MIDNIGHT MURDER MYSTERIES
For now, the game is published in French and Italian. We will launch a Kickstarter Campaign in 2020 to publish it in English!
Midnight Murder Mysteries: an investigation game aboard a cruise ship. For 2 to 5 players, from age 14.
Aboard a majestic cruise ship, the lifeless body of a passenger has been found in their luxury suite… The prime suspects are the twelve occupants of the VIP cabins on the upper deck. They are the only ones who could have had access. You and your fellow private detectives are participating in a conference on board the ship, and you all decide to make a bet. Who among you will prove to be the finest sleuth?
The investigation game Midnight Murder Mysteries takes you on an uncertain voyage, in which you must try to reconstruct the circumstances of the alleged crime…
WHO IS THE MURDERER? WHAT WAS THEIR MOTIVE? HOW DID THE VICTIM DIE?
Those are the three questions you will need to answer once the ship has docked… Or after another detective discloses what they have found!
Some testimonies or clues might add up. Others might contradict one another, or reveal something: this is where you’ll have to dig a little deeper… Time is of the essence because the perils of travel and the insight of your colleagues cast a shadow of doubt over the outcome of the case. You will have to constantly adapt to the circumstances…
Common assumptions for all cases
The body was discovered in the luxury suite. The suspicious death occurred the day before, between 11:45 pm and midnight. The murderer acted alone (he or she never has an accomplice) and is the only person capable of lying. The murderer is always one of the 12 suspects unless it was an accident or a suicide.
About the game
This game will contain at least 12 (up to 20) different investigations, with 12 suspects who could be interrogated about three topics and 24 locations that are spread over several bridges that could be explored.
The cases are completely independent from one another. Even though they have identical first names in all of the cases, the suspects are never the same people.
Even when other passengers and staff members (with the exception of the Purser) aren’t physically represented on the game board, they are still considered to be on the ship and might appear in location descriptions and testimonies, or on Event cards.
The material includes:
- 1 game board with floor plans of the ship decks and a pathway that indicates the progress of your trip [plus maybe an alternative view on the other side of the board]
- 18 Event cards,
- 19 pawns or pieces (1 cruise ship, 1 Purser, 12 suspects, 5 private detectives ) and a flat disc marker for the »Last Moved Suspect »,
- 12 buoy tokens,
- 2 case booklets (green and red),
- a notepad with « Notebook » and « Deductions » sheets,
- the rulebook.
How to play
At the end of the setup, choose a case from one of the case booklets and read out loud its presentation and embark on a new mystery adventure…
At the beginning of each round, a new event is revealed (some event cards will cause the ship to advance on its track, others will add a bit of spice to the game) and the purser is placed in the zone designated by the number on the Event card.
Then, players will take turns investigating in clockwise order.
On your turn, you have 3 action points to spend (they aren’t physically represented in the game and Buoy tokens allow the active player to spend additional action points). You can use them to take the actions described below.
FOR 1 ACTION POINT, you may:
- Move your Detective pawn one zone.
- Investigate publicly (read the Paragraph out loud).
- Move the Purser pawn one zone.
- Purchase a Buoy token.
FOR 2 ACTION POINTS, you may:
- Investigate privately (read the Paragraph for yourself); after reading it, you may choose to read the Paragraph out loud anyway (in which case you regain 1 action point).
- Extract information from a detective in the same zone as you (also give this detective 1 Buoy token).
Whether public or private, all investigations are automatically successful. To search/inspect a location (to gather physical clues or testimonies from other people on board) and to interrogate a suspect, the detective has to be in the same zone as the target.
To interrogate a suspect, you must also choose one of the three possible conversational subjects and announce it to the other players:
- ALIBI (Where were you at the time of the murder?),
- WITNESS (Do you know something about the death, the victim, or the other suspects?),
- MOTIVE (What was your relationship with the victim?).
Then refer to the case booklet to read the paragraph (with the case presentation you’ll find a correlation table: each of the possible paths you can follow has a number, which points to a specific Paragraph).
After spending your action points, you may move one (and only one) suspect of your choice one or two zones for free, in accordance with the movement rules. Put the Last Moved Suspect disc underneath the moved suspect, which indicates the next suspect to be moved this way has to be a different one.
End of the case and player conclusions
A case can end in two ways: when the ship arrives at the port OR when a detective makes disclosures. In both cases, all players will share what they have deduced, but not in the exact same manner.
After that, one of the players reads the entire solution of the case out loud and now it’s time to calculate the scores. The player with the highest total score wins the game and is declared the finest sleuth on board!
To achieve the highest score is nice, but the most exciting parts of this game probably lie in discovering the story piece by piece and in trying to understand what happened. Ultimately, you’re aiming to evade the wrong paths and be the best at gathering and interpreting the puzzle pieces presented by the story…