Can You Get to the Heart of the Case in Mystery Detective? | Casual Game Revolution

Can You Get to the Heart of the Case in Mystery Detective?

Mystery Detective

A woman dies because she was on the phone too long…can you figure out why with some careful yes or no questions?

Mystery Detective is a mystery puzzle party game for ages 14 and up, published by Add-A-Game. With 100 cases published in the first volume, the company has also released Mystery Detective Vol. 2: Funny Death and Real Life Cases.


One player takes on the role of police captain and everyone else plays the detectives. The captain takes a card from the deck. First, the captain reads the front of the card, which has the title of the case, an image, and one or two lines of text to set up the case. Then the captain reads the back. He must be careful not to allow the other players to see the back of the card. The back explains exactly what happened in the case.

The rest of the players are allowed to read the front of the card and look at the illustration. Working together, they then ask the captain yes or no questions, trying to figure out what happened in the case. The captain can only answer yes, no, close, or not relevant.

Typically, the text that sets the scene will follow the lines of ‘a person did X and then Y happened’, with the connection between the two events being very unclear. The solutions to the cases are often unusual and can border on the bizarre. Players have to get creative with their questions, and the captain is allowed to give hints if the detectives get stuck.

Mystery Detective Components


Mystery Detective can be a lot of fun once you understand the concept of the game and get a hang of how kooky the stories are that you are trying to deduce. It’s fun to bounce ideas around with the other detectives, and fun to slowly zero in on the stories, especially when you manage to solve one of the more imaginative ones.

Part of the point of the game is that those opening lines of text can both give you a clue for what lines of questioning you should start on, while also being vague enough to be extremely mystifying when you start out. There’s no possibility to solve the mystery solely from the set-up, illustration, and title. Putting them together can help point you in the direction your questions should take you, but the questions and narrowing down your options bit by bit, is really where you’re going to start piecing the story together.

The majority of these stories do involve death, and some of them get quite dark or macabre. There are references to murders, accidental deaths, suicides, and more. These themes and scenarios are not meant to be taken seriously, but it’s still not going to sit well with all players and will make some people uncomfortable. So be sure of your audience before pulling this one out, and it’s definitely not a family-friendly game.

If you don’t have an issue with the subject matter, this can make for a great game for a group. While you can play with two, the detectives are less likely to get stuck with multiple players to bounce ideas off of, and the format of this game also makes it something you can easily play on the go. It’s even something everyone in a car could play, driver included. It’s a very laid back, little brain teaser that is perfect to throw in your glove compartment.

Pros: Very portable, good for travel and large groups, fun to slowly put the stories together

Cons: Not for families, dark themes

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.