October 30, 2017 by crew
That time of year has come once again. The time when the night draws in, a chill creeps into your homes, and the dead grow restless in their graves. The perfect time to get a few games going!
With Halloween less nearly here, some of the Beasts of War crew have gathered together to share their personal picks for Halloween gaming.
I wholeheartedly recommend Betrayal At House On The Hill from Avalon Hill Games for Halloween.
The game starts as all good horror stories should, with a group of friends exploring a haunted mansion. The mansion changes with every door opened, and players encounter foul omens, cursed items and devilish events as they wander around.
Characters get to equip items and improve their abilities, but must also manage their Speed, Might, Sanity and Knowledge stats, less any one of them drop low enough to result in their death.
The tension and challenge build steadily through blood covered bedrooms, broken down hallways, creepy cellars and dusty attics, until finally the house turns on the players and the Traitors Tome initiates off one of fifty potential betrayals and unique scenarios.
Now the players must fight against one of their allies, who may have become possessed, inducted into a cult, turned into a giant snake or even worse, made all the other players miniaturised.
Betrayal At House On The Hill is easy to learn, narratively diverse, and spooky from start to end. It works with 3-6 players and, if you can grab 4+ people to take part in a Halloween gaming night, it’s not to be missed.
Ben – Ghost Stories
If I was going to suggest an awesome alternative Halloween game, I’d go with Ghost Stories from Antoine Bauza.
In this game, you play as Taoist Monks working cooperatively to hold back the forces of hell, be they demons or ghosts, under the command of the deadly Wu-Feng.
The game is exceptionally hard at some of the higher difficulty levels and as a basic game is great for getting people to work together against a common bad guy.
You’ll find yourself trying all manner of cool tactics each time you sit down to play and try and work out how you’re going to beat your last score.
Lance – Tales From The Loop
Have you grown out of the 80′s? Let’s face it, nobody has really. We’re stuck in a digital era where most of us are swallowed whole by our mobile phones, our VR equipment, even our fridges! Don’t you wish we could go back in time where Queen ruled the radio station?
Tales From The Loop by Fria Ligan is a game based on the landscape artwork of Simon Stålenhag, and warps you back into the golden era, or even Jurassic… if you’re in that much trouble. In TFTL, you play as kids from the ages of 10 to 15, any older than that and you’re an adult, kid.
With each day as a revolving mystery, you could be in for a wild ride; all the neighbourhood cats gone astray and you’re the only one who knows where to find ‘em?
How about the android robot with the dodgy walk at the supermarket, eye-ing up your girlfriend? There’s dinosaurs in the park! Fancy solving mysteries like Scoob & the gang? Well now you can too!
Tales From The Loop is such an easy game to get into and you’re never out of ideas for an adventure, sure why not grab a book and score up your gang of characters to take on Pennywise the clown in Derry.
Dawn – Mansions of Madness
I’d have to go with FFG’s Mansions of Madness Second Edition. The new app component sets an absolutely perfect spooky scene, complete with eerie music and sound effects.
It gives you all the suspense you could ask for while exploring the mansion, PLUS the fantastic weirdness of Lovecraftian cultists and creatures.
And then there’s the puzzles. I love the puzzles! Well, except maybe for the last one…
Anyway- take Mansions of Madness, a dark room with flickering candles, and a few friends and you’ve got yourself an excellent night of Halloween gaming.
Sam – Changeling: The Dreaming
I was torn between this and Munchkin Bites, but in the end the possibilities of Changeling were too tempting to pass up.
While a role playing game about fairies might not seem like the most obvious of Halloween choices, remember these are fairies in the World of Darkness, and Changeling: The Dreaming has the reputation for perhaps being the darkest in the series.
Halloween holds so much potential for a fun game of Changeling. As beings with the soul of fae, you feed off the imagnation of humanity, and few times feature that so strongly as Halloween.
But of course, at Halloween everyone wears a disguise. Who knows what monsters could lie behind those doors, waiting for trick or treaters, or roam the streets hidden behind their colourful masks.
A one shot Halloween game of Changeling has so much potential for terrifying fun. Maybe you will all be Childling, who find themselves face to face with the worst movie monsters summoned from people’s dreams.
Or maybe you will find yourself in the clutches of wicked Unseelie, the fairies who feed on humanity’s darker side, as Samhain signals the passing of dominance to them.
One shot RPGs are a great way to take a break from your regular games. With the 20th anniversary edition of Changeling: The Dreaming recently released, this seems to be the perfect time to see how you would fair as a fae on this ancient holiday.
Gianna – Last Night On Earth
My choice would be Last Night on Earth by Flying Frog Publishing. Yes, it is a zombie game, but the way you feel like you are trying to survive in the town against the zombie hoard, while locating resources to use, is really fun.
To me it has a sense of reality to it (as much as you can have in a zombie game), where not only are you trying to survive the apocalypse, but have to fight off zombies.
The background has that feel of a 1970/1980 horror movie, set in a sleepy little town.
What is also nice is that you can play as the zombies or the townspeople. The game board can be set up in many different configurations and there are different scenarios to play out.
You can quickly teach it to others and have everyone playing in no time. There is even a soundtrack on a CD to play to help create the atmosphere. So if you are looking for a horror themed game to play this Halloween, take a look at Last Night on Earth.
Here’s To Another Halloween
There we have it, a collection of fantastic games to gather round and play with your friends and family, as you all try desperately to drown out the whispers that grow on the edge of hearing, while time marches you relentlessly on towards the witching hour.
We at Beasts of War would like to wish you all a very happy Halloween. And remember, never go into that haunted house. Don’t talk to that clown in the sewers. And never, ever turn the lights off.
What are your favourite games for Halloween?
"The game starts as all good horror stories should, with a group of friends exploring a haunted mansion...."
"Take Mansions of Madness, a dark room with flickering candles, and a few friends and you've got yourself an excellent night of Halloween gaming..."