25 Best Horror Board Games

Horror is something that humanity keeps coming back to in our entertainment. We like to be scared. Books, movies, and videogames are all traditional media to experience horror, but we can find horror nearly anywhere, and board games are no exception.

There are more horror board games than I could ever put on a list. Here is a list of some of the best horror board games. I’ve divided them into seven categories: Lovecraftian, Slasher, Sci-fi, Zombie, Gothic, Supernatural and Monstrous. Each game also has a horror factor of none, creepy, scary, or ghastly.

Lovecraftian Horror Board Games

Mansions of Madness

Best Lovecraftian Horror Game

mansions of madness
  • Players: 1-5 Players
  • Playtime: 120-180 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Intermediate Gamers
  • Categories: Storytelling, cooperative, app enhanced
  • Designers: Nikkie Valens
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
  • Horror Factor: Scary to ghastly

Mansions of Madness 2nd edition is a campaign-based game that requires an app to play that does the heavy lifting of a dungeon keeper. It lets players know where to place tiles and tokens, keeps track of puzzles, and introduces events throughout the game.

Players begin the game by choosing a scenario from the campaign they are currently playing in. After choosing investigators, they’ll explore the location, uncover mysteries, solve puzzles, meet non-player characters, and fight- or flee- various Lovecraftian Mythos monsters.

As players take damage or are horrified, they’ll draw cards face down that will count against their health. Drawing a card face up can afflict them with negative conditions of both body and mind.

The components are excellent, the miniatures give each investigator unique looks, and the monsters look appropriately grotesque. The boards are sturdy cardboard, and the cards are of good quality. The app also makes certain items needed in the original edition of the game unnecessary, cutting down on the required tablespace.

Mansions of Madness 2nd edition relies on the app as an essential player aid and helps imbue the scary ambiance of exploring an old mansion.

The app doesn’t just guide the players but also plays eerie background music, sound effects, and voice acting when meeting new characters. It provides the critical atmosphere to help make this game a terrifying experience.

Eldritch Horror

eldritch horror
  • Players: 1-8 players
  • Playtime: Playtime: 120-240 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Experienced Gamers
  • Categories: Cooperative, role play
  • Designers: Corey Konieczka, Nikki Valens
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

In Eldritch Horror, the players, as investigators, will use ancient artifacts, fight off hideous monsters, close gates to other realms, and solve three mysteries before the doom-track reaches zero and the Great Old One awakens.

Each round consists of three phases. Investigators prepare and travel during the action phase. In the encounter phase, investigators fight monsters, research clues, and resolve encounters. And finally, in the mythos phase, the Great Old One machinates to reach its goals by spawning more monsters, gates and progressing the doom track one step closer to zero.

Eldritch Horror can be nail-biting and challenging to win, but it has too much of an adventure theme to be terrifying. A mix of random events, mysteries, and the chosen Great Old One’s abilities create a globetrotting narrative. The components are excellent! Good sturdy cardboard and cardstock, with artwork that has a 1930s feel and terrifying monsters.

Arkham Horror 3rd Edition

  • Players: 1-6 players
  • Playtime: 120-180 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Experienced Gamers
  • Categories: Cooperative, exploration
  • Designers: Corey Konieczka, Nikki Valens Kevin Wilson
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
  • Horror Factor: Scary

Like most Lovecraftian Mythos board games, Arkham Horror 3rd edition has players taking on the roles of investigators exploring the town of Arkham to stop the emergence of a Great Old One. The game is story-based and has multiple scenarios that determine the layout for each game.

As the players explore, they’ll take two actions each turn to move, remove doom, increase skills, investigate clues, and fight or evade monsters. They must find enough clues before too much doom accumulates. Every turn, the investigators must also resolve encounter cards and draw tokens that will add new clues, monsters, and doom.

The game packs a lot in the box between encounter cards, investigators, and scenarios. It updates the 2nd edition of Arkham Horror to the point that they feel like different games. Like many Lovecraftian horror board games, the game’s difficulty and end game create an excellent intensity that captures the horror mood well.

