Betrayal at House on the Hill - Board Game Box Shot

Betrayal at House on the Hill

New spooky nights await you and your friends!

The creak of footsteps on the stairs, the smell of something foul and dead, the feel of something crawling down your back – this and more can be found in the exciting refresh of the Avalon Hill favorite Betrayal at House on the Hill. This fun and suspenseful game is a new experience almost every time you play – you and your friends explore “that creepy old place on the hill” until enough mystic misadventures happen that one of the players turns on all of the others! Hours of fun for all your friends and family.

Designed for 3–6 players aged 12 and up, this boardgame features multiple scenarios, a different lay-out with every game, and enough chills to freeze the heart of any horror fan.

Set details:
  • The Haunt books have been refreshed with 8 new haunts – some of which feature a new “hidden traitor” game mechanic.
  • The Item cards have been updated with 5 new items!
  • The die-cut game play tokens have been redesigned making them easier to identify.
  • Exciting and compelling new art and design on the box.

User Reviews (39)

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4
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
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43 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Great theme, narrative, feel, and fun gameplay -- but not for the ultra competitive.”

Gameplay
As has been noted in other reviews, Betrayal at the House on the Hill is played in two distinct phases.

In the first phase, players play a fairly standard dungeon crawl in a haunted house. You each get a figurine and a matching chipboard hexagon with your figurine’s four stats: speed, might, sanity, and knowledge. The cool part is that the house is revealed as you explore. You start in the great hall, and as you move into unexplored rooms you place random new rooms to where you move.

Each turn you move up to your speed, and whenever you explore a new room one of four things happens. First, nothing can happen. Often nothing happens in hallways, and you just keep going. Second, there can be an item. When this happens you draw an item card and get to keep it. Third, there can be an event. Events are one time occurrence cards, filled with flavor, and read by the person to your left. Sometimes you have to roll based on your stats, other times you make choices, and others yet make changes to the house, for example:

Something Slimy
What’s around your ankle? A bug? A tentacle? A dead hand clawing?
You must attempt a speed roll (and then some stuff happens based on your roll.)

Fourth, you can walk into a room with an OMEN. Omens can be like items or events, but creepier, and every time you get one you roll a set number of dice. If you roll a number higher than the current number of omens found, then exploration continues as usual. If you roll lower than the current number of omens, however, the HAUNT begins.

The Haunt is the second phase of the game, and happens after you’ve been exploring for a while. When the haunt happens, you look up in a table what omen caused the haunt, and in what room, and it tells you which of the 50 possible haunts is happening, and that one of you is a traitor! Surprise, hence the name of the game. The traitor leaves the room with his or her own booklet, and reads about his or her goals for this particular haunt. At the same time, the explorers read about how THEY win.

The traitor returns, and the haunt begins where it’s one versus many, and only one team can win.

Theme, narrative, and feel
This game does a fantastic job of setting the mood, especially if you read events and omens to the person who drew them in creepy voices. When played at night it does a great job of creating the feel of a (cliche) horror movie, where everything starts off hunky dory and then gets creepier and creepier until the big reveal when the heroes must fight for their lives (and usually most of them die).

The 50 different haunts make the game feel like it’s telling a story, and things can get kind of tense. Overall, the way the game’s theme comes across and sets the mood is its strength, and it is worth playing for this.

Strategy
The strategy in Betrayal at the House on the Hill is kind of weird, because you know one of you is going to end up fighting against the rest. Mostly you just want to collect STUFF, and hope that the person with the most stuff doesn’t become the traitor (unless that person is you). There’s really not that much going on the in the strategy department, but there is a good amount of tactical decision making.

Thoughts
Far from being a problem, the two phases in which this game is played
are a strength. Cliche horror films often are in these two phases, a first phase where the characters are introduced as happy and stupid and make bad decisions. The first phases then gets creepier and creepier until the reveal of the monster and the deaths start happening.

This is definitely a game to play with casual and social gamers, especially if your players like narrative. I find myself returning to this game over and over because it’s a great one to play with my girlfriend, and I really want to see all the haunts. Some of my friends who have played this more says that it does start to be less fun once you start repeating haunts.

The second version of this game fixes a lot of stupid problems and printing errors the first one has, answering questions like “Why is the underground lake found on the third floor of the house,” so that’s a plus.

