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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Introducing: Murder on the Venice Express

Host-Party.com is excited to announce the release of our latest game: Murder on the Venice Express. Host a fun murder mystery this Halloween season abroad the Venice express. A one of a kind train downloadable murder mystery game! The year is 1935 and once again the Venice Express will be leaving London on a gloriously decadent trip full of luxury and glamour. The cream of British and Continental Society will be taking the famous trip. Excitement is mounting as the passenger list includes the famous author Agatha Frisky and some of her family. Join them for a trip of discovery and possibly tragedy.

The year is 1935 and once again the Venice Express will be leaving London on a gloriously decadent trip full of luxury and glamour. The cream of British and Continental Society will be taking the famous trip. Excitement is mounting as the passenger list includes the famous author Agatha Frisky and some of her family. Join them for a trip of discovery and possibly tragedy. A classic style murder mystery for 8 to 10 players set on a train in 1935.

Learn more about Murder on the Venice Express.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Introducing: A St Valentine's Day Murder Mystery (All female version)

Host-Party.com is excited to announce the release of our latest game: A St Valentine's Day Murder Mystery (All female version). A gangster style murder mystery set on St Valentines Day 1929 at a party to celebrate Tommy Gunn's 40th birthday. The game is for between 6 and 10 female players who will attend a birthday party they will never forget.

The year is 1929 and Prohibition is at its height. Until last week Chicago was run by four big players. Tommy Gunn, who runs booze and girls, Ali Kohol, who runs booze and protection rackets, Spits Feathers, who runs booze and gambling dens through his bakery business cover and, until his murder last week and Buck Fifty who ran booze and slot machines. As the rival gangs move in on Buck's empire, Tommy Gunn has called a party to celebrate his 40th birthday, but does he have other sinister plans?

Learn more about A St Valentine's Day Murder Mystery (All female version).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pre Game Video Clues

Build the anticipation before the party and send a pregame video clue. Here is an example of a pre-game trailer created for Death of a Volunteer:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New murder mystery games for Teens and All Female Parties

Host-Party.com is excited to announce 3 new versions of our latest game: Summoned: A supernatural murder mystery.

Learn more about Summoned: A supernatural murder mystery (All Female version).
Learn more about Summoned: A supernatural murder mystery (Teen version).
Learn more about Summoned: A supernatural murder mystery (Female Teen version).


A collaboration between local businesses, the arts and Volunteer & Information Kingston (VIK) takes the stage March 31st, as VIK hosts a 'murder mystery' fund raising event at Memorial Hall at Kingston City Hall. The event is a customized, interactive Host-Party.com mystery game, a scenario where the audience solves the murder of a fictitious "Volunteer of the Year."The mystery game starts during a dessert reception and book signing where the characters begin to drop clues as to the 'murderer.'
Actors are The Honourable Peter Milliken, mystery writer Mary Jane Maffini and Carl Richards of CFLY. Local actors include Jamie Schoular, public school principal, Elizabeth Stienberg, of the Upper Canada District School Board, Linda Worsley, Hotel Dieu Hospital, Walter Knott, VIK's board chair and Barbara Bell, an actress most recently featured as Gertrude in Hamlet here in Kingston.
Two hundred tickets are on sale now.
The 'murder' takes place in 1944 at an awards ceremony honouring a fictitious "Volunteer of the Year." The "obnoxious" Volunteer of the Year is the victim and will be played by Mary Jane Maffini. (Maffini's mystery heroine, Camilla McPhee, is a lobbyist for a non-profit agency in Ottawa.) Mr. Milliken will play the part of the "officious" politician presenting the award. The audience participates and interacts spontaneously to solve the murder mystery.
Attendees are encouraged to come 'in period 1940s costume.' There will be a grand door prize, a prize for best costume and the 'best detective' award for whoever identifies the fictional murderer. Book signings will precede the murder mystery and also take place during the dessert reception. Sponsors for the mystery night are As the Plot Thickens Mystery Bookstore; Pan Chancho Bakery; Studio 22; Neil's Flowers; SA Campbell Photography; Fruitalicious.


Host a murder mystery party with a celebrity awards show theme.

