Our murder mystery kits are provided in the form of downloadable games rather than boxed sets. They are carefully structured and labelled so that it is easy for you to see what files you need to download and what files you may optionally download.
There are three essential zip files and two recommended audios in each party kit; there are also two optional zip files that are clearly labelled optional.
Within each zip file, the optional documents are also labelled optional. Most documents are provided as PDFs; the invitation and Menu Card are Word documents so that you can easily edit them. The two audios are MP3s.
Together, the different elements of each murder mystery party package contain everything you need to host your own mystery game.
1 Host Instructions and Materials (Zip 1 of Party Kit: Essential)
The Host Instruction and Materials zip has three folders:
1 The Read Me folder is the most important - it has the Host Instructions booklet that tells you all that you need to know to host a fun murder mystery dinner game or party. It also has some legal information and some information about how to win 2 free parties or a £10 voucher off your next game. Virtual Murder Mysteries include a Tip Sheet for Running Virtual Mysteries.
2 Introduction and Solution - this is just given as a backup in case there are problems with the audios.
3 Award Certificates - the award certificates are individually designed for each theme.
The illustration is of the Host Instructions for the At Home option of our Murder at Horror Castle game. All Host Instruction booklets have colour-coded sections for ease of reference and print as neat A5 booklets. (They use 3 sheets of paper if double-sided printing is used or can just be viewed in their original pdf format).
The Pre-party Files zip is an essential part of your murder mystery dinner party or party kit. It has three folders and two optional sheets. (The optional sheets are clearly labelled as optional.)
1 The Invitations Folder has invites that are designed specifically for your murder mystery theme. They are provided as an editable Word document and the folder name reminds you to save them as a pdf before sending. (Different versions of Word can sometimes display a document with vastly different formatting; saving your file as a pdf ensures that your guests see a nicely formatted invitation.)
2 The Pre-party Booklets folders are usefully divided into Essential-Characters and Optional-Minor-Characters folders. The booklets are individually written for each player and can be printed on two sides of a single A4 sheet and then folded neatly into an A5 booklet. They contain:
snippets about the game theme attractively laid out in a newspaper-style
the character bio, costume suggestions, catchphrases and suggested mannerisms and that all-important secret (the character's motive)
a list of suspects helpfully grouped in ways that help your guests immediately grasp the relations between guests
the Initial Mingling instructions (if this is to be played)
The Optional Decorations Tip Sheet is only given for virtual game pack so that you as host can email your guests some easy ideas for decorating the small area where the camera will focus. A more extensive section of Decorating Tips can be found under the Decorations tab of the "Running Your Murder Mystery Party" section of each game page.
The Party Files zip is THE most important part of your murder mystery kit.
For an At Home murder mystery party or dinner game, this folder has the party booklets for each character usefully divided into Essential-Characters and Optional-or-Minor-Characters folders. It also has all of the clues (for all characters) in a single Clues document. Name tags are provided as a pdf; simply print, cut out and then either use a pin to attach to guests' outfits or else glue onto a standard blank adhesive label.
For a Virtual mystery game, the host is likely to send or email each guest their own party materials. Therefore the Party Booklets sub-folders are again subdivided into folders for each character; each folder has the party booklet and clues (if any) that are relevant to that character. This makes it easy for the host to email or post each player the appropriate files.
Whichever option you choose, all the materials are carefully formatted to give players all they need for a fun night to remember!
Each mystery has an individually designed clue background so that it is theme-appropriate, light on ink when printing and yet still visually attractive. Most important, the Calibre font is easy for guests to read.
The optional Duplicate Map and Accusation Sheet has a duplicate copy of the map found on page 3 of the booklets. This makes it easy for guests to refer to the map without having to flick backwards and forwards. Virtual mysteries include the Accusation Sheet so that guests who are viewing the booklets electronically have somewhere to write their Whodunnit solution; some At Home mysteries have a notepad section instead so guests can scribble notes down as they go along.
4 and 5 - Audio Introduction and Audio Solution (Highly Recommend)
We use professional voiceover artists to give life and interest to both the Audio Introduction and the Audio Solution. Then we mix these voices with theme-appropriate background music and, sometimes, background sounds such as birdsong or traffic.
The end result is a short (on average, a 2 minute) Audio Introduction that sets the scene in a light-hearted, fun way. The Audio Solution (approximately 2 - 2.5 minutes) is the first time guests will know for sure who the murderer is. This gives a short summary of the evidence used to catch the murderer (yes, in our parties there is ALWAYS at least one clue than nails whodunnit!) together with a humorous wrapping-up of some of the other fun themes.
The audio files are given as standard MP3s.
In case of any last-minute technical issues, the Host Instructions download (zip 1) has a hard-copy backup that two volunteers could read.
