Lauren’s Top 5
The Thing Infection at Outpost 31
An alien lifeform has infiltrated your bleak and desolate Antarctic research station. It is assimilating other organisms and then imitating them. You must get through all three sectors of the outpost, destroy the alien, and get on the helicopter to save yourself and all of humanity.
Unlike other social deduction games where rounds are super quick, The Thing builds up the tension talking about an hour to complete the game. The assimilated also wants to fit in, so they may not necessarily be incentivised to do any betraying, which makes it harder to figure out who you can trust.
By the middle of the game the tension mounts and paranoia ensues making this my #1 spooky pick for October.
Mansions of Madness (2nd ed)
Download the App and get immersed into the world of H.P. Lovecraft where monsters, so terrifying, may cause you to go insane before you can solve the mystery. Turn off the lights, light some candles, and plug into some speakers.
Each player will take on the role of an investigator. Each scenario will present a unique mystery to solve. Some are longer than others and more can be added with expansions. Once you make all of your selections, the app will tell you what room tiles to put in place and keep track of your actions - so you don’t need a Game Master.
The background noises and narration may also inspire some roleplaying which is always an added bonus whenever I play this game. It is the perfect game when you want to play D&D but no one shows up. You can play this game solo or with up to 5 investigators.
We have played this game every week for the past several weeks and I have even replayed scenarios where rooms and items are randomized making for a unique experience each time.
Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu
I love Pandemic, but I think I like Reign of Cthulhu Pandemic more… If you are familiar with Pandemic, all of your actions are the same, but the theme is wildly different and thus has a few minor changes to the mechanics. Each player takes on the role of an investigator - also H.P. Lovecraft themed. Each investigator has a special ability that will help in sealing the Portals and stopping the Cultists from summoning Old Ones. In order to travel to other cities, you may need to go through the portals, this could cause your investigator to go insane and lose their special ability. When 4 cultists congregate in an area they summon and Old One. As each Old One is summoned a new complication is presented. If they summon 7, Cthulhu is summoned and you lose. As monsters crawl down the street, the game presents a new form of epidemic as Evil Stirs and when 3 Shoggoths are on the city streets, you lose.
I love the minis, I love the theme, and I think overall the fantasy horror end of the world takeover is what makes this my favorite version of Pandemic.
Someone Has Died
Let’s laugh and lighten things up a bit. Someone has died is a great party game where each player tries to convince the estate keeper that they are the most worthy to inherit the deceased's fortune. Identity, relationship, and backstory cards help players create wacky characters who must tell wild stories and argue their way into riches and glory.
This is a locally designed game by Ellie Black, Liz Roche, and Adi Slepack. I was first introduced to this game when they came in and demoed a prototype for our Game Designer Spotlight event - The game was a hit!
They went on to successfully fund their Kickstarter campaign and now Twenty Sided has copies for sale. We are proud to be the only retailer carrying this game right now, be the first to check out this new game and earn bragging rights!
Local legend says the house on the corner contains hidden treasures… you find yourself taking a chance and entering to strike it rich, but it isn’t that easy to keep the treasures safe from the creatures that haunt the dusty rooms!
Shaky Manor is a speed and dexterity game where each player has to shake and tilt their manor to be the first to get their treasure meeples into the correct room before anyone else. Each time you outrun the monsters and keep your treasures safe, a new spooky creature is added to your manor.
This game is tons of fun with the kids and makes for a great party game after hours.
The stressful action mixed with the spooky art gets this game on my Top 5 Spooky Staff Picks.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Check out the full list of Spooky Staff Picks through October in our Staff Pick Collection.