How to plan a murder mystery header

Unlock the Mystery: Play a Murder Mystery Game with Friends

Make and play a killer murder mystery game with friends. Quick and easy to set up. Play online or in real life.

Make My Murder Mystery Game

Planning a party needn't be murder

Our personalized murder mystery game generator makes it easy plan a whodunnit party your guests will never forget.


Personalize your murder mystery game

Get creative and have fun with the script


Play together

Play virtually or in real life


Simple to set up. Easy to play

Fun and safe for all murderers aged 11+

What is a You Dunnit murder mystery game maker?

Our murder mystery maker makes it quick and easy to create your own personalized murder mystery game – that you can play on your phone, or computer over a Zoom call or in real life. You can even print out the personalized murder mystery scripts if you'd prefer not to be looking at a screen all night.

Just like traditional murder mysteries – a You Dunnit murder mystery is a party game where players hear evidence and solve clues to work out who amongst them is the murderer.

Or more to the point... whodunnit!

The personalized murder mystery game template is spread over several rounds – and is perfect for a murder mystery night, murder mystery dinner party – or even a whole murder mystery weekend.

Your personalized murder mystery games can be themed too – so you and your guests can dress up in character (check out our costume suggestions!).

It's an online murder mystery game – but you can play it in real life too!

And just to be clear – with You Dunnit you can play our online murder mystery game (over Zoom) on your phone, tablet or computer – or in real life, reading the script from your phone – or download it as a printed script.

Play online or in real life murder mystery game

Play at a whodunnit dinner party with friends – or on Zoom, Facetime or Hangouts.


Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Host a murder mystery party your friends will love


Family Get-together

Nothing unites a family like murder!


Play over video

Play online or in real life

Create your personalized murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play online or in-person
Make My Murder Mystery Game

“It was so much fun and easy for people to get involved. A really brilliant murder mystery story!”

Nick T

“Everyone was engaged from the start and threw themselves into solving the murder. The event was great fun – and brilliant value for money.”

Bryn J

“Hilarious! Played over Zoom, in 6 locations, including 2 countries. Even our 78 year old mother managed it!”

Joseph H

“A great night with friends! Will definitely be going with these guys again!”

Tori K

Who hasn't been captivated by the intrigue of a case that needs solving? Who among us hasn't yearned to be the one to untangle the clues and cracked the case? But as much as we love a good mystery, fiction holds no comparison to the real thing! To experience the rush and thrill of a true detective story, you have to take things up a notch. And what better way than to experience the thrills of a murder mystery game with your friends?

Playing a murder mystery game with your group of friends is the perfect way to add a little spunk and excitement to the typical get-together. While the mystery and the secret are kept hidden from all the players, what everyone can agree upon is that it will be an experience full of anticipation and suspense! Each player has the opportunity to get into character and learn more about what makes a successful detective work, ultimately piecing together the puzzles put forth by the game.

It's time to unlock the mystery and become the master detective of your group! Grab your magnifying glass and a good attitude, and let's dive in to unravel the case and figure out the murderer!

Quick Breakdown

You can play a murder mystery game either by purchasing a board game or an online software. Alternatively, you can create your own game by making up characters and storylines.

What is a Murder Mystery Game?

A murder mystery game has captivated puzzle and play enthusiasts for generations. These social games often rely on audience participation, as players are tasked with sleuthing out the “killer” of a fictional case. A common game format involves an individual or organization that has been murdered, and the other players process clues provided by the “game master” to solve the crime.

One debate surrounding these games is whether they should be approached as a lighthearted competition, or if players should take a more serious approach in order to make the experience more immersive and realistic. Those who prefer the former argue that it doesn't negate the element of friendly competition; rather, it fosters cooperation among all players regardless of individual motivations for playing. Others believe a serious tone adds to the authenticity of the game, and encourages players to become more invested in their roles and collect better set pieces. The important factor is that the game allows each player to come away feeling satisfied regardless of which format they choose.

No matter which style a murderer mystery game takes, several elements remain constant - careful character-building and intricate story arcs that align with a given plot. To create an effective mystery requires attention to detail at every turn; from crafting compelling characters and developing plot twists that keep players guessing - it's essential that players are given enough information so they can develop theories about how the crime occurred yet leave enough ambiguity that all participants can actively participate until the last clue has been revealed.

In preparing for your next murder mystery celebration, it's important to consider both the style of play and elements required for success. In the next section, we'll discuss further how to create substantive characters and story arcs for your murder mystery game so your friends won't be able to "solve" your puzzle too easily!

