20 Best Virtual Murder Mystery Ideas for Online Team Building

Virtual Murder Mysteries are online games where players act out the characters in a murder story and figure out the identity of a killer. These mysteries are team building activities that develop problem-solving skills and encourage bonding. For example, Movie Murder Mystery and Jazz Age Jeopardy. Murder mysteries games come in free and fully hosted paid versions. You can play these mysteries on Zoom, Skype, the Gather app, and other video calls platforms.

This article includes:

  • murder mystery games to play on Zoom
  • free virtual murder mystery games
  • virtual Christmas murder mystery games
  • virtual murder mystery party games

So, here are the best ideas for your virtual murder mystery!

The 20 best virtual murder mystery ideas

Virtual murder mystery party games come in various themes and versions. Here are our best picks.

#1. Butler Kicks the Bucket

Family members, guests, and a butler attend a dinner party. The butler sips from each cup as he serves the guests a drink. Suddenly, the butler collapses. The mystery is to find who contaminated the drink that killed the servant.

To play the game, the host gives the participants character cards to read out aloud. The host notifies the killer of their character, and the killer must pretend to be innocent. The game’s aim is to figure out the killer by hunting for conversational clues.

Players can improvise their lines and exchanges and may paste the discussion text into the chat section. Participants can also use breakout rooms for small group discussions.

Learn more about Butler Kicks the Bucket.

#2. Little Engine That Could Kill

The setting of this mystery is an express train journey from India to Portugal. You and eight other travelers board the train, but one of you dies on the way. The aim is to find what killed the ninth person and make sure that the killer does not strike again.

The host shares scripts with each player via mail or Google Docs to begin the game. Each script contains character profiles, key pieces of evidence, and the train route map.

Learn more about Little Engine That Could Kill.

#3. Sour Grapes of Wrath

The Sour Grapes of Wrath refers to a murder story at a winery in California. Six dubious characters, visit the widow’s winery, one of which is the cold-blooded killer. The mystery is to find the identity of the killer and the motive for the murder.

The Sour Grapes of Wrath is among the best murder mystery games to play on Zoom by at least six players. The host shares the game’s resource guide on Zoom to start the game. The guide consists of clues, directions, screenplays, character backgrounds, and party-planning hints.

Learn more about Sour Grapes of Wrath.

#4. The Galapagos Affair

This murder mystery party is the perfect choice for teens and young adults because there is no drug use, violence, or similarly sensitive material. Plus, the story includes actual historical events.

The host begins the story by reading a Baroness’s will. Next, the players speculate about the wealthy woman’s death. The story progresses based on the clues that the host privately shares with the participants.

Learn more about The Galapagos Affair.

#5. The Movie Murder Mystery

In the Movie Murder Mystery, participants engage with each other based on the assigned movie characters. The mysteries involve the murders of famous Hollywood film directors. To solve the puzzles and find the perpetrator,  players launch investigations on suspected actors and crew members.

The host provides clues to enable the participant to narrow down the list of possible murderers. For example, the host may share ‘the murderer is not married,’ or ‘the murderer has a car.’ Participants may use chat apps to facilitate communication when solving the mystery.

Learn more about The Movie Murder Mystery.

#6. Way Out West

Way Out West takes place in a tiny village called Cactus Gulch in 1884. Players take on the roles of the natives and the settling immigrants, such as saloon owners, railroad workers, and ranchers.

Way Out West tops the list of free virtual murder mystery games with multiple puzzles. In this case, the players will find out the cause of the Indian rebellion. The answers leads the players to more mysteries.

This game is free to download and suitable for up to ten guests. However, participants can pay for a paid version accommodating 24 players.

Learn more about Way Out West

#7. A Bad Vintage

This game’s setting is in the Grand Cru vineyards of France’s Loire valley. The winery’s charismatic owners are hosting a wine tasting event for the guests. Unfortunately, the hosts soon discover a dead man in the barrel– one of the proprietors.

The host assigns the participants a role to play and shares the details for those characters. The participants form an investigation team led by an inspector and try to identify the assassin.

To make the game extra festive, host a virtual wine tasting with your teammates.

Learn more about A Bad Vintage.

#8. The Business of Murder

The Business of Murder is a seven-player mystery full of drama. The game revolves around revenge, crime, and entangled relationships. The players use clues to figure out the murder and the intention for the killing.

