Have you been spending lockdown re-watching your favourite police drama? Binging every true crime documentary Netflix has to offer? Or do you just love a good murder mystery? Well thanks to these six games, you can be the no-nonsense sleuth of your dreams! So, put on your deer stalker and grab a magnifying glass - because there is a mystery afoot!
It would be amidst not to mention this classic “whodunit” series. After all, it helped to spark a plethora of mystery solving games. On the off chance, you don’t know the plot of this titan of gaming. In Cluedo you are one of six dinner guests invited to Tudor Manor by Dr Black. At some point in the evening he is found dead and only one of the six guests could have done it.
The aim of the game is to use your deductive reasoning and powers of elimination to figure out who did it, in which room, and with which weapon! Explore the luxurious Tudor Manor, with its oddly shaped corridors and mysterious secret doors. Ask your fellow guests to help with your inquires to be the first to solve the case. Be careful though, the murderer might very well be you!
Cluedo has had many facelifts over the years and even some new mechanics which allow for a 2-player experience. It doesn’t matter which version you play, be it Harry Potter, Sherlock, or even 2013 edition which included a bedroom, garage, and alternative “Boardwalk Board”.
Although the game is decades old it still stands up to the test of time. You have to have your wits about you if you want to discover the truth behind Dr. Black’s murder. If you really want to immerse yourself in the world of the game, look into the character bios in your instruction booklet for some motives. Did you know that in some versions of the game Professor Plum is a plagiarist? The scandal!
You receive a letter from an old friend urging you to come to the remote Warwick Estate in Scotland. He wishes for you to use your supernatural powers to help solve a grisly murder – would you accept? Mysterium is a delightfully gothic take on the classic mystery game formula, as one of six psychically gifted guests it is up to you to find out who the murderer is – luckily you have a little help, from the victim themselves!
As one player takes on the role of the ghost, it is up to the others to decipher the strange visions they relay to you via some beautifully illustrated cards. It is going to take all of your deduction skills. As well as a keen eye to follow the ghost's visions to the correct murderer, location, and weapon.
You better be quick; you only have until sunrise or your spectral friend will never be put to rest. Whether you play as a collaborative ghost busting team, or a lone gumshoe racing everyone else to the finish line. You will find this game challenges your communication skills and pushes the limits of your analytical talents. However, if you want a little extra twist in your game, there are expansion packs that add new characters, locations, and even new elements of the murder to discover. The possibilities are endless so you better be prepared for anything!
It’s time to hit the mean streets of old London Town! It’s 1888 and a monstrous murderer is on the loose. Can you and your crew of coppers find the devilish degenerate before they take down their chosen targets and escape?
In Whitehall Mystery one player stalks through the grim streets of London committing four premeditated murders all over the city. It is up to the remaining players to take on the task of the police and hunt them down. Since the murderer’s location is never revealed on the board, all you have to go on is the trail of bodies they leave behind.
Just looking at the game board you’ll notice similarities to other hidden movement games. Particularly Ravensburg’s Scotland Yard (which also uses a map of London as its game board). However, Whitehall Mystery is a fresh twist on the format. Not only do you have to play cat and mouse with your killer but you also have extra abilities and resources to help you in your manhunt! If you think you have what it takes to deduce, deliberate, and determine where the killer's next move will be then this game is a perfect challenge for those with a keen, inquisitive mind. Unless of course, you have what it takes to be on the wrong side of the law?
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
There’s been a murder in Hong Kong and you are on the case! But can you trust your fellow investigators. Something seems suspicious, the forensic scientist seems to be pointing towards one of your associates. Are you willing to raise your badge in the pursuit of justice?
Deception is a delightful hidden roles game where one player is not the detective they seem. In fact, they did it and it is up to you to find the one spinning a web of lies. However, you don't have to do it alone. You have forensic science on your side, as one player takes on the role of the scientist. They will give you cryptic information about the murderer that will hopefully lead to their lawful arrest. But, accusing another member of the force is a reckless thing to do. Get it wrong and you’ll be forced to hand your badge over!
You've only got one shot, so you better use all of your interrogation know-how and make it count. Unless of course, you’re the murder, in which case you better be good at... well.... deception.
Chronicles of Crime
Now, you may be an ace amateur detective – but one thing no super sleuth has on their side is time! A fact which is ever present in the game Chronicles of Crime. Can your team solve the case and report your findings back to Scotland Yard in a timely manner? Or will you crumble under the pressure?
Chronicles of Crime is a board/video game hybrid – using your phone and the game’s free app you will integrate, search and explore the subjects found on the game cards. Although the app will lead you through the story it is up to you and your team to decide where to go, who to talk to and when to bring all your evidence back to the chief at Scotland Yard.
Not only will this game test your nose for clues, with its immersive VR crime scene investigation segments; it will also test your resource and time management. Every interaction, every time you move location and every examination will cost you time – and you don’t necessarily know how much time you’ve got. Is it worth spending the extra 5 minutes to examine the scene again, or would your time be better severed contacting your “Hacker” associate? The game comes with five cases to get you started, and you can pay for extra ones within the app. If you’re up to the challenge then this game will give you a run for your money.
Detective: A Modern Crime Game
No one ever said being a detective would be easy – long hours and stressful work it is truly a thankless job. And one day all this stress may lead to shutting your case down. Best use all the resources at your disposable because time is ticking away.
Often compared to Chronicles of Crime, Detective uses familiar concepts such as; time management, resource management, innovative technology-based mechanics as well as both being murder mystery board games. However, there are still plenty of differences that stand out. Detective allows for players to more easily immerse themselves within the five interwoven cases provided – each player is given a character with specific resources and all have access to an online database to help them gather their evidence and put together a final report.
This is a great game for dedicated problem solvers, but be warned if you work too hard your character’s stress level will rise. If it gets too high then you’ll be forced to hand in your report early whether you're ready or not. With its fourth-wall braking, riveting game play this is a true test for any budding Bobby.
Whatever your sleuthing style, there is a whole host of board games to keep you entertained and your deduction skills sharp. Who knows, maybe you really are the next Agatha Christie!
Editors note: This blog was originally published on 14/07/2020. Updated on 18/08/2021 to improve the information available.