Character and Story Development for the Game

Character and story development constitute the core of any murder mystery game. Player experiences are greatly impacted by how characters and story are developed, making them a fundamental element in creating a great game. The development of the characters and stories should come primarily from the Game Master (GM); the GM is expected to prepare appropriate characters for all players, giving those characters some background motivation, traits, and interactions that both create visibility and insight into the universe of the game.

The key to successful character and story development is ensuring that they feel authentic while remaining fun. An uninteresting character can ruin an otherwise enjoyable game through poorly executed dialogue or actions that violate normal standards of behavior. Similarly, a mundane plot can limit player engagement; each mystery should have interesting twists and turns that allow all players to contribute to solving it.

A good GM will take their time when creating characters and stories; no detail is too small in creating a compelling experience. For example, if the story involves finding clues in an old manor house, it helps to imagine vivid details about its layout and the objects inside – what strange objects lie within each room? What secret passages may exist? A captivating setting encourages players to stay engaged in the adventure as they explore it for answers.

In sum, when crafting a murder mystery game, its crucial to pay attention both to character and story development; these two elements can make or break an experience. As such, attention should be paid to ensure that all players have entertaining characters to interact with and captivating stories featuring unexpected twists and turns along the way to keep them engaged throughout their journey. With well-developed characters and storylines, gameplayers will be off on an adventure unlike any other! Now that we’ve established what makes for great character and story development for your mystery game, let’s move onto another important facet of gameplay: setting up the plot of your crime.

  • According to Statista, in 2020, the number of murder mystery game players in the United States was estimated to be at around 9.7 million.
  • According to a survey published by PopCap Games in 2008, more than 75% of US adults play some form of game each month on either a computer or game console.
  • A 2019 study by The NPD Group revealed that 69 percent of adults play some form of video game, including board and card games.

Setting up the Plot of the Crime

Now that the characters have been established and their story has begun, it’s time to move on to creating an intriguing crime scene. The crime scene at the center of a murder mystery game should develop more intrigue than just “who done it?” It must be well crafted, depending on the content of your story and the types of people playing. But don't forget--you want to keep it simple so it can be fun for everyone.

For example, if players are familiar with certain aspects of your particular story, you can build off those details to create scares or unexpected twists. On the other hand, if you need to appeal to a wider audience, you can set up a scene which will be universally relatable and lets everyone participate in solving a real-life mystery – that of what happened during this event. You may also consider adding puzzles and tasks that tempt players’ deductive skills by providing clues and mysteries in order to play effectively.

In either case, setting up a good crime scene is key. Before playing the game itself, participants should understand the timeline of events leading up to the murder, who was involved and the consequences—in other words they need to know what pieces they must put together in order to win.

Invariably attempting to create an engaging plot entails some risk taking; however, if done right, your players will undoubtedly enjoy every second of play time and will be eager for more! With this essential piece of preparation complete, we can now set our sights on actually how best to play these games.

How to Play a Murder Mystery Game

Before starting a murder mystery game, players must understand how to play. Players are split into teams of investigators and the murderer’s team. The investigators must discover who is guilty by examining evidence, interviewing suspects and piecing together information to identify the murderer before time runs out. On the flip side, the murderer's team has the goal of manipulating evidence and misguiding the investigators in order to remain undetected.

When it comes to deciding how to move forward in a murder mystery game, there is an element of luck at play. Some games require dice rolls or decks of cards while others will unfold linearly depending on player choices. Therefore, it is important to check the manual before starting the game so that everyone understands the rules beforehand.

A great way to get everyone excited about playing a murder mystery game is by incorporating dramatic music and sound effects. This helps create an ominous atmosphere as players start their investigation and establish an extra layer of immersion for any performers in the group.

At this stage, players can transition from setting up the plot to diving into their roles within the game. As such, aside from understanding general gameplay mechanics, it is essential for all participants to comprehend their specific responsibilities in order for a murder mystery game to be successful.

Assigning Players Different Roles in the Game

Once you have selected the game and all of the rules, it is time to assign roles to your players. Many people enjoy assigning themselves their desired roles, but others prefer having someone else hand out their individual role. Assigning roles can either add to or take away from the fun of the game so it is important that everyone’s opinions on this decision are heard and respected. If there is any debate regarding how to assign roles, some potential solutions include taking turns choosing characters or using a random system to determine who receives which role.

Whichever way you choose to assign characters, all of the players should be given an equal opportunity to fully explore their individual character's identity and motivations. This will help enrich each player’s experience as they solve puzzles, gather clues, and interact with other players throughout the game. Furthermore, prior to playing the game, it is important for everyone involved to read their role booklet carefully and answer any questions that may come up in order to maximize on the fun.

