Best Murder Mystery Party Companies

Best Murder Mystery Party Games

Disclaimer: We have labelled this article as the “Best Murder Mystery Parties”, but we haven’t played all of them. What we have done is consolidated all the ones we could find while doing some internet research. As we play more of these over time, we will keep this list updated with reviews, so you can always expect it to be up to date!

After playing Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, and of course being big fans of solving puzzles like escape rooms, we got a hankering for trying out something different than just getting our group together to play board games.

Planning a murder mystery party can be a stressful event. Especially if you haven’t done it before, which was what we were facing when we decided to throw one. What is the first thing most people do? Jump on the internet of course and search for term best murder mystery party.

Well, that pulled in a bunch of results, but didn’t really narrow things down. It simply had a bunch of different companies and some random useless results.

So without a guide to tell us which one was the best company, a very few reviews on the actual games and companies, we had to dig deep and do some research.

What we found was there was a bunch of different options available. Everything from the host playing or not playing, to the murderer knowing, to victims being involved or not.

The first, and biggest, distinction we found was that there are two main types of games: Scripted and Un-Scripted.

We are fans of letting things progress whichever random way they decide to go… and also letting peoples ‘true’ (used very loosely here) personalities shine through. Which is probably why we enjoy Social Deduction Games so much. So, with that we decided on the non-scripted murder mystery parties for our adventure.

Now, if you have ever hosted a murder mystery party before you will know that one of the first things you need to do is to figure out the number of people that will be coming to your event. Many of these games are set up for up to 8 people, which we found especially true in the box set games you can find on Amazon.

For us, we were having 12-16 when we first did our head count (ended up being 12 people). So that meant we had to concentrate our efforts outside of Amazon, on companies that do this full time.

The nice thing about these companies is that they have lots of experience in the area and slowly refine their games over time. Many of them hire an experienced writer specifically for this purpose, though we did hear that some companies outsource this work and it isn’t the best. We avoided those ones obviously.

The part that sucks about going outside of Amazon is the lack of reviews. Yes, some of these murder mystery companies have testimonials and reviews within their site, but we all know that they only put up the most positive ones. So, that said, we refer you to our disclaimer at the top of the page when reading this list!

Some of the things we looked for when trying to compare and find the top murder mystery party games we the time to play, the number of players, the cost, and the theme. We also factored in a few other things like bonus games, were they downloadable, does the murderer and victim know who they are, and of course, can the host play along.

So with all those things in mind, the following are the best unscripted murder mystery parties we could find on the internet. Let us know in the comments if you have played any of these ones, and if you would recommend them.

Company

# of Players

Time

Download
Available

Host Plays and Doesn't Know

Murderer
Doesn't Know

Extra Objectives

My Mystery Party

8 - 40+

1.5 - 4 Hours

Some games

Night of Mystery

6 - 80+

1.5 - 4+ Hours

Shot in the Dark Mysteries

8 - 18 (up to 200 detectives)

2 - 3 Hours

Playing With Murder

8 - 100+

1.5 - 4 Hours
OR 30 min

Party Time Mysteries

10 - 18

1.5 - 3 Hours

Freeform Games

6 - 40

1.5 - 3 Hours

Haley Productions

20 - 125+

1.5 - 2 Hours

Dinner and a Murder

8 - 20+

2.5 - 3 Hours

Best Murder Mystery Party Reviews

This was the company we chose to go with for our first party. We found them to have almost everything we were looking for on our checklist. This company has a dedicated writer who has lots of experience writing specifically for murder mystery party games. They also have a huge emphasis on the inclusion of everyone involved. So that means with these parties the host is able to play. They choose how much or how little they want to know in order to host the party -- with the exception being that they will know the ‘required’ players and the ‘extra/optional’ players, which gives you a bit of a leg up on knowing who might be more important (though the rest of the guests don’t know).

They also include the victim in the game. Though, they do die in the 2nd round, they continue to play as a ghost of themselves (option of letting them talk or not). They also get a ‘Victim’ sign and any additional props you choose – allowing them to be the focus of attention. The murderer also doesn’t know who they are until the solution arrives in the 3rd round. This allows everyone to play along the entire time. A note here is that they have a couple games in which the victim isn’t one of the players if that is the route you want to go.

