Curse of the Pharaoh

(13 customer reviews)


Curse of the Pharaoh is a murder mystery game for 6-19 guests and one or two hosts, set in Victorian Egypt. Grapple with evil from beyond the grave! Written by Mo Holkar. Recommended for ages 18+.


Curse of the Pharaoh is a murder mystery game for 6 to 19 guests and one or two hosts. It is set at an archaeological dig in Egypt in the 1890s. Download the free introductory pdf file.

Curse of the Pharaoh is a thrilling evening of mystery and murder in 1894 Egypt, which will determine the fate of the British Empire! Your guests will be in the middle of the action, and it will be up to them to wheel and deal to get what they want. Will they achieve their goals, keep their secrets hidden, and survive Curse of the Pharaoh?

“We did Curse of the Pharaoh for my birthday and had a blast! I was so impressed with the game, the flow and of course everyone’s costumes. Super fun!”
Laura Bohen, United States

See stories and pictures
from Curse of the Pharaoh
Read the
Cairo Gazette

The Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt. 23 April 1894. The excavation season will soon be over, as the baking sun makes digging unbearable, but the Oxford University archaeologists lead by Sir William Saville have made a startling discovery. Tonight, the team and their guests prepare to enjoy a slap-up dinner to celebrate the uncovering of the tomb of a previously unknown XVIth Dynasty pharaoh. But while the archaeologists make merry, dark clouds gather, internal tensions among the group burst to the surface and one of the local diggers is brutally murdered.

Curse of the Pharaoh lasts for about four hours and is suited to an evening. It is often played over a meal – a finger buffet if possible, to allow guests to circulate and talk in private.

Note that Curse of the Pharaoh is a bit more complex than some of our other games. If you’ve not hosted one of our games before, you might want to allocate a bit longer to prepare for it and to read through how it’s going to work.

“Curse of the Pharaoh is a brilliant game – better than any other murder mystery I have played.”
Becky Pruitt, United States

Includes rules for the use of poison.
Includes rules for the use of poison.
Includes rules for combat.
Includes rules for combat.

The free introductory pdf file contains an introduction to the game, a cast list of all the characters, and a copy of the Cairo Gazette.

Cast of characters

  • Sir William Saville: renowned archaeologist and leader of the dig
  • Ariadne Price-Evans: veteran translator of Egyptian inscriptions
  • Hugh Carlaw: enthusiastic young student
  • Helen Mackinnon: the belle of Oxford
  • Shahfeez Merouf: mysterious Arab, the Curator of the Luxor Museum
  • Alvy Spanheim: Cultural Attaché at the German Consulate
  • Eva de Chalons: dilettante and art connoisseur
  • Lindsay Wilde: also wild by nature, a brooding misfit on the archaeological scene
  • Pol Tregarne: Detective Sergeant in the Colonial Police
  • Alex McQueen: Detective Constable in the Colonial Police
  • Armand Lenoir: leader of a French excavation nearby
  • Marie-Claire Guiscard: hard-working assistant to Lenoir
  • Tariq al-Mansoor: wealthy collector of Egyptian antiquities
  • Fatima al-Mansoor: wealthy collector of Egyptian antiquities
  • Professor Reginald Mathers: respected archaeologist from Cambridge
  • Lady Jane Fortescue: noble widow and archaeological dilettante
  • Chris Kovacs: young Hungarian student
  • Reverend Godfrey Fox: Cambridge-based church minister
  • Angela Fox: Mathers’ administrative assistant

Curse of the Pharaoh is for 6 to 19 guests:

  • 6 guests (2 male, 2 female, 2 any)
  • 7 guests (2 male, 2 female, 3 any)
  • 8 guests (2 male, 3 female, 3 any)
  • 9 guests (3 male, 3 female, 3 any)
  • 10 guests (3 male, 3 female, 4 any)
  • 11 guests (4 male, 4 female, 3 any)
  • 12 guests (4 male, 4 female, 4 any)
  • 13 guests (5 male, 5 female, 3 any)
  • 14 guests (5 male, 5 female, 4 any)
  • 15 guests (5 male, 5 female, 5 any)
  • 16 guests (6 male, 6 female, 4 any)
  • 17 guests (6 male, 6 female, 5 any)
  • 18 guests (7 male, 7 female, 4 any)
  • 19 guests (7 male, 7 female, 5 any)

You also need one or two hosts, to organize the party and ensure everything runs smoothly. (We recommend two hosts with more than 12 guests, particularly if this is your first Freeform Games murder mystery party.)

