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14 Best Murder Mystery Team Building Games

By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

Murder Mystery team Building

Team building activities are an incredibly valuable tool for any workplace that wants to ensure their team is happy, productive, and working together as a cohesive unit. It doesn’t matter if you work together in a physical office, remotely, or hybridly, regularly running team building games and activities is always important.

There are plenty of different team building activities you can run, but there might not be any better than a murder mystery game.

An office murder mystery game involves your team collaborating to solve a murder. These games typically involve one of the players committing a crime with an unknown or fellow participant falling victim. Participants must use their problem-solving skills to find the culprit in an allotted time frame, and the body count may rise as the game goes along. Players can even dress up for their character to add to the fun, especially if the scenario takes place in a particular time or place!

What is murder mystery team building game

Murder  games are ideal for everything from corporate events to happy hour sessions. They can even be played virtually for remote teams. These games are the perfect team building activity because they’re mentally stimulating, encourage teamwork and collaboration, and most importantly they’re a ton of fun.

In this article we’ll take you through:

  • The Best Office Murder Mystery Games
  • The Best Virtual Murder Mystery Games
  • The Best Free Murder Mystery Games
  • More Awesome Virtual Team Building Games
  • Tips On Running Your Murder Mystery Game

The Best Office Murder Mystery Games

Storm Survivors

Price: from $29.96

Duration: 60+ mins

Participants: 8 to 50

Storm Survivors is a downloadable mystery party kit from Merri Mysteries which allows you to host your own DIY Murder Mystery in your office. In this game, a group of athletes are chilling on an island in the Great Barrier Reef after a competition. Suddenly, a cyclone erupts, and someone is found lying dead. The rest of the players are marooned together on the island with a murderer, who may strike again.

This murder mystery corporate team building kit provides all props and hazards related to the tropical islands, like deadly stingers, crocodiles, and rains, in addition to the scripts, character descriptions, clues, host’s guide & name tags. This is also a great game if you are looking for an icebreaker whodunit.

Caught in a Spanish Web

Price: from $29.96

Duration: 60+ mins

Participants: 8 to 50

Another great downloadable mystery party kit from Merri Mysteries is Caught in a Spanish Web. Take a trip to Spain with this exotic murder mystery team building game where Arthur Seaton, the owner and director of the Hacienda Hotel in Spain, has been brutally stabbed to death in his own office at the luxury hotel that he’s been operating for less than a year.

He was one of those typical bosses one would hate, and someone made sure he’d never bully anyone again. Who did it? Was it the concierge? Or the waiter? This classic whodunnit kit consists of character scripts, clues, name tags, and everything else you need to host a great DIY murder mystery in your office. 

Dangerous Housewives

Dangerous Housewives

Price: from $46.50

Duration: 60 mins

Participants: 6-20

The inhabitants of an ordinary-looking suburban street, Hysteria Lane, have gathered around for their routine weekly poker game. However, right before the croupier deals first hand, one of the housewives’ husbands is dead. Get your detective face on, for an hour of juicy secrets and shocking revelations!

The Dangerous Housewives Murder Mystery from Red Herring Games comes in two formats - a pre-printed box set which contains instructions, character booklets, invitations, and more; and a downloadable game, which includes PDF and MP3 files. You can even customize the game to add or remove characters at an additional cost.

This game can be played in-person or remotely making it perfect for any workplace.

Murder on the Disoriented Express

Price: from $46.50

Duration: 60 mins

Participants: 6-20

Red Herring Games delivers once again with this delightful riff on Murder on the Orient Express where a famous rocket engineer has been murdered onboard a luxury train and everyone on board is a suspect.

You can get your hands on this fun game to play in an office, or virtually in two formats a pre-printed box set containing all the instructions, character booklets and clues you need; or a downloadable game that includes PDF and MP3 files. 