Ratings for various types of gamers:
Strategy Gamers – 6
Power Gamers – 6
Avid Gamers – 7
Social Gamers – 9
Casual Gamers – 9

 
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4
Mantis Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Tinkerer
Went to Gen Con 2012
8
41 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“Where it fails as a game, it succeeds as an experience.”

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a semi-cooperative game where a group of characters explore a spooky haunted house one board tile at a time to reveal the creepy secrets and hidden treasures within. At the start of the game, players don’t know much about how the game is going to play out or even how to win — as they explore the house, certain rooms cause them to draw Omen cards and carry out their effects, then roll a batch of dice; if the total rolled is less than the number of Omen cards drawn so far, the Haunt begins. The Haunt dictates what the objective of the game is, as well as who is the Traitor trying to stop the players, based on what the omen card that triggered the Haunt was and what room it came up in. There are dozens of possible Haunts that can come up, each detailed in separate books for the Traitor and the rest of the players, which often don’t give all the information about how the other side is going to win.

Competitively, it’s terrible. There is a lot of dice rolling, and Haunts can drastically favor one side or the other. Seen purely as a “game” game, it’s not very good. Luckily, that doesn’t matter, because Betrayal has the trait that really matters — it’s fun. Betrayal is the archetypal “social game”: the rules are there not to challenge players or allow them to exercise their skill, but to build a framework where fun things happen. And at this, it succeeds admirably.

The Haunts have a definite feel of schlocky 1950’s B-movie charm to them, with scenarios involving stuff like mummies, evil dopplegangers, the house actually being a giant monster trying to eat you, bizarre alternate dimensions, alien invaders, and creepy little dolls. Each Haunt has its own specialized rules and quirks to it, so there are a lot of different ways things can go, but as most of the special rules are particular to their Haunt and not in use most of the time it doesn’t feel bogged down or overly complex. Haunts feel really, really varied, and it’s fun to get a new one you’ve never played and madly try to figure out what’s going on and how to stop the craziness going on around you. And there are enough Haunts in the book that coming across one you’ve played before is more likely to be nostalgic than disappointing. The game oozes flavor, and it’s the kind of thing that inevitably gets the group laughing and reading everything aloud in really, really hammy voices. Turns pass quickly, so players rarely feel bogged down, and barring a couple locations where they can be held up by repeated bad rolls they’ve almost always got something they can do.

Betrayal isn’t for everyone. If you enjoy games exclusively or primarily for competition or intellectual challenge, there won’t be much to sink your teeth into here. And you kind of have to be careful not to play it too often, or the haunts risk becoming familiar and losing their most compelling element of the unexpected. And there’s WAY too many pieces in the box, as each Haunt that requires tokens of some kind gets completely unique ones — there’s going to be five chits in there for various “organs” that will only ever come into play in the “the house is alive!” scenario and sit around in the box almost every time you play, and then when that scenario DOES come up you’ll have a **** of a time finding them. Still, if you’re looking for a great social game for your friends or family, equally playable and enjoyable with kids or adults, Betrayal at House on the Hill may be right up your alley.

 
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3
Critic - Level 2
Rated 50 Games
8
48 of 50 gamers found this helpful
“Fear of the dark”

* this review is based on the first print of the game.

Looking for a simple game that all mystery and horror fans can play and enjoy? Probably you are in the right place. Betrayal at house on the Hill is an easy to learn game that offers 50 horror stories to play! Thus, no one can complain about the replayability of the game. Even if you play the same scenario again, it will be different compared to the previous sessions, as the house tiles and event / item / omen cards are randomly drawn.

In my turn I simply move my character from room to room. When I reveal a new room, I place a new house tile and I usually draw a card that matches the room’s symbol (omen, item or event). Then I follow what the card says and that’s it. It is common a card to ask for a check in one or more of my characterer’s traits, which are Might, Speed, Sanity and Knowledge. In such a case, I roll the corresponding number of dice and I see what happens depending on the result. The fun part begins when the haunting of the house is revealed. Every time a player draws an omen card, he have to make a haunt roll. This means that he rolls 6 dice (result 0-2 on each die) and if the sum is less than the total number of omen cards in play, then the haunting is revealed. One player becomes the traitor and his purpose is to kill the others or prevent them from put an end on the haunting, while the other players (survivors) are stuggling to survive and stop the evil plans. There are two books, one for the traitor, one for the survivors, which describe what is the story and what should be done by the players.

