There are less than two weeks until Halloween so that means we’re playing a lot of horror-themed games! There are a lot of scary board games out there, but these are some of our favorites that we have in our library. All of these games will be featured at our Halloween Party on Saturday, October 28th so come out to play some of them!
Betrayal at House on the Hill
If you’re looking for a game full of horror and frights, then enter the haunted house on the hill… if you dare. Players will venture into this chilling mansion to uncover what mysteries lie within. As you explore the house and discover new rooms, you will encounter a variety of strange things. The game starts out fully cooperative, but eventually, during your exploration, one of your companions (or maybe it will be you!) will turn traitor and unleash an unspeakable evil upon the house. The rest of the game becomes a fight for survival as you try to either destroy the evil force threatening the house or you are the evil force trying to kill the rest of your companions.
It’s rather fitting that one of my favorite games is perfect for one of my favorite times of the year. I talked about Betrayal at House on the Hill before in last year’s Halloween post. I love Betrayal because of the excellent replay value; with 52 different scenarios, chances are rare that you’ll play the same one twice. There is also an expansion with 52 additional scenarios that you can add to your game. Looking for more Betrayal? This year Avalon Hill teamed up with Wizards of the Coast to bring us Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, a game combining classic Betrayal with Dungeons and Dragons. As of writing this I haven’t played it, but I’m definitely looking forward to it!
Dead of Winter and Zombies!!!
If you like zombies, you’ll like the next two games, Dead of Winter and Zombies. In Dead of Winter, players are trying to survive the winter in a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies. Dead of Winter is cooperative so you will be working together to gather supplies, fight off zombies, and survive. There is also a story element that comes into play with certain cards. Each player also has a secret objective that they are trying to complete in addition to the main objective. This secret objective could cause you to make tough choices between what is best for the colony and what is best for yourself or it could even make you a traitor as you try to sabotage the rest of the colony! If you’re looking for a more in-depth zombie game, definitely check this one out.
Where Dead of Winter is more about survival, Zombies!!! is mostly fighting zombies head on. In Zombies!!! players lay out tiles to create a town that you will be moving through. In the bottom half of the tile stack is a Helipad that you can use to escape town (after killing all of the zombies on the tile). If you do this, you win, or you can be the first to kill 25 zombies. Unlike Dead of Winter, the only two resources you need to worry about are your bullets and your health and, if you do happen to die, you “respawn” with only half of your previously collected zombies. This game is not designed to be cooperative (although you could theoretically play it that way), meaning that you have to use your cards and move zombies around strategically to try and hurt other players. But, of course, you also don’t want them to kill 25 zombies and win before you do. If you would prefer to just shoot a bunch of zombies instead of dealing with the intricacies of the rest of your colony, this may be the zombie game for you.
Fury of Dracula
Fury of Dracula is a one vs everyone else game where one person is playing Dracula while other players take on the roles of the characters (like Van Helsing and Mina Harker) trying to hunt him. Dracula moves around Europe in secret, creating other vampires and wreaking havoc in different cities across the continent. The hunters search for him as they travel across Europe, trying to follow his trail of devastation. If one or more hunters are in the same city as him, they fight. Dracula wins when he spreads enough of his influence across Europe and the hunters win when they cause 15 damage to Dracula, thus defeating him and ending his reign of terror.
I have only played this game once, and we were still trying to figure out how everything worked so I would definitely like to play it again. If you like the one vs many format in games like Betrayal or Letters from Whitechapel, this is another good one to try!
Mysterium is a game I only recently learned to play and I love it! Mysterium is a cooperative game in which one person plays as a ghost and the others play as psychics. The ghost is trying to communicate the circumstances of its violent murder to the psychics on Halloween night when the when the link between worlds is strongest. However, you only have seven hours to solve the murder and the ghost can only communicate in vague, abstract visions that the psychics need to correctly interpret. If the psychics can solve the murder, you all win! If you can’t solve the murder, the ghost will not be able to rest peacefully and you lose.
Mysterium is one of those games that you’ll want to play over and over again. I recently learned to play it with a few of my coworkers and we played it four times in a row to make sure everyone had the chance to be the ghost (and I’ve noticed our customers do this as well). It’s a great game for groups looking for something fun and cooperative.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
If you like party games like The Resistance or Mafia, then One Night Ultimate Werewolf is another game you should check out. Every player is given a secret role with anywhere from 0-2 players being werewolves. Each game takes place over one night. Every night, everyone goes to sleep and an announcer (or the free app!) calls each role to wake up and perform an action before going back to sleep. Once all roles have done their actions, everyone wakes up and you get only a few minutes to deliberate and decide who you think the werewolves are and choose someone to lynch. The catch is that your role may have gotten changed overnight so you may have started as a villager, but become a werewolf by the end of the game and you have no way of knowing that until each player discusses what cards they switched or peeked at over the course of the night. The villagers win if they kill at least one werewolf (or if there were no werewolves and no one is killed). The werewolves win if there is at least one werewolf and no werewolves were killed. One Night Ultimate Werewolf is fast, fun, and engaging, so you’ll want to keep playing again and again.
Story Line Scary Tales
This last game is probably geared more towards younger players, but adults can certainly have fun with it too. Scary Tales is a game that plays like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, but with a story developing over each turn. There are two stories containing fifteen cards that you can choose from. Each card has missing information (either character, place, feature, object, or action) on it that players are supposed to provide. At the beginning of each turn, the narrator draws one of the story cards. All other players have to choose one of their cards to turn in to the narrator who then chooses which card he likes best and the person who played that card gains a token. The narrator position then passes to the next player and the game continues until the story is complete. The player with the most points on their tokens is the winner.
These are just a few games that are perfect for Halloween, but they’re some of our favorites. What are some of your favorite Halloween games?