If you love Halloween and are looking for some good board games to play in October we have a few suggestions for you.
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Possibly one of my favorite games, Betrayal at House on the Hill plays 3 – 6 players. With easy to learn rules and tons of replayability this game is well worth the price tag. The game starts as players explore a haunted mansion together taking turns laying new tiles to build the layout of the mansion. Rooms offer a variety of items, events, and omens to build excitement and suspense. At some point during the game (triggered at random) one of the players will become a traitor (selected at random). When this happens you’ll find the corresponding scenario. The Traitor will take their booklet aside and read the entry. The rest of the group will read the matching entry in the survivors book. Once both are ready the Traitor will start taking moves to accomplish their goal, while survivors work together to complete their own goals. Without spoiling too much the scenarios are often classic horror themes, the Traitor becomes possessed by an angry spirit and attempts to kill the rest of the group. Meanwhile the rest of the group might need to escape the house or find a set of objects to defeat the angry spirit. The original game has 50 different scenarios, meaning you can play the game at least 50 times with different outcomes. If you ever manage to play them all you can add the Widows Walk expansion for another 50, plus the rooftop tiles and new cards!
Mansions of Madness
1 – 5 players take on the role of cooperative Investigators seeking out Lovecraftian mysteries. The 2nd edition of this game uses an app to help setup the game, reveal mysteries, run NPCs, and control monster actions. I’m not typically a fan of board games with an app, but this one runs smooth and is unobtrusive. It feels less like an app and more like an extra friend at the table who knows all the rules, is very descriptive, and is unbiased in his choices. Because of this it makes an otherwise complicated game fairly easy to learn and play. The game comes with a large number of tiles that are arranged as the app displays. This means you can play the same scenario and have a totally different layout. Each scenario has a story where Investigators will interact with NPCs, search the map, and complete puzzles to unravel the mystery!
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
In this psychological survival game 2 – 5 players are survivors in a small, weakened colony of suriviors in a world where most of humanity is dead or a zombie. While players are working together towards a common victory, they are also working towards their own goal for personal victory. Players must move about fortifying their colony, searching for food, fuel, and other supplies all the while trying to avoid the blood thirsty zombies. This is a game with heavier rules than my first two suggestions but is well worth the investment of learning. If you are a fan of the Walking Dead, this might be the best Walking Dead board game out there… except it isn’t a Walking Dead board game.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
This is a great party game for 3 – 10 players (there are also other versions of this game that can play up to 75 players!) Each player is secretly and randomly assigned a role of a dozen different characters from Werewolf, Troublemaker, Seer, etc… Each turn players will vote to lynch who they think is the Werewolf in this bluffing and deduction game. All it takes is one lynched Werewolf for the townspeople to win, but the dastardly Werewolves won’t make it easy.
A beautiful game for 2 – 7 players, 1 player takes on the role of a ghost trying to communicate their murder through visions to the other 1 – 6 players who are mediums. The mediums must discern the person, location, and weapon that may have been complicit in the murder before time runs out. Over the coarse of 7 turns the player of the ghost will give out beautifully illustrated vision cards to each medium in an attempt to point them towards the suspects. As the mediums discern each part (person, location, and weapon), they will move onto the next stage until they have figured out the vision the ghost is trying to convey. One final vision is given to the group of mediums in an attempt to reveal the actual person, location, and weapon. Mediums will secretly vote on which they believe is correct. If the majority vote the same way the mystery is solved and the ghost moves onto a better place. If not the ghost is left to haunt for another year until they can build their strength to try again!