Locked in an old abandoned house with your friends with no option but to move forward and explore to try and find an escape. Are you friends your enemies? Can you trust them? What was that sound? Is that a ghost? Can you navigate this house of horrors without going insane?
Welcome to Betrayal at House on the Hill, a semi cooperative game released by Avalon Hill Games that touches on every horror movie trope you could think of and boasts a crazy amount of replay value.
In this article I am going to be reviewing Betrayal at House on the Hill and how it stacks up today. I will also be touching on some of the expansions and also the legacy version of the game.
But for those of you in a rush lets get straight to the point!
Betrayal at House on the Hill Board Game Review
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a game that casts players as a group of explorers that are drawn to an old abandoned house. Little do they know that once they enter, the door will lock behind them, forcing them to explore the house to find a way out.
To add to the suspense, the house is haunted and not everyone in your group of friends can be trusted.
Players need to explore the house by placing modular game tiles down as they move into different rooms, trying to find items and avoid monsters and other creepy things until an event called ‘the haunt’ – during the haunt, 1 player will betray all other players and 1 of 50 different horror scenarios will take place.
Betrayal at House on the Hill is an amazing board game that is a perfect mixture of cooperation, horror and betrayal that will satisfy your horror itch – and is ingeniously made so that you can replay the game multiple times and have a different story every time.
With the use of the modular game board, 50 haunt scenarios and different character choices, Betrayal at House on the Hill is definitely a must have board game on my list.
What’s Inside the Box?
The box for Betrayal is a standard size box – which is great for being able to find room on the shelf / drawer – wherever you store your board games.
But don’t let that fool you – Avalon has managed to fit a ton of pieces inside:
- Rulebook – duh!
- 2 haunted books – these have all 50 scenarios for both the survivors and the betrayer (more on these later).
- 44 modular room tiles.
- 1 Entrance hall tile.
- 1 Grand Staircase tile.
- 1 Foyer tile.
- 6 pre-painted explorer figures.
- 6 two-sided character cards.
- 30 plastic clips.
- 8 dice.
- 1 Turn / Damage Tracker.
- 80 Cards made up of Events, Items, Omens and more; and
- 149 Tokens.
The game starts with players each selecting a character that they will play as for the rest of the game. Each character has slightly different stats which may allow them to do things like move further (explore more rooms per turn) or ward off insanity a bit better than other players.
The players all enter an old (totally haunted) mansion through the front door which leads to the entrance hall.
The game is played in two phases that are played completely different to one another.
Phase 1 - Exploration
The first phase is the cooperative exploration phase where each player will take turns moving into different rooms of the house – mapping the layout of the mansion and its multitude of rooms as they move.
When a player moves into a room, they draw a tile from a pile that relates to that level of the house (basement, ground and first floor) and place it on the board.
In this way the players effectively create the game board as they move throughout the house.
The way this works with modular tiles is brilliant. Every time the game is played, the layout of the house will be completely different. An awesome touch!
Each room could contain things like items, events or uncover omens of the players doom!
There is are also hidden traps and elevators which could force players to enter other levels of the house.
These are all determined by drawing a card from the related deck.
This phase of the game is effectively a way to set out the layout of the house and for players to gather as many resources as possible to take into the next phase of the game.
When enough omens have been found, something will happen that will cause one explorer to betray all the others, thus beginning Phase 2.
Phase 2 - The Haunt
As mentioned earlier, the game contains 50 unique story scenarios included in the two haunt books.
1 book is for the survivors and the other book is for the betrayer.
During the Haunt phase, the traitor takes the book related to the betrayal story and leaves the room. The survivors take the other book.
The books will tell both sides, traitor and survivors, information about the scenario that is going to play out as well as the objectives and win conditions for each side – and there really is a story for every horror trope imaginable, from serial killers to werewolves.
Most of these stories are brilliant and really ooze the theme they are going for each side has no idea what the other side is up to or their particular objectives in the game. Each scenario includes special, story-specific rules that will dictate how players must work to meet the listed objectives.
