We’re frequently asked at Vancouver Mysteries if we have any top secret tips or strategies for winning the game. It’s true that over the years we’ve seen every detective, spy, and superhero team imaginable. We know what works and what doesn’t. In response, Mission Control has unclassified the following strategies and tips that may make the difference between getting a perfect score or your team finding another career:

Be Prepared

Vancouver Mysteries supplies you with everything you need to solve the mystery, but it doesn’t hurt to do some preparation before your game begins.

Extra points are earned for completing your mission within a shorter time-frame. Give yourself an advantage by wearing comfortable walking shoes and dressing for the weather. Don’t believe the movies; fighting crime is much harder in heels than in runners.

Don’t overload a knapsack with high-tech equipment, but if you read with glasses, suspect rain, or if it’s a hot day, please do bring reading glasses, one umbrella for the team, and water-bottles as needed.

Don’t Miss Your Briefing

Your briefing contains vital information that you need in order to succeed. You don’t want to miss it. Give yourself plenty of time to travel to the secret starting location and to find parking. We recommend arriving 5 minutes early to avoid disappointment.

Listen & Read Carefully

Listen closely to your Game Operator’s instructions and take a close look at your game materials. You never know what hidden clues or advice there might be in the wording or fine print.

Divide (Duties) & Conquer

Just like in Oceans 11, the best covert teams have a special assignment for each individual team member. Give each player one of the following roles:

Team Captain: You lead the team. In the event of a tie when an important decision is to be made, your vote decides. If put on the spot to answer a mysterious question, you are responsible for answering for the team. No pressure!

Intelligence: You are in charge of the case file, mission brief, or adventure book. Your reading comprehension is excellent and you have a good eye for details. You are responsible for effectively communicating this vital intel with the rest of your team.

Navigator: The map is in your possession. You have a good sense of direction and time management. It is your job to navigate the team from location to location and to ensure that everyone returns to the secret ending location within the 2 hour time-limit.

Inventory: You are in charge of the kit, including all of the clues and equipment inside. For Crime in Downtown the contents of the dossier is left in your hands as well. You’ve done a thorough investigation and inventory of all of the kit’s (and dossier’s) contents. When requested by teammates, you quickly find and produce the required clue or piece of equipment needed to complete the present challenge. You would never dream of losing anything from the inventory as you know that every tool that Vancouver Mysteries gives you is vital to the mission.

Transcriber: You are in charge of the report. You are known for quickly and accurately recording all answers in written form. Ideally you have clear, legible writing.  You are extra diligent in your duties as you know that if it’s not on the report, then it can’t count for points.

Stick Together

Just like in horror films, bad things happen when teams split up. Remember that you need every piece of equipment given to you at the start of the game to solve the challenges.  Dividing the duties will help you to conquer the game, but dividing the equipment and the team will lead to your downfall. Stay together at all cost!

Use All Of Your Clues

You are given every single clue and piece of equipment you need in order to solve the mystery. If you are stuck on a challenge, maybe you haven’t used a clue yet. Thoroughly check your inventory immediately. Who knows, you might already have the answer.

Don’t Over-Think It

Still stumped on a question? Then you might be over-thinking it. Sometimes the hardest challenges have the simplest solutions. Take a deep breather, clear your head, and look at the game materials anew.

Stumped? Move Along

If you are well and truly stumped on a challenge, skip it and move on to the next. You are awarded points for each challenge you answer correctly. Don’t spend all of your time on one challenge to the detriment of the others. If you have extra time at the end, you can always return to it and try to solve it with fresh eyes.

Return Within 2 Hours

You have a maximum of 2 hours to complete your mission. At all costs, even if you have not solved the mystery, return by this time. If you have not returned within the allotted 2 hours, then you will be deemed missing in action and presumed dead, receiving zero points. It is better to receive some points than none.


Have you returned to the secret ending location, but still have some answers blank on your report? Then guess. You never know; you might guess correctly and receive some points.

Extra Tip: Do not mark every single possible answer for multiple choice questions. We’re street-wise detectives! We’ve seen that one before and won’t fall for it.

Bribery Won’t Work

Considering trying to bribe your Game Operator for a few extra points or for an answer or two? We’re hard-boiled detectives with a strong sense of justice; it won’t work! Our families have already tried and failed. Though tips at the end of the game are always appreciated.