Fun Halloween Games
Fall sure was beautiful this year in Manitoba…
But now that most of the leaves have fallen to the ground, the temperature is suddenly dropping and nightfall comes earlier. We can all sense the time that is upon us: Halloween!
And what a fun time it will be. A brief indulgence into the dark side of our minds that include costumes, horror movies and scary decorations. But in the end, Halloween is a season of getting together. Be it for horror themed parties, trick and treating with family, or showing off elaborate costumes at work. Being spooked is more fun if it can be shared with others. Somehow that makes life less scary.
So why not add some board gaming fun to the mix of ghoulish experiences? After all, games are a great tool for storytelling. They allow us to safely emerge into all kinds of previously unchartered experiences, and Halloween themed games are no exception to this rule. Lucky for us there are plenty of titles to choose from. No matter if you like Zombies, witches or ghosts, there will be something for everyone and for every age.
If you like to make your next game night a fright night, then I have some suggestions for you that will get you into a horrifying mood.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
2-8 players, ages 8 and up
A charming game for families with younger players, or a fun and simple game for parties.
Five wooden items sit on the table waiting to be caught: a white ghost, a green bottle, a cute grey mouse, a blue book, and a comfortable red chair. Each card in the deck shows pictures of two objects, with one or both objects coloured the wrong way. With all players playing at the same time, someone reveals a card, then players grab for the “right” object. The first player to grab the correct object keeps the card, then reveals the next card from the deck. If a player grabs the wrong object, they must discard one card previously collected. Once the card deck runs out, the game ends and whoever has collected the most cards wins!
3-6 players, ages 12 and up
This game has become a modern classic for spooky themed games. It does require a bit of rules explaining, but it is rather simple at its core. Players explore a haunted mansion of their own design, encountering spirits and frightening omens that foretell their fate. It plays in about one hour and is ideal for parties, family gatherings or casual fun with friends. A good game to introduce to novice gamers and experienced gamers alike.
As the player’s characters explore the house room by room, one of the characters betrays the rest of the party, and the innocent members of the party must defeat the traitor in their midst before it’s too late! This mechanic encourages plenty of bluffing and player interaction. The game also includes very thematic components, all of which help create a spooky atmosphere.
5-50 players, ages 13 and up
The perfect Halloween game for a larger party or group of people.
Each players is secretly give a role in a fictitious village. They are either a villager or a werewolf. The Villagers don’t know who the Werewolves are, and the Werewolves are trying to remain undiscovered while they slowly eliminate the Villagers one at a time. A Moderator (who isn’t on a team) runs the game.
The game takes place over a series of game days and nights. Each day, the players discuss who among them is a Werewolf, and vote out a player. Each night, the Werewolves choose a player to eliminate, while the Seer learns if one player is a Werewolf or not. The game is over when either all the Villagers or all the Werewolves are eliminated. Essentially most of the game is based on verbal interaction between players, the trick is to sense who is laying or who is telling the truth.
1-5 players, ages 14 and up
Zombies are a prominent theme in board games and there are plenty of choices. This game is a great co-operative game with relatively simple rules. It also plays great as a solo game. The game itself comes in a very small box but does feature an elaborate set of components that rival many larger box games.
Players take the role of survivors who are on the run inside a mall (why not), collecting weapons, killing Zombies and working toward completing 3 objectives. If the Zombies overrun the mall the players collectively lose.
A turn will consist of a player moving 3 times, after which they’ll search the room. This is done by revealing the Search Card they are holding. Sometimes they may find a Zombie lurking in the corner. So be prepared. After they search the room, more Zombies flood into the Mall. Then it’s the next player’s turn. Simple as that. The game offers additional variants where players can also take the role of Zombies where they apply against the other players.
EXIT SERIES (Various Titles)
1-4 players, ages 10 and up
I have mentioned the EXIT games in previous articles as a prime example of board game adaptation of escape rooms. Thematically many of them are a great addition Halloween themed games. They play well for smaller groups and are easy to learn (most of us know how escape rooms work). They feature a relatively low price point (below $20) but can only be played once, seeing that your group will know the answers after that. They are appropriate for most ages and come in different levels of difficulty which is indicated by dots of the box. 2-3 dots is easier, 5 is maximum difficulty. For a group of new players I recommend ‘The House of Riddles’ as a great play for Halloween, which is an easier level.
Are you intrigued to try a new Halloween-themed game? Here are my top suggestions:
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