What it is: A group game where you try to eliminate other players by winking at them. So, despite its spooky title, really it’s just a game that’s all about your eyes.
Best for: Anywhere from a small to a large group. Ten or more would probably be ideal.
What you need: Just players and a way to randomly select one player to be the Murderer. This can be slips of blank paper, a deck of cards, anything as long as the identity of the Murderer can be a secret.
How to play: First, set up your playing area by sitting everyone in a circle. This can be cross-legged on the ground or in chairs/on couches. Everyone just needs to be able to see every other player.
Then, choose one player to be the Murderer. If you have a deck of cards, pull out one card for each player. Make them all non-face cards, except for one. Shuffle and have each player pick a card, face down. Whichever player draws the face card will be the Murderer. You can do the same thing with slips of paper. Just draw an X on one and fold them all up.
When you pick the Murderer, only the Murderer should know their identity. It should be a secret to everyone else.
So once the Murderer is established, have everyone sit in a circle and announce the start of the game.
For the Murderer, the objective is to murder (i.e. wink at) as many people as possible before being caught. The Murderer can wink at whoever they want whenever they want as often as they want.
For everyone else, the objective is to not die and to catch the Murderer as quickly as possible, thus saving as many lives as possible. You catch the Murderer by calling him or her out.
So let’s set up a sample game. Bobby is the Murderer, and only he knows that. Close after the start of the game, Bobby winks at Monica, who lets out a scream and falls on the floor.
That reminds me: optional dramatic deaths. The game gets extra fun if, whenever you “die,” you die a dramatic death: fall on the floor, gasp, shout out your famous last words, etc. Adds in an element of humor and drama. At the minimum, just announce you’re dead somehow and leave the circle.
After Monica dies, another player, Alex, was watching and thinks he saw a fourth player named Lindsay wink at Monica. So Alex says, “Lindsay, are you the Murderer?” To which Lindsay has to say, no, she’s not. At that point, Alex dies from his false accusation, so now two players are out. Bobby goes on winking at players when he can catch their eye contact, killing as quickly or as slowly as he wants. Both lead to a different game dynamic.
The game ends when someone says, “Bobby, are you the Murderer?” Or, in rare cases, when Bobby kills absolutely everyone else. Then Bobby wins.
It’s a kind of balancing game: for Bobby, he doesn’t want to necessarily kill too fast or too obviously. But if he doesn’t go fast enough, it gives players more time to discover him. For everyone else, they don’t want to spend too much time making eye contact with anyone just in case it’s the Murderer. But the game involves looking in eyes to try and figure out who is winking at whom. I like this game a lot; it’s suspenseful and fun.
To start another round, draw cards again to pick a new Murderer and go!