Once everyone has read their side of the scenario, the betrayer returns to the room and play continues.
At this point, the game becomes an intense battle between survivors and the betrayer who each fight to win the game.
The first side to meet their win conditions as outlined in the scenario wins!
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a game that I was super excited about playing. At the time of release, it had major hype due to its awesome horror theme, modular game board, semi-cooperative gameplay and over 50 different horror scenarios players could play through in game.
I had heard so many stories about it, I was afraid that when I finally played the game that it would not live up to my expectations.
But it did….
Betrayal at House on the Hill is an awesome game. A lot of thought has gone into the scenarios and the overall theme of the game. It is by far one of the most deeply thematic games I have played (and if you are a horror fan – you will absolutely fall in love with this game).
Not only that… but it is one hell of a lot of fun to play. Which is weird… because the game does have a few pitfalls which in most other games would completely ruin it for me.
When looking at the games design it’s chaotic, random, in some cases – just plain unbalanced. This mostly comes down to the scenario that happens during the haunt – while most of these stories are really great, there are a few that are confusing or just plain silly.
Some of the rules during the scenarios are also super vague, requiring a few google searches to see how other gamers interpreted them – really ruining the immersion.
That being said – these are the exceptions to how the game would normally play.
The game can also be quite random – for instance if you are unlucky and draw too many omens before any items are gathered and the haunt begins, too bad… you’re in for a tough time.
The overall component quality is a bit lacking as well – Especially the painted miniatures which resemble colorful blobs as opposed to actual people, and also the track piece on the character tracker is a bit hard to get on / move (especially after multiple plays).
- Features incredible traitor mechanism.
- Great variety in rooms and “haunts”.
- Engaging and fun story to follow along.
- Too many rules for different “haunts” can be a bit confusing.
- Overall build of pieces seems low-quality.
- Some haunts are just lame / confusing.
Widows Walk (Expansion)
Widows Walk is an expansion to the base game of Betrayal released in 2016.
The expansion introduces 20 new room tiles as well as an entirely new floor that players can explore in the house – as well as 30 new cards and best of all AN ADDITIONAL 50 HAUNT SCENARIOS.
This expansion effectively doubles the size of the original games and increases the amount of Haunt scenarios to 100. That is an absolutely insane amount of replay value.
I have the expansion and I’m not going to lie; I am no where near even coming close to playing all of the scenarios – however, I have found the expansion scenarios are a bit more polished than the originals and the rules are a lot clearer.
Betrayal Legacy turns the base game of Betrayal at House on the Hill into a thirteen-chapter campaign where players take on the role of families that are drawn to the house over 14 generations (1666 – 2004). Each generation continues from where the previous generation left off and uncovers more terrible truths of the house.
Like all legacy games – decisions players make in the game have permanent and persistent changes that completely alter how the game is played moving forward. For instance – if your character dies in one of the chapters, you must play as one of their descendants moving forward.
You can read a bit more about betrayal legacy here in our article about the best legacy games.
Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of the best horror themed board games you can buy. While it does have its flaws, the game is really fun to play and the huge range of haunt stories means the game really never gets old.
The game is easy to set up and learn and is great for beginner board game players and enthusiasts alike.
Due to its awesome theme, replay value and awesome traitor mechanic – I am a huge fan of Betrayal at House on the Hill and it is a game that sees a lot of table time during my game nights.
I would love to hear what you guys think of the game below in the comments!
