14 Murder Mystery Games for a Whodunnit Dinner Party

published Sep 27, 2023
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friends toasting at halloween dinner party
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Was your childhood filled with memories of finding out who killed Colonel Mustard with a candlestick in the billiard room? If the answer is yes, then you’ve probably dreamed of hosting a murdery mystery dinner party, which is basically your own real-life version of Clue with costumes, mystery, and characters (but sans the real-life murder). 

To host a murder mystery at home, you can start with a game that you’ll either find online or buy as a box, then it’s time to get creative. Jeannine Rose, founder of entertaining blog Sweet Humble Home, recommends making the dinner party an immersive experience. “Incorporate all of the sounds, scents, and experiences of a murder mystery setting. Try ambient lighting, spooky sounds, creaking floorboards, lit candles, and fog,” says Rose.

She also recommends serving a menu that corresponds with your murder mystery game. Rose explains, “If the theme of your murder mystery takes place on a cruise ship, serve seafood. If your theme is set during prohibition, focus on the Sidecar, a cocktail that was hugely popular at speakeasies during prohibition.”

Ready to start planning your murder mystery persona? Here are 14 murder mystery games to get your imagination going.

Free Murder Mystery Games

1. Way Out West

There’s something about old saloons that make them the quintessential setting for a drama to unfold, including your murder mystery dinner party. This Wild West game has everyone from the city slicker to the ranch hand, and it’s free for up to 10 people to play.

2. Jazz Age Jeopardy

Who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up in 1920s fashion, particularly when it’s combined with solving a murder? This free online murder mystery game is set in a Jazz Age jazz club with bootleggers, entertainers, and artists all in attendance.

3. Murder, She Wrote

If you’re surrounded by enthusiastic Angela Lansbury fans, then download this free printable that allows you each to follow along with an episode of the show while trying to solve the murder. All you’ll need is a Peacock Premium subscription to watch.

4. Case of the Unfortunate Acrobat

An 1885 circus goes all wrong in this free murder mystery download. A trapeze artist falls to her death midair — but was it an accident? You’ll get access to letters, witness statements, and more as you try to find out what really happened under the big top.

Murder Mystery Party Kits

Mardi Gras is a likely scene for a murder. There’s alcohol, costumes, parades, and a few too many good times to be had. In this murder mystery box, Pierre DuPre, King of the Krew, is strangled by Mardi Gras beads, and it’s on you, the revelers, to find out who did it.

If you can’t get enough of murder mysteries, then it’s time to sign up for the Finders Seekers subscription box, where you’ll get a mystery challenge every month. This is perfect for those who like to host monthly dinner parties — you’ll have a new mystery to solve every time you entertain.

Combine two popular games with this jigsaw puzzle that you assemble to find the clues to solve a murder. Choose from The Clairvoyants’ Convention or The Missing Will, but prepare yourself for a murderous commitment to finish the job. Each puzzle is 500 pieces.

Rich businessman Whit Wiley has been murdered in the fountain of his new mall development, and it’s up to the mall rats to solve it. Up to 20 players can time travel back to the ’80s in this murder mystery game box.

Murders can happen any place, any time, including at the office holiday party — while wearing ugly sweaters. Try this murder mystery box for a quirky take on the holiday dinner party. Tell your guests to don their best tacky sweaters to lean into the theme.

As the 2001 Sophie Ellis-Bextor classic said, it’s a murder on the dance floor. This murder mystery box sets the stage for a murder at Boogieland 77, the glitziest club in New York. Up to 13 players will slip into their disco best to solve this glam mystery. 

It’s all fun and games on the yacht until someone ends up dead. This murder mystery box solves the untimely killing of stewardess Rachel Veinson. It’s perfect for a small dinner party of up to five, and a menu of seafood with a soundtrack of yacht rock seems like just the right ambiance. 

Things can even go awry in Antarctica. In this murder mystery game, the head of the Polar Station in Antarctica has been murdered, and it’s up to your team to solve it. This game involves not only the pieces in the box, but also logging into emails and a fake Instagram account to gather all the evidence.

Dress up for dinner and board the European Belle for a one-way ticket to murder and mystery! This box set murder mystery game is set in the 1930s, and it can accommodate up to 13 players. It even has three different endings.

Transport your dinner party guests to a formal dinner at Merkister Hall, where you’ll solve a murder while dining in your gloves and formal attire. This murder mystery box is perfect for a fancy and dark evening with friends.