In order to enjoy this game, all players have to be in the right mood and like this horror / mystery stuff. I don’t recommend this game for players that want absolute control, as there are too many random elements. Sometimes a scenario is ruined by the game itself due to high randomness. For example, it may end too soon, even in the first or second turn after the haunting. My advice is not to take this game seriously and just play and see what happens like watching a movie but in this case the star is you!

Keep in mind that good knowledge of English is necessary by all players.

(+)
Atmospheric gameplay
Replayability
Easy to learn, even by non-gamers
Beautiful tiles and painted miniatures
Plays well with any number of players

(-)
Simple tokens with no artwork
Some scenarios need errata and clarifications

 
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7
Knight-errant
Cooperative Game Explorer
Amateur Advisor
Gamer - Level 6
9
39 of 42 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“"There is something...unnatural about this house..."”

There are many reasons to love Betrayal at House on the Hill: The ease of gameplay, the many scenarios to visit, the emphasis on exploration, and the uncertainty of when things will go horribly, HORRIBLY wrong. And they will.

The basic premise is this: each of the game’s characters (who know one or more people in the group due to the game’s character backstory) have been brought together to the House on the Hill through mysterious circumstances. Once they are all inside of the house, the door slams shut behind them and locks. The characters are now trapped inside of a house they have no knowledge of, and there is no exit. Bust down the door? It won’t budge. Break a window? They resist breaking. The characters’ only choice is to explore the house and try to find a way out. But there’s another problem. The house is dangerous. Things will happen that will test the character’s abilities and will, and eventually, the house will cause one of the characters to turn on their fellow comrades. This event is called The Haunting, and shows the true nature of the house, and why everyone has been gathered together…for some sinister purpose.

The game can play up to 6 players, and the game comes with figures to represent each character. All the characters have different strengths and weaknesses, but one of the nice things about this game is that each character card has two sides, that each represent different characters themselves. So there are actually a total of 12 characters in all to play. This helps to eliminate some of what I like to call Monopoly Race Car Syndrome (MRCS). “I want to be the race car!” “No, I’m going to be the race car, I’m always the race car!” The stats on each facet of the character card is different, the red character card for instance has a character that has high strength, and the reverse side has a character that is high in speed.

Each player controls a character with four set attributes: Strength, Speed, Knowledge, and Sanity. These attributes are also grouped into two catagories: Strength and Speed form Physical Attributes, and Knowledge and Sanity form Mental Attributes. During the course of a game, characters will take mental or physical damage from attacks. A player can decide which attribute to take the damage in, so long as it is in the same catagory. If a player takes 2 physical points of damage, he or she can lower their strength value by 2, their speed value by two, or split the damage into 1 point of strength damage and 1 point of speed damage. This is probably the most important thing to understand about the game, because in this game, your attributes are your life.

Before the Haunting occurs, none of the characters in the game can die. However, once the Haunting occurs, players need to monitor their attribute scores very carefully. Each attribute score, at its lowest value, has a skull at the bottom of the character. If at any time ANY of the attributes reaches the skull value after the haunting, that character has died. This does not mean the character is out of the game; there are some scenarios that turn the character into another traitor at this point. But in any case, the character will either be dead, or acting against the other heroes.

As players explore the house, they will uncover more areas with which to traverse, and encounter events that happen to these characters; some good, some bad. Usually the events will involve testing a character’s attribute(s) in some way, which can lead to new and unique events happening, or a character growing stronger or weaker in some fashion. A player may also find items strewn about the house, or be rewarded with one; items are very valuable in dealing with the challenges that the house can present. And found in specific rooms of the house are Omen cards. Omen cards usually an item or artifact of great power, but finding an Omen means that there is a chance for the Haunting to take hold.

When an Omen is found, a Haunt roll is made using the game’s specially designed dice. Each die either has a blank side, one pip, or two pips respectively. 6 dice are rolled, which mean that there is a maximum of 12 to achieve on a roll. However, there are 13 omen cards. Since the Haunting begins when a player rolls under the number of Omen cards in play, the Haunting WILL begin eventually. It’s just a matter of where and when.