Cthulhu Death May Die

  • Players: 1-5 players
  • Playtime: 90-120 minutes
  • Age: 12+
  • Best for: Intermediate Gamers
  • Categories: Cooperative, dice rolling
  • Designers: Rob Daviau, Eric M. Lang
  • Publisher: Cool Mini or Not
  • Horror Factor: Scary

In Cthulhu: Death May Die picks, the investigators’ are at the end of their mission to find and stop the ancient ritual that will unleash the Elder God on the world. Already frayed at the edges with insanity when the game begins, as they gain more insanity, they unlock more powerful abilities and inch closer to defeat.

During each turn, players will move, fight or investigate and then draw and resolve three mythos cards. Monsters will follow them around the board, and the track will get closer and closer to wakening up the Elder God. They must survive to defeat all the stages of the Elder God to win.

Cthulhu: Death May Die is a challenging co-op game that captures the horror theme very well, thanks to the miniatures and the fact that the investigators are already insane when the game begins. The miniatures and art are highly detailed and evocative of the Lovecraftian theme.

Slasher Horror Board Games

Letters from Whitechapel

Best Slasher Horror Board Game

  • Players: 2-6 players (best with 2)
  • Playtime: 60 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Intermediate players
  • Categories: Hidden movement, one versus many
  • Designers: Gabriele Mari, Gianluca Santopietro
  • Publisher: Nexus Editrice
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

Letters from White Chapel is as much of a mystery game as it is a horror board game. One player takes on Jack the Ripper’s role, and the remaining players play the detectives hunting him down during his infamous murder spree in White Chapel.

At the beginning of the game, Jack secretly chooses a space on the board as his hideout. The game plays out over four nights, each consisting of two phases. During the first phase, Jack places potential victims on the board, and the detectives mark their starting positions, some of which are decoys. Then Jack reveals his token and has five chances to either murder the victim, marking the spot, or reveal one of the detective tokens.

Once the murder takes place, the chase is on! Jack will move from the murder location back to his hideout secretly with a limited amount of moves. The detectives move one space at a time, looking for clues. The game ends if Jack runs out of moves before reaching his hideout, commits five murders, and makes it to his hideout, or the detectives arrest him.

The theme is horrific, but the artwork and pieces don’t convey a lot of the horror. The player who plays jack has the most nerve-wracking situation avoiding the detectives. There is a rush in the game to stop Jack before he kills again, but overall the game isn’t terrifying.

Nyctophobia

  • Players: 3-5 players
  • Playtime: 30-45 minutes
  • Age: 9+
  • Best for: Beginning Gamers
  • Categories: Memory, one versus many
  • Designers: Catherine Stippell
  • Publisher: Pandasaurus Games
  • Horror Factor: Scary

Nyctophobia is a unique game designed, so vision impaired and sighted players are on equal footing. In the game, one player takes on the role of an ax murderer while the other players wear blindfolds that inhibit their sight, are the victims.

The victims are trying to find the car before the murder hunts them down and kills one of them. The ax murderer guides and helps victims during the victims’ turn to feel their game piece and the surrounding spaces. The murderer and the victims have unique abilities to play, and the victims can find rocks to distract or throw at the murderer.

Nyctophobia is unique in that it requires most of the players to be blind to play. The glasses or blindfolds make the victims unable to see the board and create a claustrophobic feeling that captures the slasher theme perfectly.

The Bloody Inn

  • Players: 1-4 (best with 4)
  • Playtime: 30-60 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Intermediate players
  • Categories: Card drafting, tableau building
  • Designers: Nicolas Robert
  • Publisher: Pearl Games
  • Horror Factor: None

Players try to become rich in The Bloody Inn by killing and burying the guests and steal all their belongings. The bodies will pile up, and each murderous player must decide whether to kill a guest for their riches or let them stay the night for a pittance.

