Vancouver Mysteries is a company that offers a series of outdoor adventure games in downtown Vancouver where players work in teams and solve clues.
The games are great activities to do in today’s world of COVID-19 because everything is outdoors and you can play with your friends. In addition to the live, in-person adventures, the same company also offers a number of fun Virtual Games that can be played online too.
Great for the Halloween season in 2022 are Vancouver Halloween Family Events which are Super Hero Quest games for families including kids ages 6 and older. For adults (and youth ages 14+) there are also Vancouver Mystery Nights. Both types of games take place between October 13th and October 31st.
SAVE 10% WITH PROMO CODE!
Games are happening in Vancouver! From now until the end of the year, Vancouver Mysteries is offering 10% off for groups that use the promo code BESTPLACES and book games with a minimum of three people. The offer is good for any one of their outdoor Vancouver adventures as well as for their three Virtual Games.
To book your spot go to the Vancouver Mysteries Website and use the promo code BESTPLACES just before the end of the registration process.
In this article you’ll find the following information about Vancouver Mysteries:
Detective, Secret Agent & Superhero Games with Vancouver Mysteries
With Vancouver Mysteries you can solve a murder mystery, go on a spy mission, or be a superhero and defend the city from a supervillain. It’s kind of like an escape room – where you have to solve problems and interpret clues – except that it’s outside and your “room” is downtown Vancouver.
Games cost about $35 per person and last approximately two hours. Most of them finish near Waterfront Station and cover a two-or-so-kilometre area of downtown Vancouver. All the game options are a blast!
For tickets and full details see the Vancouver Mysteries website.
Five Mystery Game Options
Vancouver Mysteries used to offer three different game scenarios, plus an additional family version of their Heroes & Villains game. Since 2020 though, they now offer a fifth game which you can play from pretty much anywhere!
Games happen rain or shine. Costumes are encouraged but not required. All you need is a group of friends and a taste for adventure – Vancouver Mysteries provides all the materials, including a game kit, artifacts and a map.
Secret Mission is a spy game where you get to be a secret agent, decipher a coded message and save the city from the evil BLACKOUT organization. The game takes place in downtown Vancouver. The cost is $35 per player and its level of difficulty is rated “intermediate.”
To learn more about this game see our article about the Secret Mission. In the article you’ll learn about our adventure and what we experienced. You’ll also find a video showing scenes from the game.
To give you an idea of what to expect on a game, check out the following short video clip of scenes from our experience doing the Secret Mission adventure.
Heroes & Villains
Heroes & Villains is a superhero adventure where teams of friends protect Vancouver from the notorious Muck Monster. It’s slightly easier than Secret Mission and Crime in Downtown, but costs the same ($35 per person). Costumes are encouraged, but not required.
Heroes & Villains (Family)
Vancouver Mysteries has a Family Version of their Heroes & Villains game. The original is recommended for people ages 12 and older. The family edition is good for children ages 8 and up to work on along with their parents or at least one adult.
Both of the above games are played around the Vancouver Convention Centre and Coal Harbour Seawall.
To learn about our experience playing the adult version of the game see our article about Heroes & Villains.
The Case of the Hotel Detective
New for 2020 is The Case of the Hotel Detective. With this game, unlike the others, you can play it at home. Vancouver Mysteries will actually deliver the materials to your house, hotel room or place of business.
With this game, you have an hour and a half to solve the case. It isn’t a “murder-mystery party.” It is a mystery game though, but one that is more like a portable escape room than a scavenger hunt. It’s also very challenging and a lot of fun.
All the other games are recommended for people ages 12 and up (or 8 and older in the case of Heroes & Villains Family). This last game though is recommended just for adults.
Whereas the other games all cost $35 per person, with this one the price is $250 total (for between 2 and 6 players).
Crime in Downtown
This game costs $35 per person. It has an “intermediate” level of difficulty and is recommended for players ages 12 and older.
The Crime in Downtown game involves a murder that took place years ago. The victim, Jimmy Capello, was not only strangled, but also stabbed and poisoned too! Who was the murderer? You have to wander around Gastown looking for clues to solve this puzzling cold case!
To give you an idea of what a Vancouver Mysteries adventure is like, below are details about our experience with this game.
About our Crime in Downtown Experience
We checked out Vancouver Mysteries’ Crime in Downtown game with a couple of grade 12 teenaged boys and we all loved the experience!
In the game we had to show up at our starting time at a specific location, say a secret code and then receive our mission details. We were given our sticker detective badges, our detective kits and basic instructions. The clock then started and we had just 120 minutes to solve the crime and be back.
In our detective kit we had a map, pieces of evidence and a series of clues to find and solve. We had to go to different addresses and look for specific items. We had to decipher codes, measure things and think outside the box in several cases. Some of the clues were easy and others were more challenging.
By the end of our two hours we had deciphered most (but not all) of the clues, but still managed to solve the crime. We got a score of 67 out of 100 which gave us a ranking of Senior Detectives! We also had a great time and recommend the game.
For tickets and full details see the Vancouver Mysteries website.
Tips, Clues and Secret Agent Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Vancouver Mysteries experience.
