Hello, detectives! You found our list of the best virtual murder mystery party games!
Virtual murder mystery parties are online social events where participants act out a murder story and figure out which character is the killer. The purpose of these events is to have fun and encourage teamwork. These parties are also known as virtual murder mystery games or online murder mysteries.
This list contains:
- Zoom murder mystery parties
- free virtual murder mystery games
- printable murder mystery games
- DIY murder mystery games
And more too. 🕵️
So, let’s get to it!
List of virtual murder mystery games
Murder mystery games are a theatrical production, and a skilled director helps the show run smoothly. Here are some hosted options that can help engage participants and foster teamwork.
1. Murder in Ancient Egypt (Popular)
Murder in Ancient Egypt draws inspiration from a real-life murder that occurred in the age of the pyramids. Attendees become detectives to unravel clues and solve puzzles. The goal is to piece together the tale of how one early Egyptian met an unfortunate end. At the end of the event, the host explains the real-life conclusion of the story. This virtual event uses similar mechanics to escape rooms and puzzles.
Learn more about Murder in Ancient Egypt.
2. Murder in the Queen’s Court (Fan Favorite)
Murder in the Queen’s Court is another historical-based murder mystery. The mystery traces the puzzling death of a palace apprentice, and draws on themes of alchemy, politics, prophecies, and royal scandal. These puzzles will certainly stump and entertain audiences. Murder in the Queen’s Court is part history lesson, part fantasy story, part true crime tale, and all fun.
Learn more about Murder in the Queen’s Court.
3. Murder Mystery Zoom Parties Hosted by Detective Ness
The Murder Mystery Co recently started running events via Zoom. Each case is suitable for 8 to 12 players, with eight active characters and four audience members, and lasts approximately two hours. Before the party, participants receive a secure Zoom meeting link and background information on their characters. An actor, Detective Ness, joins the participants to act as lead investigator and give clues to move the case along.
Learn more about Murder Mystery Zoom Parties Hosted by Detective Ness.
4. That Show About Love
Ghost Ship Murder Mysteries specializes in themed murder mystery parties led by an in-character representative. That Show About Love parodies a reality dating show; the eligible bachelor turns up as a corpse, and the suitors become suspects. The all-female cast makes this mystery a good fit for teams of women or virtual bachelorette parties. Other virtual murder mystery themes from Ghost Ship Murder Mysteries include mafia, presidents, and outer space.
Learn more about That Show About Love.
5. Tiny_Theatre Interactive Murder Mystery
Two professional actors run Tiny_Theatre, and present interactive Zoom Murder Mysteries out of their New York City apartment. The name of the game is “Who Killed Zolan Mize?” Players must discover the killer of an eccentric millionaire by watching skits and scanning a chat box. These performances are available for up to ten guests, and groups as large as 30 can arrange a private booking.
Learn more about Tiny_Theatre Interactive Murder Mystery.
This mystery is equal parts merry and scary. A disgruntled North Pole inhabitant plots to murder Santa. Sleuths must figure out who is naughty and who is nice in this chilling game. Night of Mystery offers a downloadable murder mystery script playable in Zoom and other virtual meeting platforms. The game accommodates anywhere from 6 to 80 players, and is available in variations such as LGBT, all-female, clean, or adult. The holiday theme means Ho-ho-homocide can be a fun virtual holiday activity.
Learn more about Ho-ho-homocide.
7. Which Guide Lied?
Which Guide Lied? follows the misadventures of a troop of scouts and asks players to figure out which camper is the killer. Participants play as colorful characters with names like Barbie Kew, Anita Whee, and Gail Warnin. The game accommodates six to twenty players.
The downloadable virtual version includes invitations, instructions, PDF scripts, and MP3 sound effects, as well as hints, tips, and recipe suggestions. The basic version is self-led, and you can enlist the help of an actor for an additional fee.
Learn more about Which Guide Lied?
