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20 Action-Packed Murder Mystery Team Building Activities for a Fun Office Party (Free + Paid)

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By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

Murder Mystery team Building

 

At the workplace, employee get-togethers often end up being casual catch-up sessions or water cooler chats. But, if you want to add intrigue, anticipation, and excitement to the mix, murder mystery team building games are the perfect solution for your next themed team party. Office murder mystery games are interactive, realistic, and a lot of fun. They can be played as a party game or a team building murder mystery exercise with a team of any size at the workplace or even virtually.

In this article, we have listed 20 action-packed murder mystery team building games for a super fun office party!

1. What Is a Murder Mystery Team Building Game?

What Is a Murder Mystery Team Building Game?

In murder mystery team building games, participants collaborate to solve the secrets of a murder. The game involves a crime committed by one of the players, with an unknown or fellow participant as the victim. The body count may rise as the game progresses. Participants must use their problem-solving skills to find the culprit in an allotted time frame. They can even dress up for their character to add to the fun, especially if the scenario takes place in a particular era, such as the 5th or 18th century!

Ideal for corporate events and  happy hour sessions, these murder mystery games can also be played virtually for remote teams. The murder mystery games for team building allows team members to let go of their inhibitions and escape from their work routine, not to mention creating some fun memories for life. 

2. 8 Hosted Murder Mystery Team Building Games

2.1. Murder at the Manor

Murder at the Manor

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 teambuilding activities. Lord Falconer has been found dead under unnatural circumstances in his home. Now it’s up to you and teammates to untangle the mystery and catch the murderer. There are a list of potential prospects from the cook, priest, professor, to 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. 

Price per person: $48 

Time Duration: 60 min

Number of Participants: 10 to 1000

2.2. Who Killed Papa Roni?

Who Killed Papa Roni?

Challenge the super sleuths in your team with the ‘Who Killed Papa Roni’ murder mystery game. Papa Roni had big dreams of expanding his 'legitimate' pizza empire, and making it the best in town. However, things take a dramatic turn when Papa Roni is found killed in his Italian restaurant. His family and friends had gathered at the restaurant to pay tributes and discuss the mystery of his death. One among them is the culprit.

You and your team have to play the role of detectives and crack the clues to figure out whodunnit. A dedicated host will facilitate the entire murder mystery game and handle things like running and organizing the event, reaching out to your guest list, assigning characters and making sure everyone has a fantastic time. 

Price per person: $48 

Time Duration: 60 min

Number of Participants: 10 to 1000

2.3. Murder! in Hollywood

Murder! in Hollywood

If you’re looking for a glamorous choice in team-building murder games, then the ‘Murder! in Hollywood’ mystery challenge is the perfect choice. The plot for this game is the accidental death of Buster Chaplin - the iconic actor of the silent movie era. You and your team are tasked with unraveling a web of suspects, clues, alibis, and motives surrounding the Chaplin’s untimely end. 

Players must put their heads together while grilling possible suspects like co-actors, producers, stuntmen to extract the correct information. Remember to stay sharp as you may get tricked by bribes, lies, secrets, or rumors. So this activity demands your team's cohesion, problem-solving skills, and strategic thinking. 

Price per person: $48 

Time Duration: 60 min

Number of Participants: 10 to 1000

2.4. Murder! at the 18th Hole

Murder! at the 18th Hole

Get ready for an intriguing team building experience, where you and your team will unravel the mysterious case of Murder! at the 18th Hole. Here is the premise of this team mystery: The chairman of Skellington Golf Club has been discovered murdered at the 18th hole. The murder investigation has begun, and you are a detective on the squad tasked to uncover the truth. 

You and your team need to analyze the evidence and cross-question the suspects to bring him (or her) to justice. An engaging host will help you and your team to solve the clues and crack the codes while keeping everyone entertained throughout the event. You've to act fast and tap into your team's collective brain-storming prowess to uncover the truth before it remains a mystery forever.

Price per person: $48 

Time Duration: 60 min

Number of Participants: 10 to 1000

2.5. Storm Survivors

Storm Survivors is an ideal murder mystery option for fans of suspense, horror, and excitement. 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.

