I love Halloween. I mean, what’s not to love? The weather is perfect, the decorations are incredible, and there’s candy everywhere. Halloween is a great day to show off your creative side. You can put together any costume you want and be someone else for the day. And, of course, Halloween is a day for all things spooky. Most of us have our favorite movies that we pull out and watch every year—personally, I am a fan of Hocus Pocus and Scooby Doo
on Zombie Island—but not everyone has a go-to spooky game to play. With the scariest day of the year right around the corner, now scooby-doo-zombie-islandis a great time to talk about some of the newest horror games available for you to play on Halloween.
We’ll start off with one of my all-time favorite games that now has an expansion sure to make it even bigger and better: Betrayal at House on the Hill. I was introduced to this game at college by my sophomore year floor-mates. We would get together often for the sole purpose of playing this game, even when we no longer lived together. It is one of my favorites because, despite how many times I’ve played it, each time is completely different.
In case you do not know how this game works, you play as one of several characters who venture into a haunted house and begin exploring it. You will encounter many creepy things as you make your way through the house until, eventually, one of you will turn traitor. At this point, the whole game changes. Instead of exploring the house you are now collaborating to survive “the haunt.” Or, perhaps you are the traitor and are trying to kill the other explorers. You won’t know what is going to happen because there are 52 different possibilities and the chances of playing the same scenario twice in a row are slim. In one game, you may be running away from a horde of zombies while in another, an alien is trying to take you and the house back to his home dimension. You never know what sort of horrors await you in the house on the hill and Avalon Hill has now added an expansion with even more haunting scenarios to play.
Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk comes with two haunt books containing 50 new haunts full of new monsters and creatures. Players can now access the roof, a previously unexplored level of the house with 20 new room tiles. Finally, there are 30 new omens, events, and items and 76 new tokens. The game is officially available as of October 14 and I, for one, am excited to check it out.
Dead of Winter is a game that I have wanted to play for a while. It has been on our shelf since we opened, but I have yet to get the chance to play it. Dead of Winter is a story-centric game taking place in the post-apocalyptic world where zombies have plagued the earth. Players work together to find a way to survive, fighting off zombies and finding food and supplies. It is possible to play with a traitor who is trying to sabotage the rest of the colony which adds another level of chaos to the game.
Plaid Hat Games recently published a stand-alone expansion for Dead of Winter called Dead of Winter: The Long Night. As a dead-of-winter-long-nightstand-alone expansion, The Long Night can either be played by itself or it can be added to the original game to enhance gameplay. The Long Night features a new colony location as well as new characters, new zombies, new items, and new objective cards. If you’re a fan of the zombie apocalypse genre then this is a game worth checking out.
The final game on this list is Mansions of Madness Second Edition. Mansions of Madness is a co-op game inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. In it, players explore the mysterious world of Arkham and encounter plenty of monsters and strange scenarios along the way. There are plenty of characters to play as, each with their own stats. Mansions of Madness is another game that I haven’t played. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of it until the second edition arrived at the Café. However, now that I have learned more about it, I am intrigued and would love to break this game out sometime.
So, what’s new in the second edition? Essentially, Fantasy Flight Games have incorporated the use of technology into the game and created an app to run the game for you, removing the role of the Keeper from the previous version, making the game fully cooperative and allowing for easier setup. The app generates each scenario and all of the tiles and events. The second edition can also be combined with any monster figures and map tiles you have from the first game using the conversion kit included with the game. The app is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows and can even be used on Steam.
If you’re looking for a game to play on Halloween, all of the above are perfect options. Widow’s Walk, The Long Night, and Mansions of Madness Second Edition are all available for purchase at The Game Table Café while Betrayal and Dead of Winter are available in our library to play so drop in and check them out or come join us on the 29th for our Halloween Costume Party!