source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
only for private using

Mister X

Preparation time: approx. 1 hour (briefing and costumes)
Cost of materials: low
Age group: 10 – 16
Group size: several groups up to 12 people each
Location: outdoors
Length: 2 – 4 hours
Season: any
Activity level: low
Educational Aims: Team spirit, problem solving through thought


A brilliant group game played over a period of time. Detective groups search for the ominous Mister X. A scenario is presented and the groups need to convict the perpetrator using thinking and through asking skill full questions.

Game Description:

The children are divided into groups - each has a leader (unaware of the answer), who should guide the group; particularly in thought and awareness. To begin with, all the groups are collectively told that they are detective teams and that they need to solve a tricky case. The case deals with an art theft, in which there are several suspects and witnesses, each of which is played by leaders (aware of the answer). These leaders should dress up according to their role, know all the character relationships and behave as in the game description given. The groups must find all the witnesses and suspects in a haphazard order and question them once or several times. With clues and contradictions, the detectives can find evidence to solve the case and help identify the perpetrator. All groups that expose the thief or the group that has the most written down evidence wins. It is important that all the leaders play their roles accurately, don’t give too much away, but at the same time not withhold so much information making it too difficult to find the answer. Some groups are somewhat reserved; in this case adept clues should be given on questioning.

The Story

The rich Sheikh Abdul Allamallacha has a large villa on the outskirts of the city far from the city Wiesemscheid. The villa is located directly on the banks of a winding river and has a huge garden; a gardener is hired daily to look after and tend to it. A cook and a butler help the sheikh in the big mansion.

Rich people often have expensive hobbies, and the Sheikh’s passion is just this i.e. collecting extremely rare stamps. Just one week ago at an auction he managed to complete a seven-part collection of mini stamps of the famous “Seven Dwarfs”. This series is worldwide exclusive and has a current value of 2.5 million euros!

So that not only he, but also his friends and connoisseurs of the scene could enjoy his new treasure, the sheikh yesterday held a dinner party at which the highlight of the evening was a presentation of the entire collection including the "Seven Dwarfs".

However, right after dinner (21:15), he makes a horrifying discovery: Ironically, the most expensive of all stamps are missing from the collection: the Seven Dwarfs. Before the dinner, they were all there, so this limits the pool of suspects to those present at the party.

Other than the invited guests, the Sheikh and his staff, there were no other people in the house.

As detectives, players will now have the task of finding the mysterious Mr. X and to inform the Sheikh of who stole his treasure. As such, question the suspects and witnesses, and try to find evidence and contradictions that can lead to the arrest of the offender.

About 500 meters from the villa there is a small general store that sells everything from Haribo sweets to crafts and bicycles. Somewhat downstream is a water treatment plant which operates 24 hours a day, and is manned by one person. Local Police are also nearby - they launched an investigation following the incident yesterday.

Good luck in the search for Mr. X!


Shopkeeper (44)

  • The Cook shops daily with him, even on Saturdays and Sundays as his decisions as to what to cook and when are always spontaneous.

  • According to the till receipts, which are filed from each purchase, the items bought can be accurately revealed: 2 cans of spice, 6 pounds of fruit, 1 sack of potatoes, 4 cartons of cream, 4 packs of rice, 10 packages of sugar, 1 packet salt, 1 roll adhesive tape, 2 chocolates, 10 pounds veal shoulder, 1 broom, 4 polystyrene plates, 1 roll of yellow bags for free.

Sewage Treatment Plant Owner (58)

  • (Vexed/Angry): During his morning tour of the creek that serves as a supply line for the sewage treatment plant, a sack was found that caused a blockage, during the preliminary cleaning loads of white balls were found in the water.

  • During his last tour at 11pm the night before the stream had not been blocked Sack had a disgusting white coating on the inside which looked much like the icing on a cake

  • The sack had already been taken by the garbage collectors.

Gardener (29)

  • Has been working for the Sheikh for 3 months

  • Reserved character

  • Whilst working in the garden in the evening (around 9pm) he heard a loud splash, as if a heavy stone had been dropped into the water.

  • He didn’t see anything as he was working on the opposite side of the villa to where the river is.

  • He immediately went to check but discovered nothing; the river looked the same as always.

  • Regrets having a beautiful garden, which has been devastated by the police and is now only a single field!

