I’m a fan of board games, although admittedly that was something I only discovered in my (very) late teens. Before that I was convinced like many others before me that there were about five board games; Monopoly, Mousetrap, Chess, Trouble and Guess Who. Luckily a friend of mine talked me into playing a couple of others when I was about eighteen (ImagineIff and Labyrinth). It didn’t take long before I was hooked.
It took a few years until I found others equally interested, and that was largely thanks to a fantastic website called Shut Up and Sit Down (they have a much better article on the misconceptions around board games than I could possible write and it can be found here). Many of the board games I have in my collection started out as recommendations from them.
One of the first games I knew I had to have was Betrayal at House on the Hill. It took a while to buy it, and a longer while to find my wonderful partner who was willing to play it with me, but it’s quickly become one of my favourites. I still haven’t started playing the board game I got for my birthday six months ago because we love it so much.
Think of your favourite B movie horror film, or B movie sci-fi film, then set it in a house with you as the unfortunate main characters. That’s basically what Betrayal at House on the Hill is. It starts off with your players as a group discovering the house, placing tiles as you discover rooms within the house. Most tiles have events, items or omens on it, and when enough omens appear on the board the game gets taken to a whole new level. Based on what omen you’ve uncovered and what room your character is in at the time, a haunt is chosen out of thirty plus scenarios, and they’re brilliant! Most scenarios involve a betrayer, so be prepared to turn on one of your group (or if you play the two player variant like my partner and I, be prepared for a rivalry that will last centuries).
I haven’t played all of the scenarios yet, but the little boy my partner always plays as has shrunk my characters and attempted to feed them to demonic cats. To be fair I successfully blew him up while distracting him with a kidnapping phantom in the basement first. In the game we played so I could take photos for this blog the house was stolen by a giant bird and we ended up with a mad scientist, little girl and little boy in a room fighting each other for the last parachute. I’m pleased to report it was my little girl that made it out safely, despite her parachute being a bit ripped.
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a stupidly fun game. It’s a great way to introduce people to role playing, and like any great board game it’s a great way to spend time interacting with the people you love. Definitely something I’d recommend for a spooky Friday the 13th get together. I look forward to my next adventure in the creepy House on the Hill.
HAPPY FRIDAY 13TH!!!