Hello Gaming Library Family!
With Halloween approaching, there are numerous ways for people to celebrate the spooky season. Some people enjoy watching scary movies and TV series. Some people enjoy horror video games. But here in Gaming Library, we will pull out some spooky board games to play with our friends.
Regardless of age, many of us enjoy the more secular traditions of the holiday, mainly the prospect of donning costumes, and trick-or-treating, for which we are either handing out, or more likely gorging ourselves on gluttonous amounts of candy and sweets. These customs are tied to the earlier Celtic roots of Halloween, and were then practiced in order for the believers to shield themselves from the threat of the dead returning to the mortal world and mingling amongst the living, causing all sorts of chaos toward the people of that time.
Knowing this, it’s no wonder Halloween is so connected to themes of horror, occultism, and the supernatural. While society’s understanding of the horror-aligned aspects of the holiday today is less concerned with actual spirits and the undead and more with… perhaps recreational activities such as horror movie marathons and sharing ghost stories (This doesn’t apply if you’re the crazy type who actually does play with Ouija boards during Halloween), this bring us to an interesting conversation: What is it about horror and the supernatural that entertains us?
"Horror is fun to immerse yourself in, even if only in safe, controlled amounts."
In an article for the Harvard Business Review called ‘The Psychology Behind Why We Love (Or Hate) Horror,’ writers Haiyang Yang and Kuangjie Zhang state that “One reason we consume horror is to experience stimulation. Exposure to terrifying acts, or even the anticipation of those acts, can stimulate us–both mentally and physically–in opposing ways: negatively (in the form of fear or anxiety) or positively (in the form of excitement or joy).” They then go on to cite the numerous hormonal and physiological effects that experiencing horror media and entertainment give us, such as the aforementioned ‘stimulation,’ loosely likening it to a sort of high. Horror also gives us glimpses at alternate realities, so there is associated with that, an element of escapism. Regardless of genre though, we’d agree with Yang and Zhang in the proposal that horror ultimately offers a (safe) exploration and satisfaction of the darker aspects of the human psyche. As an inherently curious species, we’re fascinated–if not horrified–by what our kind is capable of. In fact, if you’ve ever found yourself with a morbid, insistent urge to commit acts that you know you shouldn’t do, like jumping over a ledge or using knives on your own extremities, there’s a term for that: L’appel du Vide, or in English, the Call of the Void.
But, we digress! Horror is fun to immerse yourself in, even if only in safe, controlled amounts. And if horror films or video games aren’t your thing, Gaming Library offers these titles that’ll definitely get you your Halloween zhuzh. No Spirit of the Glass here; put the board and the planchette away, you don’t need to unwittingly summon spirits or demons to have great fun! These eerie, bone-chilling board games are available now in stores and on the Gaming Library website!
Although Mafia is the original social deduction game, this list's theme is horror, so we must discuss something eerie. And what could be more terrifying than having your friends and family abandon you? One Night Ultimate Werewolf is similar to the classic social deduction game Werewolf (innocents must correctly identify the lycanthropes or lose), but it takes place in a single evening (or round) rather than several. This significantly speeds up the pace of the game, allowing players to take on multiple roles in a single session. This keeps the game fresh, making it ideal for Halloween parties where you want to keep the party going.
Zombies have appeared in everything from movies to some of the best horror survival games, and Zombicide allows players to firsthand experience the craziness and bloodshed of zombies. In the game, players assume the roles of various survivors and work to improve their skills and abilities in order to fight the zombies that surround them. It's the ideal game for zombie fans everywhere, as they can fight the zombie apocalypse themselves and see how difficult it is to survive the undead on all sides. After all, the game implies that there are far more zombies than bullets.
Dixit, the popular abstract storytelling game, gets a spooky makeover in Mysterium. Mysterium, a fantastic reworking of a system first introduced in the game Tajemnicze Domostwo, proposes a world where ghosts are real (wooo-ooo) and want to assist you in solving crimes. More specifically, their assassination. In Mysterium, one player assumes the role of the ghost, whose only means of communication are a deck of beautifully illustrated cards. The ghost must use these cards to guide the other players, or paranormal investigators, to the correct murder suspect before the night is over. Mysterium expands on Dixit's initial concept by adding a more defined ruleset and a stronger theme, resulting in an arguably better - or, at the very least, more challenging - game.
