Halloween is on a Saturday this year, which means you’ve got plenty of time to get a Halloween game night in. Or a game afternoon, before you head out to parties. Because you’re SO popular. You and your parties. You’ll keep that popularity if you tell everyone about the spooky board games you played. Here are my recommendations.
Mysterium might by my favorite new board game of the year. I had the opportunity to demo and buy it before its release at GenCon in August. It had buzz because a version of it was already out in Poland, and it’s made by the same creators as the popular art game, Dixit.
Here’s the premise of the game: One player is a ghost who gives clues to the other players to help them solve the ghost’s own murder. The clues come in the form of art cards. If you’re familiar with Dixit, you’ll recognize the beautiful, eerie, odd art style in the Mysterium cards. It’s a cooperative game for between 2-7 players, and takes a little over an hour with setup time. I’ve only played it with 4-7 players, so I can’t say how the 2 player version holds up. I’ll try it with John sometime and write up my thoughts.
The price on Amazon at the time of this posting is fantastic. I think I paid $60 for it at GenCon!
Betrayal at the House on the Hill is another cooperative game, but with a twist: midway through the game, one of the players secretly betrays the rest. I don’t want to go into detail about what the betrayer does, because it’s a spooky surprise. Other cool things about this game: You build the haunted house around you by laying tiles as you go, and it’s not too complicated or too long. So it should fit right into your game night. Or afternoon. Because you’re going to parties later. Thanks for reminding me.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is another game I played for the first time at GenCon, though it had been out for a while. I did a fuller write-up of it here. In short, this is a quick casual party game perfect for 6-8 people, but can accommodate 4-10. I’m going to be on vacation with a group of people during Halloween this year, so I’ll definitely be taking this with me.
I haven’t yet played the Daybreak expansion, but that’s also available.
I played The Village Crone once, and didn’t complete it, as it was a 45 minute demo at GenCon. Each player is a witch with her own win conditions. You achieve those by gathering ingredients and casting spells. There’s a rule that you have to say an incantation when you cast a spell, which is awesome. You can read the ones provided or make up your own. A silly and small detail, but it really adds to the atmosphere. My one criticism is that with a lot of players, it took a little too long for your turn to come around.
Elder Sign: I know I’ve played this and I’m pretty sure I liked it. I remember it as Arkham Horror Lite, which is a good thing in my book.
Arkham Horror: This game is too long and complicated for my taste, but a lot of people love it. Don’t start it at 11pm.
Zombicide: Cooperative game with A LOT of zombies.
So that should get you started for your spooky board game night, er, afternoon. I think a good game night includes 3 games. I’d start with One Night Ultimate Werewolf to loosen things up. By the time you’re done with that, your take out should have arrived. After you’ve eaten, dive into Mysterium. Then gauge the room and if everyone is up for it, go for Betrayal at the House on the Hill.
This post contains affiliate links. If you use the links to buy a product, I get a small commission at no added cost to you.