Playing our murder mystery games
This explanation is included in all our games, for you to hand out to your guests if the haven't played one of our games before. If you'd like to print it out, you can download a copy here.
"I've hosted other murder mystery events in the past, but having played a "freeform" game, I won't go back. It was so much fun for each person to roleplay a character and have goals/conflicts of their own in addition to solving the murder. It made for a lot more interaction! We loved it!" Emily Hendrickson, United States
If you have never played a Freeform Games murder mystery before, some concepts in the game materials may be unfamiliar to you. Our murder mystery games are different from others – so you may want to review these guidelines before you start.
Our murder mystery games are completely interactive. You decide who to interact with and when. You also decide what you tell them and whether you tell them the truth or not. Of course, the same goes for everyone else playing the game…
Participating in a Freeform Games murder mystery involves pretending to be someone else (your character) in a fictional setting. You will meet and interact with other characters and everyone will be trying to achieve their own goals. We don’t provide a script – the direction you take your character is entirely up to you.
"I've now purchased three of your games. They're so intricate and nothing like what other companies offer. I love that every character (even tertiary) have goals and responsibilities. We're going to do Curse of the Pharaoh this summer and then I'm going to peruse Way out West for our Halloween party. You guys are awesome!" Lee Nelson, United States
Here are some tips to help you enjoy the game:
- Three basic requirements: Playing a murder mystery game requires just three basic attributes – a sense of fun, an ability to strike up a conversation with another person, and the willingness to pretend to be someone else for an evening. If these abilities are within your comfort zone, you should have no trouble!
- Dress the part: You will receive information about your character beforehand. A good costume can help you get into the spirit of the game, as well as adding to the enjoyment of others.
- Read your character booklet: Your character booklet explains who you are, who you know, and what your objectives are. Your character booklet also describes what your character believes, not necessarily the actual truth! Keep your character booklet handy, as you will need to refer to it throughout the evening.
- Goals: Your goals describe the objectives your character is trying to achieve during the game. You should attempt every goal, although it is unlikely you will achieve them all (since other characters may be trying to oppose you).
- Introduce yourself: Once the game starts, you will need to talk to other players while pretending to be your character. The easiest way is to introduce yourself to someone as your character. If you don’t know anything about them, you can ask who they are and why they are here. If you already know something about the other character (you may have information in your character pack or someone else has already told you something about them), you can ask them about that.
- Missing characters: Our games are designed to accommodate various groups sizes. If a character described in your booklet is not present, they are likely to be non-essential and you should disregard any references to them. This will not drastically affect your goals or the outcome of the game.
- Suggested first moves: Your character booklet contains tips for people who haven’t played our games before. The tips are optional, but they may help you get started.
- Find your friends and enemies: In each game, there are those who will help you and those who will oppose you. It’s important to find both – although asking your friends for help may require you to help them in return.
- Abilities: You will have special abilities that you can use to help achieve your goals. The cards are self-explanatory and generally have a limited number of uses. You may need to think carefully about who you want to use them on.
- The Host: Ideally, you shouldn’t need the Host to achieve your goals – talking and negotiating with the other characters is usually enough. You should consult the Host if you have a question about the rules, but you certainly shouldn’t ask for help in accomplishing your goals, as that is up to you!
- Act the part: Don’t start talking about football or current affairs or anything else that isn’t part of the game. It’s more fun if everyone tries to maintain the illusion that the party is genuine.
- Read your character booklet yet again: If you find yourself at a loose end, find some space and re-read your character booklet. You may find there’s someone you haven’t spoken to yet or something you still need to do.
- The murder: Who carried out the murder? Finding out is a matter of talking to people and following the clues.
- Finally: Remember, the most important thing is to have a good time!
Playing our games online
Our games can also be played online using video chat, but apart from the specific requirements of whichever system you are using, the rules for playing our games don't really change. See here for details of how to do it.