Once the Haunting begins, whoever failed the haunt roll opens the Traitor’s Tome (a book supplied with the game) to the first page to see what scenario to play. There is a table which tells what scenario to play based on what Omen was drawn in what room to activate the Haunting. There is also a chart at the bottom of the same table that tells who the traitor will be based on the scenario number. Sometimes it will be the person who failed the haunt roll, but sometimes it can be whoever has the highest strength, speed, knowledge, or sanity. It can even be a specific character being played. Once the traitor is determined, the traitor takes the traitor’s tome and reads up on the scenario number in a secluded location. Meanwhile, the other characters (now called the heroes) take the Secrets of Survival booklet (also included) and look up their own version of the scenario.

Each of the books contains different information, as well as different flavor text specific for the heroes and the adventurers. The Survival book tells what the characters need to do to win, and the Traitor’s Tome tells the traitor what he or she needs to do to win. The traitor will know things the players don’t know, and vice versa. Often times, both will be pursuing completely different goals, and they may directly oppose each other, or sometimes they may not. Sometimes it can purely be a race against time. And in rare situations, there is a hidden traitor that gets revealed in time, but no one knows at the start. There are even Haunting scenarios with no traitor, which have special rules for how to handle it.

Once the players know what to do, the endgame is near. It becomes all about survival; things are still happening around the house, but one way or another, the game will end, with either the heroes able to escape, able to triumph over the traitor, or with the traitor committing their dastardly deed and dooming everyone.

I love Betrayal at House on the Hill. It is a fun game that has lots of replay value, and each time you build the house (using house tiles that represent the upper, middle, and basement floors), the layout is different each time. You can play game after game, and it will never play out the same way. The game comes with 50 scenarios to play, and it takes quite some time to get through them all, but of course, once you know them all, the game loses just a bit of its surprise feeling. Still, this is one game that you can get a lot of mileage out of, and it plays easily enough to pick up new players on the fly. Definitely worth checking out, for the established gamer or the beginner.

 
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Intermediate Reviewer
Paladin
Tinkerer
Novice Advisor
9
49 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“More a happening than a game”

I really like this game, I bought the first edition and have played it many times since. I think the author really managed to get a lovely feel in the game, but I also think this game will not suit everyone. Let me elaborate.

I’m sure you’ve allready know the setting, a group of lost people (perhaps the car broke down late at night, who knows?) find an abandonded mansion and the door locks behind them as they enter. As they explore the house (adding new room tiles) they will trigger events and omen cards that will eventually start one of 50 scenarios where one of the players will betray the rest of the group (and noone knows who until the scenario is triggered). After that the pace changes and the heroes and the traitor try to achieve different goals in order to win the game. Many tasks are solved by rolling dice as in any dungeon crawler roleplaying game. Rules and combat are easy and quick.

Now, for people with the attitude that they will experience a cool horror movie in the form of a boardgame this is perfect, and avid roleplayers tend to catch on really quick. the game itself also offers great opportunities to roleplay, and the game is so much more fun when that happens. However, if you play it with hardcore gamers looking for a super balanced boardgame it may collapse. The randomness is so big that the scenario itself can be very easy or almost impossible, because so many factors are involved. How much of the house is explored allready? Quite often the heroes need to find certain rooms. Are there special objects needed and are they known? Who became the traitor? Was it the only one with a decent chance to succeed with the knowledge rolls necessary to complete the mission?

As you see, you cannot look at this as a normal game. Rather it’s a happening, the more or less perfect conversion of a cheesy horror movie into a boardgame. And if you enjoy that this is great entertainment! I love it, but I don’t start a gaming session with the same attitude and mindset as if I were to play chess or Puerto Rico.

On the minus side, the first edition needed an errata for the rules that were almost as long as the rules themselves, but I guess they have fixed all that in the second edition, though I have not examined the 2 edition contents myself.

Try it, and keep an eye on the little girl that look innocent. I’ts surprising how often she turn out to be evil…

 
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3
Supporter
I Got What I Wanted
10
38 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“we're all happy friends on the hill until the house reveals the haunt”

This is my first review upon boardgaming.com. /woots.

I have played a variety of board games in my time. I <3 games. This is a game i wish i had found sooner.

I had seen it resting upon many a different shelf in the various gaming stores i frequent. However i've never had the chance to actually play it until this past thursday. I don't know what kept me from picking it up sooner (one shiny new game or another more than likely). Thankfully, this door in my gaming world has now been opened.

We played it twice thursday at a board game store i happened across that was hosting a gaming night (i shall definitely return). It was a little intimidating with all the tokens and tiles and the rule book of if/thens as they began to get everything set up. But then the game began.

