With Halloween upon us once again, I figured that now was a perfect time to make a short listicle of some of the most spine-tingling, hair-raising, skin-crawling board games on the market. If you can think of any more unsettling adjectives, be sure to list them in the comments section ;). Now, I was originally going to list more obvious games to this list, like Oujia, but that would have been so boring and cliche at this point.
So, I decided to list five games that seem to have developed quite a following among players who like the idea of playing scary, Halloween-themed games year-round. Of course, now that we’re in the season of fright, these games are even more enjoyable to play, especially at night!
Let me just say before we begin, that if these games don’t scare you...you’re already dead!
Bribery, money laundering, unorthodox burials, and murder. It all goes down at the Bloody Inn! Set in mid 19th century France, Bloody Inn is a 1-4 player game that casts you (and your fellow players) as a member of a family of greedy, devious innkeepers who have murder on their minds. The goal is simple: lure guests to the inn and steal their goods. But, you also have to make sure that they won’t tell anyone, especially the authorities. So, you’re going to have to make them disappear as well. Yes, and by that I mean you have to kill them and dispose of their bodies before the police arrive and conduct an investigation.
This is where the bribes and burials come into play. Hide the bodies under an annex and be sure that there are no clues left behind after every killing. The police will investigate the room that they are currently in by the end of each round. If you still have unburied bodies by that time, you’ll have to pay off a gravedigger to bury the body for you in a hurry. You can even bribe a guest to become an accomplice in your little scheme, which can come in handy but doesn’t necessarily come cheap.
Bottom line: this game is all about money. How much you gain and how much you have to spend, depends on how good you are at robbing and disposing of your victims. The player with the most amount of money by the last round is the winner!
Want to know what it’s like to be a werewolf for a night? This fast-paced app-driven board game is sure to fulfill that fantasy. One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a 3-10 player game that gives each player a character and a unique, special ability. But don’t get too attached to your character, because, during the secret night phase of the game, roles are swapped, cards are revealed and someone is about to become the wolf!
After this phase, players have 5 minutes to discover the true identity of the wolf who is lurking in their village. You can expect a ton of finger-pointing, accusations, and deception along the way, as you and your fellow players narrow down the search. If you’re the wolf, your goal is to survive the round without being discovered by the others. If you’re a villager, you must identify the wolf and vote them out before time expires.
Remember, 5 minutes is all you get, but depending on your role and mastery of deception, 5 minutes can be a lot or a little.
Interested in this game? We actually carry One Night Ultimate Werewolf on our site. Check it out!
Travel back to the 1920s and prepare for a ghostly mystery that you won’t soon forget. Mysterium is a suspenseful game that’s made for 2-7 players and tells the story of a ghost who has been discovered in a home in Scotland. But this ghost isn’t here to terrorize. Instead, it’s here to inform how they were murdered and by who. Each player is cast as a medium sent to investigate, while one player is cast as the ghost. The mediums and the ghost must work together to solve the mystery of the ghost’s killing. However, the ghost player may not speak for the duration of the investigation.
The only way the ghost can communicate is through images/visions that must be deciphered by the mediums. These visions are depicted through the detailed illustrations of the cards that come with the game. The mediums have just two minutes to decipher the clues left by the ghost, compile and make their predictions, and help each other to reveal the secrets of the mystery surrounding them. When/if the culprit is correctly identified by the group of clairvoyants, the ghost can finally rest in peace.
If you’re looking for a spooky board game to play for the next family game night or gathering this Halloween, Betrayal at House on the Hill is a great choice. Fit for 3-6 players, House on the Hill is a suspenseful game that allows players to build a haunted mansion using tiles and numerous other terrors. However, if you’re willing to create it, you must be prepared to escape it as well. That’s right, using your skills and strategy, you must work with your fellow players to escape the terror of the mansion and all the deadly figures and scenarios (50 total) that come with it.
But don’t be too trusting of the other players, as one of them is a traitor who is secretly plotting to kill you and the others as you try to make your escape. Hence, the Betrayal at House on the Hill. Win the game by defeating the traitor and escaping the nightmare that you’ve constructed, before it consumes you!
I have to admit that I saved the spookiest game for last. I mean, any game that requires its players to be practically blindfolded during gameplay is worth highlighting in opinion. Nyctophobia, which actually means fear of the dark, is a 3-5 player game that involves players being chased by a vicious hunter (or mage) through a pitch-black forest. Of course, simply closing your eyes doesn’t give you the full effect of the game, which is why all players who are cast as survivors/hunted are given a pair of blacked-out glasses to wear throughout the game.
These players, unable to see the board (or anything for that matter), are tasked with navigating their way through the forest, finding the car space on the board, and surviving long enough until the police arrive. The player cast as the hunter or mage is the one player with vision and needs to only kill one of the hunted players, before the police show up, in order to win the game. Whether the hunter is an axe murderer or a mage depends on the version you play.
While the murderer uses a physical weapon, the mage uses a more psychological weapon to hunt down the hunted. Meaning, the mage can use all kinds of mind-bending tricks to confuse the runners. These tricks can include altering and even manipulating the environment around them to be more like a maze than a forest. If you’re looking for a game to get you into the Halloween spirit, I highly recommend Nyctophobia!
So, what do you think? Can you see yourself playing any one of these in order to gear up for Halloween? Let me know in the comments and be sure to list any of your favorite horror board games as well.
Until we meet again,
Vince the Prince