What's the Best Halloween Board Game?

03/09/2019

A Little Bit Of Halloween History

All Hallows Eve celebrations
Depiction of some ancient All Hallow's Eve celebrations

It's almost that time of year when the nights are drawing in and the darkness creeps ever closer into your evenings making that drive home just a bit more, well, darker. At the end of October, it is Halloween, normally celebrated on the final day of that month, in Western Culture, where it marks the eve of the Christian feast All Hallow's Day. That being the day when all saints are celebrated whether there are saints we know or saints we don't. Many of the traditions that we normally associate with Halloween originate from ancient harvest festivals, both Celtic and Gaelic, that many believe have roots in older pagan celebrations.

TL;DR Just Want The Games?

Image for board game Fantasy Flight Games EH01 Eldritch Horror Board Game

Fantasy Flight Games EH01 Eldritch Horror Board Game

£42.49

Image for board game Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill

£32.97

Image for board game Libellud LIBMYST01US Mysterium Board Game

Libellud LIBMYST01US Mysterium Board Game

£28.49

Halloween Games and Fun Today

Still of Jamie Lee Curtis from the original Halloween film
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode from Jon Carpenter's Halloween film

These days there is less Wickerman-style pagan chanting and more threat from flour or eggs being thrown at you, your house or your car. Many more children and adults dress up like ghouls, skeletons, scarecrows and witches than you can point a broomstick at, not sure what our pagan ancestors would make of it.

Image for board game Halloween [DVD] [2018]

Halloween [DVD] [2018]

£5.04

Image for board game Halloween [Blu-ray] [2018]

Halloween [Blu-ray] [2018]

£7.00

Best Board Games for Halloween

What better than to sit down at the table, or the floor, and dig out one of your many board games and play a Halloween themed game. But what if your board game stash doesn't have any Halloween based gaming? Well, look no further than this list of the best Halloween board games to inspire fright, mystery and suspense on the dark October nights.

Eldritch Horror

Eldritch Horror board game
Fight the Ancient Ones from Shanghai to New York

Eldritch Horror is a co-operative board game where one to eight players must battle ancient terrors and save the world from the Ancient One; a terrible, omnipotent monster of unparalleled horror that is just waiting to burst through from another dimension and into our universe.

Based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and inspired by the older board game, Arkham Horror, Eldritch has each player, or investigator, travelling across the globe to search out ancient ruins and artefacts, make friends or enemies, in the quest to defeat monsters and finally overcome the Ancient One.

The game itself is jammed packed with components, a huge playing board, many, many cards both large and small, and exquisite artwork. If nothing else the game is delightful to behold, from the detail on the individual investigator cards to the mini cards that describe weapons or people. The sheer volume of narrative elements that make up the game means that it never gets old or repetitive but don't forget that it is very difficult, especially with two players. Due to a large board and many opportunities for monsters to appear on that board, it can become very hard to cover enough ground to keep on top of the threat, and once you get overwhelmed it does tend to spiral out of control very quickly.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Step into the haunted Hill House
Become Vincent Price and step into Hill House, if you dare

Now here's a game that is on-trend when it comes to horror inflected fun at Halloween. What could be more spooky than spending time at the ubiquitous Hill House? The ultimate haunted house and Betrayal at House on the Hill does not disappoint. 3 to 6 players can get involved and take on the role of one of the twelve characters that must be brave and enter the house. Once inside, players are initially working together in a co-op style board game; you explore the house, finding new rooms and items in the form of tiles which are placed on the table making a mosaic-style plan of Hill House. Each player gains artefacts or abilities that will boost their skills to help them defeat what monsters may be waiting for them late in the game, but be careful you can also get injured as you wander; Hill House is very dangerous.

After the initial exploration phase of the game, there is the Haunt phase, this is triggered when a haunt tile is turned over and the player is unable to roll a die high enough to stop the haunt from happening. At this point, one, or more players (or even no players at all) become the betrayer (hence the Betrayal at in the title) and a scenario must be played out where the betrayer must accomplish some task to win and the remaining players must counter that task to win.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is another board game that invokes the spooky spirit of Halloween, it comes in a suitable impressive large box and the detail on the tiles is enough to entice you into the spooky goings-on in Hill House. A great Halloween board game.

Mysterium

The mysterious and artfully glorious Mysterium
Can you solve the case and work out who murdered the ghost?

A mysterious mansion inhabited by a ghost that stalks the hallways and the libraries, just crying out for some supernatural sleuthing to find out what happened to said ghost. Mysterium is a board game for 2 to 7 players where one player plays the murdered ghost and the remaining players are sleuths trying work out the who, what and where of the murder in the style of Cluedo. Unlike Cluedo though the sleuthing is down in Dixit style reading of cards that show illustrations shown by the ghost to the sleuths which they must interpret to work out what happened.

The other players are mediums who must inspect and understand the ghost's dream cards, like interpreting a set of Tarot Cards. They act together in a co-operative manner to solve the murder before the seance ends, because yes, the game is played against the clock. As with so many board games including Eldritch Horror, the artwork is glorious to behold. The clue cards are all varying in style but all individual lovely to look which only enhances your thought process trying to understand what they mean.

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