Sometimes you’re too old for trick-or-treating, but you’re also over the Halloween party scene. Most Halloween parties are the same year to year so it’s nice to switch things up, so you don’t get burnt out. One great alternative, if you’re also not in the mood for a scary movie marathon, is getting some friends together for a game night, but with a SPOOKY SEASON twist. You could still even wear costumes!
To get you started on planning your Halloween game night, here’s seven of the best spooky games I’ve played!
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If you’re into quick rounds and secrecy…
1. ONE NIGHT ULTIMATE WEREWOLF
The ULTIMATE game if you love lying to your friends and using your acting chops. One Night Ultimate Werewolf is all about quick-fire deception. Character cards are doled out to everyone playing, most of which have an action they can take. Everyone then closes their eyes and is told when they can wake up and complete their action which may involve being aware of another character role, swapping cards, or taking on a new role yourself. When everyone wakes up it’s free arguing on a time-crunch to figure out who the werewolf is.
There’s even an app on your phone for this to input the characters your using that will direct everyone to complete their actions during the sleep phase.
Box art for One Night Ultimate WerewolfPublished by Bezier Games
2. LOVECRAFT LETTER
Lovecraft Letter is a spooky take on a popular game that’s been remade with many other themes like Batman, The Hobbit, and Star Wars. In this version, it’s all H.P. Lovecraft themed with the Necronomicon, Cthulhu, and the author himself donning some of the cards.
The rounds go quick as players only hold on to one card, and on their turn draw another card and discard back to one. Each card gives you the rules as you go, and different actions or events occur based on which card you choose (or are forced) to discard. The aim of the game is getting all the other players eliminated.
Box art for Lovecraft LetterPublished by Z-Man Games
If you like building a team and screwing over your friends…
One of the best anti-games there is (at least in my opinion), the main goal of Gloom is to cause misery. Played with up to four players, everyone receives a family of four that you attempt to make as miserable as possible by drawing cards with positive or negative attributes. The positive attributes can be used to make your opponents families happier, which no one wants.
Once you have enough misery points wracked up on a character you can use a death card to kill them, effectively collecting those misery points and adding them to your score. Once someone manages to kill their entire family the game is over and the person with the most misery points at that point is the winner! So, just because you kill your whole family doesn’t mean you win.
Box art for GloomPublished by Atlas Games
4. BOSS MONSTER
Boss Monster is all the fun of a dungeon crawler video game but in a card game. Players receive a boss monster card at the beginning of the game and build a dungeon of dangerous rooms with the intent of killing and collecting souls of heroes who travel through your dungeon.
Fight your opponents over which heroes will travel the path of your dungeon. The more heroes that can’t make it through your dungeon unscathed the more points you get, but if any of them do make it through and defeat your boss monster you take damage points and could potentially be defeated permanently!
Box art for Boss MonsterPublished by BrotherWise Games
5. SMASH UP
This game is likely the least spooky of the bunch, but zombies, robots, leprechauns, pirates, ninjas, dinosaurs, wizards, and aliens have all had their time to shine when it comes to Halloween costumes.
Smash up is a game about taking two factions with very different attributes and smashing them together to make one ultimate team to win. You could be zombie-robots, pirate-ninjas, dinosaur-wizards, alien-leprechauns, and many other combinations. The aim of the game is the assault location bases for points and accomplish it before your opponents. It’s a smashing good time!
Box art for Smash UpPublished by Alderac Entertainment Group
If you’re ready for a full night of commitment and friendship…
Pandemic is not the kind of game that you win. It’s a game that you just do a little better at each time you play. This is also the only cooperative game on the list!
If you and your friends aren’t the competitive types, then work together in this game to eradicate the world of diseases. With each player taking on a character role with different attributes, you’ll travel across a map of the world curing and eradicating four different diseases plaguing our planet. But be careful because some cities may have outbreaks and an epidemic may destroy everything you’ve worked towards!
Box art for PandemicPublished by Z-Man Games
7. BETRAYAL AT HOUSE ON THE HILL
The most Halloween-y of your game choices here, Betrayal at House on The Hill may cost you all your friends. Stuck in a mysterious haunted house, players will discover and explore rooms seeking items, events, and omens. Based on omens collected and player rolls, one player will eventually become a TRAITOR.
From that point on the haunt begins and its villain versus heroes. The traitor will be hidden and acting as if they are working with the heroes. So, if you are the traitor, lie to your friends and attempt to get them all killed before they accomplish their goal.
Box art for Betrayal at House on the HillPublished by Avalon Hill Games