Here is our list of the best virtual crime scene investigation games.
Virtual crime scene investigation games are challenges where groups search for clues, gather evidence, and rule out suspects in a virtual setting. The purpose of virtual crime scene investigation games is to bring teams together for team bonding and fun problem-solving activities.
These activities are examples of problem-solving games and virtual team building games and are similar to online escape rooms and virtual murder mysteries.
This list includes:
- free virtual crime scene investigation games
- virtual crime scene activities
- online crime scene solving games
Let’s get to it!
List of virtual crime scene investigation games
Nothing brings teams together like a rousing whodunit. From Handwriting Analysis Race to a CSI scavenger hunt, here are the most unique virtual crime scene investigation games.
1. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment
One of the most popular crime scene solving games is Sherlock Holmes: Crime and Punishment. With this PC game, you can choose from six investigations, most of which are crime scenes. Each investigation gives you the option to gather evidence, interrogate and rule out suspects.
This game has a one-player feature, so we recommend setting up a team game with Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The host shares their screen with the group while exploring the crime scene.
Check out more information on Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment.
2. The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes and The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes 2
The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes and The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes 2 will have your team weaving through Victorian London, solving puzzles, engaging in minigames, and seeking hidden clues.
This game has a one-person player feature, so we recommend setting up a team game with Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The host shares their screen with the group as they navigate the crime scene.
See more information on The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes and The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes 2.
3. Handwriting Analysis Race
In forensic science, handwriting is as unique as a fingerprint. One of the fun virtual crime scene activities is challenging teams with a handwriting analysis race. In this activity, teams have to match handwriting samples within a certain time. The team that matches all of the examples first wins!
To set up this race, you can use an online application like the CSI Web Adventure game or create a document with writing samples from your team.
Check out more information on CSI Web Adventure game.
4. Keith and Margo’s Virtual Murder Mystery
Keith O’Leary and Margo Morrison are murder mystery legends, having created over 7,000 live and virtual mystery productions.
Your team is bound to love their virtual CSI team building event. In this virtual murder mystery presented through Zoom, a live detective helps CSI sleuths navigate through clues and evidence.
Check out more information on Keith and Margo’s Virtual Murder Mystery
5. I Spy With My Little Eye Activity
Crime Scene Investigators have to be master eagle eyes when solving a crime. You can test your team’s observation skills with an I Spy With My Little Eye Activity. In this activity, you challenge your CSI sleuths to spot subtle differences in crime scene photos.
Multiple websites offer “spot the difference” crime scene activities like CSI Web Adventure games. Or, you can create your own using document and photo-altering programs. To create a puzzle, set up a document with approximately ten slides, using each slide for one crime scene photo and its altered “twin.” Then, import photos into the presentation, and delete items to make the second image different from the original. Finally, paste the altered crime scene photo back with its match in the file.
To set up this activity, divide teams up into breakout rooms. The team that finds all the differences first wins the game!
View more information on CSI Web Adventure game.
6. Black Noir Murder Escape Room Experience
One of the best online crime scene solving games is Black Noir Murder Escape Room Experience. Your team will want to break out their two-tone dress shoes, and pinstripe suits for this gangster-era escape room meets CSI thriller! In this virtual game, your team will play the role of Private Investigator Mr. Jones, who needs to solve a murder before the culprit strikes again.
The game is straightforward to set up. First, purchase the game for $49. After you have paid, you will receive a game link. Next, you can share the code and link with up to five CSI sleuths. For example, if you have ten investigators playing, you will have to buy two codes. Or, you can buy just one code and share your screen with as many people as you want in Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
See more information on Black Noir Murder Escape.
7. CSI Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts like Crime Scene Investigations often have detectives running around a city! You can send your team on a wild CSI scavenger hunt filled with clues using a document. The team that solves the crime first wins the game!
To set up a CSI Scavenger Hunt:
- Create a document and title it with the name of your case. For example, “A Murder in Paris.”
- Formulate fifteen to twenty clues and write them in your document. For example, “The weapon used to murder Mrs. Smith is something you would use on a tree” and “The murder victim was found where there are over 1,000 skulls.”
- Instruct each player to copy or paste a picture relating to the clue. For example, a picture of a knife or a picture of the Catacombs of Paris.
- Divide teams into Zoom or Microsoft Teams groups. For example, CSI Team A and CSI Team B are in the same breakout rooms.
- Send out document via group email two minutes before the hunt begins. Include instructions that one person from each team downloads the document. This step will prevent different teams from working on the same document.
- CSI teams copy and paste pictures for each clue
- CSI teams have a certain amount of time to complete their clue list and email it to you.
The first team to email the document back wins the game!
Check out this guide to virtual scavenger hunts.
8. The Woman Who Cried Under Water
One of the best free virtual crime scene investigation games is The Woman Who Cried Under Water. This game is playable in team mode and revolves around solving the murder of a young woman found dead in the middle of a swimming pool.
The plot is interactive with witness video statements, interrogation videos, suspect files, police and autopsy reports, crime scene photos, and clues. For example, the game will show CSI sleuths a blood-stained photo then ask a multiple choice question like, “The bloodstain seems to correspond to handprints or footprints?”
Learn more about The Woman Who Cried Under Water.
9. Public Crime Investigations
Public Crime Investigations (PCI) offers multiple online detective games that are a cross between NCIS, Clue, and a video game. PCI’s games are playable on many platforms, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs. The games can also be played individually or in a team.
