The Manhattan Murders | Virtual murder mystery

Instant download upon purchase (PDF, Website, Video content)
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This is a virtual murder mystery game formatted for virtual (or home) play for 4-12 players, ages 15 and up for difficulty. Play on Zoom, Google Hangout, or any video chat platform. There is an expansion pack (purchased separately) that adds another 5 unique character roles and the expansion pack purchase has the spectator file in this game to add an unlimited number of players for a large group video chat game. Your group will investigate two murders on Manhattan's Upper East Side while dealing with an anonymous blogger named Jack Out of the Box who threatens to expose everything about the investigation.

There are PDF files, websites, and video content. This is an instant download, but nothing needs to be printed. This game takes approximately 2 hours.

7-star.jpgThis game was updated on 9/19/2020.

Helpful Links:

Host character list
Free, printable invitation
Murder Mystery Prop Emporium
5 character Expansion pack - Purchased separately
 Direct your guests here - the corresponding pre-game site at Your Mystery Party 

Mystery Synopsis:

Mr. Alcott Cavendish, one of the most wealthy and influential people of Manhattan's Upper East Side, is hosting an exclusive party at The Wharton House, a private club founded in 1910. Only the who's who of the rich and famous will attend this gala of glitz, glamour, and luxury. Rumor has it that Mr. Cavendish has an ulterior motive for hosting this event. A bothersome gossip-monger who goes by the pen name Jack Out of the Box has been letting the skeletons out of the New York elite's closets. Jack has been posting scandals and other tittle-tattles about the members of the club from social media accounts, a gossip column in the local paper, and a private website. Alcott's legal team has been unable to expose Jack's identity thus far. Therefore, Jack must be as well-connected as Mr. Cavendish.

Nevertheless, sources close to Alcott have said he has formulated a strategy to flush them out. You have received an invitation to this private gathering. Since only a limited number of members were invited, this could mean that Alcott believes you might be Jack. If you attend, you could be in danger. If you don't show up at the bash, it might appear as if you are trying to hide something. This is where your story begins.


  • Host instruction file - including player instructions, and a timeline sheet (abbreviated instructions) for your event.
  • Optional to use: checklists for the host.
  • 12 character packets (PDF files) to send to your players in advance of the party. They include instructions, a character bio, suspect list, and three rounds of game play (optional pre-game, round one materials, round two materials). 
  • Solution keys for the game - host can play along without spoiling the game.
  • Editable text field player contact sheet for pre-game tasks
  • Three videos
    • Two detective videos to keep the game moving, along with a back-up transcript.
    • One solution video with a back-up transcript within the solution key.
  • Free invitation (optional to use). 
  • Host character list for 4 required players - optional to view. If you are playing with 6+ - you won't download this file. 
  • Free pre-game website (optional, but suggested)

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

Minimum age:
15 for difficulty. This game is a 7 rated game, but has appropriate content.
Difficulty rating:
Challenging, 7/10
Gender of character roles:
Number of players in the main game:
4-12 unique suspect roles. (May be played with 4-5 and expanded to cover unlimited players with the expansion pack and spectator file).
Expansion/Expandable team players:
Yes, there is a 5 player (non-suspect) pack of unique roles. However, you can have spectators play along, as well. You'll receive a spectator file with the expansion pack.
Date of publication:
September 19, 2020
Unique content:
Videos & PDFs


  • 4
    Fun family time

    Posted by Leslie on Mar 7th 2021

    During Covid our multi-state family has missed our usual get-togethers so the virtual format of this mystery made it easy to do on Zoom! The clues were fun and our family worked well on solving the murders as a group! No one got the total final solution but this also was great fun.

  • 4
    Fun but be prepared to PREPARE!

    Posted by Jen on Jan 7th 2021

    It was fun. As the host, be prepared to spend time focusing and preparing! Not something to pull together last minute although my group did so in 24 hours. Best if people are willing to take time to get to know their characters, dress up and get acquainted with their bio and the bio and back stories of others. If it's your first Murder Mystery Party, listen to the advice of the MM people when they say to start with an easier level. We started at level 7, it was our first time and it was difficult. I wish I had started at least at a 5 as advised. As the host, I was quite lost for a lot of it as I had to balance hosting with getting into character and also trying to crack the case. Overall, definitely a fun thing to do with a group. And once you buy one MM, yes you'll know "who done it", but you can host other parties with people and bless them with a good time.

  • 5
    We had a great time - highly recommended

    Posted by Velvel on Jan 6th 2021

    We were 10 people who played the game together on zoom on December 31st 2020. We had a great time and nobody wanted to take a break to until the end of the game, which speaks to the engagement of everyone involved. The materials were well organized and it was fun playing it. I highly recommend it and will do it again.

  • 5
    so much fun!!

    Posted by Dayana on Oct 26th 2020

    Even after several full days of zoom for work, this event was a breath of fresh air. Everyone had a blast, and several people noted that the virtual version was actually much more enjoyable than in person. People liked all being able to work with the same information and it was easy to keep the conversation going. The instructions were super clear and very manageable to host and play simultaneously.