8 Best murder mystery party companies

Finding the best murder mystery party for your group is easy!

Just follow these two steps:

Step 1 is finding the best murder mystery party company for you.

The number of guests you invite and the game style (that is, the nature and complexity of the game mechanics) will determine what kind of party you host: an intimate dinner with close friends around a table, or an office party mix-and-mingle buffet in an events hall. To save time, first find the best murder mystery company that specializes in the style of game you want to host.

Step 2 is finding the right theme.

After choosing a company you like, find the perfect theme for your party. (You probably have something in mind already, but hold your horses, we’ll get back to the themes later!)

Step 1: Find the best murder mystery party company

There are many murder mystery party companies out there. Some are large and well established, others small and unknown. We’ve researched and played a wide range of games and would like to give you an overview of the 7 best murder mystery companies we like and trust.

Scan the table for a quick overview of some of our favorite companies and what sets them apart. Then, read on for a detailed analysis of each company, where we explore the pros and cons of each table category and how that company addresses it.

Mysterando4-92-3 hrsPlays along as a characterKnows from the startNot a playerYes$19-24
My Mystery Party8-18, expandable to 40+1.5-4 hrsPlays along, but knows more than the othersFinds out in the 2nd roundDies in 2nd round, continues as ghostYes$43 and up
Night of Mystery4-202-4 hrsPlays along as a characterFinds out in the 2nd roundDies in 2nd roundYes$48 and up
Shot in the Dark Mysteries6-182-3 hrsPlays along as a characterDoesn’t know until the endNot a playerYes$40 and up
Playing With Murder8-100+2-3 hrsNarrator, not a playerDepends on game typeDepends on game typeYes$29 and up
Freeform Games6-401.5-3 hrsNot a player, but can have a minor roleKnows from the startWhen killed, they get a new characterYes$29 and up
Haley Productions20-1251.5-2 hrsUnique system, see below for detailsUnique system, see below for detailsUnique system, see below for detailsYes$25 and up
Short on time? This handy table helps you quickly decide on the best murder mystery party company for you.

Company: Mysterando

Link: https://mysterando.com/

Description: The best murder mystery party choice for a small sit-down dinner style murder mystery party at home. For layered characters and a fun, engaging story, choose Mysterando!

Game style:

  • Mysterando games are scripted, and the best murder mystery party for a sit-down-dinner style.
  • The victim dies before the game starts, meaning nobody has to sit out or play as a ghost. With these games, every single player is fully included.
  • The host plays along as one of the characters and doesn’t know more than anyone else. If you want to host and be as fully immersed in the game as your guests, this is the company for you!
  • The game instructions are simple, clear, and concise. This makes Mysterando an excellent choice for new players.
  • Player characters have rich backstories masterfully woven into the progression of the story.
  • In each game round, players receive new sets of clues and prompts based on their character. This is great for new players – and it’s a helpful pointer for experienced role-players too!
  • The company provides dedicated email customer support.

Game duration:

  • 2 – 3 hours

Number of players:

  • 4 – 9 players. Each game is written for a specific number of players. If one of your guests withdraws at the last minute, this company will give you the same game for one less player free of charge!

Conclusion: Mysterando specializes in host-plays-with murder mystery parties, presented in a sit-down dinner format, carefully crafted for 4-9 players.

Company: My Mystery Party

Link: https://www.mymysteryparty.com/

Description: What makes My Mystery Party games your best choice? They offer you an enormous range of games across so many themes – perfect if you’re looking for variety.

Game style:

  • The host can play and can choose how much they want to know. In other words, the host can play without knowing who the murderer is. However, the host will always know which characters are required (so, obviously, one of the required characters is the murderer) and which are optional (an optional character can’t be the murderer). So, the host isn’t fully equal to the other players, they will always know a little more.
  • In most (but not all) of their games the victim is a playable character who is murdered in the 2nd round. From that point on they can play on as the ghost of themselves, with the option of allowing the ghost to be allowed to talk or not. Of course, the ghost doesn’t know who killed them, so there’s no threat of spoilers from your talking ghost!
  • Characters are given scripted things to do, to talk about, and to hide from the other players.
  • Some games also give characters bonus missions or objectives to complete. Most games also include “minigames” to further enhance your night: things like dance competitions and trivia challenges.
  • My Mystery Party provides a dedicated customer support phone line.
  • All game materials are downloadable. They also offer a physical, party-ready package (at additional cost).

Game duration:

  • 1.5 – 4 hours

Number of players:

  • Typically 8 – 18, individual games vary
  • They also cater for large groups of 40+

Conclusion: My Mystery Party has the largest selection of games with many niche themes.

Company: Night of Mystery

Link: https://nightofmystery.com/

Description: Night of Mystery have the best murder mystery party games if you’re looking for high energy, mix ‘n mingle interaction style games for lots of players.

