Free murder mystery games

Here I explain different ways you may be able to get a free murder mystery game - including one you can download right now.

why free?

Writing a murder mystery game takes time and effort - so it’s not often that you can get one for free.

(At least, not without stealing, which I hope nobody would do here.)

So here I describe a few genuinely legal ways of getting a free murder mystery game.

way out west

Cover to the free version of Way out West

Freeform Games have created a free version of their popular Wild West-themed murder mystery, Way out West.

Their free version is only for ten players and the host. 

If you need more characters, you will have to write them yourself (which is quite a bit of work!) or buy the full version.

But if you have ten players and want to try a free murder mystery game, I recommend Way out West

(It's also a great way to find out if you like the look of their games, but want to see what they're like before you purchase one.)

Click here to get the free version of Way out West.

write your own murder mystery game

The time-consuming way to get a free murder mystery game is to write one yourself.

It will be completely free besides your time (and some paper and ink).

However, I’ve never liked valuing my time for nothing - my time is the most precious commodity I have.

So let’s imagine that I value my time at $20 per hour (that’s lower than I actually value it). And let’s say that I want to write a Hollywood-themed game for 20 people. If I spent more than three or four hours writing, then I would have been better off just buying Hollywood Lies.

If I value my time in the terms that I’d pay a mechanic or plumber, then I have less than an hour to write the game. And trust me, Hollywood Lies took a lot, lot longer to write than 20 hours - and you have the additional security that it’s been tried and tested before it was released to the public.

(I get a lot satisfaction in writing a game - its' not just about the money. If you want to write your own, I've written a book that describes the approach I take. See Write Your Own Murder Mystery Party for details.)

review copies

You might have more luck getting a copy to review - or if you can generate some other publicity.

However, I know that if I was a publisher, I’d want some evidence that you really were going to write a review, and you might want to refer to where you have written other reviews.


Some companies are looking for external playtesters. The job of a playtester is to try out a game before it’s published so any kinks can be ironed out.

Usually, the games are pretty close to publication before going to playtest, and the significant problems should be sorted out.

If you do playtest a game, you will need to provide feedback - but there’s usually a simple form to do that.

write an extra character for freeform games

If you write an extra character for one of the Freeform Games murder mystery games, and they like it, they will give you a free game as a reward.

Click here to learn more about writing an extra character.

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New game

Cover for A Purrfect Murder

A Purrfect Murder - a cat-themed murder mystery for 9-12 guests.

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.

Got a question? Click here to go to the FAQ.

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