Betrayal at House on the Hill Review

Betrayal at House on the Hill board game review

Year Published: 2004 | Number of Players: 3-6 | Game Length: 60 minutes

We initially weren’t going to do a Betrayal at House on the Hill review since it does have a traitor, but we realized over time that it is cooperative enough for us to share our review with you.


What is Betrayal at House on the Hill?

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a haunted house game that has players explore a mansion, which changes with each playthrough. Players start out not knowing much about this questionable house, but they will move through its three levels discovering everything from toy monkeys to mysterious creatures biting you in the back!

Betrayal at House on the Hill (2nd Edition) comes with painted miniatures, mansion tiles, special tokens and three sets of cards (Events, Items and Omens). It won multiple awards when it came out and continues to be a very popular cooperative game.


Betrayal at House on the Hill Gameplay

Betrayal at House on the Hill consists of a deck of room tiles that players will reveal as they move throughout the mansion. Each room will have some effect that the players will resolve before the next character can explore.

Each character has his or her own attributes: Speed, Might, Sanity and Knowledge. This makes each one play a bit different than the others, but all of those traits can change as the game moves along.

betrayal at house on the hill review

Players will pick up cards throughout the game that will have either immediate or ongoing effects. Omen cards will eventually bring about the Haunt, which is when all of the players get to see who the betrayer is for the first time.

Once the Haunt is triggered, two more rulebooks are introduced: one to the good guys, one to the traitor. The game completely changes at this point and both sides are trying to complete their hidden objectives found in the rulebooks.

BoardGameGeek user tin0men typed up a great PDF that summarizes the Betrayal at House on the Hill rules if you want a bit more info on how to play the game. You can also use this Betrayal at House on the Hill app to make it much easier to track each character’s stats.


Check out Betrayal at House on the Hill at Amazon


Pros

  • There are 50 different scenarios in the game! We’ve played Betrayal at House on the Hill (2nd Edition) many times now and each scenario has a unique feel to it. Not only do the storylines change from game to game, you also have the room tiles randomized, which means that it is pretty much impossible to play the same game twice.
  • The designers deserve a lot of credit for creating a smooth yet unpredictable gameplay experience. You can’t just assume that the game is going to go your way after a couple of lucky draws because one card or action can change everything. Without that unpredictability, Betrayal at House on the Hill wouldn’t be nearly as fun as it is.
  • This is a horror game, and it’s one of the very best in the genre. It has become known in many gaming circles as the best board game to play during the Halloween season because of the way it captures that horror feel. Even if you aren’t a fan of games that have you read a lot, you will have no problem going through each stage of the Betrayal at House on the Hill story. The theme is specifically why we finally decided to post this Betrayal at House on the Hill review. There’s simply nothing like it.

Cons

  • As we expected, some of the many Betrayal at House on the Hill scenarios simply aren’t as enjoyable as the others. They’re all pretty entertaining, but it is not uncommon to play an epic game where you are in a serious back-and-forth with the traitor, followed by a game where there’s very little interaction.
  • An extremely minor issue that we have with Betrayal at House on the Hill is that the lowest number of players who can play the game is three. This isn’t surprising since one player has to be the traitor, but it would have been great if they had added a way for two players to play the game.

Final Thoughts

On the overall, Betrayal at House on the Hill is an intense horror game that most people will enjoy. It doesn’t have quite as much meat on the bone as games like Ghost Stories and Dead of Winter, but the horror theme is so strong that you don’t even notice it most of the time. It also happens to be one of the best traitor board games, if you’re interested in that mechanism.

Betrayal at House on the Hill has been out for over a decade now yet is still a favorite among families and gaming groups, and for good reason. They never even had to make a Betrayal at House on the Hill expansion (well, now there’s an expansion), which should tell you how popular the base game is.


Betrayal at House on the Hill Links

BoardGameGeek | Amazon | CoolStuffInc | eBay


Thanks for taking the time to read our Betrayal at House on the Hill review!

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