2022 felt like the pandemic was finally behind us. While COVID-19 is still around, it’s not the terror it once was, and the world (or at least, our part of it) is on the road to recovery.
From our perspective, that means people are gathering in groups – and where there are gatherings, there are murder mystery parties!
The recovery that started in 2021 continued in 2022, and it looks as if 2023 could be one of our best years ever.
We’ve been doing these reviews since 2013 – you can read them all here.
Our best-selling games for 2022 were Way out West, Murder on the Istanbul Express, and A Speakeasy Murder.
That’s a change from previous years, where A Will to Murder and Casino Fatale have usually been in the top three (they’re now in the top 5). Murder on the Istanbul Express was published in 2021, and we’re pleased it has been selling so well.
New and updated murder mystery games
We published one new game in 2022, Vanished in Vegas by Jennifer Vals.
We also updated Curse of the Pharaoh and Happy Birthday RJ to our current format.
An unusual side project
We were contacted by a Houston-based organisation looking for a steampunk-themed game for over 100 people. This was a one-off commission, and they were looking for a different style of game than our usual heavily-plotted murder mysteries. So we wrote a game involving rival families, secret societies, pirates and map exploration.
Last year’s goals
We set ourselves a few goals in 2020:
Improve our website – expand the game themes and bring a little animation to the book covers: While we added a little animation to the book covers (a slight zoom when you hover over them), we didn’t do as much with themes as we were hoping. We made some improvements, but only some. Maybe in 2023.
We also made numerous small changes to the website – such as adding icons so visitors can easily see which games have combat or poisoning.
Resolve the payment process glitches: These continued throughout 2022, unfortunately. Something about the Paypal payment process results in some emails ending up in spam filters. However, we made another change just before Christmas, which seems to have made a big improvement.
Continue to work on new games: We hadn’t expected to publish Vanished in Vegas and were delighted it came out ahead of programme.
Run games online: Steve ran Reunion with Death online in 2022 – he also ran Murder on the Istanbul Express offline at a games convention.
Change the focus of our two online games and promote them as games the host can play: We have now done this and now promote Reunion with Death and Death in Venice as games you can host and play.
So overall a successful year. We didn’t quite do everything we wanted to, but we did most of it and sometimes did more.
Plans for next year
Improve our website: Always a work in progress. We have no specific plans for this year, but it would be remarkable if we didn’t improve the website in lots of small ways.
Updated games: We’re currently updating Davy Jones’ Locker to the latest format, and then Way out West will be on the list.
New games: With a bit of luck and a fair wind, A Purrfect Murder (dark goings-on at a cat show) will be our next game.
Shine light on our French and German language partners: We have two partners who have translated many of our games in French and German: FranceMurder and Krimispiele-Seite. When appropriate, we will mention them more in our posts.
2022 represented a welcome recovery after the pandemic. It was a good year for us; hopefully, we can build on it for 2023.