A Peek at the Fun: Have you heard of the Murder in the Dark Game? It’s a really fun game to play with older kiddos, youth and adults! And so simple to add to your next party.
I know that murder in the dark sounds more like a nightmare than a fun party game…but trust me, it’s a blast to play. I play this murder in the dark game with my family all of the time and it’s so fun. Plus, it’s so simple to put together and requires no planning. And is perfect for large groups.
I will show you how I play, and give you some ways to tweak it depending on who you are playing with.
Fun Murder in the Dark Game:
Murder in the Dark is basically a suspenseful hide and go seek game played in the dark with a little mystery of who is “killing” off the players.
It’s played in the dark, with a designated “murderer” and it’s up to the rest of the players to discover who the guilty person is while trying to stay alive.
My family and I started to play this game when the youngest child was 10 and he loved it. I’m not sure I would recommend playing with younger kids because it’s played in the dark and could get scary. With that being said, you need to know your audience and cater the rules to them.
- Any Type of Cards: Face Cards, Uno Cards, Old Maid…anything will work. You will need one card for each player.
- A place to place that is big enough for a group to walk around, and is free from things on the ground so your players won’t trip. This can be played outside, in a house, or any building.
How to play Murder in the Dark-
First things first, decide which card is the “murder” card. For instance, if you are playing with face cards you can choose the ace of spades to be the “murder” card (or the reverse card with Uno, or the Old Maid…you get the idea). This card will determine who will be the murderer in each round of the Murder in the Dark Game.
- Establish a gathering point (if you are playing in a home you may choose the family room to be your gathering place) this will be the place everyone will come to when the round is finished.
- When the players are gathered, place the cards face down on a table (laying out one card per player). Each player will select a card and look at it, but doesn’t show anyone else. Only the murder card matters, the rest of the cards means you will playing as a “civilian.” Once the players have looked at their cards, gather them back up and set them aside. Make sure to let the group know what card is the murder card before they choose their cards. We want to make sure the murderer knows who they are! 🙂
- While all your players are gathered, explain the rules including the playing area. For example, you may want the bathrooms to be “off limits” or any other rooms you don’t want players in. You will also want to decide how the murderer will do their murders. Some examples could include a tap on the head or shoulder or a pretend slit of the throat (again, cater to your crowd and decide what will work best).
- Once the rules have been explained and the cards chosen you are ready to start the round.
Playing Murder in the Dark Party Game:
- Turn lights off (we keep a couple lights on in places like stairs, or just a few night lights around so the players can see a little bit). Everyone can go their own way. If you are playing with nervous players or younger players they may want to go in pairs. But beware, Danetta once hid with her “nervous” 10 year old son who was actually the murderer. Needless to say, she was out of the game quickly!
- Civilian Rules: There are several strategies you can use here. Some people may want to find a great hiding place and wait for the round to be done, staying out of sight the entire time. While others may want to walk around, trying to see what is happening so they can figure out who the “murderer” is. Some people like to stay seen, thinking they can escape being murdered because there are too many witnesses. There is no talking allowed during the round.
- If a civilian comes upon another player who is not moving they ask that player if they are “dead.” That player can answer with a simple yes or no. If the answer is no, the other player moves on not revealing their hiding spot, if the answer is yes, the player who is alive yells “Murder in the Dark.” At that time, all players return to the gathering point (including any players who were “murdered” during the round).
- Murderer Rules: The murderer gives no indication they are the murderer. They will leave when all of the other players leave. The objective for the murderer is to get as many people as possible per round. The murderer wins if they can get all players before they are discovered. There are several strategies for the murderer. They can hide in once place, murdering players as they come by. Or they may want to walk around to discover where the other players are. The main objective is to remain undiscovered as the murderer. The actual murder happens when the murderer gets a player alone and then uses the signal previously decided. At that point, the murderer can tell that player to move within a 3 foot area (the murderer may want to hide the player so they won’t be easily discovered). The murderer then moves on to more players.
How to Win This Fun Party Game:
- Once all of the players have gathered, the murdered players will gather so you know how many people were murdered. They can’t say ANYTHING! The remaining players (including the murderer) then discuss who is the guilty party. The players discuss anything they want for 2 minutes. They may want to ask where the body was found at which point another player may know who was around that specific room. The players will use that 2 minutes to decide who is guilty. After the time is up, a vote is taken. When the majority votes on a specific player, that player then admits if they are the murderer. If they are, the game is over and another game can begin by selecting new cards. If the accused is not the murderer, they are out of the game and sit with the other murdered players during the next round (they all stay in the gathering area during the next round). The next round then begins and the process is repeated until the murderer is discovered or everyone is dead.
It’s such a fun game to play! My family plays this at family reunions, parties, really anytime they are together. Such fun!
Have FUN playing this fun party game!
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