8. The Great British Bump-Off
For anyone who watched The Great British Bake Off and thought, “this show doesn’t have enough crime,” this murder mystery is sure to delight. The plot tells the tale of a murdered baking competition judge, and potential killers with names like Victoria Sponge, Mac O’Roon, and Chris P. Top. The game is playable by up to 20 people, though you could certainly designate fans and audience members to watch the drama.
Learn more about The Great British Bump-Off.
9. Zombie Cannibal Asylum
Zombie Cannibal Asylum takes place during a zombie apocalypse. The setting for the game is a psychiatric assignment where a deranged doctor uses inmates as test subjects. The witnesses are both undead and unhinged, meaning the game is full of spooky and wacky fun. The standard game suits up to 32 players. You can also pla an expanded version with up to 100 people, which includes supplementary materials like audio files and decorating tips.
Learn more about Zombie Cannibal Asylum.
10. When the Clock Strikes Murder
When the Clock Strikes Murder is a perfect game for virtual New Year’s Eve parties, or any time the group could use a dash of glamour and intrigue. The action centers around a shady organization called Crime Alive that suddenly appears in a small town to host a midnight gala. The evening ends with an event far more sinister than a champagne toast. The basic game is designed for up to 12 players, and the expansion pack suits 16. The package includes video files as well as PDFs.
Learn more about When the Clock Strikes Murder.
11. Drama at Drag Brunch
Drama at Drag Brunch is a bawdy, adult-themed murder mystery. The story centers around the untimely death of a pair of headliner sisters, with details of the murder shared over mimosas. Access to the game includes virtual rules for Zoom, character packets, questions menus, and a host guide. The culprit is changeable, meaning you can play the game multiple times with different results.
Learn more about Drama at Drag Brunch.
12. Murder in the Swinging Sixties
Murder in the Swinging Sixties is a groovy adventure that investigates the suspicious death of a rock star’s wife The game features kooky characters, ranging from groupies to scientists to anti-smut campaigners. The summer-of-love theme allows for fun and colorful costumes and Zoom background options. Materials are easy-to-download, easy-to-print, and easy-to-play. Games can entertain up to 14 players, and scripts are specific to the number of participants.
Learn more about Murder in the Swinging Sixties.
List of free virtual murder mystery games
If you want to give virtual murder mysteries a test first, then try one of the following free titles. Best of all, you can preview the materials so that you can choose a game your group is sure to like.
13. Butler Kicks the Bucket
Butler Kicks the Bucket consists of cards to read aloud, but you could easily copy and paste lines to email or private messages. Players must figure out which socialite or celebrity poisoned the butler. Using breakout rooms to mingle in small groups lengthens the game, and encouraging characters to improvise lines and interactions based on the cards adds to the fun. To set the atmosphere, ask attendees to dress in costume and choose appropriate Zoom backgrounds.
Learn more about Butler Kicks the Bucket.
14. Sour Grapes of Wrath
Sour Grapes of Wrath tells the tale of a murder at a winery. The characters are a distraught widow, and six shady visitors, one of whom is a cold-blooded killer. This free downloadable murder mystery contains nearly 70 pages of clues, directions, scripts, character background, and party-planning tips. Virtual party guests can access the guide with a simple click of a button.
Learn more about Sour Grapes of Wrath.
15. The Movie Murder Mystery
The Movie Murder Mystery game prompts guests to point fingers at the killer of a famed director. The possible culprits are Hollywood types: actors, crew members, a writer, and a reporter. Players mingle with one another based on assigned personality traits. The hosts drop clues about the murderer such as, “the murderer is not married,” and “the murderer does not have a pet spider,” and guests must narrow down the list of suspects based on these hints. The game leader can use breakout rooms and the chat feature to facilitate the game in a virtual setting.
Learn more about The Movie Murder Mystery.