some of the scenarios don't work well with 3 for they are lop sided ,but that is part of the fun to see if you can beat the traitor. The same can be said for 6 players, though. Personally, I enjoy Betrayal with any number of players (3-6).Is Betrayal at House on the Hill hard to learn? ›
The books make it seem like there are a lot of rules, but as the others have shown, it really is quite simple. The only time it gets a bit tricky is when the traitor is revealed. The person who becomes the traitor must be able to read and understand the changed mechanics.Is Betrayal at House on the Hill Fun? ›
Without that unpredictability, Betrayal at House on the Hill wouldn't be nearly as fun as it is. This is a horror game, and it's one of the very best in the genre. It has become known in many gaming circles as the best board game to play during the Halloween season because of the way it captures that horror feel.How many editions of Betrayal at House on the Hill are there? ›
|Manufacturers||Avalon Hill, Hasbro|
|Illustrators||Justine Mara Andersen Christopher Moeller Peter Whitley|
|Publication||2004 (1st edition) October 5, 2010 (2nd edition) August 1, 2022 (3rd edition)|
Regardless, Third Edition is undoubtedly the best core entry in the series. The quality-of-life changes make it a smoother and more accessible experience that has plenty of genuine love for the series sprinkled all over it. If you love Betrayal at House on the Hill, you'll love Third Edition.What is the best board game for 3 players? ›
- 8/8 Tales Of The Arabian Nights.
- 7/8 Santorini.
- 6/8 Clank! In! Space!: A Deck-Building Adventure.
- 5/8 Pax Renaissance.
- 4/8 Food Chain Magnate.
- 3/8 Fury Of Dracula 3rd/4th Edition.
- 2/8 Terraforming Mars.
- 1/8 Anachrony.
It can pick up, carry, and/or drop 1 item before it returns. The Dog isn't slowed by opponents. It can't use one-way passages or rooms that require a roll. It can't carry items that slow movement.Can you steal omen cards in Betrayal at House on the Hill? ›
This omen can't be dropped, traded or stolen. Make a haunt roll now. If you die, any Companions that you possess stay in that room, and the next explorer to enter that room is now the owner of the Omen card.Can you defend with the spear in Betrayal at House on the Hill? ›
The bonus for the Axe, Spear and Blood Dagger can only be used when attacking, not defending. The Spear is particularly good against the Dragon. In addition to the Spear's Might bonus, when you make a Might attack (or have to defend) against the Dragon, add 4 to the result of your roll.Is Betrayal a realistic play? ›
“Other than the order in which it's told, 'Betrayal' is probably the most realistic of his plays. The language is sparse but loaded with subtext. “It's quintessentially British,” added Pileggi, who will direct “Betrayal” March 27-30 for the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St.
It had many imbalances, but the creative scenarios and perfectly executed theme meant I could often overlook its flaws. Betrayal at House on the Hill 3rd edition is still not a perfect game, but it's improved on many of the last version's biggest issues.What are monster tokens for in Betrayal at House on the Hill? ›
Take a small monster token to represent the Dog. Put it in your room. (Use a token of a different color from other monsters, if any.) Once during your turn, the Dog can move to any explored room up to 6 spaces away, using doors and stairs, and then return.Can you play Betrayal at House on the Hill with more than 6 players? ›
Avalon Hill Betrayal at House on the Hill Second Edition Cooperative Board Game, for Ages 12 and Up for 3-6 Players.Can Betrayal at House on the Hill be played with 2 players? ›
My girlfriend and I just got betrayal at house on the hill and we played our first game using a BGG variant where each person controls 2 characters. Once the haunt happens, the person controlling the traitor gives their other character to the other player. It worked really well and was a blast.Can you play Betrayal at House on the Hill with 4 players? ›
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a tile game that allows players to build their own haunted house room by room, tile by tile, creating a new thrilling game board every time. The game is designed for three to six people, each of whom plays one of six possible characters.How do companions work in Betrayal at House on the Hill? ›
Companions have no physical or mental traits and as such do not affect other explorer's movement or attacks. They basically just contribute to the stats of the person holding the omen card. The dog allows the picking up of items without the owner being present in the room.Is betrayal on house of the hill like Cluedo? ›
Clue. The Clue was also known as Cluedo. This was a board game similar to Betrayal at House on the Hill. It was a murder-mystery game that 5 players could play.What is the most loved board game? ›
Chess was first played around the sixth century A.D. and is to this day the top-selling board game of all time.What is the number 1 board game in the world? ›
|Board Game Rank||Title||Avg Rating|
|1||Gloomhaven (2017) Vanquish monsters with strategic cardplay. Fulfill your quest to leave your legacy!||8.69|
|2||Brass: Birmingham (2018) Build networks, grow industries, and navigate the world of the Industrial Revolution.||8.65|
Players will have to decide whether to kill Buddy there or let him die slowly; unfortunately, there is no saving him.
