Thursday, February 26, 2009

The last Wednesday of the month is game night. Tonight we had a murder mystery party. I looked into buying a kit but didn't feel like spending the money when I didn't know if the students would enjoy it.

I say about 75% or so got into the game and the ones that got into it enjoyed it. I made 50 character cards and used most of them. The game was pretty involved, but I think it might have been a bit too involved for them.

There were the obvious players, a dead person, a murderer, and everyone had some reason to kill the dead guy. Most people had alibis but a few didn't. There were also assassins, mobsters, investigators, federal agents, smugglers, spies … each with their own objectives. For example, a police officer was investigating the mob and various players knew who the mob guys were, but only the informant knew who the head of the mob was and was only allowed to tell the police officer. The mob was supposed to find and take out the informant before he could share this information. The ATF agents were trying to identify and arrest the smuggler and Booth and Oswald (the assassins) were trying to find the entrance to the theater and a grassy knoll respectively.

I think there was just too much information for them, plus they didn't really write down things as well as they should. One guy had it all practically solved. He had figured out who everyone was and narrowed the murderer to 4 characters before my final clue was revealed and that clue eliminated 3 of those 4 leaving the murderer, but he didn't write any of it down so couldn't remember whodunit.

I had lots of fun playing with the names to. With 50 names you need to have fun so I got some classic assassin names, some fun word plays and other such. For example, at one point I had, Frank and Bean which led to Rocky and Road and then Chunky and Monkey which made me think of Bones and then logically Jones.

Anyways, I'm planning on doing this again but I'm thinking of buying a party set to see how they plan things out before I try my hand at this again. If anyone is interested in the set I made I will make it available for free once I get a couple little things done to make it easier for others to use. I need to write up instructions and such. Let me know.


Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

Oh, I would totally be the student who had figured out who the murderer was, but couldn't remember their name. Or occupation. Or appearance. Or motive. But I would TOTALLY know who it was.

I need a cheat sheet when I read mystery novels too.

Luckygirl said...

One of my best memories of high school youth group was a murder mystery night. Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Nick the Geek said...

I did have clue books for them to record information in and I provided pens. You might have figured it out if you used them. The one guy would have.

I hope that at least one person can feel that way down the line. We will likely be doing it again a little bigger next time.

Steve said...

I would definitely be interested in obtaining said game. I've been toying with the idea of trying to set one up for my group, but I wasn't sure exactly how to go about it. My kids are so hyper-competitive with each other, it can't help but be a success.

The game we end up playing EVERY time is called "Grendel." I hide the pieces to a flashlight throughout the whole church (except the pastor's office and the Sanctuary). Then I turn out every light in the place, and all but one of the group goes out looking for the pieces while "Grendel" (the leftover kid) hunts them. If the group works together, gets the flashlight and shines it on Grendel, they win. Grendel has to "kill" the group by tagging them, but they can be revived by being tagged by a teammate, kind of like freeze tag. Being in the dark is what makes it fun and a little spooky.

Depending on the number of kids, you can have more than one flashlight and more than one Grendel.

Nick the Geek said...


Hopefully next week I'll have time to get things cleaned up better for use. Typed our directions and objectives that I knew and announced but which others might appreciate since they can't read my mind.

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