Players are given objectives and things to do, to say, and to conceal in each round, which helps with interaction. As well, there are some games with extra objective/missions. There are set stages to the game, costumes suggestions, as well as food suggestions for if you want to make a dinner party out of it. They provide a rough timeline of events, and games are expected to be anywhere from 1.5 – 4 hours, depending on your group and the bonus games.

In most/all of their games, they have ‘bonus games’ like trivia or dance contests to help promote interaction and fun for your night. Also, the games are downloadable with the option to pay a few extra bucks to have them set up a party ready package for you, which is a good option for the busy or unsure.

The final things to note with this company are that they have games for large groups (40+), have over 40,000 fans on Facebook, and have a HUGE selection of themes to choose from. We are talking everything from Halloween to Christmas to 1920s. Also, they are one of (if not the only) company to have a monitored phone number to call if you have questions.

Night of Mystery was one of our highest rated murder mystery parties. They seem to have a very good reputation with lots of Facebook reviews and around 13,000 fans on Facebook. This company seemed to be fairly similar in what they offered compared to the MyMysteryParty.

Again this one is non-scripted, but what intrigued us about this one was that there are added objectives for the players. From reading other sites, it seems that these are things like “you must collect enough money to pay off your gambling debts” or “you must try to get someone to carry your purse for the whole night”. This adds another layer of development to the game. You don’t know whether someone is trying to complete an objective or just really into their character.

Again, this company offers immediate download of your game. In fact, that is the only option they offer. They do have different versions for the different number of players, which is nice – as though the storyline is different depending on who is all playing. What we didn’t like is that the price goes up depending on the increased number of players.

In this one the host can play, and they get to choose how much or how little they know, similar to the one above. They can play along, just like everyone else.

With this company the victim is one of the players, and the murderer finds out who they are during the game (2nd envelope). Which was one of the reasons why were hesitant, we didn’t know how well our group would do if someone was the murderer. Though, this will be fun to try at some point, or even one of the ones where they know the whole time.

Lots of options for themes here, and the ability to play up to 80 people, with more available upon request. There are minimum required numbers for their games, just like many others on the list.

With most of these murder mystery dinner party games, they provide you with information on how to run the night. However, if you are still unsure and think you will need extra assistance, then Shot in the Dark Mysteries might be your best bet. Their site gives off the vibe of really caring for their customers and boasting that they have the best customer service. In fact, they were super quick to reply to us when we reached out.

As with the rest of the top murder mystery party games on the list, this one is free flowing. This company strives to make their games as interactive as possible.

The host is able to play along with this one, choosing how much they know before/during. The package you receive is safe to check out without worrying about spoilers, and “with emailable suspect guides and separate, well-marked files for the Big Reveal”. For our first game it was important for us to get the full experience for the game, so things like this are important.

These games are totally downloadable so you can set things up easily without having to go out. They usually take around 2-3 hours.

The games are designed for many different numbers of players, but cap out at 18 suspects because of the complexity involved beyond that, that said, they have had up to 200 people playing as detectives. Also note, that most of their games are for even numbers and equal number of each gender, however, they do pride themselves on the customization they can provide. If you have more women than men coming, let them know as they might have already created that version for someone else! Otherwise, they charge a small fee for customization, which might be worth it for your group.

Their friendly website will keep you assured, as will their 3000+ fans on Facebook. Though the characters don’t have added ‘objectives’, which we liked in other games, they do seem like a great option to try with almost 35 different mysteries to try. Also, a quick note that they cater to kids and teens if that is the audience you are trying to entertain!

Playing with Murder is another download only murder mystery party. This is more and more the trend these days, but that is a good thing, as instant access is great for planning and prepping.

With this company, they claim that they produce more complex mysteries. This means that the host can play along, but more as a guest or narrator of the party. The host knows who the murderer and the victim are the entire time. This allows the host to help move things along and/or answer any questions throughout the night.