16. The Little Engine That Could Kill
Murder on the Orient Express fans will love The Little Engine That Could Kill. This murder mystery includes a killing on a train going from India to Portugal. The mystery materials include character profiles for each of eight characters, which you can share with your crew via Google Doc.
Learn more about The Little Engine That Could Kill.
17. Jazz Age Jeopardy
Jazz Age Jeopardy is a free murder game for up to 15 players. The story follows the plight of a party that is interrupted by a murder. Participants play as gangsters, bootleggers, and entertainers. Because the club is a speakeasy in the middle of Prohibition, the stakes are even higher. The basic version of the game includes a 90 minute script. For an additional fee, players can access a script for up to 100 people that also includes bonus materials.
Learn more about Jazz Age Jeopardy.
18. The Business of Murder
The Business of Murder is a dramatic, Clue-style game for seven players. The game is designed to last for two to four hours. To organize the game, download the zip file, assign parts, divide up the materials, and email the corresponding information to each player. Instead of reading from a script, participants will improvise from character profiles and uncover clues from interactions. This format works best for a small group that likes acting. The game plays up the intrigue by using a decoy so that the murder comes as a surprise to the players.
Learn more about The Business of Murder.
19. Way Out West
Way Out West transports players to the year 1884, to a small town called Cactus Gulch. Participants play as saloon owners, rail hands, and ranchers. The free version of the game suits up to ten players, and an expanded version for up to 24 is also available. The game lasts up to four hours, so we recommend planning accordingly. The game includes a free downloadable PDF.
Learn more about Way Out West.
20. Murder Mystery Party for Teens
While many murder mystery games have adult themes and jokes, the content of this murder mystery is appropriate for teenagers and pre-teens. The story starts with the reading of the will of a deceased Baroness. As the plot progresses, the characters question the circumstances behind the wealthy woman’s death. The game includes special invitations and instructions for each character, and is available in several languages.
Learn more about Murer Mystery Party for Tweens.
21. Print & Play Database
If you are in the market for free printable mystery games, then this database is a valuable resource. The spreadsheet contains thousands of live action role play games, many of which are murder mysteries. The file displays the script language, game duration, and minimum and maximum number of players for each game. So, it is easy to find a game that suits your group. Some games post a small fee or suggested donation, and many items on this list are free to download.
Checkout the Print & Play database.
More online murder mystery resources
From subscription boxes, to digital board games, to writing tutorials, here is a list of resources that provide unconventional approaches to online murder mystery games.
22. Clue Season Pass
Clue is the world’s most popular murder mystery game. Folks who have never played another murder mystery have probably played a round or two of Clue. Though your distant friends or remote colleagues may not be able to assemble around the game board, you can still play together by downloading the game from Steam. A season pass will grant access not only to the traditional version of the game, but also to variations such as ancient Egypt, Sherlock Holmes, and vampire themed boards.
Learn more about the Clue season pass.
23. Murder Most Puzzling
If you know that your friends or coworkers will want to play more than one game, then consider investing in a murder mystery anthology. Buying a murder mystery book is an affordable and convenient way to access dozen of game options. Murder Most Puzzling is a collection of interactive detective stories full of puzzles, witty prose, and colorful illustrations. To facilitate the games during video calls, download the Kindle edition, share the screen, and flip through pages together.
Buy Murder Most Puzzling.
24. You-Dunnit Tutorial
If you want to write your own murder mystery script, then check out You-Dunnit’s tutorial. The post breaks down the writing process into easy-to-follow steps such as creating characters, setting the scene, and establishing motives. Plus, You-Dunnit offers a service to build your mystery into an app so that your group can easily access the story.
25. Murder Mystery Subscription Box
Part of the fun of playing murder mystery games is using costumes and props. If you want to have a more immersive experience, then consider ordering a murder mystery subscription box. Boxes contain case files, props, dress-up pieces, and other fun items that elevate the experience of playing a murder game.
