In 1893, Chicago held the World’s Columbian Exposition to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World. The entire expo covered 690 acres of awe-inspiring waterways with lakefront access and emphasized sculpture and architecture. The fair was illuminated at night, creating a magnificent and pictur-esque “White City.” The celebration showcased astonishing exhibits of technology, art and music, and featured attractions such as the world’s first Ferris Wheel.A few years before the fair, Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as H.H. Holmes, had taken a job as a pharmacist. Holmes was attractive, charming, and charismatic – all qualities that would help Holmes go unnoticed while operating as an insurance-swindling con artist. It was rumored he eventually assumed control over the Pharmacy by killing the original owner. Holmes procured cadavers to collect on false life insurance claims. He used his fraudulent money to purchase an empty lot to build the three-story World’s Fair Hotel, now known as “Murder Castle.” Some guests would check-in, but not all of his guests would check out.The hotel was constructed to deceive and torture unsuspecting victims across a labyrinth of disorienting passageways to sealed rooms, airless chambers, rooms with gas fixtures, doors to brick walls, and trapdoors to the basement. Rooms in Holmes’ Murder Castle included other elaborate horrors like cellar pits containing acid and quicklime, torturing devices, an array of surgical tools, and a crematory. All of the castle’s rooms were connected to an alarm system to alert Holmes if anyone tried to escape. Holmes would then sell the victims’ skeletons to medical institutions or even on the black market. It took a collective effort to pull off all the schemes necessary to secure the land and obtain the building permits, not to mention the fraud committed during the funding of this project.
Travel back in time to 1893 to explore the twisted and unpredictable World’s Fair Hotel. In Crimes in History: H. H. Holmes’ Murder Castle, you will explore rooms and collect evidence, while battling backstabbing overnight guests and evading Holmes in his thrilling house of horrors.
The castle can be built differently each time using modular room tiles inspired by the original castle's blueprints with hand-drawn illustrations by Holly Carden.
Trapdoors, greased chutes to the basement, brick walls, and seeping gas are just some of the booby traps you'll encounter as you travel throughout the castle.
Because Holmes knows the layout of the castle and all of the castle's elaborate horrors, he can appear in any room with only a moment's notice.
Draw from 79 event cards to gain a competitive advantage or to wreak havoc by sabotaging other players.
The winner is the first player to complete their evidence board and rack back to the Pharmacy.
This game plays 2-6 players and plays 15-20 minutes per player. The 2nd Story Expansion expands the game to 1-7 players and features 5 new rooms with special room effects.
The 2nd Story Expansion also incorporates a new Automa (solo) mode with 3 different difficulties and the ability to Play as Holmes when playing the game with 4-7 players.
The optional Play as Holmes version utilizes a one vs. all mechanic pinning Holmes against all other players. While all other players still play competitively, players can choose to work semi-cooperatively in order to combat a more powerful Holmes.
Funded on Kickstarter by over 1,000 backers, this game released in 30 countries, 49 states, and 1,023 cities in January 2021. Backstabbing! Thrilling! Chaotic! Will you survive?!
Crimes in History: H. H. Holmes' Murder Castle received the coveted Father Geek Seal of Approval which means the game was enjoyed by the Child Geeks, Parent Geeks, and the Gamer Geeks!
“There is something here for everyone, even though the game is set in a twisting maze of murder designed to trick, trap, and eventually allow Holmes to dispatch his victims. GOOD FAMILY FUN!”
“Think Betrayal at House on the Hill except you are in a crazy murder castle and you are trying to do set collection and racing instead of waiting for the betrayer to pop out. You can teach this to new gamers relatively easy, but still has depth for the seasoned lot.”
The Dice Men Cometh
“The game seems to have the right blend of strategy and luck (adding to the theme of unexpected). This is a thematic light to mid-weight game, a Film-Noir style mystery experience that ends up being a race for survival. While being easy to learn and play, you will encounter many meaningful decisions while having to pay close attention to your opponents.”
“Gameplay features a compilation of popular modern mechanics well-executed and on par for a game of this nature…it’s a bold entry for these first-time creators, but they’ve really stepped up to the mark. Murder Castle is a great all-rounder with an excellent execution (no pun intended!).”