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Betrayal at House on the Hill» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Betrayal at House on the Hill - A Mini Review rss

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All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

Betrayal is one in a growing number of titles to utilise the horror theme to entice gamers to the table. In Betrayal each player selects a character (12 are available) and each character has 4 traits – 2 are physical (speed and might) and the other 2 are mental (sanity and knowledge). These traits are used throughout the game to determine movement and combat skill etc. The players enter the house and this launches the first half of the game – exploration.

The entrance foyer is laid out on the table and several doors lead from it. The players can explore the house by opening a door and stepping through. The entire board for the game is made up of individual tiles. As a player explores the house they draw a new tile and place it. Each tile contains a new room, passageway or other surprise. Some rooms require a card to be drawn for an event to occur or an item may be found. Others contain a Haunt and this may scare the player half to death, thus requiring a sanity roll.

The room tiles are designated as Ground, Upper Floor, Basement or a combination of these. So if a player explores a new area they must keep discarding tiles until an appropriately labelled tile is found (based on their location). The use of random room tiles is a great feature as it allows each game to be completely different with each play and the rooms can act differently with each other depending on their orientation. The aim for the players in the exploration stage is to find equipment that can improve the level of their 4 main traits. After each player’s turn they must make a haunt roll. If they fail the roll then the Haunt is launched and this is where the game takes off.

Using a simple table one player is designated as the traitor of the group. This is determined by cross-referencing who failed the role, what haunt made them fail it and which room the haunt was launched in. One of 40 scenarios is also identified for the Haunt and the traitor must read a special description, which outlines what they must do to win – usually it involves killing all members of the party or ensuring they never escape the house. The remaining party members read their write-up for the scenario and they must usually defeat the evil or escape the house to win. This is the game in a nutshell but the fun is only just beginning.

The Final Word


Betrayal is a highly enjoyable game that uses all of the classic horror movie scenarios that we know and love. If you play all 40 scenarios you will encounter Dracula, zombies, possessed blobs, psychos, poltergeists – the list goes on and on. Betrayal has real atmosphere that draws the players into the game. You will get frantic and a little hysterical as your character runs around each blind corner, praying that the exit is closer than the supernatural being just behind you. Betrayal offers excellent value for money as every character\beast has a miniature or token to represent it. With 40 scenarios the game can be played again and again and the same scenarios can be enjoyed on re-plays due to the changing design of the house on each play. All in all, the designers have a real winner here and the design allows non-traditional board gamers to have a great time too. A real hit with teens also!
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