It's good to plan...a bit

Christmas Murder Mystery Game

A teeny bit of planning makes a world of difference..

Depending on how you’d like to play (you can play alone, in pairs or in teams; either online or in person), you may want to prepare the clues and at least know the order to approach the game.

There is plenty of information in the various clues (left), so allow time for players to study this once you’ve bought the game.

CLUES: Online or Print

As the organiser, this is entirely your decision but once you purchase the game, you have the choice to view the CLUE PACK and other clues ONLINE, or you may prefer to download a PDF version. The advantages and disadvantages:

PDF: The PDF can be distributed to all players. They may view it on their phones, tablets, etc. OR you can print copies, one per team (for example).

ONLINE: To view the clue-pack online, you’ll need to sign in to your account (so it may not be available to all players). It does go some way towards saving the planet (but don’t worry, these won’t sell in the millions. I’ll be lucky if I sell ten.)

You may opt for a mix n’ match approach: download the clue pack and distribute, print off the answer forms and, if required, the tie-break forms. You may also want to print the Parish Magazine (see ‘FURTHER CLUES’ below).

There are NO ADVANTAGES, as far as information is concerned, to one choice over the other. The printed and online clues carry the same information.

Game order

Despite the fact you may prepare the paperwork in advance, it’s advisable to follow the game in order. There is no real advantage in scouring through some of the clues before you know their relevance.

The best place to start is with TAPE 1 (14 minutes duration).

This introduces you to the story. You will learn how Butler was coerced into the re-enactment and how Scotland Yard were first involved. It will take you as far as the meeting between the Scotland Yard detectives and the local police force at the scene of the crime.

At the end of this, Butler invites you to download the clue-pack (which you may already have done).

The CLUE PACK is available to view online (although you’ll need a separate window as you’ll also watch the remaining videos) or as a downloadable PDF. 

Once you have access to the clue pack (and you may want to allow twenty minutes or so to study it), you can watch TAPE 2 (22 minutes duration)

You are now into the initial investigation where you’ll meet the witnesses to the shooting along with an early suspect.

During one such interview, Scotland Yard discover a BLACKMAIL NOTE. But this is in the clue-pack, so no further action is required, although it does show you may want to refer back to the clue pack throughout.

However, Butler does mention two pieces of evidence you can read now (you may, of course, already downloaded these). 

The two pieces of evidence offered here are:

1. The Parish Council Magazine

2. A List of stolen items recovered by The Shallow Bottom police force.

So you may want to allow a further break here for people to study these items. 

Oh, and (this may be encroaching on the ‘I want to plan..a lot’ territory) but you could, if you want to make this even more realistic, print off a two sided version of the Parish Council Magazine and fold it to look like the real thing! There is an option for that too.

PLEASE NOTE: Whether you choose the ONLINE version of clues, the PDF version or the Printable, double sided version, the clues are the same throughout. There is NO ADVANTAGE of one over another. It simply comes down to presentation.

You’re nearly done. Tape 3 (19 minutes duration) completes the investigation. You’ll meet more of the ‘characters’ of Shallow Bottom. You may even get to join in with a sing-a-long if you like.

But the police were stumped. This is where we need your help. It is up to you to solve the case. So retire for a while, have a think and re-group.

If you are formalising the event and playing in teams, you may choose to use the printable answer forms in the PDF package. Each team must complete their answer as to whodunnit, how they dunnit and various other clues. The case was never solved, of course, but the re-enactment may have inspired Scotland Yard’s finest to think again.

Oh, it’s always a bit of a laugh to do a tie-break (and you can do this even before anyone knows the answer just because it’s good fun). There is a printable tie-break form. You don’t have to use it of course but if you do, get your teams to come up with a witty song or poem to perform in the event of a tie. The best one wins.

But that is purely for party fun. The serious business of crime detection is next.

Once you have your answers gathered in, join D.I. Butler and his team as they sit around the fire and consider the crime afresh.

You may choose to join in with a glass of port and a bowl of peanuts, or something. Sit back and watch as the intrepid detectives figure out the answers at last.

If you agree with their conclusion, and you are playing in teams, you may want to print off your WINNER CERTIFICATE.

You’ll need to fill in a few details, like your name, etc.

Frame it, hang it on the wall and make sure that, whenever anyone asks you what this Christmas Murder Game is, you tell them to buy it and see for themselves.

But hey, this is Christmas (unless you’re playing throughout the year, and why not?) EVERYONE IS A WINNER, so why not print a copy for everyone, even if you haven’t played. Who cares?


OK. Where do I go from here?

Decide when you want to play. It won’t take long to get organised so you can purchase now and start the game. But if you want to plan, that’s fine. YOU HAVE ONE WEEK to play the game after purchase. You can PURCHASE NOW, download ALL THE CLUES, print off if you like, and play within the next seven days.

You will need to log in to your account to view the videos so, if you’re playing with friends remotely, you may either share your screen with them (makes sure the audio works) or, better still, they can purchase the game at the same time. Play in one sitting or, as some did with the LOCKDOWN MURDER MYSTERY, play one video per day!

By the way, if you want to get an idea of how the game works, you can still check out the videos at LockdownMurderMystery for FREE (you can still buy the clue pack for just £3.99)