How Freeform Games murder mystery games work

Curse of the Pharaoh is unlike other murder mystery games. Although the party starts with a murder, each character has several goals they must try to accomplish. While they may want to solve the murder, Curse of the Pharaoh contains plenty of other plots and secrets to keep everyone busy. Curse of the Pharaoh isn’t scripted, and lets the players decide how to achieve their goals and thwart their enemies.

Curse of the Pharaoh has a brilliant story – I have played other mystery games from other sites in the past – your story was unique and everyone loved the complexity and the props.”
A Customer, United States

On the evening of the game the guests are met by the organizer, the archaeological team’s local servant.

They then receive their detailed backgrounds – including dark secrets, objectives, and money. When everyone has arrived the servant announces that, with the corpse tidied away into the camel shed for safekeeping, dinner will now be served. The fun then begins as everyone questions, bribes and blackmails each other. As the evening progresses they may even try to murder one another!

Finally, the game concludes and everyone finds out how they did, and what secrets everyone else was concealing.

Recommended for ages 18+

We recommend Curse of the Pharaoh for those aged 18+, as it contains occult themes, an extra-marital affair, and an illegitimate child in the characters’ background.

Extra characters

Sometimes you have too many guests and need more characters. So most games have free extra characters (written by us or previous hosts) included in the download when you purchase the game.

  • ‘Ginger’ Roberts – freelance reporter in search of the Big Story. (Any)
    (by Freeform Games)
  • Paige Money – archaeological reporter for The Times. (Any)
    (by Philip Murray)

Please note that we haven’t always tested these – and they may not tie in exactly with our games.

“Thank you for a great site, fantastic games, good service and very quick reply. Keep up the good work.” Ole Martin Brodwall, Norway

Cast Iron Guarantee

We offer a Cast Iron Guarantee on all our murder mystery games. If you’re not completely satisfied with Curse of the Pharaoh then please let us know within 30 days and we will refund you. See our full terms and conditions, and our refund policy.

Trouble downloading? If you have trouble downloading the game files, please first check your spam folder. If you still can’t find the download email, drop us a line at with the name of the game and the email address you used to purchase it, and we’ll resend it.

13 reviews for Curse of the Pharaoh

  1. Nena (verified owner)

    This is complex and exciting game. Accusations were being thrown, violence (pretend), and secrets were abundant. We played with only 8 characters and had a great time.

  2. Deb Longoria (store manager)

    We ended up having over twenty guests invited and only two bowed out at the last moment because of family illness. At first I was terrified, no one mingled – they tried to stay in their private groups. As the Servant I began prodding them into asking questions of other guests and directing them toward a ‘treasure’ table we’d set up. By the end of the evening everyone was having a blast and wanting to know when we would host the next one.’

  3. Mark Rickert (store manager)

    It sounded like Curse of the Pharaoh would be a lot of fun – and it was. EVERYBODY LOVED IT, and everybody wants to play more Freeform games.

  4. Nick Eccles (store manager)

    Well, actually I’m about two years late in reporting on this murder mystery but it was excellent (the best one so far our guests reported!) We used the garden mostly for Curse of the Pharaoh and it was a great success – we bought around seven sand-bags and emptied it all onto sheets in the garden – placed half a gazebo/tent over the sand and added the props table and hid scorpions etc in the sand! It was fantastic! This was our fifth murder mystery and we all thoroughly enjoyed it!

