There’s nothing like a good murder mystery party, but it’s a big task to organize one and think of all the plot lines. And not everyone is a fan of dressing up, either. Mystery board games are the perfect alternative.
Murder mystery board games can make for a frighteningly fun evening. Whether you enjoy getting spooked, or whether you like to play detective by solving puzzles, there’s a murder mystery game for you.
I like Mysterium because it’s fun for a wide range of ages and experience levels. It’s a game you can play again and again, and the collaborative gameplay makes it fun without being cutthroat.
You’ll find information on the best mystery board games, including the basics of gameplay and the unique features of each game.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get going.
- 1 Murder Mystery Board Games: At a Glance
- 2 Mystery Board Game Reviews
- 2.1 Mysterium: Best Overall Murder Mystery Board Game
- 2.2 Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, The Thames Murders: Best for Solo Play
- 2.3 Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Jack the Ripper: Best Challenging Game
- 2.4 Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion: Best for Family Game Nights
- 2.5 Deception: Murder in Hong Kong: Best Card Version
- 2.6 Betrayal at House on the Hill, 3rd Edition: Best Haunted Mansion Game
- 2.7 Clue Junior: Best for Young Children
- 2.8 Clue: Treachery at Tudor Mansion: Best Escape Room-Style Game
- 3 Murder Mystery Games: Buying Guide
- 4 Best Mystery Board Game: Final Verdict
Murder Mystery Board Games: At a Glance
What makes a murder mystery board game so entertaining? There are different reasons you might be drawn to mystery games. Let’s take a quick look at some of the features you should look for:
Do you enjoy escape rooms? You might like the blend of mystery-solving with escape in Clue: Treachery at Tudor Mansion, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Scooby Doo: Espace from the Haunted Mansion require you to escape.
Mystery Board Game Reviews
Mysterium: Best Overall Murder Mystery Board Game
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Mysterium puts an interesting twist on murder mystery board games by making one player the victim!
A horrible crime has been committed at Warwick Manor in Scotland, and now the mansion is haunted by the ghost of the murdered servant. It’s up to a group of psychic investigators to get to the bottom of the mystery.
In this cooperative board game, one player takes on the role of a murder victim, who is now a ghost. The rest of the players play as psychics.
Throughout the game, players work together to solve a mystery by psychically communicating with the victim. The person playing the ghost tries to lead the psychics to the correct culprit.
Each player investigates a case to determine who the murderer is. Psychics collect clues through visions sent by the ghost. Can they identify the murder weapon, the site of the crime scene, and the killer? Or will the murderer get away?
Unlike some of the other murder mystery board games, this one has high variability and replay value. With dozens of suspect character cards, murder weapons, and crime scenes, no two games are the same.
If you’re looking for a new challenge, however, there are expansion packs available for purchase. These expansions still require the base game to play.
Buyers found Mysterium to be engrossing. They liked the collaborative gameplay and the spooky theme. They also liked the haunted house theme and the accompanying artwork.
This is a great game for families, as well. Despite the theme, you don’t have to worry about gore or gruesome details. It’s a pretty straightforward deduction game.
This game is more entertaining with 4-7 players, due to the increased interaction. The person playing the ghost cannot speak, so I wouldn’t put your most talkative person in that role.
The ghost also has a more complicated role, so it’s best to put a more experienced player in that spot.
Some of the rules can be vague in spots, but it’s nothing that house rules can’t clear up in a cinch. Many people compared this to a more complicated, souped-up version of Clue.
The excellent player reviews and the high replay value make this one of the best murder mystery board games.
- Fully cooperative
- High replay value
- Expansion packs available
- Easy to learn
- Quality pieces and components
- Not as fun for 2-3 players
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, The Thames Murders: Best for Solo Play
Playing Time: 90 minutes
Assist your favorite mastermind detective in this thrilling murder mystery board game. In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders, players work together as a team of detectives to gather clues and solve mysteries.
Each player acts as a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, the ragtag group of boy detectives who help Sherlock Holmes solve crimes.
You and your fellow investigators solve mysterious cases by interviewing suspects, searching newspapers, and walking the streets for clues.
This game comes with 10 epic cases to solve, all set in Victorian London. These include The Thames Murders, The Mummy’s Curse, The Munitions Magnate, The Pilfered Paintings, and more.
The objective is to solve the mystery in as few steps as possible. Once you think you’ve got the answer, open the envelope to see if you solved the crime as quickly as Sherlock Holmes did.
Fair warning, however. I’ve never heard of anyone beating Sherlock. The cases are challenging, so most people are happy enough to solve the crimes correctly.
Unfortunately, you can’t replay the cases. But since nothing is destroyed during play, many people choose to gift the game to a friend after solving all 10 cases.
The cooperative game is perfect for game nights with friends or family. It requires attention to detail, strategy, and your best deduction skills.
Don’t have a game night planned anytime soon? No worries. Several buyers confirmed that Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective works well as a solo player game.
