Five Spooky Board Games for Halloween
Try One of These Games for Fun Thrills and Chills At Halloween
We enjoy playing strategy board and card games with our grown sons and with other friends. For the most part, my tastes run toward the more light-hearted themes, but during the Halloween season, the following creepy and spooky games are just what I'm looking for to provide some Halloween game-playing fun.
The first three games are geared more toward ages 13 and above, not necessarily because of the themes (although younger children may be scared by some of the darker themes), but because most of them do take extra time and patience to learn to play.
If you're new to strategy board and card games or are just looking for something quicker and easier to learn and play, try one of the last two games. These are also suitable for a wider range of players, including younger children.
All five games offer "fearsome fun" for your Halloween game playing pleasure!
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For 2 to 6 players.
Recommended for ages 13 - 15
Game play - 1 to 2 hours
Letters From Whitechapel Board Game - Find Jack the Ripper before he kills again
The hunt is on for Jack the Ripper in this historically accurate board game. In the late 1880s, there were a series of brutal murders in the rundown Whitechapel district of London. An unknown assailant, later named Jack the Ripper, attacked and killed female prostitutes. His identity was never discovered.
In this board game, one player takes the roll of Jack the Ripper while the other players are the detectives, working together to catch him before he can kill again.
Jack's job in this game is to kill, of course. He takes on a new victim every night, then escapes back to his lair. The detectives use deductive thinking to track Jack down and apprehend him before he can kill again.
The game has four rounds of play, representing four nights. If Jack isn't caught by the fourth night, he wins.
Elder Sign Card and Dice Game - Seal the portals between dimensions to keep our world safe
This cooperative card and dice game is based on the world of horror created by writer H.P. Lovecraft.
Players take on the rolls of investigators within a museum filled with occult curios and artifacts, some of which threaten our world by their ability to open portals between dimensions, allowing the Ancient Ones (monstrous beings) to invade. The investigators must race against time to find symbols to seal these portals, keeping the Ancient Ones out.
They must stay sane and healthy during their adventures to find these symbols. If they don't seal the portals in time, an Ancient One appears, and he must be fought off, which is very difficult to do successfully in this game.
Seasoned gamers will find Elder Sign easy to learn and play. Otherwise it can be a little confusing if you're not used to this type of card and dice game.
For 1 to 8 players
Recommended for ages 13 - 15
1 to 2 hours playing time
Last Night on Earth - Zombie Board Game - Zombies!
Zombies and Halloween always go well together! In the board game Last Night on Earth, you can choose to be either one of the heroes, or a zombie. If you're a human hero, your goal is to....survive the night. And if you're a zombie, well, you want to get your fill of brains and human flesh, don't you?
The heroes are much more quick-moving than the zombies, but they may have to spend time finding something useful to defend themselves with. The zombies are slower, but inexorable in their onslaught.
While this isn't exactly a cooperative game, those within each group can work together (zombies against humans).
For 2 - 6 players
60 - 90 minutes playing time
Recommended for ages 12 - 16
Castle Panic Board Game - Defend your castle from monsters!
Monsters and Halloween go well together! In Castle Panic, you are trying to protect your castle from monsters such as orcs, goblins, and trolls that are trying to destroy the castle walls and towers. You can rebuilt the walls, but not the towers. Your goal is to destroy the monsters before they destroy all of the towers.
I recommend this game if you are newer to strategy games, or if you're playing with children. It's a much simpler game than the first three game recommendations on this page. Even though the recommended age for playing Castle Panic is 10 and over, various reviewers have said that their younger children have been able to understand the rules and have fun with it too.
Like some of the other games on this page, Castle Panic is a cooperative game. You all win if you destroy the monsters before they destroy the towers. Otherwise you all lose. But one player can become the Master Slayer by earning the most victory points.
1 to 6 players
Recommended for ages 10 and up.
About an hour playing time
Fearsome Floors Board Game - Flee from the dungeon!
If you're not into dark, spooky themes, try Fearsome Floors. This is a light-hearted, quick-moving game with a campy horror theme that is easy to learn and fun to play. In Fearsome Floors, you have to escape from the fortress before the monster eats you. You can try to trick the monster in going after the other players, but sometimes this backfires, and you get eaten instead.
Each player gets three or four tokens to maneuver through the dungeon. The winner is the one who can get three tokens out of the dungeon first, or who can get the most tokens out, if three isn't possible.
This is a simple game to learn, but with opportunities for developing good strategies for play. A combination of luck and strategy will help you win the game.
2 - 7 players
60 minutes play time
Recommended ages 10 and up.
Do you like to play spooky games around Halloween? What is your favorite game?