13 Ghastly Games for Halloween

Featured Gaming Hacking the Holidays Tabletop Games

Hosting a haunted Halloween game night this year? Here’s a selection of tabletop games to get your guests and ghosts into the holiday spirit!

Our suggestions for this year’s list are from Jonathan Liu, Paul Benson, Rob Huddleston, and Michael Knight.


Phantom Ink question card and object card
Phantom Ink cards. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Phantom Ink

Communicate with the spirits to figure out the mystery object in this team-based word game. Each team has a spirit giving the clues, which are written out one letter at a time until the medium decides to stop them—you can see the clues from both teams, but you don’t know the questions that were asked. Silence your spirit before they give away too much information! Read the full review here. (JL)


Dead & Breakfast ghost meeple with tiles
Boo! The ghost limits which tiles you can take in Dead & Breakfast. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Dead & Breakfast

Build the creepiest hotel by matching guests with the creatures that scare them! Players choose tiles from a rondel and arrange them to spook as many guests as they can, while also paying attention to the vines and flowers growing along the walls. Bonus scoring tiles add another condition to meet for more points. Read the full review here. (JL)


The moment I(as The Thing) decided to try an Infection Attack. Image by Paul Benson.

Who Goes There? 2nd Edition

As it’s based on the novella that inspired the movie The Thing, you know this movie is perfect for Halloween!  3–4 players (or up to 6 with expansions) will fight against both the freezing Antarctic weather, and a shapeshifting alien intruder that may have taken over the identities of one or more of the camp members. Great production values and a growing sense of paranoia among the players will make this a tense but fun addition to your game night. Read the full review here. (PB)


Whirling Witchcraft overflow example
Fill the cauldron using your recipes, but don’t let your workbench overflow! Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Whirling Witchcraft

Double, double, toil and trouble … collect recipes to transmute your magical ingredients, and then pass your cauldron to your neighbor. If you can overflow their workbench, you’ll add power to your Witch’s circle. But beware—you’ll be receiving a cauldron to deal with as well! This colorful game of drafting and crafting plays quickly and is a lot of fun. Read the full review here. (JL)


The Night Cage - Wax Eater example
Players stumble around in the dark, trying to escape The Night Cage. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

The Night Cage

Work together to collect the keys and reach the gate to escape The Night Cage, a cooperative tile-laying game. The maze of passages shifts and changes, and you can only see the spaces right next to you. Watch out for the Wax Eaters, who will snuff out your candle, and use caution on the crumbling floors that will drop you into pits. Read my full review here. (JL)


Hans goes down for good. Image by Paul Benson.

Final Girl

This solo-only GeekDad-Approved game is just dripping with theme. You are the Final Girl in a horror movie, trying to survive the night and defeat the killer. There are several different “Feature Films,” each with their own Final Girl, killer, and setting. But you can mix and match all of these, creating your own unique horror movie that you play through. And there are even more Feature Films on the way, with a 2nd Kickstarter funding earlier this year. Read my full review here. (PB)


Funkoverse: Universal Monsters
The Invisible Man, The Bride, Dracula, and The Creature. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Funkoverse: Universal Monsters

Battle it out with classic movie monsters in this addition to the Funkoverse line. The core rules of this tactical strategy game are easy to learn, and each set has its own surprises. This one casts (almost) everything in black-and-white, and you’ll have fun avoiding detection as the Invisible Man, giving the Bride more abilities as you find all the right parts, exsanguinating your rivals with Dracula, and tunneling around with the Creature. Read my full review here. (JL) 


characters
Which character will you be as you explore the spooky house? Image by Michael Knight.

Betrayal at House on the Hill, 3rd Edition

Explore a mysterious mansion as a group of individuals, creating the floorplan as you go. Find items and encounter events and omens along the way. However, at some point in the game, one of the player’s characters turns out to be a traitor and the haunt begins as the the traitor attempts to meet their objective while the other players fight to achieve their goal… and stay alive in the process. There are 50 different haunts so you can play a different game each time. Read my full review here. (MK)


A duel in progress. Image by Paul Benson.

Disney The Haunted Mansion – Call of the Spirits: Magic Kingdom Edition

In this family-friendly set collection game, 2–6 people are competing to socialize with ghosts and collect sets worth various points. The quick and light gameplay makes it a fun game to jump into quickly, and if you’re a fan of the Disney Parks attraction, you’ll really love the artwork and small details of the game. You even get your own glow-in-the-dark Hitchhiking Ghosts to follow you home… Read my full review here. (PB)


gameplay
The Knights are trying to work their way towards their keys while the Zombie Princess is on the prowl. Image by Michael Knight.

Zombie Princess and the Enchanted Maze

Knights from across the realm come to rescue a princess trapped in a magical maze. However, once they enter the maze, they realize that the princess who waited so long for her rescuer in shining armor has now become a zombie. As the players place maze tiles and rotate them, they try to create a route to the other side of the maze to retrieve their key and get to the castle in the center. At the same time they must avoid the zombie princess and prevent the other players from reaching the castle first. Read my full review here. (MK)


Two of the Vagrants try to restore humanity to the Haint. Image by Paul Benson.

Vagrantsong

In this stylish cooperative game for 2–4 players, you are Vagrants, trapped on a supernatural ghost train. You’ll face off against a variety of ghosts, or “Haints,” and work together with your fellow Vagrants to remind the Haints of their lost Humanity, freeing the spirit from the train. But the Haints are trying to make you join them on the ghost train… permanently. This is a story-driven game, where you’ll have a chance to acquire new skills and equipment to better face the spirits in between scenarios. Look for a review here on GeekDad soon. For more information head to the Wyrd Games website. (PB)


The Banshee of the Badlands attacks. Image by Rob Huddleston

Horrified: American Monsters

The sequel to the most excellent Horrified: Universal Monsters takes the series off of the silver screen and into the realm of blurry stories and campfire stories. Still relying on the great cooperative mechanics of the first game, American Monsters pits the players against the Banshee of the Badlands, the Jersey Devil, the Chupacabra, the Ozark Howler, the Mothman, and of course Bigfoot. The miniatures are great and the objectives to defeat each monster fit nicely with the legend. Best of all the game is fairly quick and downright fun. You can read my full review here. (RH)


My Father's Work
Take on the role of a mad scientist, laboring to finish your father’s masterwork. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

My Father’s Work

You and your siblings have inherited your the estate of your mad scientist father, who left behind a few uncompleted projects but not a lot of notes about how to complete them. Over the course of three generations, you will gather resources, expand your estate, and perform experiments in this worker placement game. An app provides the story in the form of journals and correspondence, as well as some unexpected twists as you play through the three different campaigns (each of which has eight possible endings). I backed this one on Kickstarter and it’s a bit of a splurge, but it has been a blast to play! Watch for a review soon. Visit the Renegade Games site for more information or to order a copy! (JL)


Happy Halloween, and happy gaming!

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