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“How to Host a Murder”-style games?

(tl;dr - Who makes great Host a Murder-style games these days?)

In the 80s and 90s, I played a number of the How to Host a Murder games from Decipher, Inc. I fondly remember these — with their healthy helping of humor and puns — and dust them off every 5-10 years or so when I’ve forgotten all the details for a replay with a new crew. These were four rounds with facts each of the eight characters was to conceal and reveal in each.

Many years ago, I tried a look-alike boxed scenario which appeared to have the same mechanics (8 players - 4 men/4 women, rounds, character booklets, dinner & costume suggestions) and it lacked any of the humor or fun of the “Host a Murder” games I cut my teeth on. Web searches seem more likely to turn up custom corporate team-building services, LARP settings or authors who apparently churn scenarios out faster than romance novelists.

My question is: these days, who makes games in this vein well, with the degree of fun and whimsy I fondly remember?


Not really answering the question, but for my brother’s birthday last year I got him an original How To Host a Murder: The Watersdown Affair and a tape recorder to play the included cassette. He said him and his friends enjoyed it very much.

The reason for tracking down a copy on ebay was because I couldn’t find anything modern that sounded fun. Maybe some publisher will decide it’s time for a reboot of the genre?

By coincidence I was listening to an old podcast (#42) and Paul talks about his experience with a murder mystery game. He had positive things to say about it and it sounded stylistically similar, with fun characters and role-playing. According to the podcast description it’s called A Feast to Die For. It looks like it might be difficult to get a physical copy but you can download a PDF from their (terrible) website.

It appears that University Games is looking to step back into this market with a “Murder Mystery Party” line of games. They have nine titles listed on their website (a number of which are described as “coming soon”) and I’ve seen a few on shelves at our local Barnes & Noble.

And @felix, glad to know it was “the very forty-second” podcast with that reference. I remembered hearing it a while back and dug around later to try and find the correct one for another listen, but didn’t have any luck.

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It looks like these are (possibly updated) editions of the older “Murder ala carte”/“Inspector McClue” games. Consolidated under the University Games brand.