  • Whilst working the rake broke whereupon he went to the area where the stamp collection is kept; here is a cupboard, in which replacement materials are kept including a rake.(around 20:30pm)

  • During the entire time spent working in the garden he didn’t see a single person within the vicinity of the villa; after all it’s quite remotely situated.


  • Went shopping in the general store- like he does every day

  • Whilst Smoking on the balcony (about 21:00) he saw somebody throw something large out of the window, which flew high into the river. Except for a splash he saw nothing else. Who threw it, and out of which window if was thrown are unbeknown to him. It was probably the butler, who was too lazy to take the garbage down, and so simply threw it out of the window

  • Has worked for the Sheikh for one year.

  • For dinner (20:00), there was shoulder of veal, marinated in pepper cream sauce with rice and garnished with fruit.

  • In the evening, after police had left (approx. 23.30), took a walk outdoors to think about who the culprit could be, and what flew into the water, but was unsuccessful in thinking of something.

Sheikh (53)

  • Burglary is impossible, seeing as all the windows are locked and only tilt open. Only he and the Butler have the key.

  • It can’t be the Butler, since he has worked for him for 14 years

  • He doesn’t trust the gardener who has only worked for him for 3 months and is all in all a reserved character.

  • The guests were in the ballroom throughout the whole evening, except when they had to use the toilet. The toilet, however, is in a different part of the villa, from which the stamp room can’t be reached. The stamps were shown to the guests once before dinner (19:30), the second viewing should have been after dinner, by which time they had already vanished.

  • Number of guests: 15

  • (Regretful) the stamps are only just a week old. Previously the collection had been relatively worthless.

Butler (61)

  • Has keys to the whole house, including the stamp room and the windows.

  • Worked for 14 years for the Sheikh

  • Has great interest in stamps. He introduced the Sheikh to this expensive hobby, because he himself had too little money undertake such a hobby.

  • It is bad to sell the stolen stamps, since they are very well known and everyone knows that they were stolen. You'd have to understand the scene well.

  • He knows the scene quite well, is also good friends with some of the guests.

  • Did not throw anything out of the window; didn’t even open it.

Policeman (38)

  • Appeared straight after the incident (21:20)

  • Each person and the whole house searched by 20 officers: found nothing.

  • Because of the splashing noise, scoured that section of river (up to sewage treatment plant): questionable however due to the fast pace of the currents. Also extensively searched the river bank: nothing.

  • Perhaps the reason for the splash was just a stone that crumbled down from the ceiling, onto the window sill, and so fell into the water. It can’t possibly be the stamps, since they are not heavy enough, and also can’t get wet.

  • Stamps seem to have disappeared without a trace

  • Left the scene at 23:30

  • This morning sent out divers who searched the bottom of the river because it was too dark last night for a search: nothing

  • garden completely dug up: nothing


The cook stole the stamps and smuggled from the sheikh’s estate! He put the water-sensitive stamps in a yellow bag, sealed it with adhesive tape and thus made it watertight. Together with the polystyrene and sugar he put the yellow bag into the potato sack and threw it into the River. The weight of sugar in the bag initially pulled the sack to the river bed. Once the sugar dissolved, the polystyrene acted to ensure that the bag floated back to the surface and moved it down the river. During his nightly tour of the kitchen the cook just had to fish out the bag slightly upstream and take out the stamps.


  • The cook lied when he claimed that he saw something fly high out of the window. All the windows were closed and were only able to tilt open. In this position, it is impossible to throw something high out the window which is big enough to cause a big splash.

  • For dinner there was a side dish of rice, but no potatoes. Why then, did he need a sack of potatoes? Just for the sack. Seeing as he goes shopping on a daily basis there was no need for him to purchase the potatoes that day.

  • Many of the items later found, were purchased in the store i.e. sack of potatoes, frosting, polystyrene, etc. Therefore, it must have been the cook who threw the bag into the stream. Why else would he have bought the exact same items that were later found?

  • At night, after the police had already searched the entire river area, the cook allegedly went outside for a breath of fresh air. In fact, he was waiting for the sugar to dissolve so that he could get the sack out of the water; that is to say the police found nothing on the eve of the crime. The next day they searched the bottom of the river and found nothing there. For something to have definitely fallen into the river, the only possibility remains that the object started off on the river bed and came to the surface during the course of the night. Fishing something out of the river right in front of the villa would have been too noticeable, therefore, the cook had to devise a way for the sack to independently come to the surface, and then be carried away from the villa on the current.

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