The host downloads the zip file to Business of Murder, splits materials, and assigns the characters. The host can share the details via email, and participants should deduce information about particular characters through interaction.

To add fun and creativity, the characters should feel free to improvise lines instead of sticking to the original script.

Learn more about The Business of Murder.

#9. Jazz Age Jeopardy

There is a merry mood in an outlawed jazz club filled with guests, entertainers, and staff. The owner of the club, a rich bootlegger, is also throwing a private party with his friends. Unfortunately, a terrible discovery ruins the party as attendees find a person murdered at the club’s back supply room.

The players represent gangster and bootlegger club guests. These characters must solve the murder mystery on their own to avoid unwanted attention from the police.

The Jazz Age Jeopardy free version accommodates 15 other players and may take 90 minutes. Games scripts that accommodate up to 100 players are available at a fee.

Learn more about Jazz Age Jeopardy.

#10. Ghost Ship Murder Mysteries

Ghost Ship Murder Mysteries have different themes like Mafia, Superheroes, and Space Smugglers. The gameplay involves scrutinizing other players’ pasts and potential motives.

Host-provided backstories reveal bits of the characters’ history. The participants interact, gather information about one another, and develop suspicions and theories. Players use these hints to separate villains from victims.

The Ghost Ship is one of the best murder mystery party games for small groups of about ten. To find clues, the players tour virtual rooms and spaces.

Learn more about Ghost Ship Murder Mysteries.

#12. Murder in Manhattan

The mystery’s plot is set at a high-end party, with gossip and betrayal as the main themes. Mr. Fisk, an established businessman, has invited some society elites, business associates, family members, and sophisticated friends to his anniversary. Suddenly there is a blackout. When the lights come back, attendees discover a dead guest among them.

The guests’ reputations are at stake. The invitees must focus on identifying the killer without attracting the attention of the press or police.

Murder in Manhattan is among the most interesting games to play on Zoom. At the end of the game, players will have learned a few tips about publicity and teamwork. The host may suggest classy dressing to mirror the elite characters. To make the game more competitive, the host may award the players with the most sophisticated look.

Learn more about Murder in Manhattan.

#13. Totally Rad ’80s Prom Gone Bad

This mystery takes place at Mayhem High School. The students are excited about completing their high school careers and eager to receive the titles of Prom King and Prom Queen. However, amidst the anticipation, a contestant gets murdered.

The host will share instructions and clues. Each participant is a murder suspect, and the team should find the culprit.

This game is an excellent throwback activity. You can add fun by dressing up in decade-inspired attire for the occasion. For full effect, blast classic ’80s hits in the background.

Learn more about Totally Rad ’80s Prom Gone Bad.

#14. When the Clock Strikes Murder

This virtual murder mystery happens in Grimfold Town in Canterbury Woods. It is New Year’s Eve, and a new mystery business called Crime Alive is hosting an event. But, when the clock strikes midnight, it becomes clear that Crime Alive is up to mischief.

As a Grimfold resident, you aim to get to the root of the problem. The host shares scripts with bios for each character. Participants should share bio info when prompted to offer required clues.

Learn more about When the Clock Strikes Murder.

#15. A Christmas Cracker Killing

Set in the snowy hillsides of rural England, the village’s social elite gather for a Christmas dinner. On this not-so-merry Christmas, the millionaire party host meets an untimely demise. The deceased’s widow has invited all of the usual guests, including the local Chief Inspector. The Inspector announces that the millionaire’s demise was not a natural death. Someone in the patronage is responsible for the homicide.

A Christmas Cracker Killing is among the best virtual Christmas murder mystery games for teens and adults. The game is suitable for 6 to 20 players. The host issues players with private scripts having six major suspects. The players need to find who among the diners is the assassin.

Learn more about A Christmas Cracker Killing.

#16. ‘Twas the Night Before Murder

These Christmas-themed virtual murder mystery games are suitable for all age groups.

Set in the North Pole on Christmas Day, the game opens with day workers off duty. As the day dawns, a worker discovers a body under the Christmas tree.

The host downloads the game’s PDF file and distributes it to the players. The file details consist of instructions, characters, and clues. The basic plan requires about 8 to 16 players, but the game can accommodate up to 55 team members at an extra cost. Players may also pay for extra clues if the mystery progresses too slowly.

Learn more about ‘Twas the Night Before Murder.

