Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top 5 Horror Board Games

Halloween is my favorite holiday for several reasons. For one, I love Fall. Ever since moving to Portland, it has become one of my favorite seasons. Seeing the leaves change from green to red and eventually fall from their high homes truly is beautiful. Secondly, I love horror. Some may call Halloween a child's holiday, but I love the feeling that October brings. The days are getting shorter, the trees are shrinking away into skeletal forms of there former glory, and the temperature is slowly dropping. All of it congeals into a nearly palpable air of horror. 

In my opinion, being scared is the only time a person truly acts like themselves; when you're afraid, you drop the social training thats been ingrained in our subconscious and you let your true colors show. Some people run, some people cower, and some people get angry, redoubled by the though of certain death. It's no surprise, then, that I love horror fiction, films and media. 

Nothing says Halloween more than scary board games, so here's my list of the top 5 horror board games. This is purely my opinion, and it is solidly based in the things I find scary or stimulating.

5. Betrayal at House on the Hill
Haunted houses: Not only are they synonymous with Halloween, but they're also incredibly perverse in horror stories. Betrayal at House on the Hill, while suffering from a few problems, tackles the haunted house setting better than any game. Exploring the strange rooms of the house will result in the revelation of the haunting. The haunts are clever, challenging, and, most importantly, scary.

4. Arkham Horror

I love H.P. Lovecraft. While I am a late-comer to the Cthulhu mythos, discovering it only within the last few years, I've felt right at home reading the stories. Arkham Horror is not a terrifying game, but I feel the same desperate confusion that Lovecraft's characters feel when confronting the beings of the mythos. 

3. The Walking Dead: The Board Game

What would you do to survive a zombie apocalypse? Would you band together and try to start a new world, or would you try to find an answer to the question that you need answered? The Walking Dead: The Board Game explores the human condition just as the comic did, and it's just as satisfying. 

2. Last Night on Earth
What list would be complete without this game? While, on the surface, this may seem overkill following The Walking Dead, this is a very different game. Last Night on Earth is the game that epitomizes the zombie genre. The confusion, the excitement and the terror of it all is encompassed in this box. While The Walking Dead is all about the human element, Last Night on Earth is all about survival.

1. Panic Station
Paranoia is a huge element of horror. Who can you trust? Where is safe? What was that noise in the alleyway? If you've seen The Thing, then you know how paranoia effects the human brain. Panic Station creates that same sort of paranoia, with characters attempting to take care of an alien hive while one is actually infected.

For more information on all games listed above, check Board Game Geek.


  1. Man! this post is amazing, from the very beginning with your opinion about people showing their true colors when scared ITS TOTALLY TRUE!!! and those lines about halloween MAN!! i feel about the same way, its the best holiday and it, as you say, creates a somewhat colourful in a specific yet indescribable way atmosphere on everything i am a fan over horror media as well(movies, videogames, literature) but i have never ever played one of these and its because i didnt knew about them until a few weeks ago. Let me tell you they seem very interesting to me but unfortunately where i live board games don't sell well so its impossible to get any of them yet i would love to spend one of those november cold days playing one of them. Congratulations on your post and AS YOU CAN, PLAY THEM A LOT FOR THE ONES OF US WHO CANT. not exagerating, best post i have ever read. you made my afternoon. HAPPY NEXT 2012 HALLOWEEN!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Unfortunately, life has been very hectic since my last post so I have all but fallen off the face of the earth with this blog, but knowing you enjoyed it has made me want to start again.

      As to not having boardgames available to you, I would recommend you go to some online retailers. My favorite is cardhaus games, as they are located very close to me, but there are so many great ones. I know of one in literally every corner of the United States, as well as several abroad!