Number of Participants: 8 to 50

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: 8-16 guests for $24.95, 17-30 guests for $29.95, and 17-50 guests for $39.95.

2.6. Caught in a Spanish Web

Take a trip to Spain with this exotic Spanish murder mystery team building game. As the plot goes, Arthur Seaton, the owner and director of the Hacienda Hotel in Spain, has been brutally stabbed to death in his own office and the luxury hotel has 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 acts for the play. 

Number of Participants: 10 to 50

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: 10-16 guests at $24.95, 10-30 guests at $29.95, 17-50 guests at $39.95

2.7. Dangerous Housewives

Dangerous Housewives

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 game 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 hire an actor to play the detective, at an additional cost.

Number of Participants: 6 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per person: £21.99 

2.8. Murder on the Ghost Train

Keep the Halloween vibes going with this spooky murder mystery team building game. 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.

These kind of 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. 

Number of Participants: 6 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per person: £21.99 

2.9. Murder on the Nile

The historical fantasy fans in your team will love this one. Lady Carmathen went on a cruise to celebrate a successful archaeological expedition that was funded by her husband. But, she was found dead in her cabin, brutally stabbed in the chest. It is observed that the letter T has been drawn on the mirror with lipstick. Is it due to the Curse of Tutankhamun, the Egyptian pharaoh, whose tomb was destroyed by archaeologists? Time for you and your team to find out!

You can play the game in two formats - a pre-printed box set that contains instructions, character booklets, evidence; and a downloadable game.

Number of Participants: 6 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per person: £21.99 

2.10. Another One Bites The Dust

Your teammates will need to get some Freddie Mercury groove on for this team building murder mystery game. The popular MVT Music Awards night is held at the magnificent Saveloy Hotel in London. Freddy Neptune is slated to receive quite a number of awards. However, right before the event is about to begin, Cilla Queen, one of Freddy’s biggest fans, announces that he is dead! Who is responsible? This is where you and the team will need to showcase your top-notch sleuthing skills. 

The formats to play the game are available as a pre-printed box set and a downloadable game, both include the evidence and character booklets.

Number of Participants: 6 to 12

Time Duration: 60

Price per person: £21.99 

2.11. Game of Trowns

Game-of-Trowns

Let your team re-live the Game of Thrones experience with this medieval themed murder mystery game for work party. A tourney is held to mark the coming of age and wedding of Prince Boffrey Barabottom, the king Clobbert’s eldest son and heir to the throne. However, the night before the wedding, the Prince is found murdered in his chambers! Is it one of the tourney competitors? You and your team need to figure this one out!

The game is available to play in two formats: pre-printed box set and downloadable files. These include character booklets, invitations, decorations, and recipe ideas.

Number of Participants: 6 to 12

Time Duration: 60

Price per person: £21.99 

2.12. A Medical Drama

Get your sleuthing hat on - this is one of the best virtual detective games for team building. As the plot goes, the staff at the General County Hospital are friendly and helpful, and the hospital is one of the busiest ones in the district. While the hospital ensures the staff can get timely rest at the canteen during , the Lead Surgeon, Dr. Richard (Ricky) Mortice, is lying dead in the doctor’s rest area. Who killed Mortice, and why? Let your team rack their gray cells to figure this one out by sharing insights and theories. 

The game kit comes with invitations, instructions, inspector CD, character scripts, decoration ideas, and more. It can be played either with a pre-printed box set or a downloadable game with PDFs and MP3 files. 

Number of Participants: 6 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per person: £21.99 

3. 7 Free Murder Mystery Team Building Games

3.1. Sour Grapes of Wrath

Sour Grapes of Wrath

The plot for this will have your team members scratching their heads. Robert Killingsworth bought the farm a year ago. Just six months later, he was found dead, leaving his widow Elizabeth to tend to their winery and vineyard on the outskirts of California’s wine country. 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, one of them being the cold-blooded murderer. You and your teammates need to find out what their motive is. The dinner party game is free to download and play. The files include detailed instructions, character backgrounds, invitations, clues, and more.

