Boo! A List of 13 Spooky Games to Get You in the Right Mood for Halloween

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Halloween is just around the corner and to help put you in the mood, we’ve conjured a list of 13 of our favorite games with themes that are perfect for a Halloween game night. Some are frightful, others delightful, but all are great fun.  Take a look at our list and let us know–did we include your favorite?

Campy Creatures

Each player gets a deck of the same really fantastic looking monster cards and then it’s bluffing and deduction as you compete to win humans by outscoring (or out-thinking) your opponents. The game is hard to find but you can still get a copy if you look in the right places — and a revised edition with an expansion is funding on Kickstarter right now. (Read our original review.) (db)

Last Friday

For some time, my favorite hidden movement game was one involving a guy named Jack. Now it’s Jason–or Michael or Freddy in this genericized send-up of slasher horror flicks. Campers will be chased by an unseen killer before the tables are turned and the hunter becomes the prey. Play takes place over four distinct chapters and each is clever and fun, and Last Friday is definitely worth bringing to your table this Halloween. (db)

 

Tower of Madness

You truly run the risk of losing your marbles in this press your luck game from Smirk & Dagger. Set in the Lovecraftian universe, players take turns rolling dice and trying to complete investigations. If you fail, you’ll be forced to draw a horror from the tower. Madness awaits …

Read the full review. (db)

Tomb of Annihilation Board Game

Tomb of Annihilation Board Game

WizKids’ Tomb of Annihilation Board Game—based on the latest Dungeons & Dragons adventure module of the same name—is seven pounds of cards, counters, sturdy tiles, plastic minis, and pure arcane horror. A cooperative campaign game for 2-5 players (with the option for solo play for you lone wolves), it challenges your adventuring party to brave the tropical jungles of Chult, plumb the Tomb of the Nine Gods, and, hopefully, free the world from an enduring “death curse.” Built on the familiar Adventure System, you’ll be drawing cards, placing tiles, and collecting treasure in no time. Just don’t expect your fierce supernatural enemies to go down without a fight. (Z.) [Game provided by: WizKids]

 

Haunt the House cover

Haunt the House

I reviewed Haunt the House last year when it was on Kickstarter, but now it’s available at your local Barnes & Noble! It’s a great, family-friendly game about chasing ghost hunters out of the haunted house. (Maybe it’s because they don’t have any candy!) Great artwork and a nice bluffing mechanic make this a fun, not-too-spooky house that you’ll love to haunt. Read my full review here. (Jonathan Liu)
[Prototype copy provided by: Kids Table Board Gaming]

Mysterium
Playing Mysterium at Gamestorm. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Mysterium

On the evening of Samhain, the boundaries between this world and the next waver, making it the best time to communicate with those on the other side. You and your fellow psychics have gathered to investigate an old mystery—a death that was ruled an accident but may have been something more sinister. In the cooperative game Mysterium, one player acts as the ghost, giving clues to the psychics in the form of cards with mysterious images on them; the psychics must use their intuition to piece together the suspects, locations, and potential murder weapons, and find the real culprit before the veil closes once again. The Hidden Signs expansion released last year adds even more cards to expand the possibilities. (JL)

HZRFeat

Hit Z Road

Hit Z Road is a road trip through hell. More accurately, it’s a trip on Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles, during the zombie apocalypse. The game is made from found things, the product of a boy who survived the trip already (or so the story goes). You and your fellow survivors gather resources along the way and these resources allow you to overcome obstacles and fight zombies on your journey. Each player bids to choose among the available routes, but you have to sacrifice your resources to get the better choices. The further west you go, the tougher it gets, but it’s loads of fun and, in an age where zombie games fill our shelves, Hit Z Road stands out for its unique gameplay and outstanding art. Read the full review. (db)

ONENIGHT

One Night Ultimate Werewolf (Or Vampire or Alien)

Few party games at our table get the comment “Come on, let’s play one more time” as often as One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Most people are familiar with werewolf and mafia type games, where players assume roles with special abilities and then try to root out the werewolf (or mafioso) in their midsts. There are plenty of variations, but One Night Ultimate Werewolf is special for a few reasons: First, it looks great; it has wonderful art. Second, you can play this particular game with as few as three players. Third, you don’t need a moderator. Just download the iOS/Android app and start having fun. Fourth, there is just a single round, play is fast. For us, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a game worth playing a lot more than just a single night. Read the full review here. (JL)

Dead of WinterDead of Winter

There are hordes and hordes of zombie-based board games on game store shelves; what makes Dead of Winter so great, you might ask yourself, before pointing out that it doesn’t even have plastic minis! Dead of Winter is billed as a “meta-cooperative psychological survival game” which means all players are working toward a common goal, but individual players also have secret objectives. In order to win, both goals must be achieved for each player. But beware! Among the players, there may also be a betrayer, working to thwart your plans by driving down morale. The result is lots of tension, suspicion, and second-guessing each other’s motives.  (JL)

Shaky Manor close-up of manor
Get out of the way, snake! Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Shaky Manor

Slide your way around this spooky house, filled with snakes, spiders, ghosts, and giant eyeballs! Shaky Manor is a wacky dexterity game where each player tries to get the various items into the right room by shaking, tilting, and jiggling their manors to match the challenge cards. Read my full review here. (JL)

Tiny Epic Zombies box cover

Tiny Epic Zombies

Gamelyn Games is on a roll with its Tiny Epic series of games, packing a lot of gameplay into a tiny package. The latest release (Kickstarted early 2018 and delivered this fall) is Tiny Epic Zombies, which puts you in an abandoned shopping mall with an ever-growing horde of the shambling undead. Play cooperatively or competitively, with or without a zombie player—randomized scenarios change up the survivors’ objectives each time you play. Read my Kickstarter review here. (JL)

Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters
A giant version of Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters at Gen Con. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters

If you’re wandering through a haunted house bustin’ ghosts, you might as well collect some treasure while you’re at it, right? Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters won the Kinderspiel des Jahres in 2014 and finally got a US edition last year. This cooperative game has some of the most adorable ghosts you’ve ever seen, and varying difficulty levels to keep you on your toes. Unfortunately, the Creepy Cellar expansion released this year at Gen Con seems to be hard to find, so you may have to content yourself with the base game for now. (JL)

New Salem character cards
Puritans and witches—which will you be? (Prototype shown) Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

New Salem

Flush those pesky witches out of your brand new town so they don’t cause despair and ruin … or, if you’re a witch, show those holier-than-thou Puritans how selfish and sinful they really are. New Salem is a card-drafting game with hidden roles that keeps suspicions high, and it’s a blast to play. If you already own the base game, now’s a great time to break it out. If you don’t, you can check out the current Kickstarter campaign for the second edition (with expansion!). (Read the full review here.) (JL)

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