The Best Mystery Board Games That Will Put The Heebie In Your Jeebies

The Best Mystery Board Games That Will Put The Heebie In Your Jeebies
At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Have you ever wondered which of your friends would make the better detective or even best liar? Well, prepare your alibis because we’ve rounded up the best mystery board games that’ll test your skills of deduction and leave your head in a tizzy.

Whether you’re planning on hosting a board game night, or perhaps a murder mystery party, no night would be complete without a few of these games under your arm. From sorting through pieces of evidence, assuming a new identity or escaping a house of horrors, there’s something in here for everybody.

So, hop on into the Mystery Machine, grab your magnifying glass and bring your best poker face – the hunt is on and the night is young.

The best mystery board games to play with friends


If you’re into the supernatural, you’re going to froth Mysterium. While most of the following mystery games with force you to investigate a disappearance or a dead body, Mysterium instead transforms you into a psychic who can convene with trapped spirits.

Along with your fellow mediums, you have been summoned to Mr. MacDowell’s new home to help an amnesia-ridden ghost learn how it died. Since the ghost can’t remember how it was murdered, you’ll need to hold a seance and decipher the cards to learn who was the murder, what was the weapon used and where they were killed.

The game itself lasts for around 40 minutes and can support up to seven players, making it perfect for a post-dinner party game or even something to save for Halloween later this year.

Exit The Game: Nightfall Manor

If you’ve been into a board game shop, you’ve probably spotted numerous renditions of Exit: The Game, from The Forgotten Island to Dead Man on the Orient Express and even Shadows over Middle Earth for any Lord of the Rings fans reading this right now.

The Nightfall Manor edition blends riddles with jigsaw puzzles to create a whole new challenge that can only be played once. In this mystery-laden game, you’ll embark on a quest to a spooky mansion in search of an old man who never returned. It’s giving major Gothic vibes, so it’s the perfect choice for Castlevania or Dracula fans.

Chronicles of Crime

Next up is Chronicles of Crime, a mystery board game that combines crime investigation and VR.

By downloading an app, you’ll use your phone to scan the QR codes on different physical components, from the board to locations, characters and items, revealing new clues at every turn. This gives you the opportunity to solve a myriad of different crime scenarios where you must catch the killer as quickly as possible.

The best thing is that while you can stick to the basic edition of this board game game, there’s a bunch of themed adventures that will take you backwards and forwards through time. You can play in medieval times with the 1400s, zoom ahead to the 1900s and even race into a Cyberpunk-esque 2100 time period.


What kind of mystery-themed board game list would this be if Cluedo wasn’t a part of it? This tried and true board game is always a hit and we’re willing to bet that most of you have the box sitting at home under your beds.

This classic whodunnit requires you to use your super sleuthing skills to figure out three simple things: who is the murderer, what weapon they used and where the murder took place. Make an educated guess because if you get it wrong, you’ll be out of the game.

You and your friends will get to role play a myriad of iconic characters, including Miss Scarlet, the movie star; Plum, the mathematical genius; White, the top lawyer; and many more fun characters. As you roll the dice and move from room to room, you’ll explore secret passages and interrogate your friends.

But if you get a little tired of the cosy crime fiction formula, you can always pick up a novelty edition based on Dungeons & Dragons, Harry Potter and more.

Alice is Missing

In this silent, role-playing mystery game, you’ll need to solve the disappearance behind your friend, “Alice”. At the beginning, you’ll be assigned an identity that tells you a secret about yourself, along with a motive and the relationships you have. You can play with up to five people and everyone will need to create a one-off group chat where you can all communicate via text. What a great way to force people to make new friends.

Unlike most board games, Alice is Missing has a set time limit of 90 minutes. Every ten minutes you’ll be given a new clue about her whereabouts with hints that will lead you towards different suspects and spine-chilling events that propel the story forward.

By the end of the time limit, you’ll find out what happened to Alice and whether or not she’s still alive. Keep in mind though that this is a card game best played once. The ending will always remain the same, even if you end up with different identities the next time round. But on the plus side, you can share it round with any friends that missed the initial playthrough, so they can introduce others to this chilling game.

