It is the month of Halloween. And honestly, it is not my favorite holiday of the year; however, I enjoy themed game nights and Halloween provides the perfect backdrop for themed board game nights! I know it is a bit early, but if you do not own any creepy or Halloween themed games, you may want to go pick one up before the holiday! This year, I plan to propose a spooky/scary/creepy themed game night for TableTop Thursdays the week before Halloween. I do not own many in this genre and actually have not played many in the genre but below I recommend some games that I think will add to a thematic Halloween game night!
Ghost Stories is a cooperative game by Antoine Baiza, one of my favorite designers. In the game, players are working together to defend a small village from an onslaught of ghosts! Players will have to manage the attack of ghosts from all sides of the board while utilizing the help of the villagers. This is probably the most brutal cooperative game I own and it is nearly impossible to win – but I love the game!
Spookies is one of the titles from HABA Games that released last year in their new family game line. Players are brave children exploring a haunted house. The game uses dice rolling and a push your luck mechanism, enticing players to try to reach the top of the haunted house! But beware, the house is scary and pushing you luck too much might have you running scared out of the house. The theme in this game is amazing and I really do enjoy push your luck games. Dice rolling is always a fun mechanic and HABA consistently puts out solid games.
I love trick taking card games (such as the classic Hearts) and the different unique twist each one presents. For me, the theme of this one makes the game. Players have just come back from trick-or-treating and their parents have tasked them with distributing the candy evenly among all of the players. However, it is the player with the most candy in their basket at the end of the game who wins. Therefore, players are trying to manipulate where candy is going by playing and winning card tricks!
Fury of Dracula is a one versus many game. One player takes on the role of Dracula, running around Europe, while the other players take on the role of vampire hunters, trying to kill Dracula. This is a hidden movement game, where Dracula moves secretly and writes their movements on paper but the vampire hunter’s movement is public information. The third edition of this game recently released; however it is going out of print due to a licensing contract ending between two board game publishers. I have heard only good things about this thematic game and would make for a great night of gaming.
Players are on a spaceship that has been damaged, plunging the ship into darkness. An alien plague has boarded the ship, transforming some of the human crew into horrible creatures who are hunting down the humans. The humans must escape the monsters in order to win the game! This is played all on personal hex maps, which represent the layout of the spaceship, tracking the different movements of human and alien players. With the right ambiance and soundtrack, this game can be a creepy and scary experience, trying to out-maneuver the aliens in the dark.
Smash Up is a fantastic tactical area control card game where players pick two factions and smash them together. I think when played with certain factions, this game can fit right into the Halloween theme. There are wizards and giant bugs and Frankenstein’s monsters and werewolves and zombies and vampires and more!! Smash Up is still one of my favorite games and you can bet I will be playing this one on / near Halloween. maybe as Zombie Kitty Cats. See my review here.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a shortened reworking of Werewolf, which plays up to ten players. In the original Werewolf, players take on the role of villagers trying to root out the werewolf in their midst that is killing a different person each night. One Night Ultimate Werewolf takes that concept but condenses the game into one night. Each player has a specific role and is able to do a ask during the night such as switch roles or look at some one else role. At the end of the night, players are able to talk about who they think the werewolf is and votes. The villagers win if they find the werewolf and the werewolf wins if they hide successfully! This game is chaotic and full of a lot of laughs and fun. There is also a phone application that narrates and runs the entire game.
If you like slasher B-Movies, this is the perfect game for you. Like Fury of Dracula, this is an one versus many, secret movement game where the majority of players are teens at a camp and one player is the killer, hunting down the teens. I think this game has a variety of scenarios that come with it but as a quick overview, this game is played over multiple nights and the campers must meet certain objectives and get to their cabin to end the round before they are killed. The board looks gorgeous and even though I do not like slasher B-movie, I think this game looks very interesting!
Ghost Blitz is a silly fun dexterity game with a ghost in it. Players flip over cards and based on what is on the card they must grab a certain object – the ghost, the red chair, the blue book, the grey mouse, or the green bottle. There may want to ask your gaming friends to cut their finger nails before playing this game; however, I find dexterity games to be fantastic fun between heavier strategy games. Ghost Blitz is a great game for the entire family as well as for adults.
First of all, this game is getting rethemed with the Ghost Busters intellectual property! That is AWESOME! Even without the intellectual property on top of it, Ghost Fighting’ Treasure Hunters is a pretty difficult family style cooperative game. Players are rolling dice to determine where they can move in the house to discover the treasure they need to win the game. Ghosts also pop up all over the house and too many ghosts will cause the players to lose the game. The mechanics sound very clever and for a roll and move game, this looks like one of the best.
This game is unfortunately out of print at this moment, but you can find a copy for a decent price. Fearsome Floors plays up to seven players where they are trying to run away from Frankenstein’s Monster! They must navigate their pieces through the dungeon, avoiding the monster, leading the monster to fresh prey, and ultimately, escaping from the dungeon and win the game! Although you can get a copy off of Amazon or a second hand market, Fearsome Floors may get a reprint someday soon.
This is an expansion for King of Tokyo which adds fun content. The base game of King of Tokyo uses the Yahtzee mechanism of rolling and retooling dice with the goal of being the last monster standing in Tokyo. The expansion adds two new monster (Pumpkin Jack and Boogey Woogey), orange dice to replace the original green dice, and new power cards that are costumes. King of Tokyo is a ton of fun and adding in the Halloween expansion during this month just enhances the experience of the game.
From the prolific designer Alexander Pfister comes the 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner, Broom Service. Players take on the role a witch delivery service, delivering potions throughout the realm. Using simultaneous action selection with a little bit of press your luck, players must decide whether to attempt to take a better (brave) action with risk or a worse (cowardly) action with no risk. I have not played Broom Service yet but I have heard it is a very clever light strategy game with interesting card play and action selection.