Are you ready to get spooky? Spoopy skeletons, ghastly ghosts, and memorable monsters let us confront our innate thanatophobia in a fun way! And Level One has all these monsters and more. Let’s talk about some of the best Halloween board games Level One Game Shop has to offer.
Halloween is one of the best holidays because it has so much atmosphere. It’s one of the few times that we can express our dark sides, if only a little bit. We all look forward to traditions of going trick-or-treat or going to costume parties. Unfortunately in 2020, those social functions are tricky with an insidious pandemic waiting to pounce.
Alas, going door-to-door for sweets, or going to parties with friends, are activities we may want to avoid. So what do we do for Halloween, then? Stay inside? Sure! Because Level One Game Shop has a scary big selection of Halloween board games. We can help you enjoy the atmosphere of Halloween without risking your health. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite options:
- Accommodates 1 to 5 players
- About 60 minutes of playtime
- Recommended for players 10 and up
Horrified could easily become a new board game staple for households everywhere. It features the classic movie monsters from famous Universal movies, like Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein, and others. Each game, players select two monsters to terrorize the town, and then play as heroes rescuing the town from the monsters. Players have a lot of freedom in their tactics, but every monster adds a different twist to the challenge.
Horrified is designed by a group called Prospero Hall, and they have built a reputation of designing fantastic licensed games. They often take a popular but complex hobby board game, in this case Arkham Horror, and distill it down to its essentials to make the game easier to learn and play. Then, they also apply well-known franchises to their games, everything from Disney villains to Top Gun to Choose Your Own Adventure. Prospero Hall makes hits.
- Accommodates 3 to 5 players
- About 45 minutes of playtime
- Recommended for players 9 and up
Will you be the hunter or the hunted? Do you want to run down your friends in cold blood, or team up to fight the monster? Nyctophobia is an asymmetric game, where a team of survivor players fight or escape from the monster player. But how does the game balance out the two sides?
Easy. The survivors play in the dark. Nyctophobia provides blackout glasses to the survivor players. They have to rely on their senses of touch and teamwork to outwit the monster player, who can see everything. All of the pieces in Nyctophobia have very distinct shapes to make them easy to identify by touch.
Video game fans may be familiar with a multiplayer game called Dead by Daylight, and Nyctophobia is basically the board game version of that. The biggest difference, though, is that the graphics for the survivor players are very different from what a video game could offer!
EXIT: Catacombs of Horror
- Accommodates 1 to 4 players
- About 2 to 4 hours of playtime
- Recommended for players 16 and up
Each game in the EXIT series is like an escape room, but in a box. Essentially, they’re a string of puzzles used to tell a story. Solving the puzzles not only requires understanding the story, but for EXIT games, also involves some folding, tearing and marking the pieces. While this makes EXIT games “consumable” one-shots, the puzzles are fascinating, clever, and challenging.
Of all the EXIT games, Catacombs of Horror is a fantastic option. It puts players in the notorious underground catacombs in Paris, where they have to find a friend who disappeared. Along the way, players discover that the disappearance has some connections to demonic forces.
This one isn’t as family friendly as other EXIT games, but that allows Catacombs of Horror to crank up the scariness to impressive levels. It’s also the longest EXIT game. Most EXIT stories take about an hour to play through, while Catacombs of Horror can take a few hours, preferably broken up in two parts. For a haunted Halloween escape experience that doesn’t take as long, and is more family-friendly, check out the Haunted Roller Coaster story.
Mansions of Madness
- Accommodates 1 to 5 players
- About 2 to 3 hours of playtime
- Recommended for players 14 and up
Alright, here’s one for the big hobby fans. Mansions of Madness is a haunted house game set in the Cthulhu Mythos setting. It’s a big game, in a big box with a lot of pieces, but offers surprisingly big experiences. Players move their figures around room tiles, discovering new rooms and the secrets inside. The game is entirely cooperative, and there are a number of scenarios, each offering a new mystery for players to solve before going insane or being killed by extradimensional monsters.
The thing that brings together the story, all the pieces, and makes this easy to play is an app. Mansions of Madness has a free iOS and Android app that acts as the game’s storyteller. It sets up the scenario, manages all the clues for the mystery, and tells players which pieces to use as they explore the haunted house.
Mansions of Madness can represent a big investment, in time and money. Mansions of Madness pays you back, though. The scenarios are always a surprise, and the classic H.P. Lovecraft atmosphere is relentless. Mansions of Madness is fun any time of the year, but makes a Halloween truly epic.
Halloween Board Games for Halloween at Home
It’s unfortunate that this Halloween will be different than the ones that came before it, but that doesn’t mean it has to be terrible. In fact, we believe that even for non-hobby fans, these Halloween board games can make a stay-at-home Halloween almost as fun as the traditional trick-or-treat candycrawl or a boozy costume party. These four games are just the tip of the iceberg, too; there’s a wide selection of spooky horror-themed games at Level One Game Shop.