A downloadable game for Windows

Desk Job is a Detective Game that involves you trying to solve a cold case whilst putting up with the demands of your overbearing boss. It can be played either solo or as a group and should last the best part of an afternoon or evening.

You win this game by solving the cold case and unlocking the secret identity of the killer.

Desk Job is provided here as a 'print and play' experience, consisting of:

  • The Case File - a procedurally generated set of notes representing the cold case
  • The Play Cards - commands from your boss, who acts as the Games Master


  1. Generate your unique Case File by running 'Desk Job - Make your Case File.exe'*
  2. Print out the Case File, single-sided, and assemble it in page order. DO NOT PRINT DOUBLE SIDED!
  3. Print out the Play Cards, double-sided, on card and arrange them face-down in numerical order, with card number 1 at the top of the deck.
  4. Make the 'Initial Mask' by cutting out the white spaces using scissors or a craft knife.
  5. Turn Play Card #1 over and read it.
  6. Turn to page 1 in the Case File and Begin!

Important Note 1: Every time you solve a clue in the Case File you will be instructed to turn to a new page. BEFORE doing this, you MUST reveal the next Play Card and follow its instructions.

Important Note 2: Anything that is printed in bold on the Play Card relates to instructions in the 'real world' and must be carried out. You cannot turn to the next page in the Case File until you have carried out these instructions.

Play safely!

All images that are used in Desk Job are free to use and in the public domain, unless stated otherwise.

Desk Job was developed by Matthew Crossley, Sam Illingworth, John Lean and Paul Wake as part of the No Shit Sherlock Games Jam and is released under a Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0.

For more information, check out: www.gamesresearchnetwork.org

* Currently only supports Win64

Can't run 'Desk Job - Make Your Case File.exe?'

Don't panic! There's a pre-prepared case file, that gives you the same Desk Job experience, with none of the procedural generation. Grab the 'Pre-prepared Case.zip' from below, extract, and it's as if you'd run it yourself.

Install instructions

To get started, you'll need to extract your downloaded zip file. This should give you access to the following two files:

- Desk Job - Instructions & Cards.pdf
- Desk Job - Make Your Case File.exe*

All the instructions you need to get going are in 'Desk Job - Instructions & Cards.pdf', but you'll also need to generate your very own case file, which is unique to you (so don't try asking your friends for the answers!)

Run 'Desk Job - Make Your Case Files.exe', and after a few seconds, you should see two new files appear:

  • Desk Job - The Case File.pdf
    • You'll want to print this (single-sided) and have it ready for play
  • SPOILERS - Answers Within.csv
    • If anything goes wrong, this contains the answers to your particular case file.

Don't peek at the answers unless you really have to! Once you've opened it, your case file might not be fun anymore.

* Currently Windows 64-bit only. If you run a different OS, don't panic! You can use the 'Pre-prepared Case.zip' download below to get a similar experience.


Desk Job.zip 39 MB
Pre-prepared Case.zip 13 MB

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