6 Optional Decoration Pack (Zip 6 of Party Kit: Optional)
One of the features of our murder mystery packages that set us apart from many other companies is that we provide a comprehensive Decoration Pack for each theme.
For Virtual mysteries, this Decoration Pack can be emailed to your guests so that they can use the printouts to provide some easy decorations in the small area where the camera will focus. For At Home mysteries, you as host can use the pack to decorate both your party area and the entrance to your home; you can also use our special theme-appropriate signs on the doors to different rooms.
Typical decorations include:
Posters that are relevant to the theme's storyline
Themed room signs (kitchen, bathrooms etc)
Wine bottle labels
Other appropriate visuals (eg scroll detailing the curse of the vampire king, heraldic shield for an aristocratic family, singles covers for a rock star character, single centres)
7 Optional Menu Cards and Place Cards (Zip 7 of Party Kit: Optional)
The place cards are ideal for an At Home dinner party or party; they are designed to be folded in half so that both the back and front sides of the card have the player's name. This helps all players at the dinner table to see who is who. There is a matching theme-appropriate menu card.
Why Customers Say Our Murder Mystery Packs are The Best!
"This was a great way to spend a lockdown birthday! I loved that each file was in a separate document so I could easily email it over to each participant. The additional resources were an extra bonus – like the home decoration ideas and the 60s' slang! The instructions were very easy to follow and the script was simple enough to work through. Our ages ranges from 21 to 72 and it was accessible to all! I would definitely recommend to a friend. We loved having an excuse to dress up and it really made my birthday special… Even if it did turn out that I was the murderer!"
"We played the 1920’s mystery as part of my 50th virtual birthday party and I’m so glad we did, as we had such great fun. We printed off all the packs and sent them in the post so we knew there wouldn’t be any issues on the night. We played with 10 players on Zoom and the whole event ran smoothly. We decided to include the ‘mingling’ and, throughout the day, each character sent messages to a Whatsapp group – great ice-breaker and by the time the evening started, everyone was in full character. Would certainly recommend."
"This was a brilliant game to play during Lockdown for a friend's birthday! It was really well organised and the packs gave everyone the information that they needed to be able to have a go! The script was easy to follow and gave people the opportunity to improvise and have fun with it! Such a great idea for an evening’s entertainment with friends!"
"Played the Christmas game on Boxing Day on Zoom as an alternative to getting the family together. Really funny evening, brilliant supporting documents and where people had fancy dress it really brought the characters to life."
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
Are Your Murder Mystery Kits for Adults?
All of our murder mystery kits are suitable for adults.
Do You Have Murder Mystery Packs for Families, Teenagers or Children?
Is Santa Slayed? is an ideal family-friendly game suitable for adults, teenagers, families and older children with a reasonable reading age. (Please see the sample party booklet in the Included section at the bottom of the mystery page to check that your child could cope with the level of reading; if not, some families choose to share a role with an older child.)
Many of our other mysteries have been played by families with teenagers and, occasionally, with older children; this is very much down to parental judgement and guidance is given in the Age and Sensitivities tab in the Running Your Mystery section of each game.
How Flexible are Your Murder Mystery Game Packs if Guest Numbers Change?
We say that they are semi-flexible.
Each version of a mystery is a different game. (We need to rewrite the pre-party booklets, the party booklets and the clues as the numbers of guests change; sometimes we also need to rewrite the invitations, rewrite the solution and change the audio solution. The name tags and place cards also change.) That said, if you contact us via our contact form, we offer a 40% reduction for the SAME game but different numbers of players.
Can I Change Between a Virtual and An At Home Murder Mystery Party Kit?
Yes, just email us via our contact form and we'll send you a voucher for 100% off the other version of the mystery (At Home or Virtual) providing it is for the SAME game and the same number of players. (See the previous question for if you have a different number of guests.)
Are The Murder Mystery Kits Downloadable?
Yes, our downloadable murder mystery games can be downloaded as soon as Paypal has gone through. The files are provided in an electronic format (as zip files) and audio MP3 files.
We do not sell pre-printed box sets.
Do We Host the Parties Ourselves or Does Maple Mystery Games Host Them?
All games are provided for you to host yourself in your own house/garden/venue or else virtually via Zoom, Skype or a similar app.
While some companies do provide professional actors to host your evening for you, these events (obviously) tend to be a lot more expensive.
Is There Any After-Sales Support?
Yes. Most definitely. The instructions are clear and most customers happily host their own evening after reading the Host Instructions.
That said, if you have any queries before or after purchase, please email us via our contact form; we tend to reply to emails as soon as we receive them, weekends and evenings included (although we do take time off to eat and sleep!). We can also be available by phone 9 - 5.30 Monday-Friday.
Keep Informed of Future Mysteries and Receive Discounts