My personal favourites!

Well… I’ve been writing murder mystery games for more then a decade now and hosting for probably another 15 years.  The question I’m often asked is “What would you reccommend?” 

It’s actually harder then it looks to reccommend a game.  I’ve enjoyed them all!  Each one has been enjoyable in different ways, but for me – its the “slightly tiddly” finishes and the hilarity throughout the evening that make the nights so memorable.

Counting up quickly on both hands (and feet), I’ve actually hosted over 17 games in the last 10 years – and this is discounting events I’ve hosted for corporate or large groups… this is just the games I’ve run at home with friends!

So of those 17 – which are my favourite?  Oh… it’s very hard to choose.  And sadly I don’t have photographic evidence from them all (probably just as well in some cases…).

Oddly – many of my personal favourites haven’t made even the top 10 best sellers on the website.  In fact, some of them are dragging up the rear of the popular list… so… to give a top 5 personal reccommendations might seem a little biased (not least because I only play my own games as a rule).

So… in fairness… I suppose I should start by giving the most popular top 5 on the website, and then I’ll follow it with my own personal favourite list…

5 most popular games at Red Herring Games are:

1.  A Bad Vintage – this only launched in the summer last year and has been incredibly popular!

2. Murder at Merkister Hall – A steady favourite – and it is so regularly adapted I can’t stand the sight of it now.. but that’s just me … all our customers love it!

3.  Death at the Distillery – This is an overlap as you’ll see from my personal favourites below!

4. Stiffen Very Carefully – Who can’t beat a bit of saucy Allo Allo!

5. Greased at the Diner – Well… summer lovin’ is always a blast!

And as for me… well my list is somewhat different, and it has to be said, when hosting myself, I tend to prefer the more “naughty” innuendo filled plots…

My top 5 Murder Mystery Parties:

1. Death at the Distillery – This had us roaring with laughter all night… helped by a steady imbibing of the amber nectar.  Our accents ended up a cross between Pakistani and Welsh by the end of the evening, and despite watching Balamory with the kids on telly, and living in Orkney for 6 years even I couldn’t maintain the accent with the plethora of unusual dialects springing up around the table.  (This is the only teen rated game in my top 5)

2. Murder on the Disorientated Express – accents and spies a plenty… we loved this.  It was one of my earliest plots (not the first, but certainly one of my first 10).  We’ve always loved Agatha Christie and spies and this gave us both!

3. The Atomic Bombshell – Oddly this is right down at the bottom of the “popular purchase” list – probably because it’s a “murder free plot” – but we had a fantastic night with this one.  (Murder-less mysteries are a pig to write, and require much more effort and plot lining – so they’re usually better games if you like complex mysteries… )  This ond has all the maturity of a typical “adult” game and lots of love tangles and naughty innuendo, AND spies, but no murder.  Our american accents were shocking… but it was still a great night!

4.  Murder in the Med – As excuses for getting blazingly drunk on cocktails this has to be one of our finest games!  (Personally I think it’s easy to solve… but the number of “Salty dogs” and “Blue Lagoons” consumed means that no one actually remembers who did it, and I’ve been asked to run it again with the original cohort, as no one can remember who actually killed Stew!

5.The Last Laugh – Mediaeval mysteries are hard to come by… which is why we wrote our own one in the first place.  The Last Laugh was  written and played long before Red Herring Games came into existence.  It was my second attempt at a murder mystery – and there is probably more innuendo in this game then plot – but it’s a rip roaring hoot and everyone still talks about it.

And so… there you have it – my top 5… Though I must admit – being forced to come up with a top 5 is really, really hard… there are SO many fun games I’ve enjoyed that really a top 10 doesn’t even do it justice… I mean… I didn’t even mention “You Only Die Once”, “Smashed Hits”, “The Surgical Strike”, “Take down at the Tate”, “Bump off at the BBQ”, “Murder in the Dark”…

… and as for  “A Bad Vintage” – you can see the fun we had with that one as we used that  for the video on the website and I can only say I’m grateful the cameraman didn’t keep in the video of me snorting mushrooms backwards;  unable to laugh because my mouth was full!  (Don’t try to eat coq au vin when you’re running the script… oh dear me no…).

I know there are a number of  customers who come back year on year – if you’re reading this – and you have a personal favourite I haven’t mentioned – do let me know!


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