Game style:

  • The host is one of the players.
  • The victim is also one of the players. That means the victim is murdered during the party!
  • The murderer only finds out they’re the murderer in the 2nd game round.
  • No side missions or objectives, keeping the focus on solving the murder.
  • Interactive mix-and-mingle format, so you’re up on your feet moving about, chatting to everyone.
  • Night of Mystery provides lots of party planning resources to help you throw an epic party, including tips on how to host and the best food to serve.
  • The host info for each game contains food recommendations, but given the mix-and-mingle format, these games are better suited to a buffet than a sit-down dinner.
  • All game materials are downloadable.

Game duration:

  • 2 – 4 hours

Number of players:

  • Typically, 4 – 20
  • Individual games vary, all the way to 80

Conclusion: Night of Mystery is focused on simple, easy, highly interactive games for a wide range of players.

Company: Shot in the Dark Mysteries

Link: https://www.shotinthedarkmysteries.com/

Description: Shot in the Dark Mysteries has something for everyone. They’re the best middle ground.

Game style:

  • The host plays along.
  • No side missions or objectives, staying focused on the murder.
  • The murderer doesn’t know they’re the murderer, so they are investigating as hard as everyone else!
  • Interactive, mix ‘n mingle style: guests are encouraged to walk around and talk to everyone. It’s up to your guests to ask questions and unravel the mystery.

Game duration:

  • 2 – 3 hours

Number of players:

  • 6 – 18 suspects
  • Their games cater to a wide range of players, but there’s a maximum of 18 suspects. Hilariously, they’ve run a game with 200 people playing as detectives!
  • Shot in the Dark games are designed for an even number of male and female guests. However, if you can’t find something that fits your guest list, you can contact them and request a customized game tailored to your exact wants and needs!

Conclusion: Shot in the Dark Mysteries are a good middle ground. Their games cater to a wide range of needs.

Company: Playing With Murder

Link: https://www.playingwithmurder.com/

Description: Playing With Murder have the best selection of murder mystery parties for experienced players.

Game style:

  • The host can participate, but not as a player. Instead, the host fulfils the role of narrator – they know who the murderer is, and who they’re going to kill from the start.
  • The reason for this is that the games are more complex than the other companies we’ve looked at.
  • There are extra objectives for players to pursue.
  • Playing With Murder games are designed in an interactive mix ‘n mingle style – it’s up to the players to work together to solve these unscripted scenarios! That said, they do offer scripted games geared towards newer players.
  • All game materials are downloadable, including sound effects and background tracks!

Game duration:

  • 1.5 – 4 hours
  • They also offer “30 Minute Mysteries” if you’re curious and want to see what it’s all about but not invest your entire evening.

Number of players:

  • Wide range, 8 – 100+
  • There are required and optional guests, with a hard minimum required for each game.

Conclusion: Playing With Murder is on the more complex side, making their games good for both experienced groups, large groups, and mixed groups with dedicated “required” players and any number of “optional” characters.

Company: Freeform Games

Link: https://www.freeformgames.com/

Description: If you’re looking for something different, something with a twist on the tried and trusted formula, then Freeform Games is the best company for you.

Game style:

  • These games require a dedicated host who isn’t one of the characters. The host can participate as a side character, like a bartender.
  • In some games, the host starts as the victim.
  • The victim is usually one of the player characters. When the murder happens, the victim is assigned a new character – a new arrival at the event.
  • Freeform Games—as you’d expect from their name—lean strongly towards a free-flowing style of game.
  • Characters must complete extra objectives to progress the story. Characters also have limited use “special moves” such as pickpocketing or forcing someone else to reveal knowledge they’ve been keeping to themselves. A cool twist on the usual format, making this more of a “game” than a detective puzzle.

Game duration:

  • 1.5 – 3 hours

Number of players:

  • Wide range, 6 – 40
  • Certain games let you add more players.

Conclusion: Freeform Games is geared towards people who have some experience with murder mysteries. The extra objectives and character special moves add a great twist to the tried and trusted game format.

Company: Haley Productions

Link: https://www.haleyproductions.com/

Description: Haley Productions are the best company for scripted games catering to large groups.

Game style:

  • Haley Productions games ensure all the guests are active participants, no matter the size of the group!
  • The format of their games differs from the norm. The games start with 6-8 main suspects. Either the suspects know everything (including who the murderer is, clue information, the whole nine yards), or the suspects don’t know everything and the narrator tells the story while the relevant suspect acts out what’s being narrated.
  • The suspects have scripted backstories they draw on to drop hints and answer questions posed by the other guests.

Game duration:

  • 1.5 – 2 hours

Number of players:

  • Wide range, 20 – 125

Conclusion: Haley Productions offer a unique style of game, sure to entertain experienced murder mystery party fans looking for something different.

Step 2: Find the perfect theme

Once you’ve picked your favorite company, go to their website and browse their list of games. Which theme jumps out at you, inspiring a burst of creative energy? Can you immediately visualize the whole evening, the costumes, or the food? If so, that’s the perfect theme for you!

And while you’re at it, here are some other articles that might tickle your fancy:

Disclaimer: We haven’t played every single one of the games discussed. However, after being murder mystery party fans, players, and hosts for many years, we’ve gathered heaps of helpful advice and tips on how to play. In writing this article, we’ve conducted internet research to put together our top choices. We use affiliate links to Amazon, etc. This is how we help fund the site.