Team building – murder mystery activities

We’re often asked what sorts of other “team building” activities can be bolted into murder mystery games to encourage team work during a corporate team building day.  It’s important to understand that a murder mystery is team building in and of itself (details about that are on another blog post… just look under the “team building” category for a full list of team building ideas).  However, we bow to the request… and so, we’ve included some other mystery themed suggestions which are easy to add into team building days.

 

Team building activities – with a murder mystery theme

Many of the following activities require prior planning and setting up before the event.

 

Find the fingerprints:

Fingerprint the team to discover at least 1 whorl, 1 arch and 1 loop and one other “interesting feature” as detailed in the investigation sheet.

 

Blood splatter analysis:

Hand out a series of blood splatters (ink blots) to the team. They need to either:

  1. Draw an animal on the ink blot and then put it back into the pile – and everyone has to decide who drew what.
  2. Try to convince everyone else in the room that we see what they see in their ink blot.

 

Evidence gathering:

You create a list of evidence you want the candidates to gather e.g. a left shoe, a shoe lace, a sock, a necklace, a watch etc (create a long list of possible items). They have to find and get the item to you under 5 seconds, or work through the list of 20 items within 1-2 minutes to qualify for a clue.

 

Draw the victim

Everyone has to draw the deceased from a description presented to them by one of the team at the front of the room. He/she has to describe the photograph in front of him/her, to see if anyone gets a similar likeness when drawing.

 

Draw the crime scene

Create a crime scene at your venue and allow the guests a set time limit to review the crime scene – after which they must try to provide an accurate drawing of the room, location of all the objects in relation to each other.

They can work as a team and have someone drawing on white board, while the others describe the room.

You can then check it with a photo taken of the real scene.

 

Name the clues

Like a memory game, only this time the group has to list every clue object within the crime scene room after they’ve visited. The more clues they accurately remember the more information they get before their next suspect.

 

Cuff me

Like the traditional untying game where everyone stands in a circle and holds hands with someone across from them, and they have to untangle themselves. But you can do it with 10 pairs of handcuffs to add the criminal dimension if you want to!

Handcuffs can be a bit tight but they give you a little more wriggle room between people, and no one has to hold hands!

 

 

Draw round me

Pair up and each pair draws around the other person on the floor. Each “body outline” is then labelled with the appropriate person’s name and tacked to the wall and people take it in turns to write something complimentary on the outline e.g. I admire the way you handle difficult customers.” “I like your hair” etc – it’s a really good way for positive affirmation within the group.

OR

After drawing around everyone, pick up the outlines and everyone has to guess who’s belongs to who.

OR

If you know the teams in advance, then use a head shot to create a silhouette, and have “guess the head” for each team.

 

Group decoding

Set them all on with a decoding task. It should be a message in code, with NO decryption information, but one that’s possible to solve.

Leave a little guidance on how to crack codes e.g. E is the most common letter in the alphabet. “The” is the most common word. Etc. – there are details on the internet of how to crack cyphers and you can print these out in advance to give them more hints.

 

Famous detective pairs (Who am I?)

Give the teams pairs of names e.g. Barnaby and Jones; Sherlock and Watson, Hercule and Hastings and see if they can find their matching pair by only answering “yes” or “no” to questions they are asked. (works best if the stickers are on their forehead so they can’t see their own name).

 

Don’t contaminate the crime scene.

Everyone has to get from one side of the room to the other contaminating it as little as possible e.g. with the minimum amount of feet on the floor. (this will involve some carrying etc).

OR

You can have someone be a “corpse” and they have to get the corpse from one end of the room to the other over and around obstacles, e.g. you can segment the room, and whoever stands on the floor in that space can’t cross a certain line – so the fewer who “stand” on that floor with their feet the more of the team will reach the finish line.

 

 

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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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