My first experience into this game, the leader (for lack of a better word) took control and led us into the house upon the hill. We told it story style, with each person reading their cards as they came up and really playing up the dark. There was of course ribbing and curses as various tiles entered play and events and omens were encountered. Every potential haunt was played up, with everyone getting excited as more and more were attempted until, of course, the real game began.

From this newcomer's perspective, exploring the house and falling prey to its many dark secrets as we delved ever deeper was completely enthralling. I do feel our narration/reading of the cards as they came into play helped keep everyone interested and excited.

But when the haunt came into play and everything in the house began to stack up against us, that is the moment the excitement and pace of our particular story really kicked into high gear.

(This game does have a lot of if/thens that have to be taken into account. This does lead to rule mongering and arguments over semantics. Don't let this slow your experience down. Appoint a leader and address the issue and then move on. We had a couple such pauses that could have been avoided with better handling of the players- course this is coming from a seasoned story master of many a dnd session. With a game this detailed this is going to happen though. And more so when you pit one versus the rest).

However, that said, oh so.much.fun. We had six players, and we pulled the immortal something or other than cannot be killed 'cept by some **** statue which is here and … Anyway, not going to throw a spoiler in these particular cogs. Suffice it to say, we did not win our first encounter. Certain things conspired against us (namely that cursed house) and we were p@wned.

Then we played again. Still i didn't get to be the baddie, but this game went smoother and faster because now we'd all greased the gears a little with the first game.

BUT this time we had a different, yet no less volatile rule wrench thrown upon the fire. As i have said, this is very if/then dependent. Rules in these sections need to be read and reread before play proceeds. Why? Because both times something was missed that caused unneccessary torment in each particular betrayal. A quick and easy out- if something would make the game unwinnable (as both times there were argument that certain circumstances in each scenario did this) reread and then fix it. I do not imagine the developers of the game wanted to add that particular cruelty into this otherwise great board game.

I will end this review momentarily but let me tell you- if you have the right people, this game box contains an amazing boardgaming experience. Few games have i played that instantly hit me like this. Settlers of Catan is one of them (it was my gateway boardgame). This would be another.

The replayability is very high. The fun is very high. The cooperative and competitive aspects of this game are masterful. This game can turn even your most timid boardgamer into a demon with the need to feed. And the fact that you get to pause after the haunt is revealed to discuss plans and plot against the baddie while they are away, oh.so.fun.

do i recommend?
yes.yes.yes.

~Necu

 
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7
Advanced Reviewer
It's All About Me
I'm a Real Person
I'm Completely Obsessed
10
33 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Perfect, fun game for new or old players!”

Betrayal is an amazing game, capable of nigh-unto-endless replay with the same basic mechanics. The game takes almost two whole minutes to teach, and even new players are making their own decisions on what they want to do well before the haunt happens.

The game is a good exercise in guided chaos theory, because everything is random. Do you find a useful item or the room you are looking for? Does your super-sane priest fail to hold strong against a creepy, mumbly voice from the darkness? Will Ox Bellows think his way to opening the vault? The pure randomness ensures that every experience will be different, making it very easy to play two or three games in a row!

Because there are fifty scenarios for the haunt, not all of them are perfectly written, leaving it up to the group to muddle through some game adjudication. Eh, it’s fun to rewrite rules!

If I were having a board game night for new players, this would go right to the start of the rotation. It is one of my favorite cooperative games, and given the option, I could play it all night long.

 
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7
Ireland
Zealot
Advocate
7
27 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“50 Endings!!”

I got a chance to run through Betrayal at House on the Hill last weekend and overall, it’s a fun game that is moderately easy to learn, especially if you play a lot of games.

After picking your character, each with their own stats so pay attention, you explore and lay tiles to reveal your house. This mechanic creates new houses every time you play, so it might take a few games to start to feel comfortable with what rooms can do what. Also, have a big table ready, because we had to relocate our levels a couple of times as tiles began to intrude on each other!!

Anyway, all of this is the “first half” of Betrayal. When the game really begins is with the Haunt. Now, the tile placement adds a lot of replay value, but there are 50 scenarios for Haunts in the game!! And if you follow the suggestion that you ignore repeat haunts, that’s at least 50 games at the table with this one. So, I’d say there is definite value for the price.

