When the air starts to get a bit chilly and the leaves start turning, I have to admit, it's my favorite time in the city– and usually my favorite time in the store– because everyone is looking for my favorite genre: all things horror. I love Fall, or as I call it, 'Halloween Season' and giving recommendations for games that could end up as someone's Halloween tradition is just the best. Enough musing on Spooky Season, here are some games we love that just might be your new Fall favorite.
For Telling Scary Stories
We have so many fantastic roleplaying games for telling spooky tales with your friends around the table.
The Skeletons is such a gorgeous game that flips the script on a dungeon crawl. Instead of playing the "adventurers" you play as the skeletons of the dungeon, cursed to spend eternity guarding a tomb. Defend the tomb from intruders and as the years pass, both you and the tomb will change. You, the skeletons, slowly start to remember who you once were. Glory fades, worlds crumble, but the tomb must be defended.
This Discord Has Ghosts In It is an online RPG that you can play over a Discord server. You are invited to a haunted house and play as either an investigator or a ghost. Investigators may only speak. Ghosts may only type. It's a truly unique way of uncovering a scary story together and making excellent use of technology though play.
For an absolutely terrifying story (and if you love any kind of trope-y horror movie), Slasher is for you. Character classes are classic horror tropes like the jock, the camp counselor and the stoner. Your characters then try to escape from a house with a different killer on each floor. Whether you roll randomly to surprise yourself and your players, or you plot out the most evil haunted house you can think of, this game is not for the faint of heart.
For Unraveling Mysteries
Mysteries really feel like they were made for Fall. These mystery games are a great addition to any candlelit table.
House of Danger is a delightfully nostalgic storytelling game that probably looks familiar if you've ever read any of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. It's spooky, campy and a whole lot of fun at the table.
Mysterium and Mysterium Park are two of our best selling games, in any season really, but they shine in spooky season. Sort of like reverse Clue, one person plays as the ghost and the others are trying to figure out what happened to the ghost. The ghost can't speak, but gives clues in the form of these gorgeous art cards. It's a great twist on a cooperative game.
For a faster, lighter game of mystery, There's Been a Murder is a collaborative card game of deduction where you're trying to solve a horrendous murder in a fancy country estate in the 1930s. Team up to investigate the crime by playing cards in your hand. You may not may not talk about the cards you hold or that you’ve seen during play. By playing your cards, you can discover who holds the key cards, allowing the Detective to uncover the Murderer. Good luck!
For Hiding in the Shadows
Nothing says terror like having a traitor in the mix. These deception games are all great for raising the stakes at the table.
Possibly one of my favorites of all time, Betrayal at House on the Hill came out with a new edition at the end of last year. It's got all new haunts and some updates to the characters from the old edition. If you've never played before, you and your friends are exploring a haunted house room by room. Once enough ominous things happen during your exploration, the haunt will begin and one of the players will turn on their friends. It's random and different every time you play, making it easily one of the games you can play and replay again and again. There's also a new Werewolf expansion for even more variety.
If, like me, you've been missing The Last of Us, Dead of Winter will bring the zombie apocalypse to your table. You're working together to survive the harsh winter, but each person has their own secret objective– and that could possibly be to work against the group. For less harsh betrayal, more smashing zombies, try Zombicide.
And finally, the ultimate betrayal, bluffing and (for me) anxiety-inducing party game– Werewolf. I really love the One Night version where you have just one round to figure out who the werewolf is. It's super fast, so you won't have time to dwell on the fact that your best friend just swore up and down that they weren't the werewolf and they totally were. The BETRAYAL! *shuffles cards*
Happy Fall Spooky Season! Check out the rest of our spotlight games here... if you dare! Mwahahaha