Daggerville: Easy-to-Organize Murder Mystery Parties | Casual Game Revolution

Daggerville: Easy-to-Organize Murder Mystery Parties


Last month we reported on Et Tu?, a murder mystery generator that was being crowdfunded on Kickstarter (which, by the way, successfully reached its funding goal). On a similar note, we recently learned of a new website, Daggerville, which hosts a number of murder mystery scenarios that are distributed digitally.

If you are unfamiliar with murder mystery games, Wikipedia provides the following definition:

Murder mystery games are generally party games wherein one of the partygoers is secretly, and unknowingly, playing a murderer, and the other attendees must determine who among them is the criminal. This may involve the actual 'murders' of guests throughout the game, or may open with a 'death' and have the rest of the time devoted to investigation.

Murder mysteries parties are a great way to spend an exciting evening with friends, particulary those who enjoy acting. Players usually dress the part and maintain their character throughout the evening. Pre-scripted scenarios are often played in sections, with a bit more information about the players and recent events revealed each time, followed by a group discussion. The object is to try to figure out who the murderer is, which is often made more difficult by the fact that nearly every player has the motive and means to commit the murder.

Murder mysteries usually come in boxed sets (such as the How to Host a Murder or Murder Mystery Party lines) or as downloadable PDFs. Boxed sets include invitations that are physically sent to each player, along with name tags, player aids, scripts, and sometimes CDs and other supporting materials. Downloadable versions contain digital equivalents, relying on the purchaser to email out the invitations.

Daggerville takes the downloadable option a bit further by emailing invitations and character scripts directly to each player. The solution is also sent out to either the organizer of the party or another contact (which should not be read until the script instructs players to do so). To organize a party, simply fill in the names and email addresses of the invitees, provide a brief message, and the rest is taken care of. This certainly adds an element of surprise to the gathering, as not even the organizer is aware of the characters and their personalities ahead of time.

What a good murder mystery game comes down to, however, is how well-written and well-thought-out it is. Is it easy to follow or too confusing? Is it challenging or too obvious? Are the characters likeable or bland? Is it fun or boring? We haven't yet had the opportunity to give the Daggerville mysteries a try, and just reading through them would not do them justice - they really must be played with the full number of players to get the true experience. Fortunately, they are free for a limited time - so there's really nothing to lose.

If you have a chance to play the Daggerville mysteries, please let us know how you like them in the comments below!