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Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk» Forums » General

Subject: Are the haunts significantly worse? rss

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Mark Stockton-Pitt
United Kingdom
York
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I finally got to play the expansion yesterday, and whilst I like the new tiles and items, the haunt was a bit of a damp squib. Very short, confusing, and anticlimactic. The other people I played with (who I trust) said that the other haunts they'd done from the expansion weren't great, and not just because of the layout of the house or when they began. So I'm wondering what the general consensus is- have we just unlucked out on bad haunts, or is there a noticeable decline?
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Craig Groff-Folsom
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Grand Rapids
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So far (three haunts played), I would say the expansion haunts I've seen are much better than the "average" base game haunt. There are some that are tough for one side or the other, and conditionally that can change based on a variety of factors (not just house size/layout), but the expansion haunts seem to be more inspired than the base game haunts. "Confusing" is a fair criticism, based on at least one of the haunts I've seen, but it's more interesting than "your standard exorcism" from the base game.

(Which, to be honest, makes a lot of sense. The expansion is in many ways a love letter to the base game, with a variety of authors.)
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Ed Hughes
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So far the haunts I've played have been pretty amateur-hour. Vague, confusing rules, and flat execution.

I do like the new event and item cards, though.
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Wally Jones
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Windermere
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I believe much of this game is based on the game group itself.
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Ed Hughes
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Pennsylvania
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Rygel wrote:
I believe much of this game is based on the game group itself.


I think the same could be said of any game. A game needs to stand or fall on its own merits, without the experience being carried by entertaining participants. Betrayal isn't what a lot of people would call a 'good game' in terms of balance or depth, but it is a lot of fun.

Regardless, I played the original as well as the sequel with the same groups of friends, and while the original had some variance in the quality of the haunts, so far, we all agreed the sequel's haunts are noticably sloppier and ill-designed than even the weaker haunts from the original. That said, we haven't played even close to all 50 new haunts, so it's possible that the 'lows are lower' and the 'highs' could very well be higher too.
 
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C Sandifer
United States
Lutherville
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The two haunts that I've played have both been ridiculously silly and fun. I don't visit Betrayal for stodgy, stone-faced horror. I want something really crazy to happen, which seems to occur more frequently in the expansion than in the original.

Edit: If you haven't found the chainsaw you're in for a surprise.
 
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Pseudo Nym
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Giving this a quick perusal... How many times would you have to play before triggering Haunt 101? Is it even possible?

I mean, I didn't read it very closely because confusion is a core mechanic of this game, but still. It looks virtually untriggerable
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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The Real Uberman wrote:
Giving this a quick perusal... How many times would you have to play before triggering Haunt 101? Is it even possible?

I mean, I didn't read it very closely because confusion is a core mechanic of this game, but still. It looks virtually untriggerable


We credibly had a discussion around the probability of it all and concluded that it was astronomically small to get that haunt though the printed mechanism. But nobody did the actual math.
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Freelance Police
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Palo Alto
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themanfromsaturn wrote:
So far the haunts I've played have been pretty amateur-hour. Vague, confusing rules, and flat execution.


Not surprised. Many of the scenario designers were Mike Selenkir's friends. Celebrities, but just because you can act, doesn't mean you can sing.

"Let’s take a minute to appreciate the credits list on the Widow’s Walk expansion, however. It’s pretty fantastic: Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time, shares a byline here with Max Temkin and Eli Halpern, two of the co-creators of Cards Against Humanity. Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins contributed a haunt, as did Depression Quest designer and Crash Override Network co-founder Zoë Quinn. Well known tabletop designers Rob Daviau, Chris Dupuis and Keith Baker are also listed alongside Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian."

http://www.polygon.com/2016/10/18/13309838/betrayal-at-house...
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Jeremy Adkins
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Skimming through both tomes, a lot of the haunts seem really silly in premise, or based on ridiculous movie concepts (like
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the one based on The Purge
). Frankly, I like the aesthetics of the base game more, since they fit the horror theme of the game, and aren't just pokes at pop culture and whatnot.

One thing I do like, however, is that they get the players into the game, more, through actual roleplaying; a lot of the haunts force either the traitor and/or the heroes to act or say things in a particular way, to get into the role of what they're doing, which is an interesting twist and fits more with the "RPG in a box" feel of the game.

So, yeah, aesthetically it is likely worse than the original, but it's got enough replayability and fun in it that it can work out. I haven't even touched the extra haunt, yet, but it seems like a "boss" haunt, which is interesting.
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