Celebrity awards season is almost here. This year, instead of sitting on the couch in sweats and watching the stars get glammed up for a night on the town, join in on the fun by hosting Night at the Waskers, a celebrity-inspired murder mystery game sold at www.host-party.com.
Night at the Waskers is set after the major “Wasker” awards show, where top Hollywood thespians are praised for their latest motion picture masterpieces. After the awards are announced, the crème de la crème of the industry head to Oakley Stewart’s mansion for a bash that always promises to be memorable. This year is no exception, but instead of magic, there’s mayhem. Ashley Canne, the Best Lead Actress recipient, has been found dead. There are plenty of motives, and it’s up to party guests to find out who dun it in this light-hearted and funny murder mystery game.
Night at the Waskers, by Leah Genuario, is written for 9-11 players and can be purchased from the www.host-party.com web site. Its specific web site URL is: http://www.host-party.com/Home/viewsynopsis/474 .

Here are some of its customer reviews:
My friends really enjoyed getting glammed up for this mystery party. Also, it is very easy to find Hollywood-themed decorations in any party supply store. It was fun, and all the characters definitely had character!
Mahalia B. - Wilson,NC
This party was excellent! This is the third one I have hosted and by far the best! Everyone got really into their character and dressing the part and I decorated to really set the Hollywood scene. I will def be doing another one soon!
Stephanie E. - Syracuse, NY
I had an absolutely wonderful time! The game was so much fun and the hostess and her boyfriend were absolutely wonderful. Getting to play a completely different character all night was so much fun! We all agreed! EVERYONE that was there had a GREAT time and we all can't wait to unfold the murder mystery next year! (we've all decided to do it again)!
Linda - Lansing, MI

About Host-Party.com
Host-Party.com was founded in 2004. Since its inception, it has helped more than 48,000 party hosts throw themed murder mystery parties and events for personal and corporate audiences. More information: www.host-party.com.


Host Murder Unscripted, a new interactive murder mystery game offered by Host-Party.com.

Stand out from your competition by offering your guests dinner and a show. Recently introduced from www.host-party.com, Murder Unscripted is a fully-scripted murder mystery game written for seven characters and an audience ranging from 10 to 500 people. The game is especially suited to a dinner-theater atmosphere where guests are seated.

The plot revolves around a publishing company that has submitted to a television audience for two months. Every move inside the company is filmed, and at the end of each week, America votes for the employee they love to hate. The employee with the most votes is sent to the board room where CEO Ronald Crump decides his or her fate. But before Ronald makes another cut, he keels over. It’s a homicide.

The fast-moving plot allows for various audience members to participate and provides your audience with a chance to vote by show of hands. It was created with a wide variety of individuals in mind and therefore does not include any adverse language or social taboos. Add value to your venue by creating lasting memories!

Murder Unscripted, by Leah Genuario, can be purchased at www.host-party.com. Its individual URL is http://www.host-party.com/Home/Viewsynopsis/119 .

Setup your Host-Party.com Murder Mystery Party

Quick tutorial demonstrating how to register and setup your Host-Party.com murder mystery game. Specify time, place, location, assign guests, send invites and optional pregame clues and communications.


Quick tutorial demonstrating how to register and setup your Host-Party.com murder mystery game. Specify time, place, location, assign guests, send invites and optional pregame clues and communications.


This video shows how to select the best murder mystery game for you next party.
Quick tutorial illustrating how to find a murder mystery using the Host-Party.com find a game feature.



Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Alan Jones, Boating World Magazine
There's something about being on a boat that causes most people to cut loose a little more than normal. And that's why it's a great place to have a theme party. Critical mass for a successful soiree like this is about 10 people, so your brother-in-law's 14-foot jon boat isn't going to cut it. (If you only have a small boat, though, you can always use it to ferry folks to an island and still give your party that waterborne feel.) For the nuts and bolts on how to successfully throw a party on your boat, flip to page 38 and read Dave Kelley's Back to Basics article titled, 'Hosting A Cocktail Cruise.' In no special order, here are Boating World's top 10 ideas for a less-than-conventional party on the water.
  1. Murder On The High Seas This murder mystery game is set on a cruise ship. Over cocktails, everyone tells their story and then tries to solve the murder of the captain, who is found floating in the pool. There are 10 active players, although more people can participate by trying to solve the crime. See www.host-party.com for more information.
  2. Iron Chef Party For anyone who hasn't seen this campy cooking competition show, judges are asked to taste and rate the food to find a winner. You can do something similar on a boat by having guests bring their best pre-prepared dishes in a paper bag to conceal the chef's identity. Guests can then sample and rate each one in a secret ballot to be tallied by the host. Awarding nice prizes should have your guests doing some culinary overachieving.
  3. Wine-Tasting Party Here's another example of how you can inspire guests to bring aboard some really good stuff by making it a competition. Have each guest bring a bottle of their favorite wine, and have tasters rate each one. Keep serving sizes small, be sure to have some nice cheeses, crackers and bread to snack on, and spread them out over a period of a few hours so your guests don't overindulge. Get some really nice plastic wine glasses (that is not an oxymoron), and make sure you have some OxiClean on hand for spills. Award the ones who bring the best wine some nice wine-related prizes.
  4. Magic Cruise Give each guest enough time to secure and learn a magic trick to be demonstrated on board. If your area doesn't have a magic shop, you can visit the library and find a book on magic, or order a trick online from places like www.madhattermagicshop.com. You can only imagine the fun as guests dazzle, confound, and more likely, botch the trick. If your budget allows, hire a professional.
  5. Texas Holdem Party Texas Holdem is the poker game that is on roughly every other TV channel these days. It's a game that takes only minutes to learn (and a lifetime to master) and can be played with almost any number of players. Unless you go three miles offshore, anything more than really small stakes is illegal almost everywhere, so an alternative is to give everyone an amount of chips that will last the night and give prizes to the ones with the most chips at the end. Obviously, you'll do better if you anchor in the lee somewhere without much wind, unless you don't mind playing with 41 cards.
  6. Karaoke Night Fifty million Japanese folks can't be wrong; karaoke is lots of fun. Thanks to the inexpensive electronics available now, you can get this one off the ground pretty cheap. You can go one of two ways: either get a battery-powered kid's karaoke machine, or use your boat's stereo in conjunction with an inexpensive battery-powered guitar amp (like a Danelectro Honeytone) and a cheap pawnshop microphone. Total cost: $50. The fun of hearing your best friend sing a horribly off-key version of 'I'm Too Sexy' … priceless.
  7. Tackiest-Person-On-The-Planet Party Have your friends head down to the local thrift store (or raid their parent's closet) and find the ugliest outfit that you will wear. You all will have a blast!.... Happy Boating!!!!

Host-Party named on 101 FUN THINGS TO DO list


Thursday, May 18, 2006
Colorado Community Newspapers, (Castle Rock News Press, Centennial Citizen, Douglas County News Press, Elbert County News, Englewood Herald, Highlands Ranch Herald, Littleton Independent, Lone Tree Voice and the Parker Chronicle)
Murder Mystery (www.host-party.com)
Depending on the kind of murder murder-mystery game a person wants to throw, hosting a murder-mystery party costs from $34.99-$59.99 for a single game.

Games are tailored for adults, teens , children and large groups. Web sites such as Host-party.com even customizes games to the size, ages and genders of those involved.

Murder-mystery weekends are used by corporations looking to improve team building among associates, and they are a fun way to spice up any Anniversary, family reunion or similar gathering.

Many stores that specialize in board games may also carry a do-it-yourself kit, helping a party planner create characters for guests to play, a plot line and give suggestions on the use of decoration and props.

Whether it has an Agatha Christie theme or a CSI: Miami flare, a murder-mystery game could make a person's next social event unforgettable. Host-party. com offers specials and gift certificates for its preconceived games and services.



Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Chalan Harper, Superior Observer
After Mari Battreall and her husband bought a 'Host Your Own Murder Mystery' game three years ago and got it home, they quickly realized one thing- that they could do it better.
'It just wasn't flexible enough,' Battreall said this week. For the past three years, the couple have operated www.host-party.com, a site that features games for every age range and are flexible enough to work for corporate parties or intimate gatherings among friends.
Here's how it works: a interested party host can surf to the Web site and look through a variety of games by age, appropriateness (as some games are for adults only) and description.
Once a customer finds the game perfect for them they can pay online and the game is right there waiting for them.
'There's no shipping, it's all just right there,' Battreall said.
Some games are clue-driven and therefore its up to the actors to fill out characters and come up with lines.
For someone who may be a bit less adventurous, Host-Party.com also offers fully scripted games.
On the site, customers can print the scripts, upload friends' pictures and assign them to characters, send out clues to build anticipation, look for costumes and print invitations.
Mari said she and her husband have a track record of 25,000 games sold with about 100 games currently active.
Each game description provides information on age-appropriateness- detailed by ratings similar to television ratings such as 'M' for mature- and how many players can participate.
Adults can choose party  themes such as Roaring 20's, 'Horror in the Haunted House' and 'Beauty Shop of Horrors'.
The site provides costume, decoration and prop tips, as well as links to sites to buy online.
'People really get into it,' Battreall said, 'it does get crazy.'
Kids and teens are not, however, left out of the fun, as Battreall said there are plenty of games appropriate for children's birthday parties or school events.
'We never have any murders in the children's games,' Battreall said.
Children's games often involve mysteries and scavenger hunts, Battreall said, and run along several kid friendly themes like pirates, the zoo and vampires.
Battreall has contracted with about 20-30 authors to write the story lines and scripts.
Authors receive parameters for each story plot and write within the requirements.
Once written, the stories are shipped off for a run through the copy editing process.
Approved games are then posted on the site for purchase.
Additionally, the site offers custom games in which the customer can contact the author and review the specifics of what they want in the game.
The author then sets to work writing and designing the plot and characters.
After the party is over, guests and party hosts can post pictures to the site for viewing and comments on the party.
Thought only in its first three years of existence, the business has already received some national recognition.
Last year, Battreall and her family flew to New York to meet with the staff of Discovery Home Channel's show 'Party Girl', a show that covers how to host different types of parties.
The show contracted with Host-Party.com to throw an intensely entertaining murder mystery party, which was a complete success.
Currently, Battreall said her busiest time of year is right around Halloween, though there are Christmas games available and many are that are good for any time.
For now, Battreall and her family have a plan in the works to thrown their own Halloween party this year.
To learn more, visit www.host-party.com



