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Mini Review: Betrayal at House on the Hill

I was super excited when it was announced that Betrayal at House on the Hill would be reprinted.

Craig from The D6 Generation has been raving about how much he and his wife love this game for a long time but it had been out of print since I’d heard about it.  I’d been looking for it on ebay but not finding anything under $160, and it didn’t seem worth that much, especially used.

I had high expectations and other than the problems with the warping tiles which everyone mentions is surpassed those expectations.

Things I love

The stories.  I love the individual stories.  There are 50 different ones in the game and after a dozen or so games, we have yet to hit a repeat.  Each one is really unique.  This is the hook that usually gets me in most games.  It’s the reason I love Battlestar Galactica and Arkham Horror and Betrayal delivers in spades.

The ease of play.  The mechanics are simple and don’t get in the way of the story.  Not much more to say, but it’s a nice feature.  Somehow this reminded me a bit of A Touch of Evil, except I didn’t hate it.   I think this is because this feels more about the story than grabbing items and whacking a dude until he’s dead.

Things I love less

The tiles.  This is my only real complaint.  The tiles really do warp something fierce.  Luckily, the manufacturer has said that you can call them to get replacements, so this point may be moot.  I’ll post again once I receive them.

Things other people may love less

The balance.  This is by no means a balanced, competitive game.  There is a winner and a loser but how easy it is for one side or the other to win or lose can change dramatically based on how explored the house is, how randomly damaged players/the traitor have become, what equipment different players have gotten and where different rooms end up.  I personally don’t really mind since I look at that as all part of the story.  The goal is to have a fun experience and I do that through the story, not winning.

The hidden information.  When the traitor is revealed, they generally go to another room to read their book and the rest of the players read their book.  One group may not know certain things like how the other player wins or can hurt them.  Again, I see this as all part of the fun but it may bother some people.

 

Check out this game if:

  • You like your game with a cool story
  • You like Battlestar Galactica
  • You like Arkham Horror

Skip this game if:

  • You’re looking for something competitive and balanced with deep strategy
  • You need to know exactly what’s going on in your game at all times
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    • Al
    • March 25th, 2011

    Man, sometime I have to come back up and get a few board games in with you.

      • EclecticGamer
      • March 25th, 2011

      Let’s do it!

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