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In Betrayal at the House on the Hill, creaking floorboards, unsafe architecture and an ominously named “Pentagram Chamber” are not all you have to worry about. As you and your intrepid cohort scour this twisting mansion, choking smoke fills the air, deafening screams flood your mind and sinister spirits peel away from the walls. You scavenge weapons and trinkets for protection only to be betrayed by one of your allies, whom you discover is embroiled in a classic horror plot.
Brought to you by Avalon Hill, this largely co-operative experience has you exploring a haunted house, which has each of its three floors built as you play. This procedurally generated board is the host of all manner of terrors, which can alter your stats and grant you items as you play. As you discover particularly creepy items, known as “Omens”, the game reaches closer to its crescendo, wherein a dice roll decides when the “Haunt” begins. It is at this point that main horror trope is triggered, typically controlled by one of your friends.
Each haunt is selected based on what the most recent omen was and where it was found. This can result in one of 50 different scenarios unfolding, with instructions for both the survivors and traitors in separate handbooks. Both sides have their own objectives and knowledge as to what is going on, but neither are aware of quite how much the other knows. Once one team has completed its goal, be that destroy the opposition, escape the walls of the house or bring a sacred item back to its resting place, the game is won.
The Betrayal at the House on the Hill game box contains six pre-painted, plastic explorer figures, each of which is paired with a two sided character card. These cards display two different sets of statistics per figure, for you to choose from, affecting both starting traits and progression. You’re also provided with 45 tiles to build the board, ensuring a wildly different layout each time you play, and 80 cards which depict the events, items and omen that your party may encounter on the way.
This title boasts simple rules, combined with massive replay-ability, making it a fantastic game to rope people into the hobby. For those more experienced, Betrayal at the Hill on the Hill is a great opportunity to let your hair down and have some good clean fun in a terrifying setting. If you find that you just can’t get enough of the game and demand more, plenty more waits for you in the Widow’s Walk Expansion.
Player Count: 3-6
Time: 60 Minutes