From the start, I knew who the enemy had to be. That man Dash had been running around the mansion as fast as he possibly could, collecting every trinket he could find. I heard him constantly opening and slamming doors, not stopping for a minute between, even when he plummeted three floors down to the basement I just heard him continue his exploration. When the door slamming ceased and we all heard the werewolf howl, we knew what had to be done.
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a game that has so many different outcomes each time you sit down to play. No two experiences will end up the same as the layout of the mansion changes each and every time. This constant replayability has allowed me to enjoy the game for years and killed over a hundred hours with others as I’ve grown and shared the title. So for this Table Top Thursday, let me share a little bit about what happens when you are at the house on the hill.
Betrayal puts you in the shoes of up to six unlucky explorers. They are all lead to the house for different reasons and with that, each has a slight difference in stats. The stats in the game don’t matter a whole lot before the haunt begins, due to you being unable to die before then. They have things that affect how many rooms you can move through, how strong you are or even your characters mental sanity. Regardless of what happens to them when they first enter the house things change quickly.
The game lets you spend the first few turns exploring around on the three different levels in the house. Fall into the basement, begin your trek on the ground floor, and lastly find the tower and master bedroom in the upper floor. When you move a character in the game you go until you open a new door, which leads you to flip over tiles until a new piece is put onto that level. When you enter a room little things called events to happen, that describe a spooky scenario you go through and usually result in you having to roll to prevent something bad from happening.
The other thing you can find while exploring is omens. As these build up and the roll to prevent them from happening builds you will soon find yourself in the middle of a haunt. When you start this the game has a built-in fifty scenarios that determine which player is now the villain or betrayer and they get their own book that tells them how to now win the game. The survivors are who are left and they then get a book telling them how to win.
I always love this part of the game, you get a real sense of camaraderie if you are on the survivor’s side. Whereas if you are the villain you learn about your new added buffs and how to mess up their day. It’s always great having the villain leave the room and read his part, laughing when they try to return in too soon and a survivor yells, “Not yet we are still planning!”
When everyone returns to play different scenarios will have different conditions on how to win. I can honestly say that I’ve lost and won this game about 50/50. Sure sometimes things just go your way as the villain and the survivors can’t find what they need to defeat you. Other times they have what they need already, it is a sweet mash-up of surprises every time. With all the mix up again leaving me ways to replay it again and again.
The expansion adds even more to this title or you can take a trip over to the DND side of things and try Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. A sister title that makes you feel like you are playing through a DND session instead of just classic horror tropes. No matter what for the price you pay this will be a staple on your board game shelf for years and a title that sits close to my all time favorite.
Short and sweet this Thursday, but if you haven’t given this game a play with friends or family I strongly urge you to go give it a shot. Or if you see me in person I would love to get a game in some time. Either way, that is all for tonight and I will see you all tomorrow.