I need to come up with a mystery trivia game...

…that can be played in front of an audience. I’m thinking of a Jeopardy-style game or maybe Mysterious Pursuit.* I need to come up with something other than just mystery questions and answers. (It’s for a gathering of mystery fans.)

I need something that can be played by teams, and where both the players and the audience can see the question as it’s asked (but not before) and the standings.

Any ideas how I can put this together? I have help for compiling the questions (or answers, if we go that way) but we’re sort of spinning our wheels about the format.

*I have never actually played Trivial Pursuit so I don’t know if it would work, format-wise.

Why not a “Whodunnit to the Millionaire” based on Who wants to be a millionaire (of course)
Punter in the chair. Question comes up both in in front of the contestant and audience with four possible answers.

3 ‘lifelines’ (this is what made me think of it):
50/50 removes two wrong answers
Phone a friend - exactly that, they have 60 seconds to hear the question and hopefully provide an answer.
Ask the audience - who are provided with keypads in the show, but could vote ‘show of hands’ style.

Once they have locked in an answer (said “that’s my final answer”), the quizmaster lights up the correct answer on screen (again, this could be done in a non-electronic way)

Scoring is the value of the prize, $100, 200, 300, 500, 1000. Safe level.
Meaning 5 correct answers and your minimum prize is $1000.

Get any of the next 5 questions wrong and you walk with your $1K
Get them right and you are on the next safe level of $32K

Third level of 5 questions takes you to the Million of the title.

Punters can leave at any level - even after seeing the question and using 1,2 or all three lifelines, taking the cash they have won (perhaps $125K)

Questions become more obscure and challenging as the levels increase.

Your “prizes” and penalties could be more in line with the genre, or of smaller increments.

Sorry if I’m stating the obvious, ignore me if you’ve thought of this.

Hope that helps.

I won’t get into the rules of Trivial Pursuit, but one of the real challenges in the game is that players cannot win until they have correctly answered at least one question in each of six categories. For example, you may be a whiz at Georgraphy, but you can’t win just by answering Geography questions; you’ll have to correctly answer at least one question on Science, one on Arts and Leisure, etc. Questions range from the absurdly simple to the incredibly difficult; what governs which question is asked is luck of the draw.

If you were to try a “Mysterious Pursuit,” you might create categories based on authors (Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, etc. with one left over for Great Mysteries Not Written By Usual Mystery Writers), or on detectives (Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, etc.), or on settings (London, New York, English Countryside, Smalltown USA, Europe, etc.). Or your categories might just be Authors, Detectives, Locales, Weapons, etc. Note that I am not a mystery fan, so my examples may not be the best. But you should get the idea.

You might take a minute to learn the rules to Trivial Pursuit if you want to go this way. It is a very easy game to learn to play, and should only take a minute. Anyway, once you get the idea, you should be able to see how you could transpose your mystery questions to a “Mysterious Pursuit”-type game. Have fun!

Anna Nicole.

You may have to do some question creation yourself but I’d like to point out Wits & Wagers which is a brilliant trivia game that’s recently come out.

To give you the basics of it a question is asked with a numerical answer that few would know off the top of their head (“What is the current world record for competitive hot dog eating?”) and each player or team gives their answer. These are arranged and people bet on the one that is closest to the real answer without going over.

Here’s a good demo of a sample round if you’re curious.

There’s a only a few rounds so you would only have to make up a handful of questions and there’s plenty to work from for mysteries (“How many pages is Book X?” “How old was Author when they published Book Y?”).

What? What??? Ohhhhh!

Nice one!