Murder on the Ghost Train

Price: from $46.50

Duration: 60 mins

Participants: 6-20

Keep the Halloween vibes going with another spooky murder mystery team building game from Red Herring Games that's great for in-person or remote team building events. Don Breathin, the founder and owner of the famous theme park - The Frightening Fair - is dead - on his very own ghost train! This one’s sure to send a chill down your spine. You and your team will need to figure out the “hows” and “whos” of this creepy thriller.

This virtual detective games can be played in two formats - a pre-printed box set that contains instructions, character booklets, evidence, and invitations; and a downloadable game that includes PDF and MP3 files. 

The Best Virtual Murder Mystery Games

Murder at the Manor

Murder at the manor

Price: $48 per person

Duration: 60 min

Participants: 1-300

You and your team get a chance to tap into your inner Sherlock Holmes with Murder at the Manor by Hooray Teams, a hosted platform for fun and exciting team building activities. This Murder Mystery Game is perfect for remote teams. Everyone participating will be given access to clues to review before and during the event, and a professional host and talented actors will guide you through the activity so you don’t have to worry about organizing your team and keeping the game running smoothly.

In Murder at the Manor, Lord Falconer has been found dead under unnatural circumstances in his home. Now it’s up to you and your teammates to untangle the mystery and catch the murderer. There is a list of potential prospects including the cook, priest, professor, and even the Lord’s widow that need to be interrogated.

We had a blast playing this online murder mystery game with our team of eight members. The experienced actors, who played different roles did an amazing job keeping the plot intact. Prior to the event, we were given some clue materials that included a newsletter, last will,  title deed, and more. As a handy tip, it’s best to keep the hints close to hand or print them out so you can make notes. 

Virtual Mystery in Hollywood

Price: $48 per person 

Duration: 60 min

Participants: 1-1000

Virtual Mystery in Hollywood – The Missing Movie is another outstanding virtual murder mystery from Hooray Teams where an experienced host and team of professional actors stage a caper, and your team has to act as detectives to solve the mystery. 

Mystery in Hollywood begins when Hollywood star Buster Chaplin's latest movie goes missing! Now, you and your team have to put your detective hats on and problem-solving skills to the test. Your team will be tested as they race against time to piece together clues, plot twists, and figure the mystery out. 

Along the way, you will interrogate Chaplin’s leading lady, stuntman, and agent, all of whom may aid in solving the mystery. This virtual mystery game features live actors in character who will hook everyone in your team from start to finish. 

Murder in the Red Room

Price: $29.99 per person 

Duration: 90 min

Participants: 8-20

Murder in the Red Room is a downloadable murder mystery pack that has been designed by Murder Mystery Games specifically to be played over Zoom, Teams or any other video conferencing app.

In this game, you and your team will play as various characters attending an art auction in the home of the wealthy Richard Flanders when tragedy strikes and he is struck dead, leaving you to solve the murder.

You’ll need to pick someone to act as the host, and the rest of your team can be characters ranging from art collectors and experts, to family members and staff. Everyone will have to act out their role until the time comes to let the accusations fly and figure out who the killer is.

Murder in Ancient Egypt

Price: $40 per person 

Duration: 90 min

Participants: 10-1000

Murder in Ancient Egypt is a hosted murder mystery game from teambuilding.com where a virtual guide will take you into the exciting world of Ancient Egypt where you and your colleagues will have to race against a ticking clock to piece together clues and solve puzzles to unlock the mystery of a grizzly murder.

This is another great option if you’re looking for an online murder mystery event for your team without the hassle of having to organize it all by yourself.

Murder At The Deadwood Saloon

Price: $60-$75 

Duration: 90+ min

Participants: 8-20

Another fun option for a DIY Murder Mystery activity is Murder at the Deadwood Saloon from Night of Mystery

In this downloadable game, you and your team can get together online and act out a western themed murder mystery where your team plays as different characters and work collaboratively and competitively to not only solve a murder by evaluating clues and questioning witnesses, but also completing their own secret unique objectives.