Their games can accommodate a large range of players, anywhere from 8-100+. There is a minimum number of guests needed for their parties, with some of the characters being ‘required’ and some being ‘optional’. Again, the host knows this information but keeps it secret from the guests so that everyone is involved.

You can expect these highly rated murder mystery parties to be anywhere from 90 minutes up to 4 hours in length. A note here is that they do offer 30 minute mysteries if you want to try it out without taking the whole night up.

Playing with Murder has over 3000 Facebook fans, and plenty of reviews within their own site. Though, they don’t have as many options as some of the others on the list, their download package seems massive and includes a bunch of extras that you might not realize you want.

There are extra objectives for the characters in the full length games, as noted in the email reply we got from the company... Without giving any spoilers, they sound pretty fun! They also provide sound effects and background audio with their full length games.

The company has also generously offered up a promo code for our readers, enter: HEXAGAMERS at checkout to receive 20% off.

Party Time Mysteries appears to be another good murder mystery party company. They do seem smaller than lots of the other ones on the list. They have only around 100 Facebook fans and only about half a dozen games to choose from.

They did however, hit a lot of the check boxes that we were looking for in a company.

This one is a download only company much like some of the others on the list. In their games the host can play along with the guests and not know who is the murderer or victim. A note here is that they also have non-murder type of mystery games as well.

Players have objectives they must complete in this one. Such things as ‘you must go flirt with the captain’ or ‘Go ask Joe about his job’. This gives the players some things they need to do, without having the whole thing scripted. It allows the flow to be more natural, much like the other companies listed here. The background stories for each character seem longer in this one than some of the others, so more memorization/prep time might be needed by your guests.

Players are also given play money in most/all of their games and must try to accumulate the most money by the end. One of those prizes you can hand out at the end of the night.

You will need a minimum number of players for these ones, and most games are between 10-18 people. They do, however, offer some expansion packs with some of their games, so keep an eye out for those ones. The games should last between 1.5 and 3 hours long.

This company did seem to come in a little less expensive than the others on the list, so we would be interested in hearing if the quality is as good. Again, we included this in our best murder mystery dinner party games list to help you choose which one you want to try out for yourself.

Freeform Games is another top murder mystery party company that does things with a slight twist. While, as their name suggests, they do free flowing games, they add some depth to their characters.

Much like some others in the list, the characters have certain objective they must complete in order to win/further the story along. What makes this company different is that they also give the characters ‘special abilities’. This can be anything from being able to pickpocket money to making other characters share information. Usually you can only use this ability 3 times throughout the night, so one must use it strategically in order to advance their knowledge or objective.

Freeform has a fairly big selection of games/themes to choose from, and they are reasonably priced compared to some of the others on the list.

The number of characters ranges from 6-40 people, so it should easily include your group size within that range. Some games have the ability to add extra characters as needed.

These game do need a designated host though. This person does have a role, such as a bartender, but they aren’t able to partake in the solving of the murder. In some situations, you as the host, would play the victim at the beginning of the party to get things rolling. In a few games, the victim is one of the characters/players, but once they are murdered, then they will assume the role of another character who has ‘just showed up’ at the party.

Freeform does link to specific reviews about their games on their site, and have over 600 Facebook fans to help with their credibility. If you are still skeptical though, they can have a FREE game you can try for up to 10 people if you sign up for their newsletter.

This is one we will be trying out in the future, but would love to hear if any of our readers have tried them out before.

We found Haley Productions while researching for the highest rated murder mystery party games. They are another company that offers downloadable murder mystery games. A note here: They also offer scavenger hunt games.

This company produces games for big groups, anywhere from 20-125 people! Their set up is slightly different than the others listed on the page, but they strive to make sure everyone is involved, even with huge groups.

What makes them different is the set up. With these games, there are 6-8 primary suspects that are involved from the start. They do this one of two ways: First, the suspects know everything. This means they know the murderer, the victim, the clues, etc., Second the narrator tells the story, with the prime suspects simply acting out what is being narrated. In the later the suspects don’t know all the details of whodunit, so they can actively try to solve the mystery.

