Betrayal at House on the Hill - Game Review

The door closes behind you. You’re locked inside this house with the other explorers. Are they your friends or your enemy? Time will tell. You had better explore this house, so you can work out how to get out of here. Just don’t fall through the floor or its going to hurt and watch where you look, you don’t want to lose your sanity.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a semi co-op game for 3 – 6 players that takes around 1 – 1.5 hours to play.

Each player is an explorer who investigates the spooky old house. As players move around the house exploring, new rooms are discovered, and certain events may occur. Each explorer changes their abilities over the course of the game as they encounter things that may strengthen or weaken them. At a random point in the game after rolling dice, an explorer triggers what is called a ‘haunt’. At this point, one player will become a traitor who is trying to defeat the other explorers. The remaining explorers work together to defeat the traitor. The first team to complete their goal is the winner.

The game comes with 44 room tiles about the size of drink coasters and a larger starting tile. There are 6-character miniatures, which are pre-painted, as well as their corresponding character cards. There are 8 dice which each have 0, 1, 2 on them, 80 game cards, 149 little cardboard tokens, a rule book, a traitor’s tome and a survival book.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a game played in 2 halves. In the first half of the game you are trying to make your character as strong as possible by collecting item cards that increase one of your four skills. Each character card has four traits that are used in the game, they are speed, might, sanity and knowledge. When you reveal a room tile with the omen symbol, you draw an omen card, carry out the action and then you must roll 6 dice. If the total of the 6 dice is less than the total number of omen cards drawn by the group since the start of the game, the ‘haunt’ begins. There is a reference table in the Traitor Tome for this part of the game. This decides which scenario will be played and who becomes the traitor, based on the room the card was drawn in and the card name. The traitor takes the Traitors Tome and leaves the room reading the scenario instructed at the time of the haunt. The other explorers read the same scenario but in the Survival Guide. The traitor returns to the room, sets up anything they were told to and the game is played until the end from there. The first person to complete their goal wins.

This game has lots of replayability as it comes with 50 scenarios. Even then if you played all 50, it plays different each time depending on the room tile layout and the characters’ different abilities.

So, if curiosity gets the better of you, why not enter the house and see what lurks within it’s walls. Just beware and watch your back!

Written by Robert and Patrick Doolan from Board Game Basics Podcast.

If you would like to hear more of our thoughts of this game, please listen to episode # 11.

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