During each round, the inn fills up, and players must decide on two actions to take. They can bribe guests, build an annex, kill a guest, bury a corpse, or pass. The remaining guests pay for their room and move on, though any police that survives till morning penalize the players for unburied bodies.

The artwork is beautiful and stylized. The theme is there, but the game’s too tongue in cheek to be scary. The tension comes from having more choices than actions than from something horrifying.

Sci-Fi Horror Board Games

Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space

Best Sci-Fi Horror Board Game

  • Players: 4-8 (best with 6)
  • Playtime: 20-45 minutes
  • Age: 12+
  • Best for: New Gamers
  • Categories: Team-based, hidden movement
  • Designers: Mario Porpora, Pietro Righi Riva, Luca Francesco Rossi, Nicolò Tedeschi
  • Publishers: Cranio Creations
  • Horror Factor: Scary

Escape From the Aliens In Outer Space takes place on a spaceship where the players are divided evenly between aliens and humans. The aliens are trying to kill the humans and replace them. The humans are trying to escape the ship.

Each player has a booklet of maps. They move secretly, indicating in the booklet their location. When players enter the white spaces, they say that they’re in the white areas but not which space. When they enter the grey spaces, they must draw a card and may either lie about their precise location or be forced to tell the truth. If the aliens can kill and convert all the humans in the 40 turns before they escape, they win.

The flipbooks have plastic-coated pages that the players can use markers to mark down where they are, and the cards are of decent quality but still may need to be a sleeve. The game creates tension between the players, not unlike the classic 1980s movie The Thing.

Players are entirely unaware for a portion of the game, who is an alien and a human until the aliens attack and kill a player. The gameplay creates a great sense of dread and paranoia.

Level 7: Omega Protocol

  • Players: 2 – 6 (best with 5)
  • Playtime: 60-90 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Experienced Gamers
  • Categories: Dungeon crawl, one versus many
  • Designers: Will Schoonover
  • Publisher: Privateer Press
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

Level 7: Omega Protocol captures the iconic sci-fi horror theme of a group of marines exploring a spaceship while fending off legions of aliens. One group of players control the heroes, while a gamekeeper controls the aliens. The base’s layout is on full display, but only the gamekeeper knows what the players will encounter in each room.

Upon entering a room, the players will look at the face-down cards and execute the actions depending on their priority. The room may have traps, aliens, or puzzles. Players can investigate to draw cards for useful items.

Each character has an ability at the beginning of the game that shows its max adrenaline. Characters perform actions increasing their adrenaline and the amount of adrenaline the gamekeeper can use to fuel their abilities.

The more the players do, the more powerful the enemy becomes. The game isn’t really scary, but there is a fair amount of tension between the players and the gamekeeper, thanks to the adrenaline mechanic.

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game

  • Players: 1-5 (best with 3)
  • Playtime: 30-60 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Experienced players
  • Categories: Cooperative, deck building
  • Designers: Ben Cichoski, Daniel Mandel
  • Publisher: Upper Deck Entertainment
  • Horror Factor: Scary

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game captures the Alien films’ feeling in a deck-building game. Players will choose a role from the movies, taking the cards for that character. They must complete a stack of objective cards before they are killed and overrun by aliens.

Each turn, the players will play cards to recruit new cards to their decks, attack aliens, or perform special abilities. They place an alien card face down at the end of every turn, pushing any existing cards down the line. If this pushes a card off, it is revealed and placed in the combat zone to attack.

The game is challenging, and it doesn’t take long for the aliens to begin swarming and overwhelm the players, creating a sense of urgency and stress that the artwork, which is based directly on the films, contributes. The game comes with scenarios for each of the original four Alien movies.

Zombie Horror Board Games

For a more complete list of zombie board games be sure to check out my article – 21 Best Zombie Board Games.