After each player has been assigned a different role within the murder mystery game and everyone is prepared for their new character, play can then begin. Now that the basics of setting up the game have been taken care of, it's time to focus on how to keep all players engaged while they work together as a team to unravel and solve tricky mysteries.

Keeping your Players Engaged with Clues & Detective Work

Keeping your players engaged with clues and detective work is a crucial part of creating an exciting and challenging murder mystery game. Puzzles and riddles are great ways to help players unlock the secrets of the game, requiring their wit and creativity as they work through each clue. Clues can create red herrings and twists in the storyline as well, adding an extra layer of complexity that will keep people constantly thinking.

Many believe that having more clues presented throughout the game, such as a series of notes or hidden messages, gives players more opportunities for creative problem solving. The more interesting the clues, such as riddles or abstract images, the better; this encourages players to come up with creative solutions to complete their task. On the other hand, others prefer keeping things simple by providing fewer clues and expecting players to draw their own conclusions from existing evidence. This makes let's them form their theories early-on, so they have plenty of time to plan ahead without getting confused.

No matter which school of thought you agree with more, your goal should be making sure the clues are difficult enough to challenge players but not overly complex so that they become frustrated. With that in mind, it’s important to customize your narrative and puzzles based on who’s playing so everyone is equally challenged. This way your game will also be accessible enough regardless of your player levels of experience and skill.

Having a solid understanding of how your murder mystery game should play out while still allowing space for creativity keeps things engaging for all involved. As your players attempt to solve the riddles and unravel the case by piecing together different elements from the story - through fake evidence or improvised details - the game can become evermore captivating for everyone involved. By personalizing this experience, you can ensure a truly memorable evening for all your friends and family.

So whether you choose to make plenty or few clues available during your next murder mystery night, remember to tailor everything for maximum engagement. From there, you can look forward to amping up the suspense even further by crafting fake evidence and other personal touches for a truly unique experience.

Making Fake Evidence & Personalizing the Experience

If you're serious about your murder mystery event, then it might be worthwhile to invest in fake evidence that can be used to further engage your players and make them feel like they’re truly at the scene of a crime. Fake fingerprints, blood splatters, and coded documents could all add credibility to a game. With these realistic props, you can encourage additional detective work as well as personalize each player's experience even more.

That being said, if investing in more expensive materials isn't an option for your party, don't worry! You can still achieve the same outcome by using less expensive or even homemade props. Handwritten notes or drawings, torn fabric with interesting symbols or wording printed on it, and other paper props can do just as much justice in conveying evidence. Have fun creating materials that will contribute to the storyline and give clues for friends to uncover and solve.

Furthermore, every detective story needs some sort of closure and resolution once players have reached the climax of their investigation. For instance, if there are detectives in your party (or someone who wants to act particularly Sherlock-y), you can gift them a personalized medal at the end of the night to commemorate their hard work and dedication!

In conclusion, making fake evidence doesn’t need to require huge investments of time or money - but it does require your creative imagination! From crazy dingbats of clues to personalized awards - there are endless ways for you to create an unforgettable experience for your pals. So get ready to unlock the mystery - tip: Your next step is all about hosting a grand par-tee!

Tips on Hosting a Fun Murder Mystery Party

Hosting a fun murder mystery party can be a great way to add an exciting twist to any gathering. While it may appear daunting at first, with the right approach planning such an event can be straightforward and incredibly rewarding. To ensure guests have an enjoyable experience and that the evening goes off without a hitch there are a number of tips hosts should bear in mind when preparing for their mystery game.

To begin with, ensuring the Mystery Game is tailored to the occasion is key. Depending on the context of the event, different topics or types of murder mysteries may work better than others; a murder game set at a 1920s jazz club might be ideal for a special birthday celebration, while a more light-hearted take on crime solving could be better suited to a family gathering. When creating characters for the game it pays to think about what themes or interests guests may share too; introducing characters who match participants’ personalities can help create immediate interest in the story and provide them with roles they will find even easier to relate to.

Furthermore, ensuring players are equipped with suitable materials is vital. Providing each guest with reference materials such as case reports, character biographies, maps of fictional locations and other evidence before they arrive – all personalised to their role – can prove invaluable in helping everyone become immersed in the mystery and making sure gameplay runs smoothly. It pays to provide each participant with their own folder containing all necessary documents too, as this will make it easier for them to familiarise themselves with their character's plight before play commences.

