the different types of murder mystery party games

The different types of murder mystery party games - and the ones I like best!

different shapes and sizes

Murder mystery party games come in different shapes and sizes but can generally be boiled down into four distinct headings:

  • Dinner Theatre
  • Interviewing Suspects
  • Turn-based Murder Mystery Party Games
  • Interactive Murder Mystery Party Games

They all have their good and bad points, and I'll describe each in turn.

owever, please bear in mind that Great Murder Mystery Games is primarily focussed on interactive murder mystery party games that you can host yourself.

dinner theatre

Dinner Theatre is a term often used for professionally organised events that consist of a group of actors staging a murder mystery for the audience to solve.

They are often held at hotels or restaurants, may last for an entire weekend and may be completely interactive or not interactive at all.

These events can be quite expensive as you are paying the actors - but they do often include a good meal.

I don't cover dinner theatre in any detail on my site as I am not aware of any dinner theatre kits for home use.

(If I'm wrong - please contact me and let me know!)

interviewing suspects

Mysteries-on-the-Net champion these types of murder mystery party games, and they consist of several suspects with detailed character background and motives.

Everyone else plays a detective, trying to solve the murder (usually in teams).

These parties can cater for a large number of guests simply by adding more detectives.

Interaction in these games is limited to interviewing the suspects and they are firmly focussed on solving the murder.

If serious sleuthing is your thing, these are the parties for you.

Click here to learn more about Mysteries-on-the-Net.

turn-based murder mystery party games

Turn-based murder mystery party games are probably the games that most people are familiar with as they have been made famous by Decipher's How to Host a Murder... range of boxed games available in stores.

Each game is split into turns (usually four) and in each turn you find a little bit more about the murder and your background until at the end you have all the facts to solve the murder.

During each turn everyone has a chance to question everyone else.

While the How to Host a Murder... games are usually fixed at 8 characters, there are other similar-format games available over the Internet which are available for many more guests.

interactive murder mystery party games

My favourite murder mystery party games are those that are fully interactive:

  • You know everything up front about your character.
  • You have lots of other goals - not just solving the murder.
  • It's up to you how you solve the murder and achieve your goals.
  • The game isn't played in rounds.

Click here if you want to learn more about interactive murder mystery parties.

Click here for the top 10 reasons I enjoy interactive murder mystery parties so much.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Don't know where to start?

Here's my suggested quick route through the site:

Step 1 - Go to Choosing a Game to choose the game that suits your party best.

Step 2 - Review the Tips for Hosts for helpful advice.

Step 3 - If you want to keep up to date with the latest murder mystery game news, click on my What's New page.

Step 4 - Once you've had your party - tell me how it went! Click here to tell me your murder mystery party story.

Recent Articles

  1. Is Murder at Sea suitable for teens?

    Aug 15, 17 12:45 PM

    I want to host Murder at Sea for my 17th birthday and I wanted to know if it's suitable for teens? Does this murder mystery have references to drugs?

    Read More

  2. Sit down dinner

    Jul 24, 17 12:44 PM

    Am organising a sit down dinner for 24 people - many of your games say that they are better as a buffet. Are any in particular good for a sit down meal?

    Read More

  3. Choosing the right game for 19 adults

    Jul 17, 17 04:28 PM

    Thanks so much for your website. It has lots of information, but so much so that I am a bit overwhelmed! I have a group that I think will be 19 adults

    Read More