Dead of Winter

Best Zombie Game

  • Players: 2-5 (best with 4)
  • Playtime: 60-120 minutes
  • Age: 12+
  • Best for: Experienced players
  • Categories: Semi-Cooperative, storytelling, bluffing, and deduction
  • Designers: Jonathan Gilmour, Isaac Vega
  • Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
  • Horror Factor: Scary

In the Dead of Winter, the players are struggling to survive through the apocalypse. Each game features a randomized goal that the players must overcome. Players also have a secret goal that may have them working against the other players or make them a full-on traitor.

Each turn, the player will decide what actions their group of survivors can take, like searching for food, removing waste, looking for other survivors, or contributing to the end of the scenario. Every round, there is also a crisis that the players must resolve.

If somebody isn’t contributing to the final goal or the crisis, they may be a traitor and need to be kicked out of the colony. Every turn, a player has a cross-roads card read silently by the player on the right. If the player unknowingly does the card’s action, it triggers, and choices must be made that can drastically alter the game.

The horror elements come through in this game. Each turn, the players have to decide to risk one of their survivors to frostbite, injury, or death to gather supplies needed to meet the goals. The cooperating players must also be on the lookout for possible traitors in their midst, and the traitor must strive to avoid detection.

The Cross-Roads cards up the ante, and while they do not commonly trigger, when they do, it can change the entire narrative of the game. Players who can invest in Dead of Winter will find the game frightening.

Zombicide: Black Plague

  • Players: 1-6 players (best with 3)
  • Playtime: 60-180 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Experienced players
  • Categories: dice rolling, dungeon crawler, cooperative play.
  • Designers: Raphael Guiton, Jean-Baptiste Lullien, Nicolas Raoult
  • Publisher: Cool Mini Or Not
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

Zombicide Black Plague pits players against hordes of zombies in a medieval setting. Played in a series of rounds of two phases, players control a unique character with special abilities to beat the scenario. Every round, they either fight zombies or explore the dungeon to find new gear to help along the way.

The zombies come in various sizes and abilities, spawning throughout the dungeon and continuously moving towards the players, with the toughest zombies require dragon bile and a torch to kill. The players must also beware of the necromancer who tries to escape, causing the players to lose. They have to fend off the horde of zombies it generates and defeat it before leaving the board.

The art and the miniatures are fantastic and very evocative of the zombie horror theme. The scariness of the game comes from being overrun by zombies or chasing down the necromancer. Its ability to frighten is on the lower end of the scale.

Carnival Zombie

  • Players: 1 to 6 (best 1-3)
  • Playtime: 45–120 Min
  • Age: 12+
  • Best for: Experienced players
  • Categories: Cooperative, tower defense, dexterity
  • Designers: Matteo Santus
  • Publisher: Albe Pavo
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

Venice is under siege, every night, a zombie horde attacks the city, and players must either find a way to escape or defeat the zombie leader in the board game Carnival Zombie.

Played over a series of four days split into day and night, Carnival Zombie is a tower defense game where players search for items, an escape route, or the lair of the boss zombie during the day and fend off the hordes of zombies at night.

The game’s daytime sections allow the players to prepare for each night section with hoards of zombies coming onto the board. Players must drop every defeated zombie onto a game board. If they fall off, they come back into play, making every zombie death a nail-biting moment.

The artwork catches the theme, but the rest of the components are functional instead of thematic. The gameplay is still enough to set player teeth on edge.

Gothic Horror Board Games

Fury of Dracula

Best Gothic Horror Board Game

  • Players: 2-5 (best with 3 or 5)
  • Playtime: 120-180 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Intermediate gamers
  • Categories: Hidden Movement, one versus many
  • Designers: Frank Brooks, Stephen Hand, Kevin Wilson
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
  • Horror Factor: Scary

In Fury of Dracula, players take on the role of vampire hunters or Dracula. Dracula is attempting to gain influence over the lands, and the hunters seek to destroy him before it’s too late.

Played across the map of Europe, the hunters move around the board, gain supplies, use special powers and react to events over days and nights. The Dracula player uses a small separate board and plots their movement in secret, laying out location cards and setting traps with minor vampires for the hunters.