Now, when the Haunt finally begins, depending on who starts it, where they are etc., the book guides you to the proper Haunt and a traitor is chosen. The game is now 1 vs. 3 in our case with a four play table. Call it co-op against one I guess!

For us, our Haunt involved specters that could literally move across the entire house every turn. We read and re-read the book so many times, because it seemed really unfair towards the traitor and within three rounds, the specters annihilated us. Browsing the book, it seems really split between Haunts that favor the heroes and Haunts that favor the traitor, so again, you never quite know what to expect as you sit down for Betrayal.

This point is backed up with all the tips and strategies I’ve read on here. Looking through them, they all are valid and offer good advice, but many of them contradict each other because that’s just the nature of the game. Maybe you keep your group together as you explore for back up, but with the specters, it actually helped that we were spread apart because we needed to access rooms to win that were all over the house. Maybe you need a five player game, or maybe you need a three player game. You just never know and the rules are designed as such to keep you off balance which is great, but if you enjoy heavy strategy games where you control your destiny, this one might not be for you.

But like I said, I had a lot of fun with it and while it won’t be an every weekend kind of thing, I can see this coming out three to four times a year.

 
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4
The Big Cheese 2012
Weasel - Level 1
10
33 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Horror Movie Board Game”

In Betrayal at House on the Hill you take the roll of the group of people who’ve decided to investigate the creepy house on the hill.

Each turn you move your piece and place out, at random, the room you discovered. The house is different each time. The game does a great job of building tension, both with not knowing what room will be behind the next door but also with the random events, items and even omens that happen as you explore the house.

When you collect an omen, you have to roll dice and hope they total up to the same number or higher as the omens that have appeared so far, this is referred to as the Haunt Roll. After you succeed on the first couple of omens, the tension builds and everyone is worried about failing the Haunt roll.

Once a Haunt Roll is failed, you refer to a chart in the instructions. You find the omen that triggered the aunt, and the room it was found in and you will find what page to turn to for your scenario as well as who in your party betrayed you.

This is what the tension was building to, as you explored the house, with the floorboards creaking, wind whistling through and things falling over seemingly at random, you knew, KNEW, that this place was bad. Now, one of your party has alined themselves, willingly or not, with whatever negative power is in the house (there are a ton of scenarios). This is the point where the life of your character is in jeopardy, you know what you must do to survive. Or this is the point where you betray your comrades, align with the house and bring them all down.

Tons of fun, lots or re-playability. The concept of playing the group at the beginning of a horror movie is easy to explain to new people, the actual betrayal and role they play after is a little harder. Quality of the mini figurines and components is not consistent from copy to copy so you might get a very tippy miniature.

 
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4
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Critic - Level 2
Gamer - Level 3
5
35 of 40 gamers found this helpful
“Some interesting ideas marred by broken mechanics”

Pros:
– Building out the haunted house with the modular board tiles is fun
– Campy horror role-playing
– Lots of different scenarios are possible

Cons:
– Extremely complicated rules
– Low-quality components
– Lots of fringe-cases and broken mechanics

This game sounded very promising to me. You and your friends are in a haunted house exploring the various booby-trapped rooms and encountering various minor spectres. At some point in the game, a Scooby-Doo style mystery (the haunt) is uncovered (randomly chosen from the “Haunt Book”) at which point one of the players becomes “the traitor” and the rest of the players team up to fight him. The scenarios can involve anything from a Mummy looking for his bride to a giant bird taking off with the house in his talons. There’s a lot of variety in how these stories play out so each game is different.

So what’s the problem? It’s so *ed complicated that you spend all your time trying to figure out how many dice to roll, what items you’re allowed to use, or how many spaces you’re allowed to go which makes it impossible to become immersed in the experience. I played a couple of times with different groups and both sessions ended in utter exhaustion; one group even voted to stop playing when the haunt was revealed!

A few more gripes. The components look great but within an hour of opening the box they had warped to a point where it was hard to work with them. The markers for player’s stats fell off easily. There were literally hundreds of chits for all kinds of things, most of which won’t be used in most games, which made it very difficult to find a particular one, not to mention making it very daunting to behold.

Finally, there were several situations where the game seemed to be totally broken. I got in one situation where I was stuck in a room and had to roll something like five 6’s to leave (odds are 1 in 7776). There was a situation where Bill stole something from Dan then Dan stole it back then Bill stole it back, ad infinatum. Also, the number of room tile effects, random event cards, and items were limited enough to make most games feel pretty much the same (until the Haunt).

