The 10 Best Horror Board Games
This wiki has been updated 8 times since it was first published in September of 2020. Adrenaline junkies, Halloween enthusiasts, and fans of the macabre can all enjoy the thrills and chills generated by today's top horror board games. Whether you're looking for a complex world-building endeavor with multiple campaigns or a spooky diversion for your next party night, the following selections offer a little something for every setting, age, and skill level. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 01, 2020:
If you're looking for a stimulating activity with dark thematic elements, a horror board game can provide the twisted fun you seek. Picking the game that's right for you depends on the kind of game structure you prefer, the people who are playing, and the amount of time you have to invest in completion. Fortunately, there are options that fit every combination.
Most games in this category require collaborative play, meaning participants work together toward a common goal. Games like Dead of Winter and Betrayal at House on the Hill add a layer of complexity by requiring teamwork but introducing the threat of treachery.
The more complicated the game, though, the more involved and time-consuming it is to set up the board, learn the rules, and complete the game. Eldritch Horror, for example, is known for requiring extensive preparation to facilitate smooth play progression. While that can be an attractive quality for some folks, it may not be a good fit for children (or adults) with short attention spans. Games like Amosdee Mysterium, with a relatively simple premise and short play time, may be more appropriate in those situations.
Some games rely on novelty to advance their appeal. Mansions of Madness, for example, has an app that is required to play the game, while One Night Ultimate Werewolf offers an optional one. Pandasaurus Nyctophobia is possibly the most distinctively structured option, incorporating sensory deprivation into its format. You can enhance the experience of any of these games on your own, too, by incorporating costumes, decorations, and creepy music.
It's also worthwhile to consider the suitability of the involved themes when making a selection. Some of the subjects are relatively benign, but games like Dead of Winter, Pandasaurus Nyctophobia, and Betrayal at House on the Hill could be too dark for sensitive players.
The majority of the games on our list work best with 3-5 participants. Some, like Exit: The Game and One Night Ultimate Werewolf, can be adapted to expand the number of players included, making them better suited for settings like parties. Stretching or contracting the number of players, however, can alter the dynamics of play, so you might want to check out some other adult party games if you have a larger group. On the other side of the spectrum, Horrified offers an engaging solo play format, distinguishing it from most board games in general.
With the exception of Exit: The Game, all of the selections on our list can be replayed, but some are easier to keep playing than others. While the appeal of Amosdee Mysterium, for example, could diminish over time, Eldritch Horror has enough variables in its structure that every time generates a distinct experience.
For those unafraid of dark themes, complicated rules, and long game times, Betrayal at House on the Hill has the scariest and most engaging story on the list with excellent replayability. It is topped only by its Legacy format, which not only has a much longer storyline and initial playthrough but creates a custom board over the course of that first run for endless unique play experiences after the fact. To that end, Betrayal Legacy provides the highest return in terms of both quality and hours of enjoyment.
The Game Crafter Think you can generate more jump scares than the selections on this list? Build your own game with this guided production platform. The company provides a plethora of resources and services to help you realize your vision and even sell it to others. gamecrafter.com
Hunt a Killer Put yourself in the middle of a slasher film as you hunt down a fictional serial killer, with clues like archival documents, newspaper clippings, and more delivered to your door each month. This creepy subscription service currently offers six total stories comprised of six boxes of clues each, providing you with up to three years worth of play. huntakiller.com