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Television production companies often entered into partnerships with game designers and manufacturers, all in the interest of promoting a show or capitalizing on a show’s popularity. Murder, She Wrote was no exception to this, and sever TV tie-in games were released when the show aired its first season in 1984-1985. Given the show’s enduring popularity, it’s not surprising that several additional games were released after the show had already gone off the air.
Below, I give a brief overview of the various Murder, She Wrote games that have been released over the years.
Murder, She Wrote board game
A board game marketed using the Murder, She Wrote name was released in 1985, not long after the show first appeared on TV screens. The premise of the game is that one player is secretly a murderer, while everybody else is playing detective and trying to figure out who that murderer is. Although these were branded using the Murder, She Wrote title, beyond its use of the Jessica Fletcher name and likeness, the game could equally have been marketed using any other detective show title.
The original version of the game was published in the US by Warren Games, but another version (with different graphics) was released internationally by Paul Lamond Games in 1991.
The game has long been out of print and has become a bit of a collectors item. If you’re looking to snag your own copy, you may have some luck finding it on Ebay or Amazon.
Murder, She Wrote mystery (jigsaw) puzzle games
Even before the board game was released, there was a set of four Murder, She Wrote branded mystery puzzle games released in 1984. These were titled (in no particular order): “Desktop Murder”; “The Unconventional Murder”; “Recipe for Murder”; and “The Art of Murder”. Each of these was originally at 550 piece jigsaw puzzle, although I’ve seen some newer editions were the pieces numbered 750.
The idea behind these jigsaw puzzles is fairly simple: each puzzle includes a booklet with a story that outlines the premise of a crime. You then put together the jigsaw puzzle and examine the completed picture for clues regarding who the murderer is. A solution to the crime is printed backwards at the back of the booklet so you can check if you were right.
Just as is the case with the board game, these puzzle games are a bit hard to find nowadays.
Murder, She Wrote mystery jigsaw puzzles (computer game version)
In 1996, the year that Murder, She Wrote ended, the four mystery jigsaw puzzles that were released in 1984 were re-released as a computer game. The game play was still basically the same: you read a story and then pieced together a digital jigsaw puzzle that depicted further clues.
While you may be able to still find the original game CD-ROM for sale, be forewarned that old games cannot run on modern computers. And if you do find a digital version for download somewhere (such as on the Internet Archive), you may need to first install a program such as DOS-box (or another type of old computer system emulator) in order to run it.
Murder, She Wrote hidden object games
Not too long ago, Legacy Interactive released two computer games based on Murder, She Wrote.
The first of these, simply titled “Murder, She Wrote” was released in 2009. The game includes 5 cases that you as the player attempt to solve and progress the story by searching through various crime scenes for hidden objects and clues. This was followed by “Murder, She Wrote 2” in 2012, which was comprised of 3 new cases.
The Murder, She Wrote game was released as part of Legacy Interactive’s “Hollywood Hits” series of games, which also included similar games based on mystery shows like Criminal Minds, Psych, Monk, Law & Order, Twilight Zone, Ghost Whisperer, and House M.D.
While it’s now difficult to find these games on their own, Legacy Interactive still sells them as part of their hidden object games bundles.
Murder, She Wrote fan games
A lot of Murder, She Wrote fans created fan games of their own to enhance their enjoyment of the show as they re-watch it for the umpteenth time. Here are a few that I’ve been able to find online so far:
- Murder, She Wrote Binge Watching/Dinner Party Game — A blogger over at laundrycommittee.com created free printable sheets to take notes on while watching the show.
- Murder, She Drank BINGO cards — The organizers of the #MurderSheDrank tweet-along have created free printable bingo cards to play along with.
- Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote — Not so much a game as it is an experience. If you’re in the UK, this is a viewing party on a large scale, with quizzes and laughter.
If you know of any other fan games, or more information about the official games I’ve listed above, let me know in the comments!