Number of Participants: 6 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: Free

3.2. Jazz Age Jeopardy

Jazz Age Jeopardy

This one will take you and your team back to the classic era of the Roaring 20’s,  flappers and fashion. At the height of the Jazz Age, a jazz club owner and son of a successful bootlegger, Felix Fonatano, is throwing a party for a group of select friends. Halfway through the party, someone makes a terrible discovery - there has been a murder in the supply room of the club! All the guests are suspects, and it is a classic Whodunnit case that you and the team need to solve.

The game is available for a free download, as well as paid for the full version. The files include party instructions, character scripts, name tags, audio files, invitations, decorating tips, and more.

Number of Participants: 5 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: Free

3.3. The Pungent Pumpkin Poisoner

This one’s a pumpkin-themed murder mystery teambuilding game for Halloween lovers! Founders of The Pungent Pumpkin Processing Company have hosted a celebration for their business’s first anniversary at a luxury restaurant. Friends and associates have gathered to toast the company’s success and mark the launch of its two latest products.

But, one of the members is about to discover that the Pungent Pumpkin Rat Poison is lethal! Who is the Pungent Pumpkin Poisoner? And who will they poison next? This is  where you and your need to step in. The free murder mystery game for team building consists of downloadable character booklets, invitations, investigation panel questions, character scripts, clue objects, and round flowcharts.

Number of Participants: 8 to 10

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: Free

3.4. Butler Kicks the Bucket

While the plot is simple, your team will need to get their guesswork on point for this murder. The family and the party guests are all dressed for a hearty dinner with a gorgeous spread on the table. The butler serves the food to everyone and takes a sip of their drink to celebrate the evening with the family. All of a sudden, the butler drops dead. Who poisoned the Butler, and why? You need to figure it out in this virtual murder mystery team building game.

The game is free to download and play. It includes character cards and name tags. The murderer is notified of their identity in the beginning, so they have to play smart to keep the murder mystery team building activity going. To add to the fun, players can dress up as their characters and use props.

Number of Participants: 6 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: Free

3.5. The Detective Club Murder

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. 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. 

Number of Participants: 6 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: Free

3.6. The Little Engine That Could Kill

On the night of Wednesday, 5th August 1932, you (a business person) and your teammates playing the role of eight others, boarded a three-day express train from Bombay to Lisbon. One did not survive the journey. The mystery is left to be solved by you and the seven others on the train. Will another be killed in the process?

The free-to-download file includes instructions to play, character scripts, character background, key pieces of evidence, and a map of the train. 

Number of Participants: 5 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: Free

3.7. The Malachai Stout’s Family Reunion

The Malachai Stout’s Family Reunion

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. There is also a virtual version of the game that is available on their website.

Number of Participants: 6 to 20

Time Duration: 60

Price per session: Free

3.8. Way Out West

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. 

Time Duration: up to 4 hours

Price per session: Free

No of participants: 10 -14 (for free version)

4. FAQs

4.1. How much do murder mystery games for team building cost?

Murder mystery games for team building could 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

4.2. 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.

4.3. How do you host a murder mystery office party for a large group?

Follow the below steps to host your virtual murder mystery office party: 

  • Choosing a theme or storyline
  • Find a suitable virtual platform that can accommodate your guests. 
  • Assign characters to each participant, providing them with backgrounds and objectives. 
  • Plan the timeline of events, including the murder and clues, and create a virtual backdrop or use digital decorations to create 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.

4.4. How many people is good 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.

4.5. How to play a murder mystery team building game?

There are several ways to play a murder mystery team building game:

  • Scripted or turn-based

The game includes a storyline that releases vital information and clues intentionally throughout the game. Characters learn of their involvement as and when the plot unfolds. Participants receive a script to read and shall be prompted with staged questions.

  • Interactive

At the beginning of the game, players get details of their respective characters. It is up to them to solve the mystery without relying on the plot itself. The details of their persona characters 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.

  • Online-based forum

A host has to invite you to play these games. One of the participants becomes the murderer in every turn, and they are notified of the same at the beginning of the game. They can be deceptive and try to deflect the blame on others in order to not get caught. The other participants, who play the detectives, must expose the murderer before they reveal their identity at the end of the round.

4.6. 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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