1. Monsters and traitors can both use the Elevator to go wherever they wish without rolling.Do you draw omen cards after haunt? ›
The player who starts the haunt is the haunt revealer. After the haunt starts, if you discover a tile with an Omen symbol, you still draw and keep an Omen card, but you don't make a haunt roll.Can traitors pick up items betrayal? ›
You can pick up all of the items immediately, but you can't use any of them until a future turn.Can monsters use dumbwaiters betrayal? ›
Within the Traitor's Tome, it states the Werewolves (nor the dog) cannot use the elevator. In the new rule book for the Widow's Walk expansion there is only a small description of the dumbwaiter and how it's used, but it never states monsters cannot use it.Does attacking end your turn betrayal? ›
Attacking does not stop movement. However if you are in the same square as an enemy, you must pay X+1 movement to get out of the room, where X is the amount of enemies. You can always move at least one square a turn however.Can you roll more than 8 dice in Betrayal at House on the Hill? ›
Since you can roll up to 12 on 6 dice, there are 13 omen cards (and omen room tiles) to guarantee that a haunt will always happen eventually.How do you get past betrayals? ›
- Acknowledge instead of avoid. Healing often requires you to first come to terms with what happened. ...
- Practice accepting difficult emotions. Plenty of unpleasant emotions can show up in the aftermath of betrayal. ...
- Turn to others for support. ...
- Focus on what you need.
Making a Haunt Roll
Before the haunt starts, you must roll 6 dice at the end of your turn each time you draw an omen card. This is called a haunt roll. If you roll less than the total number of omen cards all players have drawn this game, the haunt starts.
Finesse Spears are definitely a balance issue. Monk weapons can use Dex, and all simple weapons, including the quarterstaff and spear are monk weapons. Otherwise, it is perfectly consistent that bludgeoning weapons and versatile weapons aren't finesse.Can you fight with 2 spears? ›
A warrior would never dual wield spears in battle though. Spears aren't very effective for anything other than stabbing. If you attack with only a spear in each hand and you miss your mark, it's pretty much over for you; unless the spears are specially designed.
Weapons can be used only while making an attack, not while defending.What was the biggest betrayals in history? ›
For an amount of 30 silver, Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles, betrayed Christ by kissing him on the cheek to let the authorities know of his identity. His act led to Jesus's death by crucifixion which made him the most notorious traitor in history.Why is two betrayals called that? ›
John and Cortana betrayed him before he betrayed them in turn.What does a madman do in Betrayal at House on the Hill? ›
See who goes first. The explorer who has the next birthday goes first. (Look on your explorer's character card to see his or her birthday). Players take turns clockwise following the first explorer.How does the banshee move in Betrayal at House on the Hill? ›
When you roll the two dice for the Banshee's movement and you get a 1, 2, or 3, the traitor gets to choose the first room the Banshee moves to. After that it moves left, right, or straight ahead.Can monsters use secret stairs? ›
And the official FAQ: Can monsters use the Secret Stairs, Secret Passage, Revolving Wall, and Mystic Slide to move around? Yes.Do omens count as items? ›
Most omen cards (except the Bite card) are also items you keep, and they're used like other items. Some omens, like the Dog, aren't items at all, so they can't be dropped or traded.How many dice do you need for haunt roll? ›
Each time a player draws an “omen” card, they have to make a “haunt roll”: they roll six dice and add them up; if the total is less than the number of omen cards that have been drawn, the haunt begins.Is betrayal on house on the Hill hard to learn? ›
So, as we can see, Betrayal at House on the Hill and Catan are almost on par, with 50.2% of users rating Betrayal as “Medium Light”. Chess is the most difficult, and Monopoly (it may not surprise you) is the easiest. An interesting fact is that most people actually play Monopoly wrong.
