If you love gathering clues, collecting evidence, and solving mysteries, the best murder mystery games might just have you feeling like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. They’re all a little bit different, but you can count on fun themes, varying play times, and both solo or large group investigations to amp up your game night. When shopping, you have a choice between immersive one-time-use case files and games you’ll want to play over and over again.
Which Murder Mystery Game Style Do You Prefer?
One-time-use case files require a detailed analysis of large amounts of evidence and clues, usually take more than an hour to solve, and are typically best suited for small groups or solo use. On the other hand, most games with unlimited replay take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to play (great for playing multiple rounds), can accommodate a variety of group sizes, and result in a different outcome every time.
Some other factors to consider include the average length of playtime, age ranges, and whether the game is cooperative or more competitive. Cooperative games involve players working together to solve the mystery, while competitive games typically have just one winner. And while most of these games are best suited for ages in the double-digits, some of them are great for players as young as 8 years old.
When you’re ready to take your game night to the next level, check out the best murder mystery games available on Amazon.
1. A Popular Murder Mystery Case File To Solve
If you love poring through evidence, making connections, and solving puzzles to find who’s guilty, Death At A Dive Bar might be the game for you. It’s up to you to determine whether the owner of a local bar’s death was accidental and, if not, who committed the murder. This game takes roughly 45 to 60 minutes to play (although some reviewers wrote that beginners may take a little longer) and is a one-and-done type of game, so be sure to write your notes on a separate piece of paper so you can pass it along to friends once you solve the mystery. When you’ve finished this one, there are other games in the series, including the popular Body On The Boardwalk.
One reviewer wrote: “Not only were we blown away with the quality of the product, but the detail to the texture of the evidence, the fact that the evidence went the extra mile to make you feel like you were actually solving a murder, everything about this game is worth the cost! I would recommend this game to anyone who has the interest in murder mysteries!”
Play Time: 45 — 60 minutes | Recommended Ages: 13+ | Players: 1 — 5 | Game Type: Single Use
2. A Harry Potter-Inspired Version Of A Classic Murder Mystery Game
Adding a magical twist to a classic mystery board game, this Harry Potter edition of Clue might just be the best one yet. Players move around the board as Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, or Neville to discover who has vanished, which spell was used, and where it happened. The board is adorned with rooms from Hogwarts and features secret passages and changing staircases. When you’re ready to make an accusation, head to Dumbledore’s office to see if you’ve solved the case. This game is made for three to five players (although some reviewers wrote you can play with six), and because this case revolves around a disappearance instead of a murder, it could be a good family-friendly option.
One reviewer wrote: “Lots of creativity added to this spinoff of clue. I have probably 10 versions of clue and this one is by far the most fun.”
Play Time: 30 minutes, according to Board Game Geek | Recommended Ages: 8+ | Players: 3 — 5 | Game Type: Unlimited replayability
3. A Fast-Paced Mystery Game You Can Play Over And Over Again
For a game you’ll want to play over and over again, check out Deception: Murder In Hong Kong. Many reviewers write that they love it for its fast gameplay and hilarious clues as well as how easy it is to learn, with one reviewer writing, “My most favorite of the social deception games. It’s easy enough to pick up on, lots of fun, everyone is able to participate from beginning to end.” In this game, one player is the murderer, another is the forensic scientist, and the rest are all investigators. The murderer tries to mislead and confuse investigators, the forensic scientist can’t communicate during the game but knows who the murderer is, and the investigators collaborate to identify the means of murder and the key evidence. It’s also a great party game because it’s relatively quick to play and good for larger groups.
One reviewer wrote: “One of my favorite social deduction games. This game came highly recommended and it did not disappoint. I’ve played it with coworkers, family, friends and my gaming group. It almost never just gets played once, everyone wants to go again immediately.”
Play Time: 20 minutes | Recommended Ages: 14+ | Players: 4 — 12 | Game Type: Unlimited replayability
4. This Sherlock Holmes-Inspired Game With 10 Cases
Set in Victorian London, this cooperative murder mystery game challenges you and your teammates to solve murder mysteries by interviewing suspects, searching newspapers, and going to locations on the map in search of clues. Then, when you’ve finally solved the case, you compare your score to Sherlock Holmes and see if your skills rival those of the famed detective. There are 10 cases in the box, each with unique newspapers, case files, and other materials. Once you’ve played all of the cases, some reviewers recommend passing it along to friends.
One reviewer wrote: “If you love logic puzzles, solving mysteries, or escape rooms, I HIGHLY recommend this. The value is tremendous because each separate story/game is about 1-2.5 hours of playing time. I recommend playing with 2-4 people total […] The quality of the product and the clues contained are amazing. The stories are highly nuanced. I had such a blast doing it, collaborating with others, and following the clues for each and every one of these.”
Play Time: 90 minutes | Recommended Ages: 12+ | Players: 1 — 8 | Game Type: Limited re-playability
5. A Party Game For Up To 14 Players
For a party that’s sure to get people laughing, check out this highly rated murder mystery game: Murder At The Pizzeria. It’s made for larger groups of six to 14 people and can be played sitting down or while everyone is up and mingling. The premise is that it’s opening night at an Italian restaurant, but a rival chef, Karl Ickbread, is found dead in the pantry. Players assume the role of a character and spend the evening collecting clues and trying to determine who did it. The kit includes everything you need, including a “how to host” guide and 14 invitations with costume suggestions that can double as place settings. There’s even some optional audio evidence that can be downloaded for a more immersive experience.