As Dracula fills up the location card track, the hunters must rush to find him and his minions, as every minor vampire left unfettered will give Dracula influence and move him closer to victory. The hunters win if they find and defeat Dracula, using cards to direct combat against the vampires. Dracula wins if his influence track reaches 13.

The components are nice, the miniatures are detailed, the artwork captures the gothic theme, and the board is functional and straightforward. The game doesn’t create a feeling of dread, but there is great tension as it reaches its end, making it a fun and spooky playthrough.

A Touch of Evil

  • Players: 2-8 players (best with 4)
  • Playtime: 60-120 minutes
  • Age: 12+
  • Best for: Intermediate players
  • Categories: Cooperative game, dice rolling
  • Designers: Jason C. Hill
  • Publisher: Flying Frog Productions
  • Horror Factor: Scary

Set in the 19th-century town of Shadowbrook, A Touch of Evil pits players against various monsters like the werewolf, the vampire, or even the headless horseman. Players work to uncover the lair of the monster while exploring the town and surrounding areas for clues.

As players find clue tokens, they can gain items to help them or uncover the secrets of the town elders. The elders will help the players once they discover the lair of the monster, and knowing their secrets is essential as one of them is likely a traitor who will turn on the players.

The components are high-quality with plastic coated cards and player boards to add durability. The game comes with a soundtrack for background atmosphere.

The artwork is photographic, giving the overall game a cinematic feel. The added soundtrack, meant to be played in the background, helps invoke the creepy feeling.

Horrified

  • Players: 1-5 players (best with 3)
  • Playtime: 60 minutes
  • Age: 10+
  • Best for: New players
  • Categories: Cooperative, dice rolling, pick-up and deliver
  • Designers: Prospero Hall
  • Publisher: Ravensburger
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

Horrified pits Universal’s cinematic monsters like Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon against the players’ small village. The players take up the role of different characters from the village, searching for a way to defeat the monster before they take the village over.

During a turn, the players move their character, move villagers, pick up items, or trade items. They must collect sets of items, depending on the monster, to neutralize it so they can attack it. At the end of each turn, a player will turn over a monster card, add new items and carry out the card’s events.

The artwork is beautiful and moody, capturing the classic Universal monsters with the miniatures and cards. The game captures a great tone but is more of an homage than it is scary.

Gloom

  • Players: 2-4 players (best with 4)
  • Playtime: 60 minutes
  • Age: 13+
  • Best for: New players
  • Categories: Storytelling, take that, hand management
  • Designers: Keith Baker
  • Publisher: Atlas Games
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

Gloom is a story-telling card game of death and disaster in which players take control of a family and attempt to make their family the saddest they can be and kill them before the end of the game.

Each turn, players can play a card, discard a card, or pass. Cards have modifiers that indicate the character’s happiness. A negative number decreases happiness while a positive number increases it. Cards also have conditions or abilities that affect the character played on and not the player playing the card. Playing an untimely death card kills the character, and only dead characters count at the end of the game.

The theme of Gloom is morbid, and the artwork captures the mood well. The cards are unique in that they are all clear, so playing one card on another allows the players to see the cards underneath. The narrative while playing the cards is what makes the horror elements in the game come through.

Supernatural Horror Board Games

Betrayal at House on the Hill

The Best Supernatural Horror Board Game

  • Players: 3-6 (best with 5-6)
  • Playtime: 60 minutes
  • Age: 12+
  • Best for: Intermediate gamers
  • Categories: Exploration, team-based, storytelling
  • Designers: Bruce Glassco, Rob Daviau, Bill McQuillan, Mike Selinker, Teeuwynn Woodruff
  • Publisher: Avalon Hill Games
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

Betrayal of House on the Hill plays like a haunted house movie come to life. Fifty haunted house movies come to life! Players explore a creepy mansion, floor by floor, when something happens to turn one, or more, of them against the others.

As the players explore, they’ll flip room tiles over, which must be on the same floor as the player. The rooms may have events that trigger the character to make a skill test on one of their stats. The room may also have a symbol that requires the player to draw an event, item, or omen card.