Here are some boxes to consider:
- Deadbolt Mystery Society
- Hunt a Killer
- Murder Mystery in a Box
- Chilling Screams
- A Killing Affair
- Sleuth Kings
While some boxes are standalone cases, others are part of a series, with each box building off the last. Depending on the plan type, you could opt to receive a one-time package, or receive materials every month.
Whodunnit is a free smartphone app that organizes murder mystery parties. With a simple tap of the screen, you can host or join a party, choose a theme, and arrange a Zoom call to resolve the plot. Guests use the app to vote on best actor, best dressed, and likely suspects throughout the game.
27. Edgar Allen Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party
If your group prefers to be observers of murder mystery parties rather than participants, then queue up the playlist for Edgar Allen Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party. A comedy channel filmed this smart and hilarious mystery series that narrates the tale of a dinner party gone bad.
Poe invites famous writers like Emily Dickinson, Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, and Oscar Wilde over for dinner, but guests start dying, and the literary geniuses must solve the crime in between exchanging witty quips. The total duration is around two hours.
28. Cereal & Serial Killers
Cereal & Serial Killers is a 60 minute Nerd Talk about murder. These two topics fit together better than one might think, and by the end of the hour, the host will link the subjects to complete one killer presentation. This virtual event is a TED-style online lecture series that aims to educate and entertain.
Learn more about Cereal & Serial Killers.
Online murder mystery games are fun and thrilling. Because the games refine players’ critical thinking and presentation skills, they are helpful for developing team building skills.
Plus, the challenges often necessitate teamwork, which makes them solid team bonding exercises, too. Real modern detectives often collaborate long distance too, meaning there is no reason that you and the team cannot crack the case from behind a screen.
Next, check out our list of online team building games.
FAQ: Virtual Murder Mystery Parties
Here are answers to the most common questions about virtual murder mystery parties and games.
What are virtual murder mystery games?
Virtual murder mystery games are role-playing detective stories played on platforms like Zoom and Skype. There are several options for these kinds of games, from books to downloaded scripts to fully hosted events.
How do you play virtual murder mystery games?
To play a virtual murder mystery game, first decide whether to enlist the help of a professional online team building company or to lead the games yourself.
If you decide to book a fully facilitated online murder mystery, then do your research, contact the company, book a day and time, and follow the instructions.
If you decide to lead the activity, then select a downloadable mystery. Be sure to read all materials, assign parts, prepare props, and practice your presentation. The group will follow your lead, so ensure that you understand the story and the flow of events, as well as the identity of the killer!
Then, send invitees a link to the video meeting. When the event arrives, you can meet in Zoom, WebEx, or a similar platform.
What are some free virtual murder mystery games?
Free virtual murder mystery games include:
- Butler Kicks the Bucket
- Sour Grapes of Wrath
- The Movie Murder Mystery
- The Little Engine That Could Kill
- Jazz Age Jeopardy
- The Business of Murder
- Way Out West
- Murder Mystery Party for Tweens
You can download and email the materials to participants and play the game via Zoom call. Plus, these games work for real-life parties too!
Best of all, because the scripts are free, there is no risk to browse several titles before settling on a favorite.
What are good virtual murder mystery themes?
Some common virtual murder mystery themes include:
- Prohibition and the roaring 20’s
- Trains, in homage to Murder on the Orient Express
- Ancient Egypt
- Sherlock Holmes
- The 1980’s
While these are popular themes, many creative and unexpected concepts such as murder at the North Pole or drag brunch murders also exist.
What are good virtual murder mystery ideas?
The best idea for virtual murder mysteries is to enlist the help of a host who knows how to keep players engaged and in-character, progresses the plot, and leverages technology to aid game-play.
If you decide to run your own virtual murder mystery, then we recommend reading over the script before the party to ensure you understand the plot. Also, encourage guests to study the character content before the party so that everyone arrives confident and prepared.
Dressing up in costume and using custom Zoom backgrounds makes the game more fun.
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