It might be tempting to try and play Betrayal with just three players, but it's seriously a lot less fun. Users on BoardGameGeek recommend the game be played with five to six players for maximum enjoyment. Playing with few players may also impact how certain Haunts perform.Who is the traitor game? ›
Are You the Traitor? is a secret role selection game akin to Werewolf/Mafia. One player is the Evil Wizard, attempting to obtain the Magic Key for nefarious purposes. Another player is the Good Wizard, trying to destroy the Key to keep it out of Evil hands. The other players support Good or Evil in various roles.How long does it take to play Betrayal? ›
The customized version offers a different game each time it's played, including new haunts unique to post-campaign play. A great idea for game night with friends and family, this narrative miniatures game is for 3-6 players, ages 12 and up, and takes about 45-90 minutes to play.Can you play split with 3 people? ›
Only Duos and Squads can be played in split screen.Can you play Spite and Malice with 3 players? ›
A game of Spite and Malice consists of 2 to 4 players. Spite and Malice uses 3 standard 52-card decks. Suits are irrelevant in this game.Can you play scrawl with 3 players? ›
Scrawl is designed for four to eight players, and artistic skill is not needed. Each player receives a dry erase board, a clip and a pen. The included cards have four different colors on them and the group decides which should be the active color for the game.Can 3 people play sorry? ›
Players move their three or four pieces around the board, attempting to get all of their pieces "home" before any other player. Originally manufactured by W.H. Storey & Co in England and now by Hasbro, Sorry! is marketed for two to four players, ages 6 and up.Can you play blackjack with 2 people? ›
Blackjack. Blackjack can easily be played with just two people and a 52 card deck. To get started, the dealer gives the opponent one card face up, and one card face down, then repeats this for themselves. Both players then peek at the value of the facedown card and add that to the value of their face up card.Is Couch multiverse coop? ›
Yes, MultiVersus does indeed have local multiplayer.
Just head into the 'Play' menu and scroll across to the 'Custom' tab. From here you can set up local play with up to four players. Each will need a controller but otherwise you're good to go.
Tien Len is a really popular Vietnamese card game that can be played with just a deck of cards and 4 people. It's also known by several other names, like “13” and “VC,” which is short for “Vietnamese Cards.” The object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all the cards in your hand.
In Spite and Malice, Jokers are wild cards, and can be played in place of any other card. This includes the Aces used in starting new sets as well. Players then continue the sets, assuming the Joker substitutes the initial card.What game is like Skip Bo? ›
Uno makes the list of games like Skip Bo because it is a beloved classic card game that is about light yet strategic hand management. This is more about playing off what other people do as opposed to working your own version of solitaire but the flow and light hearted fun are there.Is Scrawl a good game? ›
With players that are willing to adapt this viewpoint, Scrawl is a brilliant party game that will provide heaps of merriment. You probably don't however need to own both the yellow box and green box versions.Can you play 400 with 2 players? ›
400 (card game)
Telestrations takes the top spot on the list of board games like Scrawl because they are basically the same thing. Scrawl is more positioned as an adult game where there is bound to be some hilarious mis interpretations while Telestrations is a more straight forward version of that.Can you pass your own pawn in Sorry? ›
You may jump over your own or another player's pawn if it is in your way, counting it as one space. But, if you land on a space that's already occupied by an opponent's pawn, bump that pawn back to its own color start area and take the space!Can you share a space with your own pawn in Sorry? ›
Bump your opponents' pawns if you land on an occupied space.
Two pawns can never occupy the same space in Sorry. If you draw a card that would move one of your pawns to a space you already own, you do not get to move that turn. Leave all of your pawns where they are and let the next player take his or her turn.
This Sorry game includes special fire and ice power-up tokens that give your pawns more powers against other players. If you're lucky enough to get the ice token, your pawn can't be bumped or sent back, and the fire token lets you bring an extra pawn into your home space on the board.