This is a great game for teams wanting to run their own event and flex their acting jobs by taking on a bunch of fun roles.

These are just some of our favorite murder mystery team building games, if you want to check out more murder mystery games from remote teams you can read our expanded list right here.  

The Best Free Murder Mystery Team Building Games

Sour Grapes of Wrath

Sour grapes of wrath

Price: Free

Duration: 60+ mins

Participants: 6

Sour Grapes of Wrath is a completely free murder mystery game where you can download detailed instructions, character background kits, secret clues and more. The flexibility makes it great for hosting virtual or in-person team building murder mysteries without costing you a thing.

The plot for this will have your team members scratching their heads. Robert Killingsworth bought the farm a year ago and six months later he was found dead, leaving his widow to run their Californian winery. With heaps of debt and no experience in running a business, a desperate Elizabeth puts the farm on sale in the market. 

One day, six people enter the farm, and one of them is the cold-blooded murderer and it’s up to you and your team to find out who it is, why they did it. 

The Detective Club Murder

Price: Free

Duration: 60+ mins

Participants: 4-8

Have you or your teammates ever wanted to step into the pages of your favorite mystery novel? Well, here’s your chance! You and your team members now double up as select members of the Detective Club, the crime-writing elite. You all are here to toast the club’s 50th anniversary. However, Sir Aubrey’s corpse is found in his study with a fatal chest wound. All the members are suspects. Can you and your team find the murderer?

The game is free with eight different possible outcomes, with a group size of 4-8 club members that can play together in-person, or remotely over Zoom. You can use Ruth Ware’s instruction videos, and the host can play along too. This murder mystery team building game comes with downloadable player booklets, suggested menus, and narration videos. 

The Malachai Stout’s Family Reunion

The Malachai Stouts Family Reunion

Price: Free

Duration: 60+ mins

Participants: 3-6

The roles your team will play in this murder mystery team building game will be that of the largely dysfunctional members of the Stout family. All of you have gathered at the ancestral home for a family reunion hosted by the elderly Malachai Stout. You don’t get along well with each other, yet you put up friendly faces for the occasion. However, Malachai’s lifeless body is on his bed. Someone smothered him to death in his sleep. And the family jewels are missing as well! Who could go this far? Time for your team to hone their sleuthing skills. 

The free game comes with downloadable invitations, nametags, audio files, and character booklets. You just have to keep in mind that this only a free version, with a full version of the game with extra features available for $39.95.

Way Out West

Price: Free

Duration: Up to 4 hours

Participants: 10

Bring your remote team together to spend an evening of intrigue, scheming, and skulduggery with Way out West murder mystery party. It's the spring of 1884, and Cactus Gulch, a small town in the American West, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. But things aren't all smiles as there are land disputes, card games, and tensions with local Indians. As the celebrations at the Silver Dollar Saloon progress, you and your team have to mingle with townsfolk to unfold some of Way Out West's mysteries. 

There are the town's major figures like the sheriff, deputy, friendly Indians, and a card-playing doctor with a questionable reputation. Adding to the intrigue are railroad developers and a sinister preacher, all with their motives. You can download a free pdf version of this game that includes details on how the team building exercises work, a list of characters, an invitation to send to participants, and more. This game can easily be played remotely or in person, and there’s even a full version with tons of extra content available for $44.99.

More Awesome Team Building Games

Hosting a Murder Mystery Game in your office or remotely is a phenomenal team building activity that will liven up your workplace, build camaraderie and give your team a well-deserved break, but it’s far from the only team building activity you can run.

Escape Rooms

Another thrilling team building activity that combines collaboration and problem-solving in an exciting environment are escape rooms. If your team all works in the same place, you can find an escape room in your city, but if you’re a remote team there are tons of great virtual escape rooms you should consider.

We’ve put together a helpful list of all our favorite virtual escape rooms right here, but our favorites are Dungeon Things from Hooray Teams if you’re looking for a professionally run escape room, or The Escape Game for another fun challenge to play over Zoom.