I have a lot of bad things to say about this game, however, there were still some genuinely fun times and laughs. I’ve had my fun and I don’t want to play it any more, but I had to give it a 3 for replay value because of all the different Haunt scenarios that were included and the number of characters to chose from. Maybe a more hardcore set of gamers would like it.

 
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2
I play red
9
12 of 13 gamers found this helpful
“Deep, dense, dark...and better than I thought”

I bought Betrayal after seeing it played on Tabletop. I’m a fairly experienced RPG player, so the RPG-lite mechanics weren’t intimidating to me, but I mainly bought it because the flavor seemed great. As I was ringing up my purchase at the counter (and sucking my teeth at the fairly high price tag), I wondered if I was buying it based on the production value of the show rather than the game itself. Would there be interest in my group? Would the mechanics get old and boring?

I’m happy to report that we’ve played three games of Betrayal since I bought it, and they’ve all exceeded my expectations. Everyone was engaged and having fun — even our more casual gamers — and the spooky flavor hit just the right note. Every haunt made the game feel differently: the first saw my wife devouring us all with her pet dragon, the second had my poor character being sacrificed and married off to a ghost bride, and the third had our shrunken characters desperately trying to use a toy plane to escape the house — and the cat the betrayer had let into it. From fantastic to creepy to kinda goofy, all with special mechanics and rules for both the traitor and the explorers, the experience of each game was different, and it always ended up close (though the traitor won every game).

The problem with that level of complexity is mass. I spent a LOT of time punching out cardboard tokens and sorting them into small bags. I appreciate the level of thought and detail put into the game, but there is a cardboard token for everything. It might be just a tiny bit overdone.

Betrayal has proven itself to be surprisingly consistent in its fun and interest-grabbing for our entire group. It’s not one of our go-to games, but it’s certainly engaging enough to be pulled out once in a while. I don’t regret the purchase….except for maybe when the cat ate me.

 
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3
Amateur Reviewer
Noble
9
27 of 31 gamers found this helpful
“Hauntingly Fun (And 101 other bad puns)”

This game is unfair, unbalanced, sometimes seemingly impossible for one side to win, and one of my favorite games of all time. If you are looking for a skill based games that will test your cognitive reasoning and tactical decision making than look elsewhere, BUT if you are looking for a good old fashion B rated horror movie time full of maniacal laughs and perma sticking to cobwebs this is the game for you. It is just so much fun to go around and explore the house with your friends. I especially love how the traitor does not even realize he is the traitor until the haunt (which is as I learned why you never give away weapons). Also exploring the house is a lot of fun epically the first time when you don’t all of the panels. And when the traitor does come out he usually has some really interesting abilities and it can be a lot of fun trying to take him down (or more fun trying to take down all your friends as that traitor).

There are a few complaints I do have about the game. Firstly haunts can really be hit or miss. I would say about 30-40% of my haunts have had either the traitor losing in a matter of turns or it is nearly impossible for the hero team to win. Also there is a limited number of haunts (50 to be exact which is no small number) but that is something to keep in mind. I am really hoping this game comes out with an expansion eventually to give us some new floor tiles to play with.

Overall I love this game and it is a lot of fun to play. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to have a good time with a couple friends.

 
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8
BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
Went to Gen Con 2012
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
Advanced Reviewer
5
53 of 64 gamers found this helpful
“Two Halves Dont Make A Whole”

Admittedly I’ve only played this game once, but I’m not the biggest fan. Usually I play a game a few times before reviewing, but I don’t think I’m going to give this game that chance. There were some good things about the game, but there were some bad too.

The general idea is that you are locked in this house laying tiles representing each room you are going to explore. As you explore the different rooms certain events take place that randomize the game. Eventually, you’ll collect a number of events that will cause you to roll die triggering a betrayal and everything will go bat crazy.

The Good:
• I like the idea of exploring a house and laying tiles to see what will happen and how the game advances.
• Every game can have very unique scenarios depending on when and how the betrayer is triggered. The game comes with large play books that mix up the task of the betrayer and of the team trying to get out of the house. Unique play is a big plus.
• The rules seemed pretty easy to learn and understand, until you triggered the betrayer. Then again bat crazy.