Thursday, October 19, 2006
Katie Trexler, ABC News KMGH Channel 7
ABC Midday News segment on hosting a Halloween Murder Mystery Party. Anchor Katie Trexler interviews Ted Battreall, from Host-Party.com.



Sunday, April 01, 2007
Sylvia Anderson - Lifestyles Reporter, St. Joseph News-Press
There's nothing like murder to liven up a party. You could say it really gives guests something to talk about - especially when combined with a gourmet dinner and clues to who did it. Lori and Larry Zillner recently hosted such an affair at their historic home in St. Joseph using a box game called 'Murder to Go.' The guests were 1940s actors and movie producers, dressed to kill, so to speak, in furs, big hats and sunglasses. Over appetizers the group learned there had been two murders, making the evening particularly intriguing. Between bites, they were given clues to the murders, while a debonair detective posed telling evidence and questions. The murder scene also was available for inspection. (The victims were found shot to death on the Zillners' fainting couch). It wasn''t until the dessert course that anyone was able to figure out who did it. 'They were here from 5 p.m. until after midnight,' Mrs. Zillner says. 'They said they have never had such a good time and want to do it every year.'
THE GAME Murder mystery games have been around since the 1935 classic game Jury Box, says Ted Battreall, president of Host-Party.com, a Web site that features murder mystery party kits. In Jury Box, players become members of a jury who examine evidence and try to decide if the defendant is guilty or innocent. Today''s murder mystery games tend to be much more elaborate, with individual scripts, invitations, a hunt for clues, props, costumes and multi-course meals. Although the games previously were sold exclusively in box form, they now are usually Web based, Mr. Battreall says, providing custom-designed scripts and more flexibility. Most box games are designed for eight to 12 guests. The Web-based versions can be designed for any size event. 'You can adjust the characters, the setting, customize it with guest names, add their photos and do whatever you want to personalize the game,' he explains. Both forms usually provide complete instructions on what to do, including information and costume suggestions for each character, clues, evidence and invitations. Host-party.com also includes a customized pregame feature, where guests are invited to discover more about their character and the scenario, get costume suggestions and advance clues on the Web site. 'It builds excitement before the party,' Mr. Battreall says. 'Instead of saying, ''What is this?'' They are saying, ''I can''t wait to go.'''
THE CHARACTERS Guest involvement is critical to the success of the game, Mary George says. She coordinated the Zillner party and two other murder mystery dinners the same night as fundraisers for the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in St. Joseph. The characters should be assigned with the guests in mind, she says. Much of the fun is seeing the guest transformation. One of the guests at the Zillner party was so convincing that nobody recognized her, Mrs. Zillner says. 'Everyone was coming in the kitchen saying, ''Who is that woman?''' Mrs. George also suggests adding a detective or investigator if one is not included in the script. He or she can direct the game, ask questions and provide evidence. John Kreipe did a perfect job as an investigator at the Zillner party, she says. 'He was fabulous. He prepared all day Saturday, read through every piece of information, knew everybody''s parts.' Make the investigator fit the guest and the setting. At one of the other parties Mrs. George worked on, the setting was Miami in 1975. Mrs. George''s husband took the role of Sonny Crockett from 'Miami Vice.' Or try some famous names like Sherlock Holmes, James Bond or Columbo. Also, consider your space a character, as well. Props, such as a outline of the body on the couch, matches from a nightclub used as evidence, and an autopsy report helped with creating realism in the game at the Zillner home.
THE FOOD Since the Zillner party was a fundraiser, the food was elegant!



