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I am looking for a recommendation for a horror themed game with a story telling feel (flavor text). I would like to keep the game under 2 hours. I am looking for a dark creepy haunted theme and not really a sci-fi or fantasy horror theme.

Recommendations?
 
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
Betrayal at House on the Hill
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Robert Beachler
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
broken clock wrote:
Betrayal at House on the Hill

Yep, pretty much the perfect answer to the question.

Currently it is out of print but will be back in print soon.
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Dan Cain
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
broken clock wrote:
Betrayal at House on the Hill

This.

It is the only possible answer to your query.

LA
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
Eldritch Horror is as scary as a horror game can really be.

Imagine this:

You are a lone globe-trotting investigator. You have allies but they are all over the world. You take a boat en route from London to the Great Pyramids of Egypt because you heard there was a lead on that world-ending mythical demi-god thats about to enter your realm of existence. On your way there you stop in Rome to aquire a weapon of sorts. Instead however, the police find you suspicious for being new to town and asking too many questions. They detain you. While in prison you unknowingly consume poisoned food and suffer from constant internal injuries. When you finally convince the police to let you go, a gate to another dimension opens up in Rome and nightmarish creatures descend upon you. Defenseless and crippled from the poison, you escape to the wilderness. There you find a strange man who gives you an ancient artifact in return for an unspeakable deal. Might have been a hulicination from the food though.

In time, one of your fellow investigators, Mark, armed with kerosene and a .45, arrives in Rome, sets fire to ghouls and kills them off. He steps into the gate but comes out moments later clinging to life. To him, he was in there for days- a visitor to a strange world from the future. The gate remains open and you can hear the sounds of incoming creatures. These ones can fly. It's time to hide. As the clock strikes midnight you remember the deal you made with that strange man. As you rest, he visits you in your dreams...

In the morning you get a call from another investigator in Shanghai asking whether Mark made it safely to Rome. You say yes but that he drowned later that night.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
You drowned him in his sleep. How could you?



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Robert Beachler
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
Eldritch Horror is nice but no way you finish it in under 2 hours. Ever.
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
Horror Leader wrote:
Eldritch Horror is as scary as a horror game can really be.

I agree completley that Eldritch Horror is a great game. It takes more than 2 hours in my opinion. All times I've played lasted 3+', unless you lose.
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
Thanks. Betrayal is for sure on my radar and I was just able to trade for it. I was looking for one more similar type of game with a deep story integration. I have been considering the following:
A Touch of Evil
Eldritch Horror
Mansions of Madness

I was hoping Eldritch and/or Mansions could be played in close to two hours (a little longer is ok). 3+ hours is pushing it. I really want something that will pull me in with a great storyline each time I play and isn't just about building a character and fighting an enemy. If I loosen the time restriction, do any of these do this? Are there others I'm missing? What horror game has the strongest story telling feel?

Thanks for the thoughts so far.
 
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Paul Guebert
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
If you don't count the set-up time, Mansions of Madness can certainly be played in 2 hours or less. It's very much story based, and it definitely elicits the creepy haunted house feel that you might be looking for. It's a hefty financial investment, but consider adding the Mansions of Madness: Call of the Wild expansion which fixed and/or improved many of the shortcomings of the base set. All in all, I think MOM is a good story-driven "event" type game - perhaps not the best choice for casual game night. This is one you're going to want to plan in advance, turn the lights down low and put on some creepy music. Makes for a fun thematic night...
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
That sounds perfect. I just traded for Betrayal. Is Mansions different enough to merit owning both? I really want a deep story integration and sounds like Mansions might be the one that does that the best. If it can be played in under 2hrs excluding setup, that sounds great.

Is Mansions a consensus for strongest storyline integration? I want people thinking more about the story when they finish than just mechanics of the game (how well they built their character, etc.). I want the story to be pull people in and not just be related to helping / hurting one's objectives in the game.
 
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Jesse Winslow
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
I don't know which Eldritch Horror you guys are playing but every time I've played (about 12 runs so far) has been 2hr or less except the one time we played with 5 people. In our group it averages about 1/2 hour per player if everyone knows what's going on.

I also own A Touch of Evil. It definitely plays in less than 2 hours but at times it feels a bit like Talisman. Roll and Move and Level Up. The art design of the game is great but the theme doesn't draw in as much as I'd hope. Still a great game though.
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (under 2hrs, flavor text)
If someone has played Mansions and Eldritch I would be interested in a comparison of storyline integration.

From what I can tell so far it seems like MoM may contain a better story integration. However, I like that Eldritch can be played solo and would prefer if MoM could do the same thing. Eldritch also seems like a horror themed Pandemic (stopping evil from spreading / achieving missions) and less about an overall story than Mansions. If this is the case, I'm less interested in Eldritch and more interested in MoM. I'm obviously trying to learn about the games and could be off on the analysis.
 
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Paul Guebert
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
I own and play both Mom and Betrayal. I think Betrayal is more of a casual game night type game. It's pretty easy for beginners to get into, and it's more about the fun experience rather than the horror story and theme. It's kind of like an episode of Scoobie Doo (It's old Mr. Caruthers!!) rather than a seriously spooky story. MoM, aside from taking far longer to set up (think 20+ minutes vs. less than 5 for Betrayal) deals with more mature themes and is less of a casual experience. While both games focus on story over gameplay, I think MoM is a far deeper narrative experience. One thing to keep in mind though is that Betrayal has 50 different scenarios that come with the game, while MoM only has a few variations on 3 different stories in the base box. MoM has a bunch of cool expansions (esp. Call of the Wild), but that means a much bigger investment. Again, I think there is a place in a collection for both games, because they scratch different itches for me - both are narrative based horror games, but Betrayal offers a lighter and more casual experience. As far as solo play, I don't think this is really viable with either, because both games use a one vs. the other players mechanic, where the one player knows information that is critical for the other players to win.

