One of my Christmas presents this year was the game Betrayal at House on the Hill. This was one of the games I had wanted since I first saw it on TableTop (part 2 can be found here). Basically this is a horror movie in game format!
The premise of Betrayal at House on the Hill is simple; a group of people explore an abandoned house until a haunt is uncovered. At this time, one of the players betrays the rest of the group and the game dynamics change from cooperative to competitive. The haunts are determined randomly based on the room and omen card that triggers the haunt. When the haunt is triggered, the traitor is given a book full of haunts where they are told the rules and objectives of the particular haunt being played. The traitor then leaves the room to read their haunt. The remaining players have a similar that explains their objectives.
This is a dynamic game that changes each time it is played. At the start of the game, players have access to the Entrance, Foyer, starts to the second floor and the second floor landing. There is a basement, but that comes into play later. As players move throughout the house, additional rooms are discovered. Rooms can affect players stats as well as provided Items, Events, or Omens.
The replay value for this game is very high, with 50 different haunts. A game takes a little over an hour to play (it took a little longer to play the first time as we had to reference the rule book a little more). I’ve not read too much into either of the books that explain the different haunts as I don’t want to ruin future games.
Christians may not find this game is for them. There are overt references to demons, phantoms, witchcraft, phantoms, etc. (In the two games we’ve played, we’ve had a werewolf and a phantom). For those who are bothered by this kind of theme, this may not be a game to buy. If you’re not bothered by it, this game is a must buy!