The prime suspects have a back story and information they know. As they mingle around the room, they will field questions from other guests and drops hints (and clues) around the room. They do have partially scripted stories that they will share with the guests. With these parties, the guests with the best detective skills and most interaction will probably fare the best.

We found the price to be very reasonable considering the size you are entertaining. However, we didn’t like that it involved so many people that don’t get to ‘solve’ the mystery. That said, if you do have a bunch of aspiring actors in your group, this might be your go to game. Or alternatively, you can follow the second method, where the prime suspects don't know whodunit and get to play along with solving the mystery.

Expect these ones to take between 1.5 and 2 hours so that everyone involved has ample time to talk to the prime suspects before drawing their conclusion and the murderer confesses to the crime. Guest other than the 'prime suspects' can come dressed in character or come in casual clothes. Regardless, everyone will play a crucial and interactive part the mystery!

Dinner and a Murder is another great murder mystery party company that has been around for a while. Their site is somewhat old looking, and we couldn’t find a Facebook page, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good.

They only have a handful of games to choose from, but offer both download and boxed sets (a little more expensive) of games if that is what you are looking for. The games are good for 8-20+ people.

The games are unscripted as mentioned at the start of the post, and they have a good handle on this form from the descriptions they give on their site. See the summarized example they gave:

Joe steals a vase from Mary, but Kim sees it happen. Kim can choose to tell the police/everyone, blackmail Joe, do nothing, or tell Mary.

What she chooses all depends on her goals or plots. Each character has a few different hints and goals to work with, some of them are shady goals even. Letting you play the game as you see fit.

The host can play during these games, and you can expect games to last anywhere from 2.5-3 hours or more depending on your group.

The website offers reviews from former players, as well as a forum for you to look through to see questions that other people have had. Both of which are very helpful. Their price is also right in line with the other companies on the list.

Wrap Up

There you have it. A list of some of the best murder mystery party games we could find on the internet. As mentioned, we chose to focus on the free flowing, unscripted games for this list since that is what we prefer. We will eventually do a list of the best boxed murder mystery parties, so look for that in the future. If you are hosting a big group, you may also be interested in our post on the Best Party Board Games, or if your group is fairly new at board games, The Best Board Games for Beginners.

Again, please note that we haven’t tried games from all these companies yet, so make sure you do any additional research you think you will need. We will post reviews as we play more of these games in the future, so you can be sure this article is up to date.

We hope our summary has been helpful in getting you started, or even helping you to decide which company you are going to choose. We would love to hear your feedback on which companies you have tried, and what kind of experience you have had with them. Please leave a comment below to help our readers and us out with the next choice.

Good luck solving the mysteries!

About the author

HexaGamers

We are the HexaGamers. Six good friends that love all things game related that gets us together to enjoy each other's company.

14comments
Mark Rickert - October 21, 2017

I’ve only tried Freeform Games. We’ve thrown 10 parties with 5 different games and a total of 80+ people. Party number 11 is in 2 weeks, and we’ve got 16 newbies joining 7 with experience. All but about 3 of the 80+ people have loved them. The only drawback about their games is that the host knows all and doesn’t play. I actually prefer that column 3 (murderer doesn’t know) is not checked for them. It’s more realistic. You really should give them a try.

Reply
    HexaGamers - October 23, 2017

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for taking the time to let us know about your experience. We are hoping to try out Freeform Games in the near future. Glad you enjoyed them enough to keep going back.

    Reply
Brittany - October 23, 2017

Our family has tried a few of the Party Time Mysteries games and every time everybody invited has really enjoyed it. It is extremely interactive and different from any other kind of party that I have thrown or attended; it really gets your guests talking and getting to know each other in a light setting. I definitely recommend them to anybody who is looking for a fun party for all ages.

Reply
    HexaGamers - October 23, 2017

    Hi Brittany,

    Glad to hear you had a good time with Party Time Mysteries! It seems like we made some good choices here with our recommendations of the top murder mystery parties.