Suggestions on How to Solve the Clues
TIP #1: You get a detective kit (or superhero kit or secret agent package) at the start of your game. In it are materials to help you solve the case or save the city (depending on which adventure you are on). Look through the kit carefully so you know what’s inside! The evidence and tools you are carrying are all important. Also, be careful not to drop and lose any of the pieces along the way!
TIP #2: Don’t look at the contents of the detective kit only at the start, but also again every once in a while to remind yourself of what you have. Also, make sure that every member of your team knows what’s inside. When we did our game, at the end we found out that there were a couple of things that not everyone was aware of (which explains why we didn’t manage to solve all the clues).
TIP #3: Don’t expect to solve every clue and challenge. You might, but, like us, you might not. If you get stuck, don’t get frustrated. Just move on to the next clue. You might also have time to go back and try again later.
Tips About Costumes
TIP #4: Costumes are encouraged, but not mandatory. Most people just wear their regular clothes, but some participants are keeners, go all out and make this a serious event.
TIP #5: If you’re ever in downtown Vancouver and see people running around in secret agent costumes or looking like superheroes in tights and capes, don’t worry. And don’t panic! It’s probably just a group of people on a stag or stagette party having fun on a Vancouver Mysteries adventure.
Other Suggestions and Things to Know
TIP #6: The games can be played with teams of two to six players. We did it with three and it worked great. The more players you have though, the better your chances of one of your team members being able to think outside the box and solve the more challenging clues.
TIP #7: If you need eyeglasses for reading, take your glasses on your adventure as you’ll need to read the instructions and look at a few things in detail. If you forget your glasses you can either listen to someone else reading things out or look inside your kit and hope to find a magnifying glass.
TIP #8: At the end of your adventure you report back to where you started. There, an agent or other character checks your findings, gives you a score based on what you did right and explains what you did wrong. It’s fun to learn what you should have done in cases where you had an incorrect answer or none at all. Be sure to ask if they forget to tell you everything.
TIP #9: You don’t have to race around or run to solve the crime within your two-hour time limit. The faster you go the more time you’ll have to go back to places where you couldn’t solve a clue, the quicker you’ll finish and likely the better you’ll do. You don’t have to be ultra-fit or an athlete though. When we did our adventure we just walked at an average walking pace.
Online Zoom Games
The following three games all take place online, so you can play them from home! This is especially good for those who want to have fun with family and friends in a comfortable and COVID-friendly format. (To learn more about these games see our article about Vancouver Mysteries’ Online Games or visit the official Vancouver Mysteries‘ website.)
Big Top Werewolf Online Zoom Game
In addition to the above adventure games that people play in-person in downtown Vancouver, Vancouver Mysteries has a family-friendly virtual game that people can play via Zoom. Circus-themed Big Top Werewolf involves acting and tricks like magic, weight lifting and dancing. It’s a lot of fun!
Whereas the downtown games involve walking, deciphering codes and activities that challenge your brain, Big Top Werewolf involves light-hearted silliness, mini skits and laughter.
The online game is great for children and multi-generational families and friends. Corporate groups also find it good for team building and social events. Perfect for social distancing in the age of COVID-19, it’s played with 6 or more players who work in teams.
To learn more about the circus-themed online game, see our article about Big Top Werewolf.
Zoom Trivia Games
New for 2021, Vancouver Mysteries offers a Zoom Trivia Game. This virtual game is more like a game show than it is a mystery game. However, it still makes for a competitive night of fun!
Participants play as individuals or form teams and compete against friends and family members to score the most points. Each game is private and can include between 6 and 300 players. A host guides everyone throughout the game.
With a variety of trivia categories available, everyone can play this online game show more than once. Prior to each game, groups vote on which 4 trivia categories they wish to play. All categories offer numerous types of questions, including multiple choice, ordering, video clues, audio clues and more.
Unlike the Big Top Werewolf game, the trivia game is recommended for people ages 14 and above. This is due to the level of knowledge needed to answer most questions. Games last from 60 to 90 minutes and cost $25 per player.
To learn more about this game click Zoom Trivia Game.
Black Skull Murder Mystery
The newest virtual game offered by Vancouver Mysteries is Black Skull: A Pirate Murder Mystery. Similar to in-person murder mystery parties, this online version is also a role-playing game. This means each player is given a character to play, and one character is the murderer!
Black Skull runs for about 90 minutes and can be played in groups of 6 to 12 participants. Each game is fully hosted by a guide, and all players are given their own objectives worth points. The main goal for each player is to complete all of their objectives and finish the game with the most points.
All participants are asked to play from their own computers (so sharing one screen with a competing family member is not recommended). The game gets competitive and is intended for folks over the age of 13. The cost to play is $25 per person, and games are booked in 2-hour timeslots.
About Vancouver Mysteries
Vancouver Mysteries is a Vancouver-based company that offers outdoor adventure games in the heart of the city. Started in 2014, it was the first mystery game company of its kind in Canada.
Below is a brief video of the owner of Vancouver Mysteries talking about the company, its games and history.
For more information about the company and its games see the Vancouver Mysteries website.
For ideas on other things to do in the same part of town see our articles about the following:
- Vancouver Restaurants (including ones in Gastown, near Canada Place and elsewhere)
- Vancouver Halloween Activities