In honor of the spooky season, we have put together a list of some of our favorite games for Halloween. These are all games that have themes around the creepy, the kooky, and the spooky. So in no real order let us begin our delve into the mysterious and macabre.
Publisher: Asmodee https://asmodeenordics.com/mysterium-park
Set within a haunted amusement park, players are psychics communing with the spirit of a murdered man. The spirit passes clues to the players to help determine who murdered the poor lost soul. This cooperative game reimplements the mechanics of the classic Mysterium with a few twists to streamline and speed up the game.
The game plays in three stages over six rounds. During each turn, the Ghost player uses cards full of surrealistic art to give clues to the Psychic players. Who then attempt to determine who the killer was, and where the murder took place. The art on the cards is beautiful and full of detail. But it is up to the Psychics to try and decipher which details are important and point towards their goal.
Like the previous game, the art here is gorgeous and creates a great atmosphere. The original is a classic which we play often. Mysterium Park is just as good and great for when you need a quicker game.
We have talked about this one before, it was one of Dave’s favorite games of 2019. Horrified is a cooperative game based on the Universal Horror films of the 1930s. Players take the roles of heroes trying to protect a village from Dracula and other monsters who prowl the night.
The game allows you to choose which monsters you want to face, providing control over the difficulty. Simply facing one is fairly easy, trying to stop multiple is significantly harder. Each monster’s unique rules change the game in small ways. Perhaps you are searching for a cure for the wolfman who hunts you. Or attempting to prevent the Monster from finding his Bride. Mixing and matching the different monsters also provide different challenges and experiences in each game.
The locations and villagers you need to rescue are all pulled from the movies, and the whole game really shows a love for the source material. And as a game of monsters, it’s very fitting for Halloween while being a good game for the whole family to enjoy.
The Night Cage
Publisher: Smirk and Dagger https://www.smirkandlaughter.com/the-night-cage
The Night Cage is a cooperative game where players have awoken trapped within a pitch-black labyrinth, with only a candle to help light their way in their attempt to escape. As players move around the board the tiles that make up the maze appear and disappear, constantly changing the shape of the maze as they search for the keys and the door that leads to freedom.
However, the cage is also full of monsters that hate the light and will snuff out those candles, leaving the players to die in the darkness. With a number of different modules in the box, players can adjust the difficulty to their liking.
Everything about the game oozes an eerie, oppressive atmosphere. As if you really were trapped in the dark tunnels of the cage. Using a black and white pen and ink art style, the only pops of color in the game are the candle-shaped player pieces.
The Forest of Lost Children
Publisher: Absurdist Productions https://www.absurdistproductions.com/product/the-forest-of-lost-children/
Of course, we had to provide one of our own games on this list.
The Forest of Lost Children is a dark fairy tale RPG adventure written for D&D 5th edition. What starts as a search for a missing child will lead the players into a dark forest and a tragic story of hubris, loss, and madness.
The 60-page adventure was written for a party of characters around level 3, but the encounters can easily be adjusted for higher or lower levels. And only one of them requires combat. The 60-page story is broken up into two sections with each easily played in 3 to 4 hours and the adventure can stand alone or be dropped into an ongoing campaign.
We used a rough pen and ink art style throughout the book to convey a dark but whimsical vibe. Paired with the various puzzles, and the story the players uncover as they play, the adventure feels like an old fairy tale, though the final moral of the story depends on the player’s actions.