Perhaps the hardest part in setting up this Murder Mystery evening after rescuing a box-set (sealed in cellophane) from a charity shop was locating a cassette tape player so we could listen to Inspector Flapper McClue’s wisdom. If you’re too young to know what a cassette player is then… never mind!
In the first class dining car of a train stuck in a snowdrift, the assembled crowd of spies, nuns, racing enthusiasts and promoters took it upon themselves to solve the murder of a champion jockey. Intrigue and secrets abound!
A lot of the fun of these role-playing games comes from people really getting into it, and this teaches us a lot about how easy it is for someone to ‘puncture’ your group play if they treat it with disdain or as if it isn’t worth committing to. Thankfully, this group really got into it (look at that nun’s habit!) and stayed in character, except when – my fault – confusion reigned about what we were supposed to be doing next.
The game takes place in a series of conversations, firstly where precise lines are given in personalised booklets, and then in a period where people are able to question one another, and find out information through improvised discussion. It’s a format that works well to help everyone to take part, and some people to really show off their acting as well as quick-thinking skills.
It’s a straight-up certainty in these games that everyone will have a motive for killing the victim, though at least in this one you didn’t end up feeling thoroughly glad someone had, and with no real desire to work out who had put an end to the life of the despicable monster that you uncover through your conversations. We talk and eat and drink and drink. And eventually lay down our accusations.
Turns out I was the murderer (you don’t discover till half way through). Quite a few people pointed the finger at me, but I think by the rules I evaded capture – because too many others thought the nun was inherently suspicious. Tells you something, no?
Make crime pay. Become a lawyer. – Will Rogers
Ease of play: 5/10
Resemblance to play: 7/10
Potential frequency of play: Low