This was the Introduction information, for our latest Murder Mystery night – A Heroic Death. We were kindly gifted the game from FreeForm Games and I have to admit I was ‘super‘ excited to try it! The game promised to be “an interactive murder mystery game, which means that all the guests have a complete character, with detailed backstory, goals and a list of other people that they know.” I hoped it would be a lot more interesting than some of the games we had been trying recently!
Unlike a lot of the games we’ve done, as the host, I didn’t technically have a part. Instead it was my job to read EVERYTHING and know EVERYTHING and therefore guide the other guests/characters through the murder mystery. I was excited but also nervous – but this meant I got everything organised extra early and didn’t leave any printing till the last minute. As all our murder mysteries are organised via a Facebook event these days, I made images of anything all guests needed to know, and printed off each character booklet in advance so the guests would have time to read through everything. Even as I started to organise this party, I knew it was going to be the most complicated and complex to date – but I had been warned about that too.
The game is set for a minimum of 8 people (plus one host) and a maximum of 12. Our character list looked like this:
Captain Amazing!: He thought this name up himself. The exclamation mark is a compulsory part of the spelling, apparently. Not the brightest of men, but has a lot of charisma and is very photogenic, which is probably the most important thing for a superhero, and that’s why he’s the group Leader.
Costume: Red and Blue Uniform
Doctor Robot-Neck: An industrial accident left this qualified doctor with the neck of a robot. He’s the brains behind the group, and more involved with the planning side of the missions than the actual groundwork. He’s Captain Amazing!’s Second-in-Command.
Costume: Grey and Black Uniform. Has the neck of a robot, so wear something silver around the neck.
Bloody Mary: Likes fighting villains and drinking cocktails. Often at the same time. Always the first to get into a fight and frequently very argumentative, but she’s a good person to have on your side when the going gets tough. A long-standing and respected group member.
Costume: Red and Black Uniform
WhizzoGirl: A very girly superhero who is as photogenic as Captain Amazing! and likewise possibly more interested in being in all the newspapers than in the actual crime-fighting aspect of the job. Usually to be seen giving interviews to adoring news crews just after a fight that she did very little in to avoid breaking any nails. A long-standing group member.
Costume: Pink and White Uniform – very girly style
Shaman: Once a librarian, Shaman is possessed by the spirit of a powerful Native American shaman. Very regal and wise, and 100% accurate with a bow and arrow, so often used to provide covering fire in missions. A middle-ranking group member.
Costume: Brown and Orange Uniform, Native American style.
InvisoGirl: A shy and retiring character in large groups, but with a few close friends she is known for her mischievous sense of humour, and takes full advantage of her powers to play practical jokes on them whenever possible. A middle-ranking group member.
Costume: Blue and White Uniform.
Puss-in-Boots: Nobody knows what Puss is doing here, but you don’t question a talking homicidal cat wearing clothes. A recent addition to the group.
Costume: Boots and a Cape…. Oh, and lots of fur. Ears or Face-paint if you want!
Miguel: The hired help. A Mexican cleaner who seems to mysteriously keep appearing everywhere when least expected. He has a pretty poor grasp of English but a strong work ethic, and it would be a brave superhero indeed that would dare to risk his wrath by walking muddy footsteps over a freshly mopped floor.
Costume: Overalls or an Apron, with a cap and glasses. Usually carries a mop too.
The Masked Crusader: An old friend of Captain Amazing!, who has recently returned from a much praised five-year-stint fighting crime in South America. Co-founder of the group.
Costume: Green and Black Uniform, with a mask.
Host [The Host] – The Computer’s back-up system. A 3D projection created to assist the superheroes when the computer is logged out.
Costume: Silver, Black and White Uniform: Futuristic and machine-like.
Though I said I didn’t really have a part, other than being Host, that wasn’t technically true. The really clever part of this game is that as Host, I acted as the Superheroes computer system. It was a really fun concept and for once I didn’t at all mind the idea of not really participating and instead knowing all the information and being in charge of the game.
On the night I made a buffet dinner, one that people could pick at during the evening, in the dinning room. When everyone arrived we took pictures and after that we didn’t stop for hours and not a single other picture was taken (though again I was warned this might be the case in the instructions!). The basic idea of the game is that all the Superheroes had a party the night before and the next day everyone woke up unable to remember what had happened, or even what the party was for. They also woke to discover their manager, Bernard, was dead – the computer system was on lockdown and they couldn’t get out of the base AND they couldn’t access any outside information. The basic plot was that these characters had to find the computer code, access the news to find out what was happening, figure out who killed Bernard… AND get out of the base to save the world.
I won’t say too much, in case anyone reading this intends to play the game themselves. However I can tell you this – the murder mystery was fantastic and SO much fun. While it was incredibly complicated and it did take a while for me to get my head around it all (the clipboard helped, but the sheets and sheets of paper let me down at times), everyone at the party loved it! Sadly at the very last minute, my brother’s girlfriend was unable to make it and my eldest daughter Megan stepped into the role of InvisoGirl. While it was really much too complex for her, the fact I was Host and knew everything anyway, enabled me to help her somewhat throughout the evening. All in all though, everyone loved it and we’re all keen to try a similar one next time.
While there is nothing wrong with the regular type of Murder Mystery – either a box set or a download and print, the same old scripted/ask this question, answer with this answer, is getting a bit tired for this group. While we have tried mingly types before, none of them have been quite so interesting as this game. We would all strongly recommend A Heroic Death (providing you have some previous experience of Murder Mysteries, Role Play games or even D&D) and most definitely would try another FreeForm Game in the future!
All that was left to do, after the game, was eat cake…