Finally, although it’s important for players to have fun during the game, good timekeeping and staying within specific time constraints paves the way for successful proceedings too. Time limits restriction ensures that all participants remain focused on finding clues and debating points efficiently; establishing predetermined breaks also allows people time to recover from intense debate or questioning while they relax. With this approach hosts can ensure everyone gets the chance to contribute to solving the case fully before hours and hours of impassioned argument leadto fatigue - maintaining balance between coordination and chaos is key when hosting this kind of event.

In conclusion, when hosting a murder mystery party preparation is paramount. If done properly setting up such an event does not need to be time consuming or difficult; ensuring it takes into account context, provides guests with suitable materials and maintains balance between chaotic debates and efficient coordination should ultimately pave the way for an entertaining evening that everyone is certain to remember fondly.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions with Explanations

Are there any online murder mystery games I can play?

Yes, there are plenty of online murder mystery games you can play with friends! Many popular online games like Werewolf Online, Among Us, and Criminal Case offer great murder mystery experiences. Additionally, websites like Mystery Manor and ClueKeeper have a wide selection of digital interactive murder mystery games to choose from. All of these games allow you to easily invite your friends, create a private game room, or even team up remotely thanks to their intuitive solutions and user-friendly platforms. So whatever you're looking for in a murder mystery game experience, there's sure to be an option available to suit your needs.

What are some tips for hosting a murder mystery game?

Hosting a murder mystery game can be a great way to have fun with friends, family, and colleagues. Here are some tips for hosting a successful game:

1. Start by picking the right game. Depending on the size of your group, you may want to choose a more basic or advanced setup. Consider how familiar your players are with murder mystery games and pick something that matches their experience level.

2. Read through the rules of play beforehand. This will help ensure that everyone understands how the game works and is ready to play.

3. Decide on a setting and plan out any props and decorations that you might need. This will add to the atmosphere of the game.

4. Cast your characters carefully so that everyone in attendance is comfortable playing their roles. This could include assigning roles like detective, witness, killer, etc., as well as making sure each character's background fits into the storyline of the game.

5. Provide clues in advance so that players can get familiar with their characters and the story. These clues should be tailored to each player's role, as different roles have different objectives during the game.

6. Make sure all players understand their objectives during the game and that they know what they need to do in order to win or solve the mystery. Providing them with a short synopsis at the beginning can be helpful in this regard.

7. Keep track of who has solved which clues so that you can award points accordingly at the end of the game or when someone solves the mystery before anyone else does.

8. Make sure everyone has fun! Creating an immersive environment with appropriate props and costumes adds to the excitement of playing a murder mystery game and encourages excitement among players throughout playtime.

What are the best murder mystery gameplay experiences?

The best murder mystery gameplay experiences are those that involve creative problem solving, intense investigation, and out of the box thinking. The most engaging games require the players to think on their feet and work together as a team to unearth clues and solve the mystery. Players should look for games with intriguing storylines, unexpected twists and turns, puzzles that test their deductive reasoning skills, and surprises designed to keep them engaged in the plot. Additionally, successful gameplay requires a balance of challenge and reward — players should feel rewarded with each clue they uncover while being challenged by complex plot points they must decipher. Ultimately, great murder mystery gameplay experiences involve collective brainpower working together towards an exciting resolution.

How do you create your own personalized murder mystery game?

Our murder mystery game generator makes it easy to create your own personalized game.

Just click the mystery game maker link and follow these steps:

1. Choose your murder mystery based on the number of guests

Choose whether you want to personalize the game for:

  • A Dinner Party Mystery for 6–10 guests
  • An Event Mystery for 12–200+ people

2. Personalize your game details

Anytime before your party use our murder mystery builder to create your personalized game.

You decide:

  • Who's the victim?
  • Where does the murder happen?
  • What are the character names?

Plus lots more!

You're the murder mystery game creator – so have fun and get creative!

It should take less than 15 mins to create your murder mystery game.

3. Send players your unique game link

Text, email or post your unique game link of the crime scene to your party guests.

It contains their character information and hints and tips on how to play – so they can get prepared to play the game.

You (the game creator) will be the Host. And all your guests are the suspects.

The players won't be able to access or play until you start the game from the Hosts panel.

4. Play the game!

When you're ready to play your murder mystery game – give the players access with a secret game code! (which is stored in your host panel).

As the story unfolds you'll play the murder mystery game together over a few rounds using your phones.

All suspects take part in the investigation, using their wit and skill to convince others that their motives and alibis are legit – to prove their innocence.