Tuesday, May 01, 2007
2007 KBCO MIller Lite Kinetics Challenge,
Watch a real mystery unfold as the Host-Party.com team fields their first ever Kinetics craft in the 2007 KBCO Miller Lite Kinetic Sculpture Challenge. This challenge will require each team to zigzag through a water, land and mud course while performing outlandish stunts and thwarting all forms of competition. The contest is as much about the pomp, spirit and pageantry of the contestants as it is about the winning the race... A perfect forum for our cast. Host-Party has assembled a motley crew of weekend warriors (meet the team) who have selected the team name SMAC and have designed their craft in a Pirate Theme. 
Fortunately for all, our team won a contest from KBCO, and was give a craft to build from. Since then KBCO, has tracking the progress on their website and during their morning show with Brett Saunders.
On April 28th, our team 'made a spectacle of themselves' at the kinetics parade by blowing away a panel of local celebrity judges with our ambitious pirate skit. Now we wait and see how we will do in the challenge itself. Stay tuned...



Watch the antics of a Host-Party.com murder mystery party unfold.
Do you think your dinner party can top this? If so send us a link to your murder mystery video. If we post it we will send you a free murder mystery game



Tuesday, March 10, 2009
3c Community Church, 3c Community Church
An interview with the cast members of 3c Community Church who performed the Death of A Volneteer for a recent murder mystery party.



Thursday, January 07, 2010
The Office, NBC.COM
There is a murder in Scranton. Michael brings his personnel together on an episode of The Office using the team building features of a Murder Mystery Game. In this episode of the office, you can see how murder mystery games can be used to help teams forget about the stresses of work while relaxing with their coworkers in a fun, light-hearted game of who-dun-it. Visit NBC.com to seeThe Office Murder Mystery.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review - "A Murder in Margaritaville"

Here is another comment from a party host indicating the fun created with Host-Party.com Murder Mystery Party Games:

"What a great game (A Murder in Margaritaville), the characters and clues were laid out so it ran very smothly. Lots of room to adlib, I also added characters for the kids, it was very easy to do and a lots of fun everyone had a great time! I would recomend this one on a nice summer evening with lots of Margaritas!"
---Mike E. - Lake Nacimento, CA (8/23/10)

Review - "Death of the Godfather"

Below is a good example of how the Host-Party.com Murder Mystery Games are enjoyed. This is an actual review from a party host:

"Great fun and good laughs.  Characters all played their parts and dressed in 40's gangster/moll doll fashions.  We had traditional Italian food, chianti, chicken parmigiana, braciole, tiramisu and cannoli. Generally great portrayal by characters everyone acted "out" and some over-actors (j.k.).  No one guessed the murderer!  I had clue kits with flashlight, mints, little tablet, custom pencils (Explicitly Your Pencils.com)and for each round in envelopes and The Solution Round in Red!  Great time with this event and it is the second one I've done and themed perfectly."
--- Debbie & John (4/19/11)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to Host a Murder

People new to hosting a murder mystery game, often ask how to host a murder mystery.

The following are general flow instructions for most Host-Party.com murder mystery games. The actual flow may vary slightly from mystery game to mystery game. Please consult the Host Instructions and Game Materials Print Kit for specifics on your game.

Before the game, print out the clues and organize them by round and character (for a touch of class you can cut place each clue into an envelope).

Your guests should come in character, as should you. They will socialize during ice breaker games or appetizers. During this time you will casually deliver the first round of clues. Each guest will receive a clue and they will read this to themselves. Most guest will receive a clue to reveal and one to conceal for each round. The guests should then share their revealing clues at their leisure with whomever they choose. At the same time, they try to conceal their secret clue. Conceal means they try to avoid the subject or spin the topic - but they CAN NOT LIE. This process is repeated for each round. The timing is up to you, but usually allow 30 minutes to an hour per round.

Breaking out of character to spend a few minutes to review these ground rules is not a bad idea for people new to murder mysteries, but be sure that it is brief and at the beginning. After that don't look back and stay in character, even when tempted to break out to clear up some confusion. The confusion will pass and it is better to keep the fluidity of the event then to clarify every point. Most of our murder mystery games are built more for entertainment, than for serious gumshoe work. Having a good setting and a charismatic group is all you need.

Solution Round: After dinner, you will want to invite everyone to gather around to reveal the solution. First ask everyone who they think did it, how and why. Then have each guest read their clue out loud in order of clue number. This approach varies slightly from game to game, so be sure to read the solution instructions.