Multiple reviewers recommended a writing pad to keep track of the clues and the places you visit. The map and booklets are high-quality and add a Victorian feel to the game experience.
There is a lot of reading during gameplay, which might be a good thing or a drawback, depending on the person. There are no game pieces, either. Just the booklets, map, and solution envelopes.
I recommend this board game to anyone who enjoys reading, sifting through clues, and taking on difficult puzzles.
- Plays well solo or in groups
- Includes 10 epic cases
- Challenging gameplay
- High-quality map and books
- Good player interaction
- Can’t replay the cases
- Heavy on reading
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Jack the Ripper: Best Challenging Game
Playing Time: 90 minutes
Move aside, Scotland Yard! Based on the fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper is a captivating mystery game of deduction.
This is another installment in the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective series. It comes with 10 epic cases, including six classic cases especially reworked for the new series.
The other four cases are connected mysteries that challenge you to stop the murders of the notorious Jack the Ripper. Find Jack and stop him from taking any more lives.
Play solitaire or in a group for a cooperative experience. Take on the role of members of the Baker Street Irregulars and interview suspects, search the newspapers, and walk the streets of Victorian London for clues.
Your goal is to crack the case as quickly as possible. Sherlock solves cases in as few steps as possible. Can you match wits with the legendary sleuth?
After solving the case, check the envelope to see if you solved the crime as quickly as Sherlock Holmes.
This game has players exploring the city of London and collecting clues. It might be helpful to have a notepad for writing down notes and keeping track of locations. For instance, can the
Beware of red herrings. There are plenty of them, which frustrated some buyers. But others felt like it was part of the fun.
It’s also important to note that the game won’t fill in all the details regarding the crime. So even after you solve it, you still have to create your own story from the clues you gathered.
Some people enjoyed this unique feature of the game, while it left others frustrated.
This is not the best option for beginners, and several reviewers felt like it’s best with fewer, not more players. That being said, if you enjoy reading and solving puzzles, this game will provide a lot of entertainment.
Once you’ve solved all the cases, I recommend passing it on to a friend or selling it. You won’t be able to replay the cases.
- Plays well solo or in a group
- Entertaining, challenging
- Includes 10 cases to solve
- High-quality game materials
- High level of player interaction
- Can’t replay the cases
- Not ideal for beginners
Scooby-Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion: Best for Family Game Nights
Playing Time: 100 minutes
Scooby-Doo and the Mystery, Inc. gang are back at it in this entertaining game of intrigue and nostalgia.
In Scooby Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion, players step into the roles of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and Fred as they solve the mystery of Lady Fairmont’s ghost. In the process, they’re also trying to escape a haunted house.
This is a Coded Chronicles game, which means it’s designed as an at-home escape room kit that contains everything you need.
Players work together to unlock clues and solve puzzles, revealing codes in the process. Each game offers a unique storyline.
There are two parts (“chapters”) to the game, so you can break in between or play it through in one sitting. If you have younger players, the break might combat shorter attention spans.
The game components are fun and colorful, although the character pieces are simply folded cardboard. It would have been nice to have plastic minis.
Nevertheless, reviewers were pleased with this game. They found it highly entertaining. This game takes elements from escape room games with mystery games, and many people enjoyed the blend.
While this game can be played solo or with up to six players, many found the perfect number of players to be five, one for each character. Of course, that does come down to personal preference.
Scooby Doo Escape from the Haunted Mansion is the perfect game for fans of the classic cartoon or for those who enjoy mystery games and escape rooms.
- Fun cooperative game
- Colorful game components
- Great for all ages
- Challenging puzzles
- It can be played in one sitting or over two nights
- Not for replay
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong: Best Card Version
Playing Time: 20 minutes
Can you get away with murder? In Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, players find themselves in a scenario of intrigue, murder, deduction, and deception.
One player acts as the murderer, secretly choosing their murder weapon and the evidence they leave behind.
Another player is the forensic scientist who holds the key evidence to convict the criminal. But there’s a twist! This player can only express their knowledge through analysis of the crime scene.
The rest of the players are detectives, interpreting the clues to solve the crime… with the killer among them.
The investigators collaborate and use their wits, hunches, and skills of deduction to correctly identify the means of murder and the evidence to convict the killer.
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong features fast-paced gameplay and supports a large number of players, so it’s great for a party. It’s also easy to learn, so you can play it with almost anyone.
Deception is a combination of social deduction games and murder mystery games. Some people compared this to a cross between Clue and One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
Reviewers raved about this game. They enjoyed the fast-paced play, the table talk, the role-playing, and the fun mechanics.
Several did say it’s more fun to play with more players, so this isn’t probably the best pick for a small group.
However, with a large number of players, it can be tough to see some of the Clues and Means cards if they’re spread out since they’re quite small. I found 8 players to be the sweet spot.
The game depends heavily on the forensic scientist, so I’d pick an experienced player for that role.
