Trick or treating is all very well, but if you ask me the best way to pass the time on the night of All Hallow’s Eve is with some good friends and a creepy boardgame! Over the next few weeks I’ll be looking at some boardgame favourites that are perfect for conjuring up the Halloween atmosphere.
In fact gaming is a time-honoured part of Halloween celebrations; for example bobbing for apples, or old semi-witchcraft rites to try to discover the name of one’s future spouse. Getting friends together to tell ghost stories is traditional, and would be an excellent accompaniment to a boardgame. Why not make a night of it and prepare some Halloween-themed food and drinks, and put up some decorations. Just don’t get the spider webs too close to the candle flames!
A great place to start your gaming would be with the Flying Frog game A Touch of Evil: the Supernatural Game (2008). If you’re a fan of the Tim Burton film Sleepy Hollow you’ll especially enjoy this atmospheric game. Set in the early 19th century in the small village of Shadowbrook, players take on the roles of unique heroes—perhaps Katarina, the outlaw, Victor Danforth, the playwright, or Cooke, the police inspector—trying to hunt down and destroy the villain, which could be either a vampire, scarecrow, werewolf or even the classic spectral headless horseman. You’ll be exploring the environs of Shadowbrook trying to build up your strength for the final confrontation and collect items to help you, and uncovering the hidden secrets of the town elders, who may help or hinder you in your battle with the supernatural villain.
A Touch of Evil can be played co-operatively and competitively, and the variety of villains, each with special powers and themed minions to do their evil bidding, makes for a different game every time. Things get even better if you add the expansion set, Something Wicked. Not only does this add more heroes and more villains (the bog fiend, gargoyle, banshee and the Unspeakable Horror), but there’s also an additional board, a slew of new variants, and even solo rules.
Both games come with beautifully sculpted plastic figures for the heroes, which I highly recommend painting for the full experience.
While we’re looking at Flying Frog games, we can’t go past their debut game (and another perfect Halloween indulgence), Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game (2007). As well all know, zombies and Halloween go together like toffee and apples, and this game can’t be beat for the authentic B-movie zombie experience. The game is similar in many ways to A Touch of Evil: players are characters straight out of a zombie movie—Sally the high school sweetheart, Jenny the farmer’s daughter, Sheriff Anderson the small town law man, Father Joseph the man of the cloth—and depending on the game scenario, must survive the depredations of hordes of shuffling undead! Whether you’re trying to escape in the truck (“where are those keys!?”) or defend the manor house (“hold them off!”), you can guarantee that some of the players are going to get munched on before the night is over. It’s a hilarious game and perfect for Halloween laughs.
Of course, there are expansions—the big box Growing Hunger, which adds more heroes, zombies and scenarios, variants and special rules; and a series of small packs that add more figures: the Hero Pack, Survival of the Fittest, and Zombies with Grave Weapons. If you go the Flying Frog website here, you’ll even find a downloadable All Hallows Eve scenario. Perfect!
Come back next time for some more creepy Halloween gaming options; by the time October 31st comes around, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
by Universal Head