The So So
• The components were ok. The tiles were nice thick cardboard, but pieces to keep track of your stats were shotty. The little arrow that was to stay on a certain number kept falling off its player disc. The wheel piece found in King of Tokyo or Rex seem like they would be better used here.
• Reading the scripts on the cards, they are pretty tongue in cheek. Sort of like a bad B horror movie. If you like this kind of stuff, this may hit the spot for you. Obviously it was just so so for us.

The Bad
• I didn’t like how it felt like two games. One was exploring this old house seeing what treasure you could find and random things to fight. Kind of like a dungeon crawl. Then you trigger a betrayal and it’s a different game. You’re either trying to kill the betrayer or rectify the situation.
• The trigger can happen at any time. Which is kind of nice, but its completely random based on a dice roll. You could play the game for an hour and still not set the betrayer in motion. It can kind of drag on.

Overall
It was the whole feeling of two different games that really killed it for me. However, there is a lot to like here as well. Both halves of the game I think could make something great, but the two together just isn’t for me. For you… this may be the game you are looking for. Lots of unique scenarios, B movie tongue in cheek script, with a horror theme…. Here it is!

 
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5
Sophomore
Critic - Level 2
Gamer - Level 4
8
35 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“A Gertz Component Review - Betrayal at House on the Hill”

Ahhh Betrayal at House on the Hill, you are now part of my collection.

Years ago one of the regulars of my boardgame group picked this up at a convention for an inflated amount of coins. I would say it was well worth the amount he paid because aside from Arkham Horror, this got the most play of any of the games…but thats for a different submission. This is about components.

So lets start with the game board tiles. They seem pretty durable in the small square tiles that make up 95% of the tiles. The starting tile though reveals that it is a pretty weak piece of chip board, out of the box it is already a little warped and disfigured. Not a huge deal but it should be noted.

Next up are the cool little penta cards that have your character stats on them. These look pretty good and the pre-painted miniatures are not that bad either. They are even color coded so you know who is who by the color of the shirt and the color of the character card.

Now the game comes with a bunch of little plastic pointer pieces that attach to your card to indicate your current stats. My issue is that the slot that should fit a bit snugly against the character sheet in fact just falls off of it…every **** one of them does not stay put. Now the card should be on the table anyway but it could get knocked off, my cat could jump on the table, any number of things could happen that would result the plastic pieces falling off of them easily.

So now the cards…why? Why are the cards this shape? Please tell me? Why are they this long when they don’t have to be? I mean take a look at how much space there is…

Another sleeve dilemma…arghhhhh…Just make them normal size please. They do have a nice texture and quality to them though. They just require another strange plastic sleeve shape that I am not even sure is available.

Lastly, we have the chits.

Lots of them, they represent everything else in the game…yup the scary monsters are small cardboard chits that try to attack your cool character miniatures.

not that impressed to be honest, in comparison most of the other bits and pieces seem to be of pretty good quality and then 50% of the items you interact with on the board are flat…literally.

Overview

The game does a lot well. Sturdy small board tile cards…except the beginning room that’s a bit warped…good minis that are color coded to the great character sheets and a good card stock for the cards.

Why do you make cards that are an odd shape from every other cards out there? And, why put so much cool into a game with a theme and then ruin the theme by using small little cardboard circles for monsters and items. Totally pulls you out of the experience. I hope the next version of the game includes some miniatures for the other components as well.

An important part of tracking character progression through the game is ruined by little plastic pieces that easily fall off the character cards. They should have been a bit tighter.

 
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1
 
24 of 31 gamers found this helpful
“Always looking forward to the haunt... not so much everything before that.”

Don’t get me wrong, I think this game is pretty enjoyable, but I just find everything happening before the haunt rather tedious. More games then I can imagine, people have gotten obliterated in the beginning half (before the haunt) making them useless during the haunt (the main part of the game in my opinion).

All that set aside, I am absolutely pleased with the many, many different options of haunts and the crazy different stories these haunts include. I like how they tend to keep the traitor to be somewhat balanced against the adventurers and overall is fun to both all gang up on a friend or destroy all of them.

I personally found the scenario where there is an alien that is unknown throughout all of us secretly trying to turn the rest of us into aliens before we concocted the potion(?) to save us from turning into one. It caused a lot of mystery and suspicion and an overall fun time.

I will always suggest to play this with my regular board gaming group and newcomers.

 

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