Every time a player draws an omen card, they roll the dice, and if the number is lower than the total omen cards drawn, the haunt triggers. The players will determine which of them is the traitor and which haunt to play. The traitor and the victims each have separate booklets that set out their goals. Whichever side meets the goals first wins the scenario.

This game is a blast! The components are ok, and the artwork for the room tiles and characters looks nice. The number of scenarios and the random layout of the house makes this game massively replayable. Betrayal of the House on the Hill is a little lighter than some horror board games, but it still has elements of suspense and paranoia that keep the players on the edge of their seats.

Ghost Stories

  • Players: 1-5 (best with 4)
  • Playtime: 45 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Intermediate gamers
  • Categories: Cooperative, tower defense, player elimination
  • Designers: Antoine Bauza
  • Publisher: Repos Productions
  • Horror Factor: Creepy to scary

Ghost Stories has an Asian theme, which is sadly underrepresented in horror board games. The players take on the roles of brave heroes defending their village from an onslaught of ghosts. They choose a hero and lay down the tiles of the village. Every turn, players draw a ghost card, placing it on the hero board that matches its color. Players will then attack ghosts or activate a location ability on their turn.

They must defeat the boss ghost near the bottom of the ghost deck to win. If the ghost deck runs out before the boss ghost is defeated or three tiles are overrun and haunted by ghosts, the players lose.

The artwork of this game is beautiful. The ghost cards are genuinely creepy, and the tiles have clear iconography. The game is challenging, with the tension building quickly. The artwork and gameplay make this game an intense play-through to the end.

Inbetween

  • Players: 2 players
  • Playtime: 20-40 minutes
  • Age: 12+
  • Best for: Intermediate gamers
  • Categories: Card game, area control, take that
  • Designers: Adam Kwapinski
  • Publisher: Board & Dice
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

InBetween captures the theme of Stranger Things in a small two-player game. One player is the townsfolk, struggling against an evil entity trying to pull them underneath to its realm.

The game is asymmetrical, and each player has a deck of cards and abilities. However, every turn is similar. Players take turns playing cards for powers or influence on the individual townsfolk, executing a tug of war to keep each character on their side.

The components are of good quality with immersive artwork that captures the theme well. It’s a fun two-player experience, with the sides being balanced well between each other. While the artwork is genuinely creepy and unsettling, the game doesn’t have high scare levels, but enough to make it a fun playthrough.

Betrayal Legacy

  • Players: 3-5 players (best with 5)
  • Playtime: 45-90 minutes
  • Age: 12+
  • Best for: Intermediate Players
  • Categories: Cooperative, exploration, traitor, player elimination
  • Designers: Rob Daviau, Noah Cohen, JR Honeycutt, Ryan Miller, Brian Neff, Andrew Veen
  • Publisher: Avalon Hill Games, Inc.
  • Horror Factor: Scary

Betrayal Legacy shares its roots with Betrayal of the House on the Hill. The core gameplay is the same, with the players exploring an estate and triggering a haunt. This version of the game brings in legacy elements, changes that persist from one game to the next, and creates a complete campaign.

Players take on different generations of a family, and the entire campaign takes place over 300 years. The Legacy Deck is used during the game to add game elements and provide new instructions. At the end of a haunt, players will read flavor text and make modifications for the next game.

Because Betrayal Legacy is a legacy campaign, it has a persistent element. The game has an ominous feeling that the original doesn’t. There is more artwork on the cards in this version, which helps add to the flavor. Each game is nail-biting because players never know how it will affect future games.

Monstrous Horror Board Games

Kingdom Death: Monster

Best Monstrous Horror Board Game

  • Players: 1-4 players (best with 4)
  • Playtime: 60-180 minutes
  • Age: 17+
  • Best for: Most Experienced players
  • Categories: Cooperative, storytelling, campaign game
  • Designers: Adam Poots
  • Publisher: Kingdom Death
  • Horror Factor: Ghastly

Kingdom Death: Monster is a massive game in every way. The players take the role of a group of survivors who have woken up in a nightmarish world empty of natural resources. They must fight countless monsters to gain the materials and the skills to survive.

