Q. How is the game actually played?
A. The game is played in four rounds. At the start of each round, the host will announce the names of two of the "main suspects" (there are 8 main suspects in each game and only the host knows the identity of these characters). The suspects will then read a brief script together. After each round, everyone, including the main suspects will deliver clues, either by reading them or acting them out via pantomime. The rounds are broken up by dinner courses (optional), viewing the crime scene, and other activities. At the end of round 4 everyone votes, the votes are tallied and winners' certificates are awarded.
Q. How are the Butler murder mystery party games different from the other mystery games?
A. The Butler games are different because they not only offer a mystery to solve; there are also other activities. These are fun games full of surprises such as pop quizzes, dance contests or other similar activities depending on the theme. And most importantly, you and your guests won't just sit around and listen to your fellow players read from dossiers or reports. No one will have to take notes or questions each other. Also, the murder mystery games don't always involve murder, there are others that revolve around different types of crimes - kidnapping, thievery etc.
Q. How many character descriptions are included?
A. There are 16 characters, 8 females roles and 8 male roles. Most of the games also come in a larger version for 24 guests, 12 female and 12 male. The roles can be assigned to individuals or couples. Teen game "Murder in Metropolis!" has 12 characters, 6 female and 6 male roles, and the teen verison of "Murder at Kool Kat High!" was written for teenage girls and has 12 characters but also has an additional 4 male roles for male cousins, brothers, friends, etc. We also have a teen version of "Murder at the Groovy A Go~Go! which accommodates 16 characters, 8 female and 8 males.
Q. What about the host(s), can they play along?
A. Absolutely. Though the host will know who the 8 main suspects are out of the 16 possibilities, the solution is sealed and should not be opened until the end of round 4.
Q. How will the guests know what happened?
A. The basis facts regarding "the crime" are noted on the invitation and a complete suspect list is also included. With this information your guests will know who the victim was, a brief description of the crime, and a description of all the other characters.
Q. What happens if I only have, for example 12 guests, instead of the 16?
A. No problem. As long as you have your 8 main suspects, only the clue cards will be affected. In this case you would have 4 extra clue cards so all you have to do is simply give out those cards to anyone who'd like to read them as well as their own...or the host can read the extras. It doesn't matter who reads the cards as long as they all get read. Another idea would be to simply display them where everyone can read them while mingling between the rounds.
Q. What if one of my "main suspects" cancels out at the last minute?
A. Again, no major problem. The host, even if playing another role, can assume that suspect's identity and read his/her script ...just switch name tags for that period ...or you can ask for a volunteer.
Q. What if my guest list is a little larger and I need more character descriptions than 16?
A. Most of the games also come in a larger version for 24 guests. If you have more than 24 guests our "Supplemental Guest Packet", will accommodate 8 additional "generic"guests and if they dress in the era of the game they should fit in quite nicely.
Q. How long does the game take to play?
A. It depends on a lot of factors...how many guests are playing, if you will be stopping for dinner courses, if your guests partake in the optional pantomime clues (some prefer to just read their clues) and whether or not you want to conduct the extra activities included. All in all, it's a fun-filled evening like any other party.
Q. How will my guests know how to dress?
A. In most cases, once your guests read their invitations and get a feel for the era/story line, they won't have any problem deciding what to wear. Some of our games do offer costume suggestions.
Q. What about guest "interaction"?
A. This question suggests a bit of a "serious" nature to mystery games and it is important to know that the comical Butler series has been designed to be played in a "party atmosphere" with music and the usual mingling conversations one would normally find at such a gathering. When the host announces the start of a round, the guests gather and begin - listening to the scripts and delivering their clues. These mystery games were created to be easily played and enjoyed. Some guests really get into the story, like to ad lib, and exaggerate their characters. Others are on the shy side, so personalities should be taken to mind when assigning parts. As far as interacting with each other, interrogations or questioning periods, that can be done after each round, but isn't really necessary...that's up to you. In any event, all will have a good time and the main thing to remember is to not take this game or any game so seriously that it loses its entertainment value.
Q. Are the games suitable for teens?
A. We now have a game that has been written exclusively for this age group entitled, "Murder in Metropolis! - The Superhero Homicide". Though "murder" is the theme, the victim, a robot, that hasn't been actually "murdered". The robot has been de-programmed in a comical, non-violent manner. All guests come as "superheroes" and all have a strong motive for wanting "Robo Gal" out of the picture. In addition we now have an ALL GIRL version of "Murder at Kool Kat High!" and a teen version of "Murder at the Groovy A go~Go! for 16, 8 female and 8 male roles.
Though the storylines of the other murder mystery party games have been written for adults and some of the character names are a bit risque, the dialogue and clues are perfectly innocent. In fact, daytime TV is far naughtier. One thing to note is that every game includes a menu and recipes -- including a recipe for "spirits", an alcoholic beverage. This, obviously, would need to be excluded if teens were participating.
Q. Once I place my order, how long does it take to receive the game files?
A. We check our order line four times per day, seven days a week at 7:00 A.M., Noon, 3:00 P.M and at 10:00 P.M. (EST) so in most cases, you will receive your game the same day you place the order.
Q. What credit cards do you take?
A. The credit cards we accept are VISA and Master Card.
Q. What is your return policy?
A. Just as most companies, The Butler Didn't Do It! does not offer a refund for their downloadable products. Due to the nature of the files, we have no way to prevent a customer from using the game, once the files have been sent. However, we are happy to answer any questions once you receive your game. Also, since we can't possibly list every character and their description on our website, we are happy to email a replacement game should you find in your original choice, for whatever reason, the character descriptions do not fit your party needs. (We can do this just once).
If you still have any questions, feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org We check e-mail frequently throughout the day - 7 days a week. You may also leave a message on our answering machine at 207-778-5608 and we will gladly return your call as soon as possible
...and remember, the Butler Didn't Do It!...did you?