One of my favorite things is to see what license the team at Funko Games will have next. This year, Leatherface is coming to your game table in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Slaughterhouse. In this one-vs-many game, a team of survivors take on the Sawyer family in a game of cat and mouse.
House of Horrors
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Slaughterhouse takes place in the infamous home of the Sawyer family. Up to 4 survivors will explore the home and a small part of the property. One player will control the Sawyer family, starting with the Old Man, father of Leatherface. Armed with a unique item, survivors start in the foyer of the home while the Old Man is just rooms away in the back of the house.
The survivors will play cooperatively to fulfill the goals of the scenario that was chosen during the setup. The game includes 5 different scenarios that all have unique objectives and win conditions. I love how each of these play out, making the game a lot of fun to play again and again.
As survivors explore the house, they are going to create noise in the form of tokens. Opening doors, running, using the stairs and searching for items all create noise. Survivors have 4 actions each turn before passing to another survivor at the table.
Once all the survivors take a turn, the player controlling the Sawyer family will take turns with all available family members. This player is trying to hunt down the survivors and eliminate them before they complete the mission objectives.
The Currency of Fear
The noise that the survivors produce on their turn will turn to “fear” at the end of their turn if they cannot eliminate it. Each survivor turn ends with the player rolling two bone dice, eliminating noise tokens based on their roll. Noise is then handed over to the Sawyer family as fear tokens. This is the currency that the Sawyer family uses during the game to do more than just their player actions.
Even though the Sawyer family player has a turn at the end of a round, they are also armed with cards that can trigger when specific things happen on the board. As long as they have the fear tokens to spend, they are able to trigger attacks and movement around the board that will catch the survivors by surprise.
Survivors can hide in specific rooms which cause the Sawyer family player to use extra actions to find them. Once players begin finding weapon items, they’re able to fight back, taking away action points from the family. When survivors are attacked they receive injury cards which limit some part of their play. Once a survivor receives all 4 different injury cards, they are eliminated from the game.
A big part of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Slaughterhouse is the panic level meter that takes the shape of a chainsaw. As this panic level increases, survivors get desperation cards while the Sawyer family unlocks new characters.
Players who complete the mission and avoid being killed win the game. If the Sawyer family player eliminates all survivors, the Sawyer family wins.
A Killer Family
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Slaughterhouse is an excellent game of cat and mouse where every move makes a difference. Survivors have to keep noise to a minimum so they don’t empower the Sawyer family. The Sawyer family player has to effectively use cards and fear tokens to blindside the survivors.
Games are going to rely quite a bit on how the Sawyer family plays their part. An inexperienced player who may not know the cards will miss opportunities to attack and corner players. After playing as the Sawyer family a few times, I realized the importance of raising the panic meter quickly.
This meter unlocks Grandpa, the Hitchhiker and eventually, Leatherface. With Leatherface being the last unlockable enemy, it feels almost like a boss fight when he hits the table. Wielding his chainsaw and having 4 actions, Leatherface can deal double injuries to a survivor, easily leading to their death. Speaking of death, there’s a part of this game that will be an absolute turnoff for some, and that’s player elimination.
Once a player is killed by the Sawyer family, their job is to cheer on the rest of the survivors or make a food run for everyone else. Players aren’t able to be killed early in the game because the Old Man is unable to deal the final blow to a survivor. When the Hitchhiker comes on the scene, all bets are off.
Player elimination during a game can be an issue for some players. In all but one game, a survivor was killed. Sometimes it happened just a turn or two before the end of the game, other times it happened twenty minutes before the game was over. Given the source material of a sadistic cannibal family chasing down teenagers, player elimination seems fitting. We had at least one player take issue with this aspect of the game and it was a huge turn-off for them.
I’ve said it before, the development team at Prospero Hall does an amazing job with their games. The game has a sense of tension as survivors try to avoid noise and stay away from the Sawyer family. The layout of the game board is excellent! Since item decks are split up between the upstairs and downstairs boards, players are forced to spread out and explore.
The Sawyer family miniatures and bone dice are an excellent quality and leave you wanting miniatures for the survivor characters. It’s worth mentioning that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Slaughterhouse has a lot of replayability for a game that is under $30 at retail.
Exploring the unsettling home of the Sawyer family is a wild ride no matter what scenario you choose to play. The game difficulty will depend on how familiar the Sawyer family player is with that role. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Slaughterhouse is a game that will see plenty of table time outside of the creepy gaming season of October.
You can purchase The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Slaughterhouse at Barnes & Noble.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Noise turning into fear fuels the Sawyer family
- Great board design forces players to explore the whole map
- Five unique scenarios keep the game fresh
- Great production value throughout
- Games will be dependent on the player controlling the Sawyer family
- Leatherface sometimes never hits the table during gameplay
- Player elimination could be a turn-off for some