    Reply
Amber - October 24, 2017

I have been a guest at a couple parties from Party Time Mysteries. I find the difficulty level is good – you have to look at the clues carefully and think about different character’s motives, but you don’t have to be Sherlock to figure it out. Once I was the murderer and it was fun because I didn’t know, and slowly came to the realization that I was guilty

Reply
    HexaGamers - October 24, 2017

    Hi Amber!

    That sounds like a fun time–especially not knowing you were the killer! We are getting a lot of great feedback about Party Time Mysteries. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Reply
Lori - October 24, 2017

I have done a murder mystery and a non murder mystery with PartyTime Mysteries. Both were interactive and the guests had a great time. We did the superhero one for my young son’s 8th birthday. There were game suggestions with printables and instructions.
We did the murder mystery for my daughter’s 16th Birthday. She wanted it to be easy to get a group of kids that come from different schools to communicate and have a good time. It was so fun watching them get into their roles.
One of the things I love is that the person who is the victim, gets to come back as the inspector so they still have a role and can fully participate.
PartyTime mysteries made planning very easy. I just had to read the instructions and follow directions. And print the artwork. The non murder mystery even had decorations that you can purchase! Super easy! I highly recommend this company.

Reply
    HexaGamers - October 24, 2017

    Hi Lori!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences–they sound fantastic! We’re so glad everything worked well and was easy. There’s nothing better when you’re a busy mom!

    Reply
Cassandra - October 24, 2017

I hosted one from Party Time Mysteries. It was great. The victim was a player and after she died she got to come back as the investigating activity. Neither the murderer or the murdered knew who did it and the host got to play along. (Our murderer forgot to mention some critical information and no one guessed correctly). I did it as a going away party of sorts and was able to invite lots of people which was great. I always enjoyed the murder in a box games, but the limited number of players and need to have every role filled has often proven difficult. With Party Time anyone who wasn’t completely sure they could attend was handed a role at the door. All in all it was a great game 🙂

Reply
    HexaGamers - October 24, 2017

    Hi Cassandra!

    Thanks so much for the great feedback on Party Time Mysteries. We like that there are less limitations with the companies, too, and are glad your group had a great time!

    Reply
Melissa Smith - October 24, 2017

I hosted a PartyTime Mystery this month for my son’s seventh birthday. Because of the expansion option, we were able to invite his entire school class plus 6 other friends. The party was designed in such a way that I was able to give all the character descriptions with the invitation, and it wasn’t requisite for each person to come, but everyone had a role. All the printables and instructions available made the party very easy to put together and super impressive. The kids had a blast, and with over 5 party games to play with the mystery to get clues, we were busy having fun for two hours!

Reply
    HexaGamers - November 28, 2017

    Hey Melissa,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. Interesting to hear that these games can work for kids as young as seven… and their whole class to boot!

    Reply
Kelly - November 25, 2017

I am a huge fan of Freeform Games. I have hosted parties using four of their games (planning the 5th one soon), two with small groups and two with large groups. They have been a huge hit with my friends.

The only downside is the amount a prep work needed before the party. I have gotten it down to a science, but I suggest starting with a smaller group before you host a large group. I would allow at least two weeks lead time to pull it all together.

The customer service is outstanding! I have emailed them late at night (I am in the US), and woke up a reply from there (they are in the UK). This happens without fail. I am so impressed by how fast and helpful they are.

My favorite part is how flexible the games are. When I give my guest the character details, I tell them to think of it as an outline, but to make the character their own. It gives them a chance to shine, and eases the minds of my less outgoing guests. I also adjust the given timeline to suit the flow of the party.

As the host, I prefer to run the game rather than playing a role. It enables me to take care of my guests, and give a bit of guidance to those who look lost. I also think it works best when the murderer knows who they are. It doesn’t feel natural if they don’t.

If you are looking to play an unscripted murder mystery game and are willing to put in a bit of work pregame, give Freeform Games a try.

Reply
    HexaGamers - November 28, 2017

    Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for the notes/review of Freeform Games. Glad to hear they take care of their customers, and make enjoyable parties!

    Reply
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