hunt a killer lead
CNN  — 

Who hasn’t fantasized now and again about solving a mystery or being a renegade detective who takes a stone-cold killer off the streets using only wits, moxie and a stylishly angled fedora?

But the part about risking your life and having to fill out reams of real-life paperwork after you close the case? Most of us don’t exactly dream about that quite so much.

The immersive party game Hunt A Killer lets you live out your fantasies of being a TV or movie detective — without the danger or drudge work. It’s the perfect way to spend the colder months indoors with friends, whether it’s the centerpiece to a Friday-night-in, an excuse to get out of doing dishes during holiday time with the family, or an opportunity to avoid playing another round of the same typical board game you always play.

And TV detectives versus movie detectives is the perfect way to describe how it works.

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You can sign up for a subscription Hunt A Killer game that comes in regular installments — think of it as episodes of your favorite show about investigators tracking down evil murderers. Over the course of several episodes, your team of crack sleuths (or you by yourself, if you’re more a Continental Op type) have to sift through the clues in each installment before you can gather enough evidence to take down a potential criminal mastermind. There’s a victory for you to uncover in every box — if you’re smart and determined enough — as well as real, physical clues that Hunt A Killer has put together for you. We’re talking newspaper clippings, matchbooks, photos, love letters, playbills and more, all of which could be red herrings or could point you toward the truth.

Or, if becoming both fan and star of your own regular crime series is too much of a commitment at first, you could take on a Premium Case box set, which is more like a self-contained true-crime motion picture. In these, you’re solving a single mystery that doesn’t carry over to subsequent game nights but that also has a curated set of physical clues for you to use as evidence to build your case. These are also the lowest-price items in the Hunt A Killer catalog, which makes them a perfect introduction to the concept. Alternatively to a single box mystery, there are also Box Sets, which include six boxes of a subscription mailed out at once, allowing you to binge a full investigation all at once!

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If you’re a fan of specific scary movies or crime novels, Hunt A Killer’s got you covered. The brand has partnered with Lionsgate Films to create a Hunt A Killer series based on “The Blair Witch Project,” which is great when you or your friends want supernatural thrills. There’s an Agatha Christie series on the way, for traditionalists who prefer their chills in the vein of Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple. And if you want to please splatterfest fans, you can’t go wrong with the Camp Calamity all-in-one murder mystery, which revives every horror fan’s favorite setting: summer camp.

Perfect for a game night, a date night or a solo test of your critical thinking skills, Hunt A Killer’s a challenge for your brain, a guaranteed night of fun and a great holiday gift for the armchair detective in your circle. And with the code CNN10, you can get $10 off any game. Plus, part of every sale goes toward The Cold Case Foundation, which means you’ll be helping solve real crimes while you solve Hunt A Killer’s fictional ones.

You don’t have to risk your life or badge to be a hero detective. Heck, you don’t even have to change out of your slippers, with Hunt A Killer!