Once Upon a Mystery | Virtual Non-Murder Game

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A fairy-tale themed non-murder, virtual format mystery game for 6-10 players, ages 12 to adults wanting an easier game. Can be played at home or in a virtual setting. This game takes about two hours to play. This is the instant download version of the game - no waiting, no shipping fees - download and play - no printing is needed for virtual play. This murder mystery game was formatted to play on Zoom or other video chat - you send each player a PDF file before the game and meet up virtually to play!

4 out of 10 difficulty rating for a mystery partyThis game was updated on 08/04/20.

Helpful Links: 

Host character list
Free, printable invitation
Mystery prop emporium
Direct your guests here - the corresponding pre-game site at 'Your Mystery Party'

Mystery Synopsis: 

Morven is the great stabilizer of the Enchanted Realm. He’s the king of the Caspar Sea and maintains the peace between the eight domains, which have historically been plagued with bad blood, often threatening warfare. Someone has stolen King Morven’s beloved trident, and he has turned to stone on the shore of Wonderland.

The Red Heart Army has been sharpening their heart-tipped lances, the war monkeys of Osland are preparing for battle, and the leaves of the Silver Tree Forest trees are browning in despair. The trident must be found, or the future of the Enchanted Realm is uncertain. The Red Ruler has invited representatives from each domain to travel to Wonderland to solve this crime. Whoever stole the trident will be held accountable, and it must be returned to King Morven, so he can return to normal, restore balance, and maintain the peace in the realm. You must attend this meeting. This is where your story begins.


  • Host instruction file (virtual and home party instructions - 2 separate files) - including bonus games, player instructions, and a timeline sheet (abbreviated instructions) for your event. Menu suggestions are included with home party instructions.
  • 10 character packets (PDF files) to send to your players in advance of the party. They include instructions, a character bio, and three rounds of game play (optional pre-game, round one materials, round two materials). 
  • Solution keys for the game and game challenge - host can easily play along without spoiling the game.
  • Editable text field player contact sheet for pre-game.
  • Three videos by Tina Teacup to play to start the game, start round two, and give the solution. May be downloaded from your account or streamed from YouTube.
  • Optional alternate ending file to cap off the story-lines after the game.
  • Free invitation (optional to use).
  • Free pre-game website (optional, but suggested).
  • Spectator file - if you have more than 10 in your game, you can provide extra players (unlimited number) with this packet to play along. 
  • The host character list shows 8 required players, but you'll receive an optional host character list to view if you are playing with only 6-7 players. 

If you wish to host this (or any other) game for profit, you will need a commercial license - click here. 

Minimum age:
12 and up due to difficulty. If you have younger playing along.
Difficulty rating:
Moderate, 4/10
Gender of character roles:
3 female (all required), 7 flexible gender
Number of players in the main game:
8-10 but can be played with 6-7 players - there's a separate host list for 6 required.
Expansion pack(s):
Not at this time
Expandable team players:
There is downloadable spectator files to extend the party and have more people follow along.
Date of publication:
August 2020


  • 5
    Definitely recommend

    Posted by Amber on Feb 3rd 2021

    We did the Once Upon a Mystery with a group of 9-11 year old girls and the puzzles were just perfect for their skill level. Some were quite fast and some took a little more time with it, creating a nice mix. The kids all dressed up and had such a great time with it. I hope My Mystery Party comes out with more virtual parties for this age group as we would love to do another one - the girls requested and Wizarding theme next time ;)

  • 5
    Great for a virtual party

    Posted by AZorn on Jan 13th 2021

    I got this for my kid's virtual 15th birthday party and it couldn't have been more perfect. The group of mostly theatre kids took the characters and ran with them. They started pre-game messages about two weeks early so by the time the party arrived, they were all fully in character and comfortably interacting. It was easy for everyone to put together costumes and back drops that worked for their characters. We had to restart the Zoom call a few times because we don't have a paid account, but it was very easy to just open a new meeting when the time ran out. The kids loved the optional story enders, and have decided to continue with the characters and world as an RPG. Some of the dialog was pretty cheesy, but the kids just put their own spin on it to relay the same information. The puzzles were pretty easy for this age, but they still had fun with them. Overall, highly recommended, especially if you have kids who love to act or roleplay.

  • 5
    Great mystery for first-timer tweens

    Posted by JL on Dec 13th 2020

    We played with 10 kids ages 10-13. Only two of them had previously played mystery-solving games, and the other 8 kids were first-timers. They were all able to figure out how to play with minimal direction from me as the host. It was also my first time playing (let alone hosting!) a mystery game, and all the materials provided made it easy for me to plan, prepare and lead the game on the day of the party. We had our game virtually via Zoom, and the videos played well on that platform. After this first experience, I am thinking we'll probably want to do a monthly game with the kids virtually. :)

  • 4
    Great way to have a party in a virtual environment

    Posted by Kate on Dec 11th 2020

    My daughter turned 12 and she invited her friends to do the Once Upon a Mystery with her over Zoom. The tweens enjoyed getting their virtual backgrounds ready and only some got in costume. We did not do the optional pregame activities.The tweens are all in an academically gifted program so they have above average intelligence. The puzzles were way too easy and they finished the game in less than an hour. However, they laughed and had a great time. The product is very well made. I made a document so that my daughter could host on her own, making it easy to know what to do next and to have the links ready. Make sure that if you are doing this virtually that you practice sharing the screen and playing the video. There is some trickiness involved. She had two devices one for her character and then one for the screen sharing. We would probably do it that way again. Very cute concept, just way too easy for our crowd. I loved hearing my daughter and her friends laugh and talk; something that happens to rarely in this pandemic.

  • 5
    So much laughing!

    Posted by Laurel on Nov 21st 2020

    We had a murder mystery party all planned out for my daughter's 13th birthday before the new stay at home order dropped and we had to go virtual. This was SUCH a good alternative! Started out a little slow because I had NO IDEA what I was doing and was trying to wrangle 12-13-year-olds. But once we got into it, they did GREAT and all had a good time! The villain reports he/she "never saw it coming"!