Friday, February 17, 2012

A Clue To-Do Murder Mystery Scavenger

Throwing parties can be a great way to get all your busy friends together. It's easy to come up with ideas around the big holidays - New Year's Eve, Halloween, 4th of July - but finding a reason to throw a party anytime can sometimes be difficult. I had looked into throwing a Murder Mystery Party at my home, but the scripted banter just seemed too complicated, especially when you add wine. I liked the idea behind it, but was looking for something a little easier, that my group of friends could all get into.

That's when I came up with the Clue theme. As a fan of the movie and the board game I was thrilled when my friends were just as excited about the idea as I was. I sent out fancy invitations to each of the guests (I used wedding invitations I found on clearance from Michael's), complete with their characters and a description for them to follow when picking out a costume. The secret identities were a lot of fun for all the guests involved, and everyone had fun digging around for the perfect costume, and taking on their new persona. I did have to use some extra characters, and tried to take the basis for the characters from other Clue games.

I put together some toy weapons, and boxed them up for each guest. When they arrived they were greeted by poster sized images of themselves, done up like Clue cards posted in the front hall. I used Facebook to get a nice photo of each guest, and it was really a fun and easy addition to the party.

Once the guests had all arrived it was time to set the plan in motion. I had a couple people working with me to make the party move along, but I was the only one who knew the identity of the killer. As we stood around the fancy food and drink we suddenly heard a scream ring out from the pantry. True to the movie I encouraged everyone to head to the pantry to see what the commotion was.

It was Yvette, she was screaming in the pantry because she was afraid to be trapped in the house with a killer. The guests were a bit confused at this point because no one had been killed yet. As we returned to Dining Room we found Mrs. White dead on the couch. She had been poisoned!

It was time to start the adventure. We drew straws to partner up, again true to the movie. It worked out perfectly, we had 18 guests, nine rooms, and 18 murder weapons. Each of the teams were given a list with all the rooms, guests, and weapons, and were assigned to a room to begin the search.

As they made their way into the room they found a pile of scavenger clues. Once they figured out a clue they found a card (I used the board game cards as a template), which they could then use to cross off an item on their list, just like in the game. There was one bonus riddle in each room, which allowed for a hint at the end of the game.

As the teams made their way around the rooms they crossed more and more items off their list. The teams had a lot of fun working with each other, and the competition kept things interesting. At the end of the game only one team had found all the clues and was declared the winner. We didn't use any prizes, bragging rights were enough, but it would have been fun to give a game or movie to the winners.

We added to the theme of the party by playing the movie in the background and laying out the game on the coffee table. True to the movie we kept the atmosphere fancy, but rather than a dinner we just went with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The personalization of the player cards also added to the fun.

Most of the riddles on the scavenger cards came from Google searches, and will depend on the age of the players, as well as the items you have in that particular room. For example if you have a clue hidden in a telephone book: "Now find the next clue, no time to play games, look for a book full of numbers and names." Check out below for a few pictures of the night from Amy/Adam.

An example of some Clue cards.

Susan as Mrs. White.

Joey as Mr. Boddy.

Galyn as Miss Scarlet and Amy as the Singing Telegram Girl.

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