4 Horror Games to Frighten Up Your Halloween!

It’s that time of year again. The time of year when the foul wind blows, the air turns crisp, and armies of ghosts and ghoulies creap out of their lairs underneath a bed of autumn coloured leaves to give us a healthy fright. We love Halloween, and we especially love the horror-themed board games that the holiday gives us an excuse to bring to the table. Here are 4 games to make your Halloween frightfully entertaining!

Betrayal Legacy

Price: CAD $78.95
Players: 3-5
Ages: 12+
Playtime: 45-90 Min

Released in 2004, Betrayal at House on the Hill has spent over a decade delighting board gamers with its unique twist on the “old dark house” formula. Something is amiss at the House on the Hill, and players are the only ones brave enough (or stupid enough) to go check it out. What exactly is going on? Well that depends. Betrayal comes with a plethora of spooky scenarios, determined randomly each game. Eventually, one of the players will betray the others, becoming the villain of the scenario who the other players must then defeat. From ghosts to monsters to maniacs, variety is the name of the game with Betrayal at House on the Hill.

But what if you wanted to take Betrayal even further, extending its premise into a sweeping horror epic? Then the logical choice is to pick up a copy of Betrayal Legacy. A legacy game in the same vein as RISK Legacy, Pandemic Legacy, and the cornucopia of other legacy games that have boomed onto the market in their wake, Betrayal Legacy takes the core concept of Betrayal and layers it with a persistent narrative that carries over from game to game. The history of each game is recorded, affecting what will happen in the next one. 

Players take on the role of members of a family. Consisting of a prologue and a subsequent 13 chapters, Betrayal Legacy crafts a narrative that will take place over several decades. Players play both older and newer members of the family, tracing their dark family history through the years. Choices made in one game affect the outcome of others, making each campaign of Betrayal Legacy unique.

How will the story of your family end? You’ll have to play to find out. 

Arkham Horror Third Edition

Price: CAD $72.2
Players: 1-6
Ages: 14+
Playtime: 120-180 Min

There are few horror games on the market with a more venerable history than Arkham Horror. First published in 1987, Arkham Horror was one of the first board games that allowed players to take on the role of Lovecraftian protagonists, battling eldritch horrors as the end of the world creeps nearer and nearer.

 

Players must rush around the town of Arkham, Massachusetts (a town with a seemingly  inordinate amount of occultic activity relative to its size) fighting monsters and finding the clues needed to complete the scenario. At the same time, a Great Old One (picked randomly from several options, including Cthulhu, at the start of the game) sturs in its sleep, threatening to awaken and devour the world of humanity. 

One of the appealing traits of Arkham Horror that has been maintained across all of its editions is the way in which it captures the feeling of vulnerability present in H.P. Lovecraft’s prose. Victory is far from certain, and the game boasts a healthy difficulty level. Lovecraftian protagonists are not superheroes, and the monsters that creep out of the dark are often resistant or even immune to conventional weapons. Players must pick their battles and manage their health and sanity carefully, lest they fall to the forces beyond the veil.

Now in its third edition, Arkham Horror boasts a host of quality of life improvements that iterate on everything we loved about previous editions. The game board depicting the town of Arkham has been transformed into a collection of modular pieces that can be rearranged for different scenarios. Fiddly mechanics like monsters on the outskirts, travel in other dimensions, and skill sliders, have been removed or streamlined. This host of changes not only makes for a faster and more dynamic play experience than previous editions but also bring the overall playtime down.

And if you find that you can’t get enough of Cthulhu, Deep Ones, and Shogoths? Well the game also has an expansion, Dead of Night, that adds even more to the game. Do you have what it takes to save Arkham?

Mythos Tales


Price:
CAD $54.95
Players: 1-10
Ages: 13+
Playtime: 120 Min

Lovecraft was a preeminent author of “weird” fiction, a genre defined by the way in which it crossed over typical genre conventions. Weird fiction embraces elements from sci fi, horror, fantasy, and detective fiction, all in a single package. Mythos Tales doubles down on that last element, emphasizing the mystery elements of Lovecraftian horror, challenging you to use your brain to uncover the secrets of the mythos.

Similar to Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Mythos Tales is not a typical board game per se. Instead of a board, dice, cards, and other typical board game elements, MythosTales instead includes a newspaper, a list of allies, a map of Arkham, Massachusetts, and 8 case books that players must work their way through. Moving from location to location, uncovering clues as they go, players don’t succeed through strength of arms or clever strategy, but by using their minds to make connections and follow leads to their conclusions… Even when those conclusions are terrifying.

At the end of each scenario, players are scored based on how well they solved the mystery. The less clues you needed, the less sanity damaging circumstances you encountered, and the more questions you can answer correctly, the higher your score will be. You can then compare your score against that of Professor Armitage (monster banisher extraordinaire) and see how well you did

Play this game by candlelight, with a spooky soundtrack playing in the background for the full Lovecraftian experience.

Horrified

Price: CAD $71.95
Players: 1-5
Ages: 10+
Playtime: 60 Min

In Horrified, the legendary monsters of the silver screen come to life. Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and the rest of the Universal movie monsters have come to terrorize a small town, and  you and your friends must work together to defeat them.

The board itself serves as a map of the town, around which the iconic monsters will move, horrifying the town’s inhabitants. As they do, the town’s “terror level” slowly creeps upward. Should it reach its maximum the players lose and the town is overrun.

Each of the monsters has its own unique set of abilities as well as the methods required to defeat them. Find the lair of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Destroy Draucla’s coffins, cure the Mummy’s curse; these sound easy on paper, but things have a way of getting complicated when monsters are on the loose.Packed with art evocative of the golden age of monster movies, Horrified is also a game that is a pleasure to look at. The seven plastic miniatures representing the monsters make it easy to instantly recognize and identify each of the iconic villains at a glance. All in all, Horrified is the perfect addition to the collection of any board gamer who also has a thing for classic horror.

Alex, Editor Errant