Hey all, Halloween is just around the corner and October is the month to do all things spooky! This include playing horror/halloween themed board games. I’ve played each and every one of these, some are among my fave games for the occasion and that also tend to accomodate a larger player count appropriate for Halloween gatherings. Let me know what your fave Halloween games are and if you enjoy any on this list.
1- Eldritch Horror:
“Across the globe, ancient evil is stirring. Now, you and your trusted circle of colleagues must travel around the world, working against all odds to hold back the approaching horror. Foul monsters, brutal encounters, and obscure mysteries will take you to your limit and beyond. All the while, you and your fellow investigators must unravel the otherworldly mysteries scattered around the globe in order to push back the gathering mayhem that threatens to overwhelm humanity. The end draws near! Do you have the courage to prevent global destruction?
Eldritch Horror is a cooperative game of terror and adventure in which one to eight players take the roles of globetrotting investigators working to solve mysteries, gather clues, and protect the world from an Ancient One – that is, an elder being intent on destroying our world. Each Ancient One comes with its own unique decks of Mystery and Research cards, which draw you deeper into the lore surrounding each loathsome creature. Discover the true name of Azathoth or battle Cthulhu on the high seas.”
This game is a fantastic story telling game. Turn off the lights, light some candles and immerse yourself in some HP Lovecraft lore. But it’s not to be taken lightly, many of you will go insane, or die if the Ancient One arises. Plan for a long session as this game tends to take an hour per player. But I can tell you as someone that doesn’t typically like co-op games, this one is fantastic because the theme is so strong.
You win the game by collecting enough clues, or you go insane and suffer through the tortures inflicted on the world when the Ancient One is released.
This game is LONG, plan for several hours. Though it does accommodate up to 8 players, I’ve done it once, I wouldn’t recommend it. The down time between turns is was too long. People get bored and don’t pay attention, then you have to spend time going over what happened. If you do want the epic 8 player game experience, have each player take two investigators.
2- Friday the 13th:
“In Friday the 13th, also available over the years as Poison and Baker’s Dozen, players try to avoid bad luck by not taking cards from the central playing area each round. The more you take, the worse your score — unless you manage to take the most of one suit, in which case you get to throw those cards away!”
This game is adorable in it’s Iello version, it’s quick and easy, and has some great laughs when you stick someone with a pile of cards knowing they won’t have the majority. And most importantly it’s a Reiner Knizia game!
The game plays up to 6 players, it’s fast and compact and easy to learn. The game ends when each player has started a round. Count up negative points from each round. The player with the least negative points wins!
3- Last Friday:
“Last Friday is a hidden movement, hunting and deduction board game, inspired by the popular “slasher” horror movie genre. In the role of young campers, the players are challenged to survive a long weekend of terror – while one of them takes the role of the undying psychopath hiding in the shadows of the forest. In general, the murderer’s goal is to remain hidden and to kill off each of the campers, while the campers are trying to fight back and kill the murderer before they are all killed.”
I’m not typically a fan of hidden movement games, but this has an interesting twist in that the game is played over 4 chapters, each with a different goal and different abilities. Depending on which chapter you play, how you win will be different. I’d recommend playing all 4 chapters, however, you can choose to play a single chapter for a shorter game. If you do this, I’d recommend either chapter 3 or 4.
All in all, if you love slasher films and hidden movement games like Letters to Whitechapel or Fury of Dracula, this will tickle your fancy.
I’m a huge horror buff, and being able to experience a horror movie as a board game is just awesome. We need more horror board games that aren’t Cthulhu, not knocking HP Lovecraft, I know it’s open domain, but man, I really would kill for more good horror games. So I’m glad to have this one in my collection.
4- Broom Service:
“Score the most victory points by delivering potions via Broom Service throughout the magical realm. Broom Service is a card-based game that combines luck and skill and balances timely bluffing with clever hand management.”
