SPOOKY BOARD GAMES TO PLAY ON HALLOWEEN
Halloween is fast approaching! Got your costumes? Your candy? What about your board games?
I’m a sucker for a game that exemplifies a theme and what better to celebrate Spooky Season with than the horror board game genre?
Below is a list of some of my favorite Halloween or horror themed board games. Whether you’re pulling out a game for a couple’s night in or a game to play a huge party of people, there’s something on this list for all of your frightful needs.
The Halloween themed counterpart to the popular 2-player game boop, BOOoop is a perfect start to a game night for two or a great way to unwind after taking the kids (or yourself, I don’t judge!) trick-or-treating.
In this deceptively cute and deviously challenging game, you play as a group of kittens and cats trying to boop each other off the edge of the bed.
Every time you place a kitten on the bed, it goes “boop,” pushing every other kitten next to it one space away. When you line up 3 kittens in a row, they graduate into cats! Cats can boop kittens and other cats, but kittens can’t boop full grown cats.
Sound easy? It’s more challenging than you might think! It’s hard when both you AND your opponent are constantly booping each others’ cats around.
With BOOoop, things are boopier and spoopier. New Ghost Cats float between the spaces, causing other cats to leap right over each other just to get away!
BOOoop takes about 15-20 minutes to play and is quick and easy to learn, but challenging to master. Give it a try!
Psychic Pizza Deliverers go to the Ghost Town
In this hidden obstacle semi-cooperative game, up to 4 players act as the pizza deliverers while 1 player is the mayor of the ghost town. The mayor secretly sets up the locations of ghosts, obstacles, and pizzas on the grid behind a screen. Then, the delivery gang has to navigate the hidden hazards to pick up a pizza and deliver it to the appropriate place.
Not to worry, though – the pizza deliverers have some special psychic powers to help them out! Punching a ghost can net them an extra psychic card or two to make handling the obstacles a bit easier.
The players are provided with gridded sheets of paper and a pencil to track their movements and record information about the town over the course of 20 turns. Meanwhile, the mayor has a special log sheet to track all the players’ moves and results.
The player who delivers their pizza first wins! If no one is able to make their delivery after 20 turns is up, then the Mayor wins. This is a fun little game that’s a great way to fill 30 or 45 minutes in between your Halloween celebrations!
Hey, just a thought: do you think their favorite toppings for pizza are ghost peppers?
I’ll just see myself out… Onto the next game!
The Night Cage
You awaken in the dark, your skin cold. Clammy. You have your fear and a single flickering candle casting a meager amount of glow and just one question in your mind: how long will your light last?
The Night Cage is a co-operative horror-themed tile placement game that traps 1-5 lost souls in a dark and terrible labyrinth where dangers and terrors lurk around every corner. To escape, each player must collect a key, find a gate, and flee together as a group.
It won’t be easy, though – terrifying monsters called Wax Eaters lurk in the darkness, and they hate the light. They will do everything within their means to snuff it – and your chances of escape – out for good.
Each player’s visibility is limited by the weak light of their candle which illuminates only tiles that are directly connected to their own. When players move, the tiles fall into darkness and are removed from the game. Doubling back the way you came will open new paths, but old ones are lost forever… sometimes even those that contain keys or gates critical to your escape.
Can you and your friends survive against the impending darkness, or will your hopes fall into the void, and you along with them? Try this spooky challenge out on Halloween for yourself!
One Night: Ultimate Werewolf
Something howls in the distance, making your blood run cold at the sound. A wolf? No, that was no ordinary animal – it was something twisted… Terrifying… Hungry…
One Night: Ultimate Werewolf is a fast paced game for 3-10 players where the goal is to stay alive long enough to find out which villager among you is a werewolf in disguise.
Everyone receives a secret role. You might be a murderous werewolf or a tricky troublemaker, or possibly a helpful seer, or one of a dozen different characters. Using the special abilities for your character, you will try to suss out the danger among you – you only need to lynch one werewolf to win!
This game is great for parties or large groups because it plays quickly, is fairly easy to teach, and can accommodate a large number of players.
Betrayal at the House on the Hill
If you’re a fan of cheesy B-horror, then this semi-cooperative game might be right up your alley! In this game, everyone is working together – until suddenly they’re not. There is a traitor among you.
As you explore the creepy old house and encounter frightening omens, the haunt counter continues to grow. When someone triggers a haunt, it’s time to consult the books.
There are over 50 different possible scenarios in the base game. The book will tell you which scenario you’re playing and who the traitor is based on what omen was flipped up and in which room. The traitor then leaves the room and secretly reads their objectives while the remaining players read their own and formulate a strategy on how to survive.
The scenarios range in theme and difficulty, from people turning into mermen or giant evil spiders all the way to malicious cults and bloodthirsty vampires. With so many possibilities, it’s unlikely you’ll ever experience the same game twice!
I do have one caveat, though. As fun as it is with the right group of people, the scenarios vary wildly as far as how balanced or fair they are, and the rules leave a lot of weird gray areas that you’ll have to make up rulings for on the fly. For this reason, I don’t recommend playing it if those types of things can be frustrating for your friend group.
Otherwise, if you can cut loose and appreciate its unbalanced cheesiness for all it is, Betrayal at the House on the Hill is the perfect spooky game for accenting your Halloween festivities.
In this monstrous co-op game, you will face off against classic beasts! Depending on the version you play, you’ll find yourself facing down Dracula or the Wolf Man or hunting cryptids like Bigfoot or the Jersey Devil.
Using your unique powers, you will need to defeat each monster to stop their terrifying rampage.Working together is the only way to get out of this alive, so be prepared to make the dream work – with team work! Otherwise, I think you’ll find that you’re stuck in quite the nightmare…
Horrified is thematically fun and a great way to play a game with friends with a low competition element – you all win together or lose together. I personally like the classic version the most, which has Frankenstein’s Monster, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and of course, Dracula.
The stakes have never been higher!
These are the jokes, folks. Time for my last one…
Hocus Pocus: The Game
“The Black Flame Candle has been lit.
Now the Sanderson witches you must outwit;
Or with a wretched evil potion,
A foul spell they’ll set in motion.
Stun the witches and ruin the brew
Before the sun can rise anew!”
Based on the 1993 movie of the same name, this game sees players working together to ruin the Sanderson Witches’ potion three times before the sun rises. Using the ingredients in your hand, you must match types or colors and throw them into the cauldron to counter the spell.
A combination of Go-Fish and Uno-like elements, each turn players will ask a question about other players’ hands by referring to the ingredient type or color (but not both). Some ingredient cards have Binx the cat or a spell book on them. When a card with Binx on it is played, the active player puts the Binx token in front of any player, who will then play with an open hand. This is a great way to get information!
Beware of spell cards! You’ll have to draw a spell from the deck, which is usually designed to foil your plans and make it difficult for you to win. Stun the witches three times before time runs out and banish the Sanderson Sisters back to where they came from!
This is a quick, simple, and fun cooperative game for 2-6 players that is surprisingly challenging. Give it a try! Or do you think it’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus?
Thanks for checking out my list of Halloween board games! This is by no means an exhaustive list – there are so many out there! – but it does highlight some of my personal favorites.
If you play one this season, please be sure to let me know what some of your favorites are. I love hearing about other games!