Rounds include a combination of:

  • The Script – all the players read through a script together
  • Questioning & Evidence – you all go off script and can talk openly about who you think is the killer! There will be prompts to help you pry information and evidence out of each other
  • Voting – where guests vote for who they think the murderer is

The whole game takes about 1-2 hours... it's just like being in your own murder mystery film!

Everyone takes part in the trial – using their best detective work to be the judge and jury! Once all the clues have been examined, at the end of the game, you'll find out what the murder weapon was, who's innocent, who has blood on their hands – and who's going to prison!

There's also a printable PDF version of the whodunnit game script too – just in case someone's battery dies!

Play online or in-person

Play on Zoom or get together in real life

Create your own murder mystery

Customize your game script

Quick and simple to build

Only takes 15 mins to create

Add your own characters

Use real names or make them up

Play on your phone

Or print out the PDF script

Fun for everyone

Detectives aged 11+

Whodunnit game night

A murder mystery game to play with friends

Crime solving game

Use your detective skills

Create your personalized murder mystery game

  • Create a customised murder mystery script in less than 15 mins
  • Perfect for dinner parties and virtual team building
  • Play on screens or print out the PDF scripts
Make My Murder Mystery Game

How do you play a murder mystery game?

If you've never played a murder mystery game before – or are not sure how they work, it's really quick and simple to get started.

There are a few variants of murder mystery games you can play.

First, you need to understand what the most common types of murder mystery games are:

A Scripted Dinner Party Murder Mystery

Players are given a script to read which includes; character background information, who the victim is, motives and alibis – and questions to ask and general murder plot dialogue to set the scene.

Players tend to stay in the same place for the duration of the game.

The guided nature of the script makes this option a great icebreaker for small groups that don’t know each other well.

A scripted game works well for small groups of 6–20 guests. But for murder mysteries for large groups of players, check out our event game.

Make your own murder mystery with You Dunnit!

Use our easy-to-use script generator template to create your own Scripted Dinner Party Murder Mystery Game. It's quick and easy. Try it now!

An interactive murder mystery event

These murder mystery games rely on ‘cast members'.

Players don’t have a script but instead, mingle, interact and even interrogate cast members.

The characters are free to roam in a less linear fashion.

There are often sub-plots and character goals running alongside the main whodunnit murder mystery.

An interactive game works well for 12 or more detective guests – up to large groups of up to 200.

Where can I host my game?

That's how murder mystery parties work... now you need a place to host your crime scene!

People imagine playing the game in a murder mystery mansion to be the perfect setting.

But as long as the script is good and the players are keen – almost anywhere will do.

You can play a murder mystery game:

Did you know?

It’s believed murder mystery game’s evolved from the ‘Wink Murder’ game in from the early 1900’s – where a pre-selected participant could kill other players by winking at them 😉. Death by wink!

How long does the game take to play?

You’ll typically need to set aside 1–2 hours to play a scripted murder mystery game.

Though you can easily double that time if you’re playing it as part of a murder mystery party.

If you’re pushed for time – you can whizz through much quicker. It’s up to you to dictate the pace.

An interactive game can take much longer – sometimes spanning whole a murder mystery weekend.

Characters and costumes

To get in the murder mystery mood players may want to dress up in the role of their character.

What players wear usually depends on the theme of the game.

You don’t have to go down the typical Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Colonel Mustard costume route.

You could theme it for a specific event; a birthday, a Christmas murder mystery, a Halloween murder mystery party – or even a murder mystery hen party!

When you build a personalized You Dunnit murder mystery game — players are emailed information about their character so they know who they’re playing and what to wear.

NOTE: Please don't bring a real knife or gun to the party!

For more theme and costume ideas head over to our How to host a murder mystery dinner party page.

Did you know?

Cluedo – the most famous murder mystery board game was first released in 1949. And is still popular today.

Create your own murder mystery game

As far as we know, there are 2 ways: An easy way. And a hard way!

1. The easy way! Use You Dunnit's personalized murder mystery script generator

All the benefits of a custom murder mystery game template without the hassle, stress or price : )

Create a personalized murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play online or in real life
Build My Personalized Murder Mystery Game

2. The hard way! Write your own murder mystery game script [Step by step guide]

Even if you’re a keen writer – writing you’re own murder mystery game might be harder than you think.

Once you’ve set aside enough time, pushed through your writer’s block – coming up with a logical and coherent murder mystery that’s fun and engaging to play (with red herrings along the way) can be tough.

But if you’re still up for the challenge – we’ve put together a helpful guide called: How to write a murder mystery game 👈. Good luck!