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Interactive M.M. Games: 10 Reasons why we love them so much!

Learn all about murder mystery parties and how to host your own.

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Interactive M.M. Games: 10 Reasons why we love them so much!

Postby 2coolbaby » April 8th, 2006, 10:02 pm

Murder mystery party games come in a number of different styles. There are those where information is released in stages and you find out more about the mystery as the party progresses. Then there are those where a set number of actors play the suspects and everyone else has to guess who the murderer is. The games I really enjoy are interactive murder mystery games where each guest has their own unique role with detailed background and objectives.

Here are ten reasons why I enjoy these games so much.

#1 - It's not just about solving the murder: While solving the murder is obviously a large part of an interactive murder mystery game, there's always much more to the game than just that. Each character has a detailed background and has their own goals and problems to deal with - and those might include not getting arrested for a murder you didn't commit, or needing to pay off your gambling debts, or wanting to be the richest person at the end of the game.

#2 - It's a great way to meet people: The only way you will achieve your goals in an interactive murder mystery game is to go up to the other guests and talk to them. You need to talk to everyone to make sure that you've not missed anyone in your search to find the murderer or achieve your goals. So by the end of the game, you should have met everyone else - even if you didn't meet them as "yourself" but only as the character you were playing. Best of all, if you find it hard to talk to people you don't know, an interactive murder mystery provides you with a ready-made topic of conversation (which was always my problem when I was younger and shyer) both during the game and afterwards.

#3 - Let's pretend: Anyone can play an interactive murder mystery game because, taken at its simplest level, it's just a magnificent game of "let's pretend." Kid's play "let's pretend" all the time, and I've yet to find a grown-up who has forgotten how to play. (If you want a more adult, or cerebral approach to interactive murder mysteries, each guest takes on the role of a character in much the same way that an actor takes on a role in a play. But there the similarity ends, because in an interactive murder mystery game there's no predetermined script and no audience.)

#4 - No predetermined script: Talking about scripts brings me to my next reason. There's no predetermined script that everyone reads out - unlike some other murder mystery games. Instead, each guest decides how to solve the murder and achieve their goals - in whatever order they desire. The games do have a structure and some timetabled events (such as clues or announcements), but generally how the game plays is in the hands of the guests.

#5 - Flexibility: Interactive murder mystery games are able to cater for a wide range of guests. If you are familiar with the boxed sets in the shops (which are usually for eight people - four men and four women), interactive murder mystery games have a minimum and a maximum number of guests. For example, one game might need at least 12 people, but can cope with up to 26. This makes it very easy to add last-minute guests or cater for someone who drops out at the last minute.

Interactive murder mystery games are also flexible when it comes to gender. Usually several characters are written so that they can be played by either men or women - they usually have names like "Chris", "Alex", "CJ" or "Ghana".

#6 - You know that you're the murderer: In some murder mystery parties you only find out that you're the murderer at the end of the party. Until then you have no idea. You are also only drip-fed your background, which I find very frustrating. In an interactive murder mystery game you're told everything up front. If you're the murderer, you know it from the start. If you did something dubious in your past, you know it from the start. (Sometimes information is held back. For example, if a clue is announced part way through a game, you might then be given a bit more information to explain why that clue is significant to you.)

#7 - Blackmailing friends is so much fun: I don't know of any other type of game where you are allowed to blackmail your friends. It's so much fun - I'm always amazed at how my generous, honest friends and can become so sneaky, underhand, conniving and just plain crafty when they play an interactive murder mystery. And they have such a good time doing it!

#8 Cooperation is also fun: While being sneaky can get you so far, at some point I find that I have to trust and cooperate with other characters in an interactive murder mystery game. And often, I find that cooperation - sharing objectives and helping someone to achieve their goals can be much more rewarding than being sneaky and devious all the time.

#9 Be the host with the most: If there is a downside to these games, it's that there always has to be a host, and generally they don't play the game in the same way as their guests. They've usually read the entire game and know who the murderer is and what's going to happen. I find that hosting is a completely different experience from playing, and it's certainly just as enjoyable. Rather than solving the murder and achieving objectives, instead you're providing your friends with a fantastic evening they'll never forget. You'll certainly be the host with the most!

#10 A night to remember: Your friends will talk about your murder mystery party for weeks afterwards. In fact, I can remember every single murder mystery party game I've every played (or hosted) - and some of my friends still talk about them even now. There aren't many things that you can say that of.

This helpful article was written by Steve Hatherley
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