Murder Mystery Party Kits – Where to Find Them?

Solving a murder mystery case is always a thrill. It’s a big dopamine hit as well as an ego boost. While we’ll never get to step into the shoes of Sherlock Holmes, we can still put our deductive skills to the test with these games. Murder mystery kits let you bring a suspenseful case to life in your own living room. You can cooperate with your friends to solve it, or see who can solve it first. They are just all-around fun.

Finding good ones aren’t as easy. A good kit needs to be high-quality, enjoyable and well-priced. First, I’ll take you through the difference between the two murder mystery types you’ll find online, and then I’ll recommend where you should start.

Murder Mystery Party Kits vs. Murder Mystery Case Files

Here’s a quick overview of the difference between murder mystery party kits and murder mystery case files:

Murder Mystery Party Kits

Murder mystery party kits let a group of friends play as pre-designed characters and try to solve a murder. You’re basically turning a party into a live-action board game. Everyone will have backstory, a motive and a secret to keep. One of you will be the murderer, and it’s up to everyone to figure out who. These games require a lot of planning, and will almost always require costumes.

There’s a lot of variety with these types of kits. You can choose one according to theme, difficulty or even duration. Some are designed for small groups of friends while others can accommodate a group of 50. Players will be trying to discover other players secrets while solving the case. This means that there needs to be a compelling story that links most of the characters together.

Our murder mystery party kitShadows Over Shrouded Island – has an immersive story that manages to integrate every character into a suspenseful story. It can be used for 8-20 players and every character has unisex names and clothing choices, so you can assign any friend to any character.

Murder Mystery Case Files

Murder mystery case files are fictional unsolved cases that can be solved alone or with a small group. There is no upfront planning or costumes required. You simply print out your evidence and start trying to solve the murder. It’s a good choice for a quiet night in.

In these case files, you’ll be given a detailed crime scenario with a list of suspects and various evidence. This can include photos, interrogations, maps, newspaper clippings, etc. You’ll need to sift through all the evidence and make connections between them to eventually solve the case. Dates, times, locations and alibis will all need to be verified.

Our murder mystery case fileA Fatal Ruse – is a great example of what murder mystery case files should be like. Lots of red herrings and a great story.

The Genesis of Murder Mystery Party Kits

Murder mystery party games have been around since the late 19th century. They would be elaborate parties thrown in real manors. When Cluedo was released in 1949, it made these types of games more mainstream. In the 1980s, more commercial murder mystery party kits hit the market, and found an audience thrilled to use them. Today, you can find a themed kit for every occasion. Some companies even offer customizable kits, allowing hosts to tailor things to their liking.

Murder Mystery Party Kits Dinner Party

Who Can Enjoy a Murder Mystery Party Kit?

Murder mystery party kits are designed to be enjoyed by anyone. You can use them for a group of friends or with your corporate team. Because they require problem-solving and teamwork, many companies have started using them as team-building activities. Most kits are designed for adults, although you can easily find options for teens and kids online. They might not have murder in them, but they’ll have a fun mystery to solve.

How to Host a Murder Mystery Party

Now that you know what a murder mystery party kit is, you probably want to know what is expected of the host. Planning does take some time, but it’s easier than you think. Your kits tell you exactly what you need to do, but I’ll go through the main steps to give you a better idea.

Step 1: Choosing a Murder Mystery Party Kit

Before anything else, you’ll need to find the right kit. There are a ton of themes to choose from. I’d find something that both my friends and I might have an interest in. A lot of themes get reused in other murder mysteries, so there’s a good chance you’ll get to reuse your costume at some point.

Step 2: Understand the Rules

Once you have your kit, you’ll want to read through the introduction and the rules. You’ll be controlling the flow of the game and might need to answer questions if anyone gets confused. At certain times during the night, a “murder” will take place. You’ll need to know in advance who will be murdered and inform them a couple minutes before.

Step 3: Assign Characters

Every character is going to have a unique backstory, personality traits and clothing choices. You’ll need to match your friends to the character you think they’d portray best. You could do this according to whose personality more closely matches the characters, or match them in a way that will be funniest to you. The choice is yours.

Step 4: Decorations

You’ll want to add some decorations to your home to create atmosphere. You don’t need to spend much to do this. Some printed posters, lighting and music will be enough to create the effect you’re after. It’s just a matter of matching the decorations to the theme you’ve chosen.

Step 5: Host the Party

Once your guests arrive, the game begins! You’ll read out the introduction and explain the rules to everyone. Once the murder happens, you’ll usually say you’ve found some clues on the body and hand them out for everyone to examine.

Players will spend the night using clues to try find the killer, and also try to discover the secret that every other character is hiding. These secrets might be something trivial, something related to the murder or something weird that they’d never want discovered.

Step 6: Unveil the Murderer

Once everyone has had enough time to try solve the case, you’ll hand out voting cards to fill in. Everyone will vote on who they think is the killer. Once you’ve collected all the voting cards, you’ll read out the conclusion from your kit. This will reveal the killer’s name and their motivations.

Usually, more than one person will come up with the right answer. You will then choose from the correct guessers, and hand out an award certificate for the Best Detective. These certificates are usually supplied with your kit and can be printed out.

The Best Murder Mystery Party Kits

Now that you know the basics of throwing a successful murder mystery party, let’s look at my favorite options. We make some of the best murder mystery party kits available. We spend countless hours working and reworking the story to create as much suspense, intrigue and engagement as we can. There is always a level of difficulty in our products, but they are always fair.

Best Murder Mystery Case File

A Fatal Ruse – in this game, you’ll need to help a local detective unravel a cryptic case. You’ll have to closely inspect every interrogation and follow even the smallest clues if you want to untangle the web of lies and treachery throughout this case.

It’s a tense story filled with unexpected plot twists. There are clues and puzzles that you’ll need to decipher in order to eventually see the full picture. Hints are provided to give you a tiny push if you get cornered. Perfect for 1-6 players.

Murder Mystery Party Kits

Shadows Over Shrouded Island – You are Alex Bailey and you’re determined to locate a mysterious island full of wonders. You’ve asked a number of people over to help you find its location and discover its secrets. However, not everyone is as friendly as you hoped. By the end of the night – there are 3 deaths, and it’s up to you and your guests to find out who the killer is. This game allows 8-20 players, so you can get all of your friends to join in. You’ll need to do some planning for your event in advance, and inform everyone of their clothing options.

Murder Mystery Party Kits

Hosting a murder mystery is always fun. If everything goes right, you’ll have an amazing time. If everything goes wrong, you’ll be laughing the whole night. If you’ve picked up a kit with an interesting story, then you’re going to have a memorable night regardless. Don’t worry about getting overwhelmed. The best kits will have a step-by-step guide on everything you need to do. Our kits break everything down and leave nothing to chance. We even include a timeline so you can do things by the minute if you prefer.