A simultaneous-selection (but then sequential play) card game. Players select 5 of their 12 role cards to play per set. Then they reveal them in sequence. Choose if you are brave, or cowardly. If you are the first player with that role you announce that you are that character and if you are brave or cowardly. If you are cowardly, take the bottom action, which is guaranteed, but less fruitful. Go brave and risk the reward for greater gain.
If you follow after and choose that same role card you can choose to be cowardly, gaining the bottom action, or go brave, taking the action away from the previous brave player, but you risk having it taken from you by a later player.
The different roles help players collect different portion colours, and wands to then deliver to different towers. When everyone’s five role cards have been played and actions taken, another five cards are chosen for the next set and the process repeats as before for 7 rounds.
5- Dead of Winter:
“Dead of Winter puts 2-5 players in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity is either dead or diseased, flesh-craving monsters. Each player leads a faction of survivors with dozens of different characters in the game.
Dead of Winter is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game. This means players are working together toward one common victory condition — but for each individual player to achieve victory, he must also complete his personal secret objective. This secret objective could relate to a psychological tick that’s fairly harmless to most others in the colony, a dangerous obsession that could put the main objective at risk, a desire for sabotage of the main mission, or (worst of all) vengeance against the colony! Certain games could end with all players winning, some winning and some losing, or all players losing. Work toward the group’s goal, but don’t get walked all over by a loudmouth who’s looking out only for his own interests!”
Coops and games with a betrayal mechanic aren’t always my go to. I like that you have your own objective to work towards, as well as a common goal. This makes the coop aspect better for me. It simulates the need for food, items, and finding survivors if you were in a zombie apocalypse really well. Not to mention the fact that noise attracts zombies. So you can keep searching, but at the risk of making too much noise.
The theme pours out of this game, you have enemies on the outside, and enemies on the inside. Strategy is on the lighter side, with luck involved, but for most coop games, especially thematic coop games, that’s the point really. It’s about the story and the feel. So for me, this is a hit for Halloween. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even play with the Warring Colonies expansion which can play up to 11 players which pits two teams against each other, and sometimes forces them to cooperate.
6- The Thing:
“It is the start of the bleak, desolate Antarctic winter when a group of NSF researchers manning the claustrophobic, isolated U.S. Outpost 31 comes into contact with a hostile extraterrestrial lifeform. Bent on assimilating Earth’s native species, this being infiltrates the facility — creating a perfect imitation of one of the Outpost 31 crew. The staff frantically begin a sweep of the base, desperate to purge this alien infection before escaping to warn McMurdo Station that somewhere, out there in the frigid darkness, something horrible is waiting.
In the hidden identity game The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31, you will relive John Carpenter’s sci-fi cult classic in a race to discover who among the team has been infected by this heinous lifeform. Play as one of twelve characters as you lead a series of investigations through the facility using supplies and equipment to clear the building. The tension mounts and paranoia ensues as you question who you can trust in the ultimate race to save humanity!”
This game combines bluffing and deduction and a traitor element. Sounds a bit like Dead of Winter, but it’s more like werewolf with a board and rules and actually good. Bluffing is a HUGE part of this game, if not the most important part. Over the course of the game, one or more of the players will become infected and will be actively sabotaging the missions. You have to find out who, but you can only really know through a blood test.
As I said earlier, this game relies a LOT on bluffing and being able to talk a good game, especially when infected. If you aren’t good at that, or your group isn’t, then this isn’t the game for you. You may make it out to the helicopter, but if even one Thing makes it on board, the humans lose. It’s hugely thematic, and for lovers of The Thing movie, this will hit all the marks. Not to mention the large player count, it plays up to 8 and is best at higher player counts. I wouldn’t necessarily play this game at anything less than 5-6.
7- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
“In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Board Game, you help Buffy and her friends defend the town of Sunnydale from an onslaught of vampires and demons, while ultimately attempting to foil the big bad’s plot and prevent the Hellmouth from opening. You have to work together, using all of your resources — including special abilities for the character that you play, whether Willow, Spike, or Buffy herself — to defend the helpless townies.”