If you enjoy card games, deduction games, or party games, you’ll enjoy Deception: Murder in Hong Kong.
- Social deduction game
- Quick playing time
- Supports large playing group
- High replayability
- Some cards are small, tough to see
Betrayal at House on the Hill, 3rd Edition: Best Haunted Mansion Game
Playing Time: 60-90 minutes
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a classic mystery game full of spooky fun. This exciting 3rd Edition features elements and characters not seen in the original game.
In this haunted house semi-cooperative game, players must work together to survive the nightmare. But beware! The house turns one player against the other players. Can you find the traitor?
The House on the Hill sits abandoned, and a fearless group of explorers has been drawn to the house to discover its dark secrets.
Betrayal is a narrative-driven role-playing game, so players assume the role of one of the explorers.
The modular tiles to construct the mansion adds high variability to each game. Plus, this board game features 50 unique scenarios, so it offers a new, terrifying experience each time you play.
The rules are a bit more streamlined from previous versions, and the artwork is more colorful. But if you’ve played the other editions, you’ll have no trouble picking up the 3rd edition.
Reviewers praised Betrayal at House on the Hill, citing the ability to play it over and over again as one of the primary reasons. They also liked the traitor mechanic, which comes into play during the second half of the game.
There is a bit of a learning curve to this board game, but once you get past that initial curve, it’s loads of fun.
A few people reported receiving damaged boxes. I recommend giving the box a good once-over upon receipt.
If you like an immersive storyline with plenty of mystery, you’ll enjoy Betrayal at House on the Hill.
- Semi-cooperative gameplay
- Good traitor mechanic
- High replay value
- Neat artwork
- Reports of damaged boxes
Clue Junior: Best for Young Children
Playing Time: 30 minutes
If you’d like to introduce your children to mystery board games, you can’t beat this one. Clue Junior is a kid-friendly version of the classic detective game.
With a minimum recommended age of 5, kids can experience the thrill of detective stories in a format designed for young players.
Instead of solving a murder, players must solve the mystery of the broken toy. Players must use strategy and the process of elimination to solve who broke the toy, where they broke it, and what time it was broken.
The chunky dice and miniatures make it easy for younger players to roll this die and move the game pieces.
The detective board sheets are picture-based instead of word-based, so children don’t have to be able to read to play the game. Of course, you can always “team up” with a child if they struggle to play without help.
While this board game won’t be intellectually stimulating for most adults, it does make a great choice for a family game session or a fun activity to do with your kids on a rainy day.
Some reviewers felt the game was a bit long for children. If your child has a short attention span, they might struggle to sit still for the entire game. I recommend splitting it up, in that case.
Still, Clue Junior is the ideal game for your little detectives in the making.
- Great for kids
- Larger dice & game pieces
- Picture-based clue boards
- Simple rules
- Helps develop problem-solving skills
- Not challenging for older players
- A bit lengthy
Clue: Treachery at Tudor Mansion: Best Escape Room-Style Game
Playing Time: 90 minutes
Variations of the original detective game Clue have been around for decades. I remember playing Master Detective Game with my family when I was young.
Clue: Treachery at Tudor Mansion is a modern spin-off game that offers the suspense and intrigue of the classic game in a dynamic format.
Instead of having players compete, this version has players work together and use sleuthing skills to escape the mansion before the police detectives arrive.
Players move their pawns around the board and visit locations. The board builds and changes, revealing rooms and clues as players solve puzzles that unlock the mansion.
Just like in the original game, you must figure out the who, where, and with what to win. Collect evidence for the final solution. The more clues players gather, the easier it is to make the correct accusation.
This is an immersive, cinematic murder mystery board game. It’s great for a game night with friends or as a solo game.
That being said, you can only play through one time. After that, the fun is ruined. But you can pass it on to a friend since you don’t destroy any pieces.
And if you are experienced with escape rooms, you might not find this challenging enough. Several reviewers found it to be on the easy side. Despite that, many said the game was pretty fun.
If you like cooperative games, escape games, and mystery board games, you’ll like Clue: Treachery at Tudor Mansion.
- Escape room format
- Collaborative play
- A dynamic board that changes in the game
- Fun Clue theme and characters
- Can only play once
- Not as challenging for experienced gamers
Murder Mystery Games: Buying Guide
If you’re considering a board game in the mystery genre, there are a few must-have features.
First, the game must have an engaging theme. Whether it’s a haunted house, fiction-based murder, or features the occult, there must be a “hook” to whet your gaming appetite.
Next, every good mystery board game includes clues to collect or puzzles to solve. Otherwise, what’s the point, am I right?
Finally, high-quality game materials and clear instructions are non-negotiable. They can make or break a game. Mystery games can take many different directions, so understanding how to play is essential to having the most fun.
Best Mystery Board Game: Final Verdict
If you want to play one of the best mystery board games, I would grab Mysterium. It’s a fun murder mystery game that has wide appeal, an interesting backstory, and cooperative gameplay with a unique ghost role.