CS Files: an English game of murder and mystery!
In this episode of “Board Gaming with English” Dustin and Rich talk about the tabletop game called “CS Files.” The game is a fun murder-mystery social deduction board game. You need to figure out who the murderer is! This game is a secret role game, where no one knows who the murderer is. If you are the forensic scientist you must give clues to all of the other investigators (players) so they can figure out who the murderer is. If you are the murderer you will choose a “means of murder” (murder weapon) and “key evidence” (clue) to commit the murder. You need to convince the other players that someone else is the murderer. Let us know what you think of the game in the comments below!
Thank you to Jolly Thinkers for their wonderful contribution to the board game and tabletop community by making an enjoyable and educational game.
Thank you to Joshua Empyre for the “Victory Music” in our “Keywords” segment.
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(Transcript coming soon- support our podcast and email us a transcript of episode 4)
Where Can you Play CS Files?
You can purchase “CS Files” by Jolly Thinkers through our Amazon affiliate link or…
Listener Objective (Learner + Lecture)
If you are a student studying English, after listening to this episode you will be able to…
…formulate an opinion about who you believe to be the murder.
…use basic grammar structures to express your opinion and add levels of certainty to your opinion.
…develop stories based on clues, murder weapons, the murderer, and the victim.
…learn various everyday item vocabulary.
As an English Language learner, this is a great game for learning everyday item vocabulary. We recommend playing this game with different sets of vocabulary words.
It is also another great game for practicing how to give your opinion about something. Be sure to check out our first episode “Werewolf” to learn the different grammar structures that can be used to give your opinion.
If you are a teacher teaching English, after listening to this episode you will be able to…
…teach and use a fun, interactive, game to engage your students in the classroom.
…help your students develop the language skills needed to formulate an opinion.
…teach sets of vocabulary words based on the items in the game.
This is a great game for teaching sets of vocabulary words. You can preview the vocabulary used in the game by selecting different clues and murder weapons for words that you want to teach
It is also a great way for students to practice fluency because they will need to discuss with each other and make a presentation for 30 seconds about their opinion.
In CS Files (Deception Murder in Hong Kong) there is a murderer and you need to find out who it is. The forensic scientist will help the investigators solve the murder. No one knows who the murderer is (only the murderer knows).
To start the game, everyone is secretly given a role:
Forensic Scientist– You will not be able to talk, but you will give visual clues to the investigators
Investigators– You will try to find out who the murderer by looking at the clues, murder weapons, and the clues given by the forensic scientist
Murder– You will choose the murder weapon and the clue. You want to convince others you are not the murder.
Special role: Accomplice– You know who the murderer is and the solution to the crime. You are on the same team as the murderer
Special role: Witness– You saw the accomplice and the murderer leave the scene, but you did not see what the murder weapon was or the clue. At the end of the game, if the crime is solved, but the murderer and accomplice know who the witness is the murderer and accomplice win.
After everyone receives their role, everyone gets 4 clues and 4 murder weapons. The forensic scientist flips over his card. Everyone knows who the forensic scientist is. The forensic scientist is also the narrator. He/She will create a story about the murder.
Everyone goes to sleep and closes their eyes. The murderer (and accomplice) will open their eyes. The forensic scientist will ask the murderer to choose the murder weapon and the clue. The murderer (and accomplice will close their eyes. If you are playing with a witness, the witness will open his/her eyes. The forensic scientist will ask the murderer and the accomplice to put their thumbs up to show the witness. The witness will close his/her eyes. Finally, everyone will open their eyes.
Now, the forensic scientist needs to give clues to the investigators. Six clue cards are laid out in front of everyone to see. One purpose (cause of death), one green (location of crime), and four yellow (random cards). The forensic scientist will place a marker on each of the clues that relate to the crime. At this point, it is very helpful for the forensic scientist to create a story about the murder. This helps to connect the clues and helps the investigators solve the crime. The investigator cannot talk during this time.
Then the discussion and presentation round starts. Each investigator is allowed some time (about 30 seconds) to present their opinion about the murder. You should allow for each player to talk and not be interrupted.
Next, the second round of evidence is given. One more clue is given to the investigators. The forensic scientist removes one yellow tile and replaces it with a new one and a new clue. Discussion and presentation follow. Finally, the third round of evidence is given.
The game ends as soon as the last player presents their opinion about the murder.
Solving the crime can happen at any point in the game. Everyone (except the forensic scientist, and including the murderer and accomplice) can attempt to solve the crime and guess who the murderer is, what the murder weapon was, and what clue was left behind. If the guess is incorrect, the forensic scientist simply says no. If the guess is correct, the investigators win unless the murderer and accomplice guess the witness. If they guess the witness, the murderer and accomplice win. If all players guess incorrectly, the murderer and accomplice win.
Check out our clues from Rich from the episode: