There are loads of wonderful party games and themes available, but one of the more unique ideas is a Murder Mystery event. Everything is well planned before the game starts, so when the guests are gathered together, somebody is going to secretly be playing the part of the murderer. The guests will then have to investigate to reveal the guilty party among them. Depending on the theme chosen, could mean one or more murders have to be solved or the game can begin with a death, which will then have to be solved.
Each of the guests play a certain character and are given information specifically and only for each person. This is usually a list of things that only they would know, everybody is then given tasks or goals, which they must complete. Guests chat with each other and ask questions, all aiming to find the murderer. At the end of the evening somebody should have guessed correctly and then wins the game. To make the game more interesting, you can provide prizes to those who came up with the culprit’s name.
When organizing a murder mystery game, the whole event is what you make of it. The more in character you get the better and more fun. You can dress up for the occasion, hire a costume to fit into the role if you want. If you really want to get into character, you can even speak in an accent the entire evening if you wish. Some guests might not want to be so involved, so if they wish to just hang out, that’s okay too.
The murder mystery event can be held at various functions:
• Birthday Parties or other types of celebrations
• Corporate team building events
• Fund raisers
• Or just for fun
These mystery events can be done by both professional companies who employ actors and plan the entire party, or you can put something together yourself at home. You can have larger groups of people who participate to smaller groups at dinner events. The larger groups can be anything from 20 to over 200 people, while smaller groups usually consist out of 8 to 20 individuals. Obviously, you need a minimum amount of people, in order to make the plot more interesting. Many of the games have puzzles to solve or even scavenger hunts, which help you to solve the crime.
Hosting a murder mystery party
If you are planning to throw a party or thinking of just have some friends around for a meal, why not offer something different? Why not host a murder mystery party or meal that will be remembered by all who attended! But how can you go about hosting such an event? There is no need to become too concerned as the internet is full of ideas and in fact provides you with all that you will need.
To start out you need to decide if you will make the whole mystery up by yourself, including characters. However, it is a lot easier to make use of the many available mystery murder party kits that are on offer on the web. The bulk of the thinking and planning is already done for you, all you need to do will be to plan the party to suit yourself and your guests.
Here are a number of points to consider when planning your party or dinner:
• Draw up a guest list. This could be your friends, family members or some of your work colleagues. This is very important as the guest list determines the outcome of your party.
• Select or choose a theme for the party, this is where the internet comes in very handy where you can select the theme from hundreds of murder party kits.
• The venue is next on the list and is also very important and must fit in with your theme. If you are doing the party at home, then the living room can be a good venue or in the summer months even outside in the backyard.
• Now that all the important things are taken care of, the fun begins. You need to go through your guest list and assign roles to each individual. Try to be careful with this, as some of the guests may become offended or feel shy in trying to play the role you assigned to them.
• When planning your party, it is important to decide what type of game they will be playing. There is the interactive type of game where all the guests must mingle around asking questions and looking for hidden clues. There is also the scripted game where all the guests sit around a table and ask questions to try to find the murderer.
• Then it is time to send out your invitations to your selected guests. This invitation will include the name and a lot of background information on the character they must play. It should also include the type of costume they will wear to the party.
• Now it is time to plan your menu. You may want to plan for dinner or just a party with snacks and drinks. If you plan a meal then the fun can start during the different courses, or if it is snacks then the guests can intermingle and get to know more about the mystery while they snack. In this way, they will be free to move around and become familiar with the surroundings and even be able to find some clues.
• If the party is in your living room or the backyard or if you hire a hall, it is important that you decorate the venue to suit the type of theme you have chosen.