Scavenger Hunts

Getting your team involved in a scavenger hunt where they can compete individually or in smaller teams to find and solve cliques and race to a prize is a great bonding activity for workplaces with some competitive spirit.

We’ve put together a bunch of fun ideas for creating scavenger hunts in your office or across an outdoor location right here. If you’re a team who works virtually don’t worry, there are also lots of great ways to host a virtual scavenger hunt including this delightful professionally hosted event from Hooray Teams

Trivia Games

If you’re after a simpler option for your next team building activity you should think about hosting a trivia game. Trivia is great because it’s mentally engaging, casual enough to encourage friendly chat, and easy to run anywhere from a meeting to remotely when people are working from home.

You can take a look at all our favorite team building trivia events here.  

Parlour Games

Another easy option that works equally well for remote or in-office teams is playing some parlor games. The list of parlor games you can play with your team is basically endless, but some of the games we’ve had the most fun with are Werewolf, Taboo, and Pictionary.

Common Questions

How do you play a murder mystery team building game?

There are several different ways to play a murder mystery team building game depending on the specifics of the game. Generally speaking, there are two main types of murder mystery games:

Scripted or Turn-Based Murder Mysteries

These games involve players each being assigned a character and acting out a script that slowly unveils vital information and cryptic clues for players to ponder. Players will learn of their involvement as the slowly plot unfolds, before opening up for more free flowing discussion, deduction and accusations.

Interactive Murder Mysteries

At the beginning of the game, players will be provided details of their respective characters. It’s then up to them to embody their character and naturally interact with other players to crack the case. Character details will usually include secrets and objectives which have nothing to do with the crime, but just adds a layer of player interaction and fun to the game.

How do I host a virtual murder mystery game?

To run an awesome murder mystery for remote team you’ll need to do the following things: 

  • Find a murder mystery pack that you think your team will love. 
  • Find a suitable virtual platform that can accommodate your guests such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
  • Assign characters to each participant, providing them with backgrounds and objectives. 
  • Plan the timeline of events, including the murder and clues
  • Create a virtual backdrop or use digital decorations to foster an immersive atmosphere. 
  • Encourage participants to dress up in costumes and use props to enhance the experience. 
  • Distribute clues and instructions electronically throughout the party. 
  • Facilitate interactions between characters through video calls or chat features and encourage participants to solve the mystery collaboratively.
  • If you want to take the pressure off yourself to plan and organize the whole thing, you can instead choose a hosted murder mystery activity where a professional host will run the whole immersive experience for you.

How do I do a murder mystery in the office?

To run an awesome murder mystery in your office you’ll need to: 

  • Find a murder mystery pack and download all the required materials
  • Set up and decorate your office space to set the mood.
  • Get your employees to dress up in costumes and bring props to create an immersive atmosphere. 
  • Assign characters to all the players and provide them with all the materials they need.
  • Familiarize yourself with the script, clues and events of the game to ensure everything goes smoothly.
  • Start hosting!

How much do murder mystery games for team building cost?

Murder mystery games for team building typically cost around $20 to $40. It depends on:

  • The team size: Smaller or larger groups
  • Format of playing: pre-printed kit or downloadable kits
  • Version: in-person or virtual
  • Nature of the game: Complex or simple to play

Does a murder mystery team building games require a host?

Some games require the host to moderate the murder mystery team building activity with respect to the narration and clues, in order to allow the plot to advance. In some cases, the game can use a video narration and the host can play a character as well.

How many people do I need for a murder mystery party?

The ideal number of people for a murder mystery party typically ranges from 8 to 20 participants. This allows for a diverse cast of characters and provides enough players to keep the interactions and investigation engaging.

What are some popular virtual murder mystery dinner games?

Some popular murder mystery dinner games include - The Business of Murder, Malachai Stout's Family Reunion, and Mafia Party Game.

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