Fall is a magical time of year! The leaves change, the weather cools off and Halloween is right around the corner. While we love playing games with our kids, some times you just need a good gaming session with friends. In this post, we are going to recommend our favorite spooky, scary or thrilling games that will make for a great Halloween gaming session.
These aren’t really kid friendly choices, so think about the audience before picking up one of these titles. If you are looking for family-friendly games, check out our previous post on Halloween Games for the Family.
What is scarier than a world-wide outbreak of disease? Not much. There are lots of horror movies that start with this same premise. Pandemic has your team of players battling continent spanning diseases that are wiping people out. Players work together to battle 4 different diseases that can spread like wildfire if you don’t contain it. Each player has a special ability and they can be a huge asset when things get out of control.
The cooperative element here is the key to the fun. You all experience each high and low together. Everyone knows how important that next card draw is. You’re all holding your breath, hoping you’re not about to start the spread of the viruses to nearby cities. You win together or you lose together – and that’s what makes it great.
Pandemic has been around since 2008 and has spawned some great expansions and last years critically acclaimed Pandemic Legacy. This Halloween, consider picking up the latest game in the series, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu for your H.P. Lovecraft themed game night.
You can pick up Pandemic in most big box stores, your local game shop or through Amazon today.
Betrayal at House on the Hill
This game has been around since 2004 but really rose in popularity after appearing on the TableTop web-series. In Betrayal, players explore a mansion room by room. The game has some great mechanics and can keep you on the edge of you seat. As your team explores, the game will transform into a game of survival after “the haunt” starts. One or more members of the team will become the betrayer and will work against their former friends to accomplish a specific goal.
We’ve had some incredible game nights around Betrayal at House on the Hill. The stories that you walk away with are going to be shared for years. The game comes with 50 different scenarios which keeps the game fresh. While a couple scenarios fall flat, the majority of them are creepy and really fun.
This year they are releasing the long awaited expansion for Betrayal called Widows Walk. The game has 50 new haunts, loads of new content and all of it comes from contributors from around the entertainment industry.
Order Betrayal at House on the Hill through Amazon today or pick it up at Target or your local game shop.
The Bloody Inn
Right now, this is the game that comes out when my wife and I have another couple over for games. Players take on the role of innkeepers in a small town in France during the 1800’s. As travelers come through to stay the night, players have to decide how they will interact with these unsuspecting guests. Will you bribe them and have them work for you? Will you murder them and bury their body for cash? By the end of the game, you want to be the player with the most money.
The Bloody Inn has a great theme and incredible artwork. Artists Luis Francisco and Weberson Santiago make this a game that stands out from everything else on our game shelf. The game is simple enough for new gamers to understand but it’s very difficult to master. The game comes with rules for a shorter game (under an hour) or a longer game which allows you to really plan ahead. The Bloody Inn gets so much play at our house and we can’t recommend this game enough!
Order The Bloody Inn through Amazon or visit your local game store today.
Ghostbusters: The Board Game
Ric: Our list of Halloween games for families included Ghostbusters: Protect the Barrier. This is the stepped up, adult version of that game. Raising over $1.5 million on Kickstarter, this has now been released to the public by Cryptozoic Entertainment. Similar to Zombicide and other games, you will play through several campaigns that are constructed from land tiles. The game allows you to level up your Ghostbusters as you go through each challenge, granting them new abilities that will help you defeat those tougher monsters later in the game.
This one will take you a at least two hours to get through, so make time. But it’s so worth it. I personally love the movies and was a huge fan of the cartoon as a kid, so this is right up my alley. The miniatures are fantastic – where else are you going to find the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? Nowhere, I say! Plus, a sequel to the game recently wrapped up on Kickstarter, so you’ll have plenty of content to hit up if you so desire.
Order Ghostbusters through Amazon of visit your local game shop today.
Mansions of Madness (2nd Edition)
The second edition of Mansions of Madness is a breath of fresh air for a game that was very difficult and was a bit of a headache to setup. With this new addition, there is a digital app that pairs with the game to keep things flowing. You can chose a story line from the app and it will show you exactly how to setup the board and what components you’ll need from the box.
In this game, players are investigators that are making their way through cursed mansions to solve a mystery all while trying to stay sane. Up to 5 players can play this cooperative game and it will take a serious time commitment to get this game to the table. The game lasts around 2 to 3 hours and like most of the games on this list, is an experience that is worth having if you can carve out the time.
Order the game through Amazon or find this at your local game store.
Dead of Winter
No list is complete without a great zombie game! In Dead of Winter, up to 5 players are tasked with surviving the zombie apocalypse and keeping a community of survivors alive. This game gets super tense and is about as close as you’ll get to playing the Walking Dead.
Survivors search buildings for food, weapons, medicine and resources in order to keep the community alive. Along the way you’ll pick up other survivors and the helpless ones just add more mouths to feed. A unique thing to this game is the Crossroads Card. These cards shift the players turn if a certain criteria is met. Plus, there is always the possibility that someone at the table is trying to sabotage the community since everyone has a secret objective they are trying to meet.
The game takes between 60 to 120 minutes and is one of our favorites to play with friends. It’s a game that takes commitment and has just the right amount of conflict. Plaid Hat Games just released the expansion called Dead of Winter: The Long Night which is a stand-alone game that doesn’t require the original game.
Order Dead of Winter through Amazon or pick this up from your local game shop today.
Ric: Elder Sign was released in 2011 by Fantasy Flight Games. An ancient evil is about to be released onto the world, and the only thing that can stop it is you and a team of friends. Or enemies. I mean, desperate times call for desperate measures. You will be given different tasks to complete, each of which have different requirements. These are met in the form of dice, which you must match to different symbols in order to clear the danger. If you’re able to complete the tasks and collect enough Elder Signs before time is up, your team has saved the world. But more importantly, you won the game.
Okay, Elder Sign is straight creepy. The overall feeling of dread and despair is hard to avoid. For instance, your characters can die not just from losing all of their health, but also from losing all of their sanity. Each dice roll is full of suspense, as you are fully aware of the consequences if you fail your mission. You can adjust the difficulty based on the certain monster that you are fighting against, but even on the easiest level, this is a hard game. You will lose fairly often. That’s not discouraging, though – it makes you want it that much more!
Order Elder Sign through Amazon or pick it up at your local game shop.
These are just a couple of our favorite games to play during Halloween. There are tons more out there and we’d love to hear what your favorites are. Post them in the comments below and let us know why you like them!