It's table top game review time! Last year my husband watched the TableTop episode where they played Betrayal at House on the Hill and he was instantly sold. He wanted to play it so much that as soon as the 2nd edition of the game stocked at The Game Store he immediately went out and bought it. It took me a while before I liked it as much as he does, but it definitely is a fun game. I'm usually a lot slower to warm up to new games, especially ones that have so many rules and more than one book of instructions. That being said, by the second or third time we played I was on board. The thing that I like most about this game is the replay factor. Betrayal at House on the Hill can be played over and over again and the game will be different every time.
Once you have your ground floor foyer in place as well as your basement and upstairs landing tiles, you can begin. Everyone chooses an avatar and game play begins with the avatar who's birthday most closely matches the date of the day you play. Each avatar has traits (speed, might, sanity, and knowledge) that can increase or decrease depending on the decisions you make in the game. Players take turns drawing tiles, exploring and expanding your house.
Some rooms have an "event" symbol in them, which means whoever draws that tile pulls an event card and does whatever the card says. And example of an event could be "Possession: A shadow separates from the wall. As you stand in shock, the shadow surrounds you and chills you to the core. *You must choose any one trait and attempt a roll for that trait* 4+ You resist the shadow's corruption. Gain 1 in a trait of your chose. 0-3 The Shadow drains you energy. The chosen trait drops to its lowest value. (It doesn't drop to the skull.) If that trait is already at its lowest value, lower a different trait to its lowest value."
Other rooms have an "omen" symbol in them, which means whoever draws that tile pulls an omen card and does whatever the card says. An example of an omen could be "Mask: A somber mask to hide your intentions. *Once during your turn, you can attempt a Sanity roll to use the Mask.* 4+ you can put on or take off the mask. If you put on the mask gain 2 Knowledge but lose 2 Sanity. If you take off the Mask gain 2 Sanity but lose two Knowledge. 0-3 You can't use the Mask this turn." After every omen card is read a "Haunt roll" occurs. If you win the Haunt roll you get to keep the omen card and use the item/person on the card to help you during the Haunt. The first person to fail the Haunt roll is revealed to be the traitor, and the Haunt begins!
After the traitor is revealed players use the Traitor's Tome to determine which scenario is going to take place. Which scenario takes place depends on the room the traitor was in when they drew the omen card and the specific omen card that was drawn. For example if the traitor was revealed in the Dining Room with the Mask omen card you would play scenario #42. The traitor would take the Traitor's Tome and go into another room to read the scenario, while the heroes read the corresponding scenario in the Secrets of Survival handbook.
In our game my husband, Danielle, and I were the heroes and Ben was the traitor. I always knew he was shifty....
Once everyone reconvenes the Haunt begins. The traitor will follow the rules in their book to try to achieve their twisted ends while the Heroes try to thwart them and survive the night with the guidance of the Secrets of Survival handbook. I'm pleased to say that in our last game the Heroes emerged victorious. Woohoo!
I would definitely recommend this game: it's fun, you won't play the same game twice, and it's really creative. It's a great addition to anyones gaming library.