One reviewer wrote: “We played this with 7 people (5 in their 20s and 2 in their 50s) and we all had so much fun. We all dressed up in costumes […] and we laughed so hard our faces hurt. Everyone really got into their character! Since the theme was Murder at the Pizzaria, we made personal pizzas in our costumes while maintaining our characters. The best part is that I can use the game again and again with friends because the murderer changes every time.”
Play Time: 2 — 3 hours | Recommended Ages: 18+ | Players: 6 — 14 | Game Type: Unlimited re-playability
6. This Murder Mystery Game Featuring Psychics and Ghosts
This cooperative murder mystery game features a paranormal element in which one player acts as the ghost of the victim while the other players play as psychics. Throughout the game, the psychics receive visions to decipher and communicate with the ghost to help them reveal the identity of the murderer, what they used, and where it happened. The game includes a wide variety of game pieces, including intuition tokens, psychic cards, and crow markers, that are all beautifully illustrated and well-made, according to reviewers. Plus, there are expansion packs available for never-ending intrigue.
One reviewer wrote: “Beautiful and complex artwork! This game is like Clue on steroids. Your “ghost” player is a little bit hazy on the details, but they need you to figure out where, how, and who killed them. […] You can set up the game to be easier or more difficult with a few small changes. Definitely my favorite cooperative board game.”
Play Time: 45 minutes | Recommended Ages: 10+ | Players: 2 — 7 | Game Type: Unlimited re-playability
7. An Investigation You Can Conduct Solo Or As A Group
Whether you’re hosting game night, date night, or are looking for an investigation to solve on your own, this case file has mounds of evidence to explore and help you reveal the motive, means, and murderer of famed winemaker Cary Underwood. The kit includes over 50 newspaper articles, interviews, photos, and documents for an ultra-realistic experience, and once you solve the case, the kit can be passed along to someone else. There are online hints and solutions in case you get stuck, and the case can be solved with any number of players. You can expect to get over two hours of gameplay with this challenge (with some reviewers noting that it took three or four hours), and there are several variations of the game to try, including Death In Antarctica and Fire In Adlerstein.
One reviewer wrote: “This game had our family game night confused, laughing, & excited all night! Such a fun choice for friends, families, or parties!”
Play Time: 2+ hours | Recommended Ages: 14+ | Players: 1+ | Game Type: Single use
8. This Cooperative Game Featuring The Popular Teen Detective
As part of the Hunt A Killer game series, Mystery At Magnolia Gardens puts on a lighter spin that’s suitable for ages 14 and up. In this game, Nancy Drew is investigating a potential poisoning at the gardens and begins to feel sick herself. She realizes that someone has been using a dangerous plant to poison others, and they need to be caught. In this cooperative game, players examine evidence, solve puzzles, and create timelines to determine the motive and identity of the criminal. The game comes with beautiful and realistic evidence such as photos, documents, seed packets, and a plant guide, and can be played alone or as a group.
One reviewer wrote: “This box is full of an evening of fun! The pieces are good quality. The storyline is excellent. It’s a bit of a challenge, too, to find the answer. I highly recommend it!”
Play Time: 60 — 90 minutes | Recommended Ages: 14+ | Players: 1+ | Game Type: Single use
9. A Murder Mystery Card Game That’s Great For Travel
This murder mystery card game has a quick and easy setup and is great for taking on the go because it doesn’t involve any pieces, evidence props, or dice — just cards. Each card represents a different character in the game, including the murderer. Cards get dealt out, and players must use clue and action cards and work together to determine who has the murderer card in their hand. If the team can’t find the murderer in time, everyone loses.
One reviewer wrote: “There’s Been a Murder is such a fun game. It’s easy to learn and so much fun for everyone to try to figure out who the murderer is. You can definitely play this over and over again too.”
Play Time: 10 — 20 minutes, according to a reviewer | Recommended Ages: 14+ | Players: 3 — 8 | Game Type: Unlimited re-playability
10. A Murder Mystery Case File With 3 Challenges
This single-use murder mystery game is a little different from the others in that it challenges you to complete three separate tasks in order to crack the case: prove why the convicted man is innocent, disprove the alibi of a key suspect, and identify the clue that implicates the real murderer. The game provides over 50 documents and photos, including newspaper articles, phone records, witness statements, and more, and has an online answer key once you think you’ve figured it out. When you’ve finished this one, consider one of the many other case files available, including the cases of Avery Gardner and Max Cahill.
One reviewer wrote: “We took this with us on vacation to see our kids in Hawaii. We started to play at a beach in the north shore and couldn’t stop. We ended up wearing headlamps and playing by a beach fire. It’s like having a real police cold case file. Props and storyline are so compelling.”
Play Time: 2 — 6 hours | Recommended Ages: 14+ | Players: 1+ | Game Type: Single use