games, including some versions that come with written scripts you read aloud. Some are geared toward large groups that can serve as charity fund raisers or corporate team-building exercises. There also are dinner theater mysteries staged by groups that have professional actors interacting with the audience.
However, there are numerous murder mystery games created exclusively for smaller parties that you can hold in your own home. If you choose, you can let your creativity go wild with fun decorations, themed menus and music. At these gatherings, your guests take on roles using character background information you've printed for them. You can serve different courses of a meal during breaks in the game if you want, or simply provide a buffet or finger food.
During the game, as your guests get clues and dig around for the key to whodunit, they are thrown off the scent, accuse one another of skullduggery and try to hide not-so-pretty secrets of their own. In the end, the real culprit is exposed as the dirty devil who did the dastardly deed. For more information, be sure to check our articles on murder mystery games.
The best murder mystery game for you depends on you and, particularly, your guests. Are they a little shy? Then a scripted game will probably make them feel at ease. However, if your guests love to ham it up, then go for the improvisational games so your guests can make up dialogue as they go.
As the mystery develops and new clues are introduced, your guests will talk in character and they might possibly conspire, quarrel, threaten blackmail, hustle somebody out of money or rat each other out. You never know where a game like that could lead.
Games to look for are those with well-written and carefully constructed plots that give several potential suspects the motive, means and opportunity to “kill” someone. Other characteristics for a good game are:
It helps to have a well-organized host guide so you can manage the party smoothly. It also is useful to have additional “suspects” in case you have more guests than expected. The clues should be carefully constructed so they are not too vague but also not too obvious. Many top quality games give you suggestions for decorations, food and costumes. If you give your guests enough notice about the characters they will be playing, they may amaze you with their creativity.
Most games are geared toward adults, but there are many games suitable for teenagers and children. You can also find clean or tame adult mystery games for very conservative groups, such as church organizations. These do not have things like illicit love affairs or a brothel Madame as a character. Instead, these games might have a shady female character be the owner of a dance hall. Some games do not even include a murder, but present some other mystery to solve.
Most games include invitations that reflect the theme of the party. A few offer handy e-vites and even automatic electronic reminders for guests, which lightens the workload for the host or hostess. Other fun touches include printable certificates for winning certain categories such as best costume or best detective. Some games offer background music through an MP3 download or CD to heighten the atmosphere.
There also are game manufacturers with websites that provide links to products for sale, such as costumes, props and accessories, for any type of theme party. In addition, some websites offer links for budget-conscious individuals that offer free tips for decorations, costumes, menus and more.
Help & Support
The best game creators offer a well-designed website that includes FAQs, forums, blogs and other information to make it easy for you to manage your party. It also is useful if you can ask questions by phone or email and get a response in a timely manner. Poor or slow customer service is a real drawback when you are buying products to download. If you cannot download the game you paid for and cannot get a fast response to your questions, you could end up with no party and the headache of trying to get your money back. Speedy and helpful customer service is an essential consideration when it comes to murder mystery games.
Be assured, without spilling a drop of real blood, you can have all the thrills and chills of a homicide investigation by hosting murder mystery games. Be ready for surprises because you might see a side of your guests you have never seen before during your night of murder and merriment.