This solo-box game based on the iconic horror film trope puts players in the shoes of a female protagonist who must kill the slasher in order to survive. Final Girl plays similarly to Hostage Negotiator, only with new key game elements such as a game board meant to track character movement and locations. Choose from multiple characters to play as, and multiple killers when picking someone to play against. Final Girl shines in its modular nature: play by pairing an initial Core Box with one or more Feature Film boxes and players get to shuffle together more Terror cards specific to killers and locations for various combinations of scenarios and a unique gameplay experience!
In Unfathomable, players board the SS Atlantica bound for Boston, Massachusetts and find themselves endangered by minions of the Deep Ones Mother Hydra and Father Dagon, mysterious Eldritch sea-terrors that seek to sink the Atlantica. Players designated as human fend off the Deep Ones to prevent the Atlantica from taking too much damage and carefully managing the ship’s four crucial resources in hopes of lasting long enough to reach Boston, all while trying to discern between friend or foe amongst their fellow players. Mythos cards drawn at the end of every player’s turn bring about a new crisis that the entire group must resolve together. Everything is not as it seems aboard the Atlantica, but will you and your fellow players last, or will the traitors in your midst capsize the ship and have you fall into the hands of the Deep Ones?
A game that blurs the lines between the roleplay and card game experiences, Arkham Horror: The Card Game is chalk full of Lovecraftian mystery, monsters, and madness! Two players (Or three, if two Core sets are available) set foot in a quiet New England town called Arkham. They may be haunted by the writings of the Necronomicon, or perhaps compelled to cover up signs of otherworldly evils at the cost of hampering your own investigations. Either way, it’s up to the players to steel themselves, and overcome their fears with the help of their custom decks. Each adventure in the Arkham LCG is a campaign, and all choices and actions have consequences that reach far beyond mere resolution of the immediate situation. Are you prepared to face the unspeakable horrors that lurk within Arkham?
In Mansions of Madness, up to five players use an immersive app to traverse the veiled streets of Innsmouth and the haunted corridors of Arkham’s cursed mansions in search of answers and respite. Eight investigators are prepared to aid players in confronting four fearful and mysterious scenarios; collecting weapons, tools, and information while solving puzzles and fighting monsters and other threats as they go. It’ll take more than just survival to conquer the terrors in this town. Open the door and step into these bone-chilling Mansions of Madness.
This eerie “silent” board game has players using their phones to send text messages to each other, unearthing clues to find out what caused the mysterious disappearance of Alice Briarwood, a high school junior in the sleepy Northern California town of Silent Falls. Each session runs for about two-to-three hours, wherein players spend the first forty-five minutes creating their characters, their relationships to Alice, and their ties to one another. The next ninety or so minutes follow each character’s text message correspondences to uncover Alice’s grisly fate. Are you and your fellow players prepared to face the truth about your friend Alice’s disappearance?
Your adventure in the amazing realm of Dungeons and Dragons begins here! D&D is a cooperative storytelling roleplaying game that harnesses imagination and invites players to different worlds of fantastic adventure where heroes battle monsters, find treasures, and fulfill quests. Everything you need to create a character and start your first adventure is available in these Starter and Essential sets, such as adventure books, rulebooks, and character sheets. Will you embrace your inner dragonborn paladin and smite the evil that stalks the tombs, or rise up against the living world of the Forgotten Realms as a cleric in service of ancient evil? The choices are infinite; the choice is yours.
About Gaming Library
Gaming Library aims to be the go-to resource for board games, providing not only titles that can be enjoyed by families, but also to be enjoyed by friends both newcomers and veterans alike. By pulling from different resources from all over the world, we at Gaming Library curate an impressive collection of games for consumers to choose from, suitable for anybody from casual players to hardcore hobbyists. In doing so, we hope to provide the best means to foster activities that strengthen family ties and friendships, while teaching relevant skills and practical critical thinking that can be applied to your everyday life.