Guys. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, like.. really love. This show was my childhood. Anything they make with Buffy on it, I will buy. But this game is actually good. It’s not super challenging, but it’s super fun. Each round you take turns taking 4 actions. You can use your special ability, fight monsters, research etc. Then the baddies have their turn. You need to spend time with the books and research The Big Bad to find out it’s weaknesses. If you’ve watched Buffy, you know this is part of every show, research!
The more you research, the more difficult the game gets, but it’s needed to be able to defeat The Big Bad. You’ll also spend time exploring and collecting different items and artifacts to help you on your way.
You either win together, or lose together. If you take too many wounds and someone in your party dies, you lose. Also, if you can’t get to The Big Bad before the hellmouth opens, you lose. Buffy has saved the world a lot, so don’t let her down!
This game is fun, and not much of a challenge, but really does the show justice. I loved playing it and am looking forward to the expansion with more characters.
If you are a fan of Legendary, and also of Buffy, you can play Legendary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this version is awesome, and had me saying quotes from the show, or reminiscing when seeing certain screen caps come up. “It must be bunnies”
8- Salem 1962:
“Accuse and defend your fellow townsfolk as you hunt down the witches of Salem. Act fast, before conspiracy turns you against your own.
The year is 1692, and it is a perilous time to live in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. One wrong step, or one misplaced accusation, and you could be the next witch to hang. “Salem” takes players into this perilous world and lets them re-live the tension, politics, and religious extremism that still has people talking about it 300 years later.”
This game can play up to 12 players and scales really well. You’ll play the role of a witch or townsfolk, each turn you take two actions, either making alliances, accusing a witch, giving an alibi, etc. There some social deduction, but it’s not the core of the game. The downside to this game is that it is player elimination. So if you’re eliminated early on, you could have a lot of downtime. Over all, for the player count, I would choose this over something like werewolf.
9- Tiny Epic Zombies:
“In Tiny Epic Zombies, survivors are always on the run, collecting weapons, killing Zombies and working toward completing objectives. Completing 3 objectives can win you the game but if you’re too focused on the objectives, the Zombies will overrun the mall and that will be the end of you.”
With 5 different modes of play, small packaging, portability, and short game play, this game has it’s place in my top list. To win, survivors must complete 3 objectives – Zombies must kill all the Survivors or gain control of the Mall’s Courtyard.
Yes, you can play as a zombie with your own character card! I love this part of the game. A lot of other zombie games focus on the survivors. But zombies are people too!
The game is very simple, as the survivor you have 3 moves, depending on where you move, different things will happen, you can kill a zombie, shoot a zombie, then search the room. As a zombie, you have to kill survivors, and overrun the mall courtyard. Zombies should have their day, maybe that day is today! They will have a brain to help them in their journey to eat brains.
10- Stuffed Fables:
“Stuffed Fables is an unusual adventure game in which players take on the roles of brave stuffies seeking to save the child they love from a scheming, evil mastermind. Make daring melee attacks, leap across conveyor belts, or even steer a racing wagon down a peril-filled hill. The game delivers a thrilling narrative driven by player choices. Players explore a world of wonder and danger, unlocking curious discoveries. The chapters of Stuffed Fables explore the many milestones of a child’s life, creating a memorable tale ideal for families, as well as groups of adults who haven’t forgotten their childlike sense of wonder.”
This game is so cute, but also really really really creepy. The evil creatures in this game are the things nightmares are made of. So it’s perfect that there are stuffy heroes to save the child.
I’ve played through a few chapters of the game, and love the story book style where the game board is the book. Each chapter is a new page in the book. You’ll spend rounds drawing coloured dice from you bag which will then dictate which actions you can take. You can help each other by sharing dice or stuffing. Afterall, the objective is the same for everyone. To beat the evil mastermind.
I loved playing this game with my 7 year old niece, and also with a group of adults using the seasoned stuffies variant for a more difficult play experience.
This game plays up to 4 players, and comes with the most adorable and nightmare inducing minis. They were hands down my favourite minis to paint.
And there you have it, 10 games you should play on Halloween! Let me know if you agree with my list and if you have any other faves you think should be included!