I've never played Eldritch Horror, but just looking at the game it looks like a Lovecraftian version of Fortune and Glory to me... still very cool, but perhaps not as focused on story as MoM or Betrayal.
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
EH is definitely more of a horror adventure than a strict horror story, although there are really cool events that happen; do you sell your soul for a powerful artifact knowing that you may have to pay up? Do you head to Shanghai to work on finding clues to stop Yog-sothoth from entering the portal to our world or head to the Amazon to defeat a group of Yig worshippers that are bent on world domination also? Each Old One has their own set of events and goals and the game does play quite different depending on which you are battling. Story integration is very good but as with any random-draw adventures you might get one that doesn't quite work in the narrative. Overall we always end up telling a cohesive story and have a great time.

Betrayal is half just wondering around a house for no point except knowing that something bad is going to happen and you need to gear up. The second half can be pretty amazing though as long as you didn't cheat and read the haunt book.

I haven't played MoM but my gaming group has many times and the consensus is that it's really great until you run out of scenarios, then there's not a lot of point because you know what you need to do. It's also extremely dependent on a proper setup. One misplaced card by the Narrator and the game is broken.

Have you considered any of the 'zombie' games like Last Night on Earth or Zombie Carnival?

What about Letters from Whitechapel? While it is a deduction game, when you start to pick up all the details of the murders, it can be quite haunting. And it's a true story!
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
Thanks for the great advice from everyone. I considered the zombie thing, but I don't see myself getting into that as much. I also have Sherlock Holmes, so I think that scratches my deduction itch. All great thoughts and recommendations. I think I am leaning towards Mansions, but if am open to Eldritch if the story feel is equally strong. Any additional thoughts on that would be appreciated.
 
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
Well there are a variety of little ones out there that might fit your bill as well.

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game can be intense and filled with drama.
Evil Spares None has some interested story elements to it and can be fun too.
Camp Grizzly looks like it should have a lot to offer too.
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
I thought I read they made an expansion for MoM that made it much better. Something about the woods, in the woods?

I have played MoM once, it was fun, I actually won it for the team when everyone else had failed. All I had was the empty gin bottle I was carrying around, after consuming the contents earlier in a futile attempt to drown my terror. I beat the boss monster with it on the head and he died, much to the delight of my team who were all suffering from horrible leg wounds (or were dead) and unable to help. One lucky dice roll!

Betrayal I could take or leave, frankly, it was fun but the characters didn't grab me and trying to escape on a toy plane from a giant cat didn't grab me, either. I think you need the right group, it's not great with newbies especially if the haunt person has never played. Or doesn't really understand the whole "role playing" thing. shake

I think Eldritch Horror would fit your criterion, frankly -- it's a good story and takes about 2 hours as long as everyone stays on task (people can get distracted when others are taking their turns in this one).
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
Kwill2 wrote:
I thought I read they made an expansion for MoM that made it much better. Something about the woods, in the woods?

Mansions of Madness: Call of the Wild - Excellent expansion, although by adding this you've now probably broken the $100 plateau to play MoM, which is a chunk of change for any boardgame. I think it does vastly improve an already very fun base game though...

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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
A Touch of Evil gets my vote. If you like the atmosphere of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, this game fits the bill. Plays under 2 hours.

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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
guebertp wrote:
If you don't count the set-up time, Mansions of Madness can certainly be played in 2 hours or less. It's very much story based, and it definitely elicits the creepy haunted house feel that you might be looking for. It's a hefty financial investment, but consider adding the Mansions of Madness: Call of the Wild expansion which fixed and/or improved many of the shortcomings of the base set. All in all, I think MOM is a good story-driven "event" type game - perhaps not the best choice for casual game night. This is one you're going to want to plan in advance, turn the lights down low and put on some creepy music. Makes for a fun thematic night...

If you don't count the time we finished a game in 15 minutes due to a strange victory condition for the keeper, we never managed a game in 2 hours. Setup time is about 30 minutes if you're organized and know the game. Playtime for us, with 4-5 players, is around 3-4 hours, sometimes a little longer.
It's a very good and immersive game, though, so I still recommend it.
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Re: Recommendation for Horror themed game (~2hrs, Strong Telling (flavor text))
My first handful of games with Eldritch were long. Once you get used to the game, it flows very very smoothly and game duration goes down dramatically. The smoothness of the game is one of the major selling points to me. The only thing that doesn't feel natural is when a reckoning effect occurs and everyone is searching the board for components with the reckoning symbol on them and then resolving each one, one at a time.

My group is already at a point where we almost simultaneously resolve location encounters. On the other hand, the game deserves to be played somewhat slowly and methodically so you can soak up the narrative, connect the story dots, and have better immersion. MoM will be this way too.

The real toss up between Eldritch and MoM is the fact that MoM needs an Overlord type player. I think the horror and fear you'll get out of that game is directly related to the skill of your overlord.

My vote is still in for Eldritch. Its fresh and new and there are expansions already coming down the pipeline.

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Thanks to all. I extensively researched Mansions of Madness and Eldritch Horror and decided I had to have them both. They are both great and very different. I am looking to play Eldritch solo and Mansions more in a group setting with the strong story telling feel.

Thanks again!
 
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