It’s the perfect time of year to throw on some horror movie soundtracks (or some Barry Manilow – do you), slap on some cosplay, and whip out a spookily themed board game or five. Here are 5 board games that have not yet made my annual Spooktacular Halloween Board Game List. You can check out 2021’s spooktacular list, here.
1) Kill Doctor Lucky (Cheapass Games, 3-8 players)
If you’re a fan of CLUE (the game and/or the movie) then Kill Doctor Lucky is a no-brainer. Everybody hates Doctor Lucky. They all have a motive for killing him. But instead of working together, each wants to be the ONLY one to kill the “good” doctor. In this quirky game, players move their pawn around the board, gathering weapons in the hopes of finding themselves alone in a room with the old bastard so they can murder him. Once a murder is attempted, the rest of the players get one chance to choose to try to stop the murderer by playing failure cards. If enough are played (which depends on the murder weapon) the murder is thwarted and the doctor lives on. Eventually, someone will get strong enough to complete the task. He always dies! There is quite a bit of laughter and a little bit of strategy, but the game is a perfect one for the spooky season.
2) Rest In Peace (Blue Cocker Games, 2 players)
This two-player game is a bit of a war to control a series of manor houses and mansions by unleashing the most powerful ghosts. Sounds heavy, right? It is not. Basically, players will move through a series of locations in which they will do battle, one location at a time. Players each have their own deck of 21 cards. Both decks are identical. They draw a hand of cards and go back and forth playing cards from their hands with numbers ranging from 1-6. Once both players pass in succession, the one who has the higher total value of ghosts wins that location. Then players move on to the next battle using only their remaining cards. Once a player wins a certain number of locations, they win the game. Rest In Peace provides some meaningful decisions with regard to hand management and knowing when to concede one battle in order to win a future one. It also has some nice Halloween-themed art. If you have a gaming partner who likes to mix it up a bit, this one is worth checking out.
3) My Father’s Work (Renegade Games, 2-4 players)
If you’d like to guide three generations of mad scientists through the completion of macabre experiments, interactions with townsfolk, building your estate, and ultimately trying to complete your great-grandparent’s masterwork, then this one’s probably for you. The accompanying app provides tons of flavor on top of the worker placement/set collection/tableau-building game mechanics. That, combined with the legacy aspect, amazing miniatures and components, provides about as immersive a Halloween experience as there is. This game oozes theme. I played through a generation with a friend recently, and I have to say I’m hooked. It’s expensive, but wow! If you are into role playing games as well as board games, I think you’ll definitely be blown away with My Father’s Work.
4) Disney – The Haunted Mansion: Call Of The Spirits (Funko Games, 2-6 players)
I picked this one up on a whim, as I love the Disney ride the game is based on. The game is a pretty simple set collection experience, but it somehow evokes the feeling of the ride. The artwork on the cards is fantastic. It’s very accessible if you want to play this one with your family. We recently played a 4 player game with some friends and had an excellent time. There is a little bit of take that, as the hitchhiking ghosts move around and cause some havoc. They make you draw haunt cards that can make you lose a bunch of points if you have the most at the end of the game. And although gameplay is simple, there are enough decisions to make this worthwhile for any Disney fan who is also a board gamer. An excellent addition to the Spooktacular list.
5) Zombie Dice – (Steve Jackson Games, 2+ players)
This is an all-time classic. Truly, I am embarrassed it hasn’t made the list sooner. Players are zombies trying to eat brains. The goal of the game is to get to 13 brains the fastest. There are 13 dice in the game, with green ones having the best odds, yellow medium, and red the worst. Each turn you randomly draw 3 dice and roll them. Brains are good, footsteps are a do-over, and shotgun blasts are bad. If you haven’t rolled your third shotgun blast you set aside any shotgun blasts and brains you rolled so far this turn. Then you roll three dice again. You can repeat this process or choose to end your turn and score your brains. But if you roll your third shotgun blast, you are dead (again) and any brains you’ve stored up on this turn are gone. It’s called press-your-luck, and it’s a “blast.” A quick and fun way to spend a part of your game night, especially in Spooktober.
Well, there you have it. I hope there is at least something on this list you will check out and enjoy. Have a great Spooktober regardless. Be safe, have fun, subscribe to the Fenirob YouTube channel. and keep nerding on!