Body on the Boardwalk

Body on the Boardwalk is a murder mystery experience that will make you feel like you’re solving a real-life crime from your dining room table.

When a girl turns up dead, her boyfriend becomes the prime suspect. Despite the stack of evidence against him, his mother appeals to you to clear his name. As you navigate the seaside amusement park where the victim died, you’ll need to go through all of the evidence – including handwritten notes, an empty bag of popcorn, postcards and more – to piece together this mystery.

However, the juiciest part of this game is working out the true killer’s motive. As you meet the victim’s coworkers, you’ll learn all about the small amusement park’s dark underbelly. What a doozy.

221B Baker Street

Get out your magnifying glass and step into the shoes of one of literature’s most celebrated detectives. In this mystery board game, each player will assume the identity of Sherlock Holmes and attempt to solve one of 75 famous cases, while testing your skills of deduction against your friends.

Taking your pawn of choice, you’ll start at Sherlock and Watson’s apartment, 221B Baker Street before traversing around this board game map of London. This game is a great choice for those who want to switch it up and add a in-depth and complex storyline to the classic Cluedo formula. Just like Cluedo, you’ll need to enter rooms, or buildings in this case, and race to solve the case before the other players do. You’ll need more than just sheer luck to outwit your fellow Sherlocks.

Betrayal at House on the hill

This spooky co-op feels like a cross between Werewolf and Dungeons & Dragons and will transport players into a haunted mansion of their own design.

Rather than working on a static board, players will place down tiles (which become rooms) and pick up items as they progress through the mansion as part of the “Exploration Phase”. Eventually, someone will trigger the “Haunt Phase” and one of the players will be outed as a “traitor”, from which one of 50 different scenarios will take place.

Every person will get to roleplay as a different character, where each one has unique stats that can change throughout the game. You’ll each have two physical traits, might and speed as well as two mental traits, knowledge and sanity. Once play is in full swing and the traitor has been determined, the other players will need to work together and complete all of their objectives to win, while the traitor works against them with their growing hoard of monsters.

Unsolved Case Files: Who Murdered Harmony Ashcroft?

The best thing about this game is that you don’t need a rouse up a group of friends to play with you if you’re hankering for a board game night. If you’re a fan of watching police procedurals, you’ll get a real kick out of this game.

But strap in because this can be a long one. Using a series of clues including photographs, newspaper snippets and more, you’ll attempt to uncover the truth about a (fictional) unsolved murder. Once you solve this mystery, you can pick up a brand new case to solve such as Jamie Banks, Buddy Edmunds and, of course, Jane Doe.

We’ve linked the Harmony Ashcroft case below, which has received rave reviews on Amazon. Many have agreed that it’s a well put-together game with hours long of fun.

Letters from Whitechapel

History buffs will hear the word “Whitechapel” and know rightaway that we’re talking about the notorious English serial killer, Jack the Ripper. While the case remains unsolved today, this board game by Fantasy Flight will give players the chance to attain the glory that comes from catching a pretend version of the Whitechapel fiend.

This cat-and-mouse hunt will see one friend assume the role of The Ripper, while the others must use their skills of deduction within four rounds to uncover the killer’s hideout planted somewhere on the board.

Speaking of which, this game gets bonus points for having a map that acts as an accurate representation of London’s Whitechapel district, complete with blood splatters and adorned with the names of Jack’s unlucky victims.

Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

This is a role-playing game that will transport you straight to the neon-lit streets of Hong Kong. Another game that’s reminiscent of Cluedo, each player will be assigned one of the following roles: the forensic scientist, the murderer, the accomplice, the witness or one of the investigators.

The goal? Uncover the murderer’s means and evidence within three rounds. But, like Cluedo, you all only get one guess, so make it count.

At the start of the game, everyone playing will close their eyes, which will allow the murderer and accomplice to acknowledge each other. The murderer will then indicate one means of murder and one piece of evidence to their accomplice. If a witness is playing, the murderer and accomplice will close their eyes while the forensic scientist will indicate to the witness who the bad guys are. It’s important that the witness doesn’t give themselves away, or the murderer will win the game if they can guess who it is correctly.

Did we miss anything? Let us know your favourite mystery-themed board games in the comments below!

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At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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