Murder Mystery Game – everything you need to know

A guide to everything you need to know about this whodunit crime game

Matt Ellis

Written by: Matt Ellis
Jun 04, 2020

Playing a murder mystery game with friends can be a lot of fun.

Before you dive in and play – here’s a guide to everything you need to know about this whodunit crime game genre.

Looking for the ultimate guide to hosting a murder mystery party?

Checkout out our "How to host a murder mystery dinner party guide". 👈

What is a murder mystery game?

A murder mystery game is a party game where players hear evidence and solve clues to work out who amongst them is the murderer!

The game is spread over several rounds – and can take place as a murder mystery night, murder mystery dinner party – or even a whole murder mystery weekend.

The games are often themed – and players are encouraged to dress up in character.

Popular murder mystery game themes include:

  • Roaring 1920s murder mystery
  • 1950’s murder mystery
  • Halloween murder mystery
  • Christmas murder mystery
  • Zombie murder mystery

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 😉

How do you play a murder mystery game?

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

The most common are:


Players are given a script to read which includes character background information, questions to ask and general murder plot dialogue.

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 ice breaker for small groups that don’t know each other well.

A scripted game works well for small groups of 6–20 guests.


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 murder mystery.

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

Where can I host a murder mystery game?

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:

  • Home
  • Work Office
  • Scouts / Girl Guides
  • Church
  • Youth Group
  • School
  • Village Hall
  • Your Garden
  • Online / Virtual / Remote – via Zoom, FaceTime, Google Meet, etc.

How long does a murder mystery 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 dinner 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.

Murder mystery characters and costumes

To get in the murder mystery mood players may want to dress in 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 occasion like Christmas, Halloween – or even a murder mystery hen party!

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

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.

Make your own whodunit 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 personalised murder mystery builder

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

Create a personalised murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play with friends in real life or online
Build My Personalised 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!

Murder mystery game running with knife
Get Creative

Try our brilliant murder mystery game builder

It's quick and easy to create your unique murder mystery game. Choose character names, locations, the victim and much more – to create unlimited possibilities!

Build My Murder Mystery Game

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