Thursday, October 8, 2009

Clue, anyone?

I've never been one who particularly enjoyed board games. My favorite board games are trivia or word games like Trivial Pursuit or Balderdash. If I was going to have a favorite board game, though, given my obsession with murder mysteries, you'd think Clue would rank right up there. Hmmm, I've played it a couple of times, but wasn't much impressed. It just seemed so... I don't know. Miss Scarlet in the library with a candlestick? I can come up with a better plot than that!

Murder Mystery Board Games

However, it appears that there is a whole new world of Clue games out there from Hasbro. 'Cluedo', as it was first called when it was invented in 1949 by Anthony E. Pratt, now has a DVD version, a card game, a Harry Potter and a 'The Office' version (I wonder if Michael Scott is the victim?). Other than that there are also a whole variety of games out there to help you host a murder mystery party. I've never been to one, but have any of you? I would love to hear first hand from someone who had been to a murder mystery evening.

Murder Mystery Jigsaw Puzzles

Have you heard of these? I've actually done one, and for someone with the boredom threshold of an antsy three-year-old (me!) when it comes to board games and jigsaw puzzles, it was cool! To me there were three levels of interest: first, I kind of like jigsaw puzzles anyway, second, the picture on the box cover is NOT what you'll be putting together (Yippee!) and then you are actually solving a mystery at the same time! Great fun! Find a complete set of Alphabet murder mystery puzzles (Not connected to Sue Grafton's 'Alphabet' series of murder mysteries) at Mystery Game Central.

Computer Murder Mystery Games

I'm not much of computer gamer, but I have been tempted by the CSI Computer Games. I have to admit, though, as much as I looove CSI New York (Gary Sinise is so believable as an investigator/cop!) I cannot stand the gruesome elements, and I'm deathly afraid the computer game would expect me to get upcloseandpersonal with someone's bullet-riddled esophagus, or something. Yuck!!

So for a lily-liver, some of the best interpretations of mystery to computer is the Nancy Drew series (the Hardy Boys have a computer game series, too) and the Agatha Christie games are also very good! Except... I can't solve them. Again, that three-year-old's short attention span. By the way, this 'ants in my pants' feeling only seems to apply to games. I can read or write for hours on end and not get antsy.

Anyway, Mystery Game Central has a wonderful rundown of these computer mystery games as well! Have any of you played them?

Online Mystery Games

A world that is new/foreign to me is the online gaming community. Oh, I've known it existed, but who knew there were mystery games out there? There seem to be many, but one that is intriguing to me is Sleuth. According (again) to Mystery Game Central, it is an "open-ended online detective game where you solve mysteries by searching for clues, questioning suspects and interviewing witnesses." Sounds like fun!

Gifts Galore

I suppose I wrote this in response to my realization that Christmas is coming. Do you have mystery lover on your gift list for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? A teenager? A pre-teen? If the 'giftee' of your choice won't sit still to read, how about a mystery game of some sort?

For a great rundown of all kinds of murder mystery games see (wait for it...): Mystery Game Central

So... have you ever tried any of these types of mystery games? If you have, chime in and tell me about it!


  1. I've tried the mystery puzzles. Doing puzzles (which I love) you have the cover to go by to help when you get in a tight, not with those. They are fun and do keep you guessing. I've also tried the CSI computer game. Love the show, but not so much the game, just seemed to be lacking something. And I have tried some mystery games on the computer. They were the type where you find certain objects in a room to move on to the next and then onto another level of the game to reach a prize at the end. Never have tried the games where you play online against someone else.
    As for board games, I do fair.
    When it comes to mysteries there's nothing better than a good book (unless it's an audio mystery book).

  2. Donna, I love Clue!! It's an "old school" board game that never goes out of style.

    I have never hosted or attended a murder mystery party, nor played the murder mystery jigsaw puzzles but I have played a handful of computer and online mystery games. I have played some Nancy Drew games, as well as John Saul's Blackstone anthology game, a Titanic mystery, the original CSI, the original Law & Order, some Agatha Christie games, Betrapped, the Mystery Case Files, Natalie Brooks, and the Women's Murder Club. (Wow, I had no idea I had played so many). A lot of them I have played online, using the "trial" option. They are definitely fun!

    Great topic!
    - Lori

  3. I love kids and I play it. Except my family has now banned me from playing because I'm too good at it! :)

    I'd really like to try a PC game...maybe the Christie ones. Thanks for the tip!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. not played any of them but i can remember one summer my little sister and i visited a long while with family friends in ark. the son had all the hardy boys, the daughter all of nancy drew. i went thru all them. What great fun. those books formed the base of my love of mysteries....and perry mason on tv. (giggle)

  5. Hi everyone!

    I did read Nancy Drew mysteries on occasion when I was young, and the computer games - tho' I've never played one myself I have seen them played - are so true to the books!

    Canyonson - as for the mystery jigsaw puzzles, that's what I love about them, not having the picture to go by!

    Lori, can you tell me about the CSI game? Do they show graphic images like they do on the TV show? (I know they are just fake blood and guts, but it icks me out!)

    Elizabeth, do try the Christie computer games... the one I tried was neat, but I could not solve it! However... I have since learned there are online hint sites to help!

    Hodgepodgespv... I had a cousin who had all the Nancy Drew books. I thought she must be rich, but in truth, she was an only child!

  6. I actually am the author of several murder mystery games available online. They are perfect for parties. Everyone gets a part and solves the crime.


  7. Elspeth, welcome! How lovely to have you chime in! Have you had people comment on your murder mystery parties? And do you have a website you could tell us about?

  8. Thanks to Elizabeth for alerting me to your blog! Yes, I've had many nice comments from past customers about my games. They are published by I've actually got one game inspired by Clue titled "The Murder Game". Everyone has to guess who, where and why Ann Nonomus was killed.


  9. Just looked at your profile; a fellow Canadian! Where are you? Thanks for adding my blog to your roll, I will return the favour on mine.


  10. Those murder mystery parties can be brilliant. My brother plays them, and we acquired some "used" games from him which we used for parties for our kids as they grew older. They really loved them. In fact, they loved them so much I had to write kid-themed versions for the younger guys' parties.

  11. Hi Elspeth, I noticed you live in BC... I live in SWO (southwestern Ontario). BTW, may I have your email address? I have a question to ask you offline. Send it to me at donna @ (remove the spaces)

    Hey, Sheila, Nice to hear from someone who at least knows someone who has played the murder mystery party games before. I've always thought they'd be fun, but I think you'd have to have the right people.

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  13. You would probably love the murder mystery party games at They are quite interactive and good for a group setting. If you have friends who would be willing to act a little and get a bit of a costume going, you could have quite the evening!