Escape room or murder mystery? Which do you choose for your office?

In recent years we’ve seen an explosion of escape room / lock in rooms across the world.  People who pay either individually or as a small group to be locked into a room within in a house with only 60 minutes to solve a puzzle to escape.   Despite what it seems, it’s not completely “new”.  It’s actually an adapted live version of something we all knew as the “Crystal Maze” back in the 90s.

Puzzle solving is something we’ve enjoyed since “cosy” murder mystery fiction sprang into being back in the early 1900s, and crime fiction is still incredibly popular with both adults and children alike.

There has always been an element of the crossword puzzle about murder mystery novels.  Clues left within the chapters leading you towards the inevitable outcome.  With the reader trying to work out who killed who and why before they reach the final denouement.  However, crosswords and novels are very much a singular pursuit, whereas games are much more about a collective experience.

Our adult murder mystery games are in essence a more accessible format of the escape room / clue quest style games.  You can run them yourself at a fraction of the price of an escape room and there’s no need to book!  You can take part with more than 5 friends, in fact you can have up to 20 all taking a role, and they’re even instantly deliverable which means you can decide at the very last minute to play a game with friends.

As a team building venture, murder mystery games are far more accessible than escape rooms, accommodating more people and without the limitations of time and space forced on a company with the modern day quest rooms.

We take corporate bookings each month for team building and corporate entertainment.  Our clients use murder mysteries as a way of entertaining multi-national groups as the murder mystery genre spans the cultural divide much easier than a standard theatre production, and corporate groups use murder mysteries for team building to give their staff groups a real hands on experience to encourage them to work as a team, and give them a shared experience they will talk about for weeks to come.

We’ve worked with big multi-national organisations to provide event experiences in the UK and abroad, either fully cast, or using their own team as the suspects.  With the ability to create games in-house we’ve provided custom kits to include plots from within a client’s own industry and workforce, worked out how to run a murder mystery across continents over a conference call, and included some forensic hands on experience and SOCO suits to give a more authentic experience.  We’ve written games for firms in the USA and even helped create a fundraising game for a charity who was hosting the Melbourne Cup during it’s tour of Australia.

We’ve been hired by councils, teaching conferences, shipping and logistics firms, telecommunication providers, some multi-national companies you would probably never have heard of, and a few we can’t mention by name that you would have!  We’ve also worked with private schools and colleges looking for something educational to add to the student curriculum, and the general public looking for something special for a hen party, birthday, wedding and family get together.

So… if you’re looking at escape rooms as a team building idea for your friends, family or work colleagues and are struggling to find a way to make these work for you given the size of your group, or the time you have available, why not consider a murder mystery as an alternative experience.  You can download a 6 player murder mystery game at a fraction of the cost of a typical lock in room and you will have between 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours of fun over a meal.  ( Price comparison today has a lock in room at £89-£109 for 3-5 people for an hours entertainment, and a two week waiting list – a 6 player downloadable game is £19.99 and available instantly! )

If you’re looking to see what sort of thing we can do when it comes to murder mystery team building experiences and custom writing of kits – why not check out the on-line murder mystery game created from a murder mystery we put together for the Museums at Night experience in 2014 below.  That murder mystery game can be played individually and unlike the lock in escape room – is totally free to play!




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RT @GeorginaGrogan_: Had a great new playing murder mystery from @Redherringgames!
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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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