To The Table: Betrayal At House On The Hill
Do you want an accessible game which has mountains or replayability, a tense atmosphere and a chunk of tongue in cheek? Have you ever wanted to explore a dark haunted house with friends, not knowing what might be lurking inside? If so, I have the game for you.
Betrayal At House On The Hill is a co-op game set in the titular ‘house on the hill’. It’s essentially a haunted house in board game form.
You explore the House, revealing rooms and searching them until The ‘haunt’ is revealed. This tells you which scenario you are playing. It’s worked out by characters locations and which rooms. At this point, one player is revealed as a traitor and leaves the room to read his goal. The survivors do the same with their book. It is then a race to beat the traitor and escape.
The scenarios are varied and offer lots of replayability. In one game you may be trying to stop a mad scientist blowing the House and surrounding area up, others you may be racing to rescue a young girl trapped by a traitor who’s turned into a giant evil spider. You never know quite what is going to happen. The co-op aspect always wins me over in games, especially if the atmosphere works as it does here.
It is unfortunate that quite a few scenarios turn into a one vs all type of game as that can feel quite unbalanced at times. On the plus, with the right group, it just adds to the fun. If everyone else is invested (as with most games) it can be truly great fun.
One thing you may notice is the components, while good, aren’t particularly amazing. The figures have pretty dodgy paint jobs and the card used for the boards isn’t the best. But what this does mean is the price point of the game is pretty low compared to other games like it it can often be picked up for around £25-£30 compared to the supposed ‘AAA’ games that cost anywhere from £60-£100. For that price, you get a crazy amount for your money and if you can put up with some slightly B quality components you’ve got a game that can last you a long time to come.
B quality describes the game quite well. It’s like a b-movie in every sense. It’s a cheaper version of the AAA titles and has a quirkiness because of this. Even the scenarios feel like they could make straight to TV films for the SyFy channel. Horror games have seen another big push in popularity with endless games based on the writings of HP Lovecraft and games such as Zombicide and the newly released Deep Madness (which I have yet to play). The b-movie vine does make this game stand out amongst the crowd though.
Overall it’s a lot of game for little money. Sure there are games that have more gloss and finesse but this has a charm to its cheapness. I’d recommend it as you can’t go far wrong at the price point for the sheer amount of fun that can be had.