Now that all the planning is complete, and the day of the party comes around, it is time to solve the mystery and enjoy the fun. Before the guests arrive, you must hide the clues in places that are not too difficult to find. When the guests arrive, you must allow them to mingle and start asking questions and make sure that they all have a good idea of who is who. If there are any rules, then now is the time to spell them out to all your guests. Then the guests eat and drink and chat until suddenly the lights go out and when they come back on the victim is lying on the floor. The time has now come for the first clue, this may be hidden, and the guests must search for it or the clue is read out to them or handed to them on printed cards. They must now begin to try and solve the mystery by asking questions and finding clues around the body and in the room. You, as the host, can help them by giving them some vital information as to who the alleged killer is. If they still cannot solve the mystery, then a second or even a third clue can be given. Finally, someone will come up with the answer and the murder mystery will be solved. Now the guests are free to enjoy the rest of the evening and you will be sure that they will have a lot to talk about and discuss over a drink or plate of food.
Larger groups for a Murder Mystery Party
Smaller groups do provide the option of guests taking up the role of suspects, but in larger groups, like for a company team building event, not everybody can be allocated a role. This is where actors come in handy, they will learn their scripts and know all the aspects of the game from beginning to end. The actors slowly reveal clues, which will eventually lead to the unmasking of the culprit.
The guests come in and play the role of detective and they must find the clues and examine any evidence provided. The guests can also ask questions and once all of this information is gathered, they should be able to come to a successful conclusion. The murder mystery event idea is very versatile and can be accomplished almost anywhere. For the smaller groups, you would only need a single room to play out the game. For the larger group, having multiple rooms, each with their own clues and suspects, makes the game more interesting.
There are various ways the evidence or clues can be given, the most basic way, would be on cards, which have certain information on each card. You could also incorporate videos into the game, where guests watch a suspect video and are then presented with the evidence. Most of the games have both scripts as well as various clues provided.
Larger groups need more space, so parties would, therefore, be held at a venue like a hotel, restaurant or even at the workplace, if there is enough space provided. There are even organized murder mystery weekends, venues like Bed and Breakfasts are quite popular. The murder mystery games can also be played online on internet forums. There seems to be a distinction between Murder mystery games and Mystery dinners. The live shows, which usually involve hired actors and where the guests pay to participate are classified as Murder mystery dinners or theatre dinners, while birthday parties etc. are Mystery games.
Some tips for hosting a murder mystery party:
If you are hosting a mystery event, you might be a bit nervous about how things will work out. You need your party to be memorable and for the right reasons, let’s have a look at some tips that could help you pull off the vent of the year.
Many of the smaller mystery games, revolve around dinner, so first things first, when deciding on a menu, prepare something you’ve done before. You don’t want to be distracted from the game because the food hasn’t quite come out the way you want it to. You can also choose a murder mystery where you only have to provide snacks and drinks instead of a full meal.
Preparation is everything, if you are hosting your party at home, make sure you have set up mostly everything the day before. This will make it easier on the day and give you more time to focus on food preparation. Just the right environment and decorations can add that much more authenticity to the party. By creating an atmosphere, you will help to set the scene and just make the whole experience a lot more fun.
If you are hosting a mystery event for the first time and you have bought a mystery kit, there is the option of either playing along or just facilitating. For first timers, it may be best to sit on the outside, so as to provide guidance to the rest of your guests. You will provide each guest with a rundown of their own characters, but you can also make sure everybody is on the same page by giving a short introduction or writing out a short blurb about the murder story.
To help the game along, you could assign character name tags to each guest. There are usually male and female roles, but what if you don’t have enough female guests to play characters. This is make-believe, so if this is a problem, you can ask the guests to play an opposite gender role, or just change the character gender’s role around. What if there are more guests than characters? This is no problem just add your own characters. You could actually make the game more interesting by throwing in some twists and surprises.
Another tip would be to create a character profile. Place images of all the guests with their character names and short description next to each one. Place this up somewhere where everybody can have a peek at it throughout the evening, some have better memories than others. To make everybody feel more comfortable it is a good idea to layout how the evening is going to progress and explain this just before the party actually starts. One more important thing to remember, take a photo of the group. You don’t often have friends and guests dressed up, so take a picture to capture the moment.