  5. A Customer (store manager)

    Curse of the Pharaoh was a great game. Was fun to watch the guests dress up, and take to character. Though they were slow on the uptake (lots of reading for 16yos), they quickly came around and had a blast. After the game, they sat for over an hour, talking about their characters’ successes and failures.

  6. Marvin Zammit (store manager)

    First time we played a Freeform Games game, and Curse of the Pharaoh was totally enjoyable. We had played another Murder Mystery game, but it was nowhere as good as this.Well done – the setting and characters were brilliant. The plots were intricate to the right point, and the fact that the players have their individual objectives rather than just focusing on the main murder is a great touch.

  7. Glenn Selwood (store manager)

    I’ve never had an activity at any party that got everyone talking to each other quite as quickly as Curse of the Pharaoh did!

  8. Liz H (store manager)

    We had the Curse of the Pharaoh a few weeks ago and had such fun! Thank you for a very inventive and clever game.

  9. Scott (store manager)

    I played Curse of the Pharaoh at my friend’s birthday party. I had a great time. My friend made traditional Egyptian cuisine and all the costumes looked great. I was very impressed with the quality of freeform games, and now I know what to do for my birthday party!

  10. Rob Tudor (store manager)

    Just a quick note to say thanks for helping our New Years Eve go so well! We played Curse of the Pharaoh and everyone had a fantastic time. I was surprised that the cost was the same as purchasing a ‘kit’ from the shops but the money-back guarantee (and the quality of the introduction doc) won me over!

  11. Mark Doney (store manager)

    I enjoyed Curse of the Pharaoh very much, and must say congrats to you for creating a great storyline.

  12. Jay Shaffstall (store manager)

    We had a great group, and it was a terrific time. For a group where only one of the participants besides myself had every heard of roleplaying, they did a super job at getting into character… Thanks for the wonderful game [Curse of the Pharaoh]!

  13. Emma Bardes (store manager)

    Curse of the Pharaoh was last night. It went sooooooooooooo well that I would just like to thank you for doing an amazing job. Thank you! I thought it was perfect. Absolutely amazing.
    Me and my friends had the best time, with relatively no work on my part. Four months later and my friends are STILL talking about it.
    It let us get really creative, and yet we all saw a competitive side of our friends that we hadn’t seen before.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Q & A

How soon will I get my game? asked on 24 September 2022

You can download your game immediately after making your purchase. We will also send you an email message containing a download link and password so you can download your game later.

answered on 23 September 2022 store manager
(0) (0)
Where's my password? asked on 22 September 2022

Please check your email (including your junk folder). If you're sure you haven't received it, then please get in touch. It helps us if you tell us when you purchased the game and what email address you used.

answered on 21 September 2022 store manager
(0) (0)
How do freeform murder mystery games work? asked on 20 September 2022

Most of our games have an impartial host who organizes the party. Hosts don't solve the murder with everyone else – they have already read the game and instead watch the game unfolding.

Guests use their wits and negotiate, scheme, and plot with other guests to get what they want. Nobody needs to learn complicated backgrounds or memorize lines – character backgrounds are little more than a side or two of paper – which can be kept to hand for reference during the game.

answered on 19 September 2022 store manager
(0) (0)
Have you got any games for beginners? asked on 18 September 2022

Yes! If this is your first time hosting a Freeform Games murder mystery, we suggest choosing one of our more straightforward games. Click here for our 'games for beginners' page.

answered on 17 September 2022 store manager
(0) (0)
Do you have any games suitable for all-male or all-female groups? asked on 16 September 2022

Yes! We have several games where all the characters are ungendered and can be played by anyone. Click here to see our ungendered games.

answered on 15 September 2022 store manager
(0) (0)

Ask a question

Your question will be answered by a store representative or other customers.

Thank you for the question!

Your question has been received and will be answered soon. Please do not submit the same question again.



An error occurred when saving your question. Please report it to the website administrator. Additional information:

Add an answer

Thank you for the answer!

Your answer has been received and will be published soon. Please do not submit the same answer again.



An error occurred when saving your answer. Please report it to the website administrator. Additional information: