Add Some Mystery to Your Halloween Game Night
Halloween is just around the corner, and there's no better time to pull some of your spookier games off the shelf. Whether you want something strategic and thoughtful for an atmospheric evening, a quick two-person game to play while waiting for trick-or-treaters, or a lighter game to bring out for a weekend theme party, we've got you covered. There's nothing better than adding a bit of fright to your fun, and these games are the perfect way to incorporate both!
The element of a board game that often best emphasizes theme is its narrative, which is the core of the StoryLine series. Recently, we released the spooky version, Scary Tales, which is a perfect choice for your Halloween festivities. Bring together friends and family to tell either a chilling tale or a silly story with your own descriptive flair. Each storyteller has an opportunity to twist the plot by contributing ideas and elaborating on each combination of cards. The story of the curious werewolf is not one you're likely to forget anytime soon, so a game of Scary Tales is a perfect way to celebrate the spooky season while creating lasting memories with your fellow narrators.
The lightest of these four games, Phantoms vs. Phantoms is a charming and bright experience for just two players. The gist of the game is that each player has eight ghosts, four with red dots on the back and four with blue ones. Your objective in the game is to one of two things: 1) get one of your blue ghosts off the board via one of the exits on your opponent's side, or 2) eliminate all of your opponents' blue ghosts. From each players' perspective though, they can't tell which opposing ghosts are which, as the dots are carefully hidden on the backside of the adorable plastic figures.
The strategy of this game feels a little bit like chess, but with a bluffing element. To win by getting your blue ghosts across the board, you will have to put on a great poker face while making strategic moves. However, if you can read your opponent, you may be able to eliminate all of their ghosts instead by moving your ghosts into their space. Be careful though—if the ghost you ambush turns out to be red, you will lose your valuable ghost as well!
If you love the bluffing element of Phantoms vs. Phantoms, but have a few more people at the table, you'll adore Werewolves of Miller's Hollow! If you've ever played a hidden identity game, you'll catch onto this one quickly. Each player in the game has an identity, which only they know. A number of the players are marked as werewolves, and most of the others as townsfolk, terrorized by the wolves that lurk in the nearby woods, and sometimes nearby houses. Some players will have specially marked cards, giving them secret abilities to aid or hinder the other players' efforts.
One player in the game takes the role of Moderator, guiding the rest of the players through the game. Moving through each day and night, the werewolves attempt to kill the townspeople and avoid suspicion, while the residents of the village try to determine which of their neighbors is a beast in disguise. The theme of the game can only be emphasized by adding the atmospheric elements common to this season's festivities. Ghosts, spiderwebs, and glowing eyes dimly lit by flickering candles are certain to cast a chill over the room and add some urgency to your investigation. And if you want to add even more to the game, there are a number of expansions available to go along with it!
For your smaller gatherings, we recommend Mysterium, a game that is set on Halloween night and does an exceptional job of capturing the theme of the holiday. The cooperative and asymmetrical game is made up of two different roles: the ghost and the psychics. There is only one ghost in the game, and the player who takes on this role is forbidden from speaking for the duration. Instead, the ghost communicates using vision cards, covered in all sorts of spooky and unusual art. By passing the cards to the various psychics, the ghost must try to lead them to a series of suspects, locations, and weapons, all corresponding to the story of the ghost's earthly demise. The psychics each try to identify a trio of clues, then proceed to a final round in which they vote to determine the murderer, the space in which the crime was committed, and the murder weapon used. If they are led to the truth, everybody wins together, but if they find themselves accusing the wrong person, they must return again on the next year for another try. Sounds like a great annual tradition, don't you think?
Because the ghost has a bit of downtime while the psychics interpret their clues, not to mention the actual setting of the game, that role may be well suited for a player who is willing to be up and down offering treats (or tricks) to visiting children from around the neighborhood.
Trick or Treat
Whether you're out showing off a hilarious or horrifying costume, or embracing the creaks and howls in your own home this Halloween, we hope you have a stellar time celebrating the spooky holiday. If you're feeling really creative, you could even dress up as your favorite board game character and do both! Connect on Facebook and Twitter for more spooky game suggestions to come and to show us how you're bringing board games into your wacky weekend of jumps and jitters!