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For What it's Worth: a “Betrayal at House on the Hill” Review

Betrayal is a horror themed adventure game for three to six players. You and your friends will explore a haunted mansion, because you're very brave or you've never seen a horror movie. While exploring one of your party will turn traitor and the rest will have to fight off the forces of darkness and try to escape with your lives.


Players get to choose one of twelve characters to play as. The characters have varying stats for might, strength, knowledge, and sanity. The stats will determine how many dice you get to use when making trait roll. The dice you will use for that are six sided with two 2s, two 1s, and two 0s. No matter how many dice you roll it's always possible to roll a zero, which is always bad.
The house will start off as just three room tiles. When you move through a doorway without out a room connected to it, draw a new room tile from the stack and place it connecting to the doorway you just went through. Some rooms have text on the tile that will hurt or help you when you enter or try to leave. Most of the rooms will force you to draw an event, an item, or an omen card.
Events are horror tropes that will normally force you to make a trait roll. If you roll high you usually get a reward of some kind, if you roll low it usually plays out badly. The items can do all sorts of weird things, there's such a great variety I'm not going to list any of them(Sorry). Omens are like items except when you draw one you must make a haunt roll. Depending in the outcome of that roll the haunt will begin or you will continue to aimlessly explore the house.
The haunt is a scenario in with one of your party will turn on the others. The traitor and the heroes will have their own objectives. These objectives may be kept private so the opposition doesn't know what you're trying to do. But it's usually not hard to figure out. Whoever meets their win condition first wins.

My Opinion

Betrayal is a very random game. You're always drawing a random card or rolling dice. Even the house will differ greatly from game to game. Many players will find the randomness infuriating, but without it I don't think the game would be any fun.
The haunts are fun. Some of them seem strongly biased toward either the traitor or the heroes, but nevertheless I enjoy being pitted against the forces of evil… or trying to summon them. My biggest problem with the game is that pre-haunt you're just roaming around the house waiting for the fun part. The first few plays aren't that bad since everything is new, but eventually it becomes a grind.
Betrayal was my gateway game and I did enjoy it, but the more I got into the hobby the less I wanted to play it. I'd suggest it to someone who really digs horror movies and isn't looking for a strategy game.
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