Well, it’s been quite the year so it only makes that solving a murder mystery in the privacy of your own home is where we’re all at these days. Toss in a monthly subscription service and, well, you’ve got yourself a party!
We’re always big fans of anything that brings people together, gets everyone off their devices, and completes a fun activity together. On the heels of the Escape the Room popularity is new murder mystery box craze. Whether it’s just a one-time trend during a pandemic or a trend that’s here to stay, one thing is for sure. Everyone is doing it.
These murder mystery games are basically monthly subscription services that delivers a fun (and fake) murder to solve each and every month. Many of these are a “one and done” where you start and solve the mystery all in one game play. There are some others, however, that are more intricate and more clues will be sent to you as the months go on. So, there’s really something for everyone – from beginners and the younger kids to adults who are basically addicted to episodes of Dateline (it’s always the husband).
There are a ton of new brands that are entering this market but, as of now, the gold standard is the brand Hunt a Killer. They’ve recently gotten so popular that they’re generating more than $5M a month! And, as more and more families are trying to find fun ways to spend more quality time together (and get off their devices) experts are predicting that the tabletop game/at-home game market will reach more than $20 billion (yes, billion!) by the year 2025. So if you’re ready to up upgrade some of your older board games and are ready to get interactive, it’s probably time to give these murder mysteries a go!
The one really important thing to note is that not all murder mysteries are created equal and they’re not all for everyone in the family. Some are geared more towards kids and others are 100% not for kids. That’s what makes these really so fun – there’s something for everyone out there. We’ve found some that kids can basically solve on their own (maybe with a little help from their parents) and then there’s other ones that you and your adult friends will have a blast doing with some of your favorite adult beverages involved.
While we didn’t try all of them (we wish!), we did try a couple of them. So, what’s our verdict?
If you love interactive games and love a high pressure situation that you’d experience with Escape the Room, you’re going to love this. So, we say do it!
However, we’re not sure if a monthly subscription is for everyone. It’s not really for us. We’re more of a “let’s do this once in a while” type of player. So, do you need the monthly subscription? That’s up to you. Most services allow you to pause or cancel your subscription so you’re not locked in. But, either way, these are really fun!
If you’re looking to give this a go, check out our picks for some of the best murder mystery boxes and games (so far) in 2023.
Death at a Dive Bar Murder Mystery Game
Hunt a Killer
Amazon Ratings: +3,400
For the Immersive Game Fans
Hunt a Killer is one of the top selling brands in this space and this one is currently one of the highest rated on Amazon. With this game you’ll have to piece the clues together, crack the codes, go through all the evidence, comb over all the details doing old-fashioned detective work, and then solve the crime. This is a big hit for older teenagers too! On average, most can solve this anywhere between 45 – 60 minutes. No pressure! Learn more here!
Cosy Killer: The Armchair Sleuth
For the Longtime Players
Another popular pick for those who are really into this type of thing. This monthly game will last you a year so you’ll look forward to playing each and every month. It also comes with vintage memorabilia, puzzles, codes to crack, suspects, fake suspects, backstories and so much more. Oddly this is a top seller in Belgium right now. So jump on it before you can’t get it! Learn more here!
A Killing Affair
A Killing Affair
For the Classic Binge Watcher
This one is like binging your favorite TV series, where you’ll start with episode 1 of season 1 and work your way through to solve the murder. You’ll all have a blast working with secret messages, hidden clues (be on the lookout!), puzzles, ciphers, and more. There’s even an online interactive experience to help eliminate suspects. Learn more here!
The Moon Summit Mystery Box
Hunt a Killer
Amazon Ratings: +3,400
For the Totally Impatient
Another huge hit from Hunt a Killer, the Moon Summit is perfect for anywhere between 1 – 4 players (or more if you have some younger kids playing along). And, if you’re impatient like us and don’t want to wait every month for more clues, this complete set comes with everything you’ll need for basically 6-months worth of play. All at once! Learn more here!
The Cold Case Murder Mystery
Unsolved Case Files
Amazon Ratings: +2,200
For the Game Night Crew
A really fun option (and less commitment oriented than some others). This time around you’re trying to crack a cold case of the murder of Jamie Banks. Solve 3 different mysteries to totally crack open the case! It has over 50 different photos, documents, etc to help you figure this all out. There are online answer keys so you’ll have to prove that you solved it, making you accountable and, um, knowing if you actually solved it. Learn more here!
At Home Murder Mystery Night
For the Younger Players
We tossed this one in because it’s a fan favorite for families with younger kids who want to play along and, well, it’s less intense than some others. You can your friends/fam will have to help solve the Full House Theater murder! It comes with 1920’s inspired name cards, trait cards, murder weapon props, forms, files, and so much more. Perfect for up to 12 players! Learn more here!
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