Murder on the Istanbul Express is a murder mystery game for 7 to 11 guests and one host. It is set in 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, aboard the luxurious Istanbul Express. Characters include the train crew, merchants, inventors – and spies! Download the free introductory pdf file.
Murder on the Istanbul Express is a thrilling evening of luxurious travel, intrigue, and murder. 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 Murder on the Istanbul Express?
|See stories and pictures from Murder on the Istanbul Express.
|Click here to read the Istanbul Gazette.
The luxurious Istanbul Express takes three days to travel between Istanbul, Turkey and Paris, France. The train line is lavishly opulent and has a glowing reputation. Tonight, some of Europe’s most notable citizens and travelers (and some who are not so notable) are journeying in style through the European countryside.
Two days ago (June 29, 1914), just before the train left Istanbul, newspapers announced that Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, had been assassinated in neighboring Bosnia. Everyone is now on edge – this could be the start of a great war.
A further trouble is the discovery of a dead body in the kitchen car this evening. Selda Zaim, the maid of Turkish merchant Esra Hoca, appears to have been bludgeoned over the head with a cooking pot.
It is now midnight and only a few hours until the Istanbul Express arrives in Paris and the proper authorities can investigate the crime. But until then, there are many mysteries to unfold…
Murder on the Istanbul Express 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.
MIE-03 Murder on the Istanbul Express
MIE-04 Murder on the Istanbul Express
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One of our more straightforward murder mystery games, suitable for beginner hosts.
No combat, no poison.
Characters are ungendered.
The free introductory pdf file contains an introduction to the game and a cast list of all the characters.
Cast of characters
- Pat Dijon: Police inspector from Paris
- Max Fairsonne: Turkish sculptor
- Esra Hoca: Turkish merchant who sells luxurious cashmere
- Sava Hatmanu: Famous chemist from Romania
- Sam Lively: American inventor
- Jay Middleton: British professor of archaeology based in Budapest
- Hersch Muller: German attorney
- Alexe Petrescu: Romanian tourist and museum fanatic
- Marin Aromblast: Bulgarian waiter
- Lou Gardet: French conductor
- Battista Giovanni: Italian cook
The characters are all ungendered, so they can be played by any mix of guests as required.
You also need a host – someone to organize the party and ensure everything runs smoothly.
How Freeform Games murder mystery games work
Murder on the Istanbul Express is unlike other murder mystery games. Although the game starts with a murder, each character has several goals they must try to accomplish. While they may want to solve the murder, Murder on the Istanbul Express contains plenty of other plots and secrets to keep everyone busy. Murder on the Istanbul Express isn’t scripted, and lets the players decide how to achieve their goals and thwart their enemies.
On the evening of the game the guests are met by the organizer and welcomed to the Istanbul Express.
They then receive their detailed backgrounds – including dark secrets, objectives and money. The fun then begins as they form alliances, blackmail each other, steal items and maybe even try to murder one another!
Along the way they may uncover some of the mysteries of Murder on the Istanbul Express. Who has been stealing historical artifacts? Who is here under a false identity? What happened to the promising new radio technology? And, of course, who killed Selda Zaim?
Depending on what the players choose to do, there are several different possible endings, but finally everyone finds out how they did, and what secrets everyone else was concealing.
Recommended for ages 12+
We recommend Murder on the Istanbul Express for those aged 12+, as it is family-friendly and contains no adult themes..
Sometimes you have too many guests and need more characters. Murder on the Istanbul Express comes with free extra characters (written by us or previous hosts) that are included in the download when you purchase the game.
- Cato Janssen – Belgian journalist (Any)
(by Freeform Games)
Please note that we haven’t always tested these – and they may not tie in exactly with our games.
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Cast Iron Guarantee
We offer a Cast Iron Guarantee on all our murder mystery games. If you’re not completely satisfied with Murder on the Istanbul Express then please let us know within 30 days and we will refund you. See our full terms and conditions, and our refund policy.
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