#17. Operation Save Santa – A North Pole Mystery

Operation Save Santa is one of the most intriguing virtual Christmas murder mystery games.

The plot takes place at the North Pole. Two days until Christmas, Santa Claus has gone missing. Santa is the only one with the “Nice vs. Naughty” database’s master password. Residents are furious and must find Santa.

The host shares character booklets that explain each player’s role in the game. All participants, including the host, may play, and all are suspects. Any extra player without a specific character acts as an investigator and helps by asking questions that would give clues to Santa’s kidnapping.

Learn more about Operation Save Santa.

#18. Murder at the Christmas Feast

This Christmas-themed murder mystery game is about a Santa impersonator, Nick Gifts. When Nick becomes suspicious, he must leave the town. However, along the way, Nick gets involved in an accident.

There are different clue paths to the investigation, and each course unveils a different story. The host shares rules and evidence with the participants. The players decide how to handle the investigation to identify who knocked Nick off.

Six to fourteen people can play this mystery, and every participant should suggest how to capture the suspect.

Learn more about Murder at the Christmas Feast.

#19. A Very Merry Christmas Murder Mystery

The plot setting is at Albi LeGrinch’s winter wonderland estate. Albi is renowned as the world’s most successful Christmas tree seller. A family is holding a Christmas gathering. Before opening the gifts, attendees discover a body dangling from the top of Albi’s massive Christmas tree. The corpse turns out to be the famous Christmas tree vendor.

The murderer of the Christmas tree vendor remains a mystery. The players must identify the killer and the motive. This game is teen-friendly, and employees can involve their families. The host ensures to have 4 to 8 participants playing this mystery.

Learn more about A Very Merry Christmas Murder Mystery.

#20. Murder in Margaritaland

Margaritaland is an exclusive resort and a vacation destination where mayhem occurs. Little does one guest realize, that this vacation is his last. Guests’ lives intertwine as the story unfolds, making it difficult to identify outright suspects.

The players represent the guests and must discern truths from lies to facilitate the investigations. The mystery is to get the perpetrator and bring them to book.

Learn more about Murder in Margaritaland.


Virtual murder mystery party games are fun activities to play with coworkers on a video conference meeting platform.

The mysteries provide an exciting chance to bond and work as a team. These virtual murder mysteries also improve critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and communication skills. These skills prepare players and impart confidence for dealing with real situations and puzzles.

Virtual murder mysteries can be free to use, or participants may pay for the premium versions.

For more ways to have fun with remote teams, check out virtual holiday party ideas and Zoom games.

FAQ: Virtual Murder Mystery

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about virtual murder mysteries.

What are virtual murder mystery games?

Virtual Murder Mysteries are online games where players enact a murder narrative and use clues to figure out who the perpetrator is.

How do you play murder mysteries virtually?

To play murder mysteries online, first, decide whether you want to hire a virtual team building group or run the games yourself.

If you choose the former, contact the team building company and follow their instructions.

If you want to run the game yourself, then you need the following preparation.

Here is a simple but effective guide to hosting a virtual murder using Zoom.

Step 1: Select and download the game of your choice.

Step 2: Invite participants to the game using an invite link to the video conferencing meeting.

Step 3: Assign character roles to confirmed attendees

Step 4: Suggest to the players the costumes, props, and materials needed for the game. Note that this step is optional but necessary for customizing the theme and adding fun.

Step 5: Set up the scene. Apply the themed backdrop and set background music.

Step 6: Begin the game. The host formally introduces the mystery story and communicates the mode of conversation, for instance, Slack channel.

Step 7: Solve the mystery. Find clues and backstories to aid in finding the murderer.

Step 8: Give closure. Unleash the findings. Members may mention and legitimize their accusations, or the culprit will announce themselves

For additional tips, it is best to do thorough research of team building companies to get the best services and value for money. Then set a date and time that accommodates most participants. When using downloaded files, check all the materials, and understand the game to give solid guidance.

How can virtual murder mystery games help with team building?

Murder mystery games are excellent activities for building teams through:

  • Socialization. A murder mystery game moves people out of their work mode and into a social setting that enhances bonding.
  • Collaboration. The participants work in groups towards one goal- to identify the killer.
  • Cohesion. The mysteries bring all the players together through active involvement in solving the puzzles.

These components of team building are essential in fostering trust and cooperation at work.