To set up a PCI game, split teams into competing breakout rooms or play the game as a group in one Zoom or Microsoft Team group.
Check out more information on Public Crime Investigations.
10. CSI Anagram Relay
You can keep your team members’ CSI brains sharp with an Anagram Relay. Anagrams are a play on words. For example, “angel” can become “glean” or cat can become “act.” In a CSI Anagram relay, teams rush to create all the anagrams before their opponents.
To set up the relay, pick twenty to twenty-five CSI-related words.
A few examples include:
- “murder”-anagram “red rum”
- “poison”-anagram “I snoop”
- “contamination”- anagram “act nomination”
Next, set up all the words in a document. Then, split teams into breakout groups. The team to create all the anagrams first wins!
11. CSI: Hard Evidence
CSI fans will love this computer game version of the television show CSI. This game has five cases, including a murdered taxi driver, waitress, an entire rock band, an eye surgeon, and a store clerk. All cases have forensic reconstructions and crime scenes taken from the show, so your CSI sleuths will feel like they are part of the show!
This game has a one-player feature, so we recommend setting up a team game with Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The host shares their screen with the group as they navigate the crime scene.
Check out more information on CSI’s computer game. Other similar games include CSI: Fatal Conspiracy.
12. Where’s The Killer Activity
This exercise is a play on the children’s game Where’s Waldo. In this virtual crime scene activity, CSI detectives race to find the killer hidden in a series of photos.
To set up this activity, use a single document page and fill it with icons, cutout people, illustrations, and stickers. Next, use a cutout person as the killer and tuck them away in an obscure place. Finally, you can add tiny blood spots or a small icon weapon to differentiate the killer from other cutout people. Then, add as many document pages of photos as you want.
To play Where’s The Killer, divide your teams into breakout groups depending on the size of your team. We recommend two to four people per team. Next, assign one member of each team the role of Lead Detective. The Lead Detective’s role is to receive the document and share it with the team. Then, give each team a specified time to find the killer in each photo. The team that finishes first wins the activity!
13. CSI: Hidden Crimes
This virtual hidden object game pairs racegoers with the CSI’s TV show crime team to solve murder cases. In this game, each level is an episode. Some of the episodes challenge players with investigating homicides, whereas others challenge racegoers with attempted murders. There are hidden evidence and clues throughout the game that are tricky to find. Your CSI enthusiasts will love the challenges thrown their way!
This game has a one-player feature, and we recommend setting up a team game with Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The host shares their screen with the group as they search the scene.
Learn more about CSI: Hidden Crimes.
14. CSI Speed Racing
CSI Speed Racing is a spoof of speed dating. CSI sleuths have a short time to analyze a crime and solve it. We recommend purchasing a mini forensic puzzles book online or searching for free mini forensic puzzles that you can copy into a document to set up this game. Next, compile fifteen to twenty puzzles into one document.
To play CSI Speed Racing, divide teams up into breakout groups. We recommend groups of two to four players. Next, assign a CSI Speed Racer Lead for each team. Each CSI Speed Racer lead handles receiving and sharing the document with their team. Finally, send out the document one minute before the activity begins. The team that finishes all the puzzles first wins the game.
15. CSI Amazing Race
Amazing Race is a TV show where racers dash across the world, competing in different challenges and activities. In our version of The Amazing Race, CSI sleuths race across the world to solve crimes via activities and challenges.
The best way to set up a CSI Amazing Race, in my opinion, is with Google Drive docs and Google My Maps.
Some steps you can take to set up this challenge:
- Create a Google Drive document and title it with the name of your race. For example, “A Murder in Shanghai”
- Plan fifteen to twenty clues. For example, the first clue could be, “The murder victim was found in the lobby of a hotel named after a famous symbol.” Leave enough space for your CSI sleuths to write their answers.
- Create a second sheet entitled “Murder Solved.” This space is where CSI sleuths write their final ideas on who committed the crime, where the crime occurred, and what weapon caused the crime.
- Create a pin for each clue. For example, put the first pin close to Fairmont Peace Hotel with the hint, “The murder victim was found in the lobby of a hotel named after a famous symbol.”
- Link each pin to an activity, challenge, or game. For example, you can put a pin near The Great Wall with a cryptograph to unscramble where the weapon is hiding.
- Divide teams into Zoom or Microsoft Teams groups. For example, CSI Teams A and B are on the same Microsoft Teams call.
- Send out the race document via group email two minutes before the race starts. Include instructions that one person from each team downloads the Google Drive document. This step will prevent different teams from working on the same file.
- Racers document each clue with a screen shoot or text into the Google Drive document.
- Racers have a certain amount of time to solve the crime and email it back to you. The first person who emails it back is the winner.
You can add CSI TV show authenticity by adding a specific city to your Amazing Race. For example, CSI Amazing Race: Rome, New York, or London.
Pro-Tip: Create a key at the top of the list to explain terms. For example, “collect” means “screenshot.”
Check out more virtual Amazing Race ideas.
Virtual crime scene investigation games are opportunities to bring teams together for a fun, team bonding experience. If you are working on a limited budget, you can create a virtual crime scene investigation using a scavenger hunt or amazing race with puzzles and activities. If you have a bigger budget, then you can purchase a few copies of the same game and break your CSI sleuths up into smaller groups. Regardless, your team will love playing Sherlock Holmes and interacting with one another!
Next, check out these lists of virtual team challenges and team building riddles.