Murder mystery party games

28 Sales

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Last updated on Dec 2, 2019

Prices reduced 25% for Cyber Monday.


William Bellomy

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William Bellomy


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About MurderHappensGames

Sales 28
On Etsy since 2018

Hard to like murder mystery games that have a lying murderer, nervous suspects, and will cause your friend’s bodies to squirm and sweat in nervous excitement while solving the crime.

Set out some snacks or a dinner, put on some music for atmosphere, and get ready to have a great party game with laughs, drama, suspense, surprises, and accusations. These murder mystery party games are easy to put on and the writing and mystery will make for a memorable evening. Everyone enjoys these mystery stories and working together to sleuth the clues to who the murderer is. There is a lot of rich story and detail, but in the end everyone either figures it out, or just about does. It all depends on how clever the murderer is.

There are eight characters in these murder mystery party games, each player takes on the role of a character in the mystery, each is a suspect, one is the murderer. There is also an auxilary character who is not guilty but has access to all the evidence, and can play like everyone else, so more than eight can play the game. To win, a majority of the group must identify the murderer correctly by studying the clues and cross examining the other players. The murderer will try to derail the investigation through lies and deceit.

Each character has a narrative, the story that tells what they did, and saw, and know. Each character knows just a piece of the story and a few things about some other characters.

Murder Mystery for 8-12 players. Play is timed at 2.5 hours with dinner, or 1.5 hours without. Written for adults 18 and up. Costumes are a lot of fun, but optional, as the game works great as theater of the mind.

Game pieces:
Each character has their own personal narrative that tell what they did, saw, and know.
There is a map of the murder scene and surrounding area so you can keep track of everyone’s movements.
There is a police report that describes the murder scene and evidence, and has suspect statements.
There are crime scene pictures that show the victim and other kinds of evidence.
There are a stack of clue cards, they are the rumors and witness statements that come to light throughout the game.

Each of these have important clues.
After everyone has made their guess, open that answer sheet and read how the murderer did it. There is also a prologue the tells what happens to the characters afterwards.

How I got started
My friends and I would play murder mystery games where we were each a character and one of us was the murderer. We had fun, but there were some things that frustrated them about the games so I decided to write my own. These games drew my friends into a vivid world of a mystery where they could explore any avenue of clues they chose, whenever they wanted, and could ask all sorts of questions of all the characters. The stories would feel real and evoke emotions like jealousy, envy, greed and excitement; some would feel compelled to lie to save face or not be embarrassed. And, they were fun to play as well. At the end of the investigation they would either solve the murder, or feel like they came very close.

Would you like to put on this kind of immersive, intriguing game for you friends?

Why I keep going
People kept telling me that I should start selling these games and my family became enthusiastic about marketing the games too. The best reason for selling them though is so I can write a bunch more.

My game design philosophy
I have a particular vision for each game. There are always eight characters, so you need at least eight people to play the games. There is an auxiliary character though, who is not the murderer, for when there are more than eight players. They get the full game experience, just like the main character players.
Humor is required, and people laugh a lot while playing. The fun is in the comedy of human foibles, the crazy things we animals do to and with each other.

I purposely manipulate human nature, while at the same time accepting it. For instance, in these games you are allowed to lie, in fact, it is expected. Honesty just goes against the nature or murder.
An instance where I manipulate human nature is, again, in the lies. I develop the narrative in such a way that the players not only read their lies, they end up owning their lies. They will cling stubbornly to their stories to the point of hindering solving the mystery.
The players’ perceptions of their character are subtly manipulated. The simplest example being a character trait that I slyly guide a player into acting out without realizing they are doing it. They end up being the last one to know they have this crazy character trait. That's really fun!

The stories are humorous for sure, but also human, something the players can relate to. I avoid trivial or comically stylized story lines. In each game the players are involved in layers of intrigue and deception involving the other characters. Half the fun is untangling and resolving the sub plots. When the game has been played there is that moment when the characters finally realize that they must confess their transgressions in order to progress to the solution of who actually committed the murder. It’s fun to watch from a spectators’ point of view, and as a player.

At the end of the game when everyone has made their guess and the murderer has revealed who they are, their narrative is read out loud. Inevitably, all the players listen to this with rapt attention. They are dying to know how and why the murder happened.

And that is my goal, a story and a world that draws you in completely.

William Bellomy

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  • Herald Printing Ltd.

    Ventura, CA

    Serving your printing needs for business cards, brochures, flyers, and more in the Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, and the San Fernando Valley areas as a high quality, service oriented printer and graphic solutions provider since 1907.

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