The game plays out in many sessions to form the campaign, switching between development periods and combat and exploration. During development, the players create a settlement of individuals, eking out a living from the refuse. In the settlement, players make items, develop culture, and resolve events that may have a vast impact on them.

During combat, players have to fight the hulking, nightmarish monstrosities controlled with an A.I. deck. Every monster battle is a game by itself, with each one bringing unexpected results every time it’s engaged. Players will use the bodies of the monsters they defeat to create better weapons and gear.

Kingdom Death: Monster is not for the faint of heart. The highly detailed miniatures and artwork are violent and gory. It is not a game for children and is very much an adult game. It’s also tough.

Negative effects can take several sessions to become apparent through the campaign requiring players to start over. The bleakness of the world, the art, and the uncertainty created around every corner make this game truly terrifying.

The Faceless

  • Players: 2-4 players (best with 2)
  • Playtime: 30-45 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Intermediate players
  • Categories: Cooperative, hand management
  • Designers: Guido Albini, Martino Chiacchiera
  • Publisher: Alter Ego Games
  • Horror Factor: Scary

Players enter the Duskwood to rescue their friend Ethan and search for his lost memories in The Faceless. They must avoid obstacles, gather memories, and survive the Faceless and Billygoat to win.

Each turn, players play cards from their hand, then move one of the Faceless along the board’s edge or the Billygoat that roams the board. After playing a card, they move the compass, representing their party, in the direction the needle points. To win, they must gather the eight memories before Billygoat captures them.

The gameplay is unique. The Faceless and Billygoat figures all have magnets that pull on the compass needle directing how the players move, which can be mitigated with cards and special abilities. The artwork is creepy, and the miniatures are highly detailed and evocative of the theme.

The Others

  • Players: 2-5 players (best with 5)
  • Playtime: 90 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Experienced gamers
  • Categories: One versus many, area control
  • Designers: Eric M. Lang
  • Publisher: Cool Mini Or Not
  • Horror Factor: Creepy

The Others pits a group of heroes against the demons of the Seven Deadly Sins. One player takes on one of the demonic forces while the remaining players play the heroes. Each game has a specific scenario goal the heroes must complete, while the sin player only needs to kill them.

The gameplay has the players moving around the board, defeating monsters and cleansing evil. Each hero has a corruption meter on their board that they can use to gain temporary boosts and boons. If the corruption meter ever fills up, it will hasten the hero’s demise.

The game has gorgeous art and miniatures that can be a bit grotesque. The three types of game scenarios, corruption, redemption, and terror, create very different play styles. While the art and components capture the theme, the scenarios fall a bit flat, making the game only somewhat scary.

Claustrophobia 1643

  • Players: 2 Players
  • Playtime: 45-90 minutes
  • Age: 14+
  • Best for: Intermediate Players
  • Categories: Dice rolling, dungeon crawl, squad base
  • Designers: Croc, Laurent Pouchain
  • Publisher: Monolith
  • Horror Factor: Scary

Claustrophobia: 1643 is a two-player game in which one player plays the Western Warriors fighting the other player’s demons through cramped caverns that lead down to hell. Played through a variety of scenarios, whichever player reaches the goal or eliminates the other player wins.

Turns begin with the Warrior player rolling dice to determine his Warriors’ stats, assigning it to the corresponding stat line. As the Warriors take damage, they lose access to stat lines causing them to be crippled if that number is rolled. The demon player builds up power gradually throughout the game. As they get more powerful, they can add more monsters and effects to the game.

The game is thematic, the art on the boards captures the feeling of cramped caverns, and the miniatures are detailed with the demons looking evil and grotesque, and the Western Warriors look heroic. While not horrific, the components are enough to give it a bit of a chilling effect.

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