If you are reading this article, then you are probably looking for a board game that can give you and your friends goosebumps and create a spine chillingly ominous atmosphere at your next board game night. If you would like to bring some diversity to the gatherings with friends and add more emotions, then board games of the horror genre are what you need. Today, the market offers a huge range of such games. Among this variety, it is important to choose the one which will suit you and add a special mood to your company. We have prepared this buyer’s guide and top 11 horror board games to help our readers with choosing an ideal horror board game.
Top horror board games
Mysterium – an exciting detective story
- Cooperative investigation, everyone loses or wins
- Strong and immersive story line
- Ghostly fun for 2 to 7 players with a high replay value
Mysterium combines an interesting plot, exciting gameplay, and well-designed characters. The game plunges you into the atmosphere of an old mansion where a terrible crime occurred long ago. Your task is to cope with all the mysteries of the past.
Thanks to the original design of the playing field and cards, this board game stands out clearly from the rest, and the game story supports the interest and inspiration till the end of the game. It is designed for 2-7 players older than 10 years old and one game takes 30-45 minutes. It is ideal for fans of detective stories with elements of mystery and an intriguing plot.
- Detailed plot
- Original artistic style
- The rules of the game are easy to understand
- The intrigue is sustained to the end
- You can play with children older than 10 years old
- Best horror themed board game
- The replayability is not very high when you play with a permanent company several times
I played this game with my friends on Halloween. We had a great time, the plot pleased us a lot, the rules were simple and the game itself is very atmospheric, it sets the perfect mood. I really like that everyone either wins or loses in the game.Jane, NY
The game is easy to play, but extremely difficult to win. That’s what I liked about it the most. It is a perfect present for fans of high-quality horror board games.Michael, CO
This is one of the best detective board games I’ve ever played! Game cards are very bright and of a good quality, it’s nice to play this game again and again.Victor, WI
Betrayal At House On The Hill – a mysterious game for those who like to tickle their nerves
- Tile by tile, terror by terror, build your own haunted mansion – then try to escape it alive.
- With 50 blood-curdling scenarios, each trip to the House on the Hill promises fresh horrors.
- Players must work together to survive the nightmare. . .
- . . . except for one player who becomes the traitor.
- 3–6 players, Ages 12+, 60 min per game (high replayability)
Betrayal At House On the Hill is a cooperative game and your main opponent will be the game itself. The plot regularly challenges the players and shares with them the puzzles of this old mansion. The mysteries should be solved together, despite the appearance of a traitor among the players.
The playing field is formed from cardboard tiles which represent rooms in the house. Players will experience mysterious events almost in each of these room. The game has an unpredictable plot and about different 30 scenarios. The game can be played by 3-6 players older than 12 years old, and one game lasts about an hour. Fans of unpredictable plots and cooperative games should definitely play this game.
- There are a lot of possible scenarios
- Unpredictable outcome
- The atmosphere of a classic horror
- The game brings together a team
- The presence of small details which can be lost if you are not careful
- Disputed printing quality of game cards
The game contains small details, you must keep the game beyond the reach of children under 6 years of age.
The game is excellent, it is developing dynamically. Thanks to a large number of scenarios, we were playing it many times and did not get bored. The rules are simple, but it is necessary to understand and read them, maybe even more than once.Kate, AL
The game is interesting, cooperative adventures with a detective story. After the appearance of the traitor, we had a plot twist in the game and changed the goals. The traitor won because we didn’t have time to save the victim. You would want to play the game many times.Jacob, FL
The game is very exciting. I liked playing for the traitor – when you are one against everyone. And it is also interesting to play as heroes and team up with friends against the traitor and monsters and build a survival strategy.Serge, WY
Dead of Winter – a well-thought-out psychological thriller
- For 2-5 Players
- 90 minute playing time
- Great co-op game
- Playable in 100 minutes
- For ages 12 plus
- For two to five players
- Ages 13 and up
- Playable in 100 minutes
Dead of winter is a survival horror board game with a special dark atmosphere. Events occur in a post-apocalyptic world which is populated by zombies. Humanity is in an extremely vulnerable position and the main goal is to survive at any cost. Plot twists keep players in constant tension, forcing them to make difficult decisions.
The game has beautiful artistic descriptions of events and design, and the plot twists will definitely not leave anyone indifferent. The game can be played by 2-5 players older than 13 years, one game lasts about an hour and a half. If you like social games with traitors, attempts to survival with a tense and oppressive atmosphere, this game will appeal to you.
- Thoughtful background of characters and colonies
- Unique survival scenarios for each game
- The game cards introduce new plot twists and you are to make difficult choices
- Gameplay requires strategy and good teamwork
- Great horror RPG board game
- Cardboard figures of characters may be damaged over time
- You will have to make a lot of effort to win
- Topics of alcohol, violence, and vulgarity can be unacceptable for some players
The game contains small details, you must keep the game beyond the reach of children under 6 years of age.
The game is hard, but very interesting. It is not for the faint of heart. I would not recommend playing it to children under 18 at all. Some twists are quite violent, but this makes the game even more interesting.Joseph, WV
I was presented this game for my birthday and it is definitely one of the most difficult and emotional games. Here the emphasis is on survival, interpersonal relationships, and an oppressive atmosphere, and zombies serve just like the background. Very cool designed!Kaisy, ND
I am a fan of the theme of the zombie Apocalypse and this game never bothers me. Big number of plot twists make each game as if i play it for the first time.Louise, MT
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition – an atmospheric detective horror with a lot of puzzles
- A fully cooperative Lovecraftian board game for one to five players
- Required companion app available on iOS, Android, windows, and Mac
- Features four campaigns of varying length and difficulty
- Over 500 detailed components, including 32 plastic figures
- Includes a conversion kit to integrate first edition game components
In Mansions of Madness: Second Edition players are to explore the rooms of the Arkham mansion and other horror-infused locations to find strange secrets, solve ingenious puzzles, and come face to face with otherworldly dangers.
A special requirement for this game is the necessity to install the original app on your phone to take advantage of the full functionality of the game and fully experience its atmosphere. The game is designed for 2-5 players older than 14 years old. One batch takes 2-3 hours.
- The map of the playing field does not open all at once, but it depends on your progress
- This is a team game, and you should unite if you want to win
- It trains your wits and logic
- The game offers 4 different stories which bring variety to the game
- Having the program installed on your phone makes the game more fun and allows you to use all its functions
- The need to paint the figures
- The game can be played for a long time
You can play Mansions of Madness: Second Edition only if you install a special software on your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It can be downloaded from the Appstore or Playmarket.
Miniatures in the game are not colored. To paint them, you need to use paints and brushes.
Eldritch Horror – a cooperative adventure with elements of detective and horror
- Inspired by the best selling board game, Arkham Horror
- A fully cooperative game for up to eight players that also supports solo play
- A fast paced, deeply thematic, story driven adventure game
- Dedicated Mystery decks and unique victory conditions for each Ancient One ensure a versatile and highly replayable experience
Players of Eldritch Horror will travel around the world, fight monsters who deftly get out of constantly opening gates, solve mysteries and make sure that the Ancient One does not wake up.
The components of the game are made of high-quality materials, and special attention should be paid to thematically noticeable illustrations made by professional artists. This game is designed for 2-8 players over the age of 14, and one game takes about 2-4 hours. This is an adventure-filled cooperative board game for everyone who likes the works of Howard Lovecraft and enjoys serious games.
- Detailed and thoughtful gameplay
- Many ways to solve tasks
- The rules of the game are easy to understand
- It looks very nice and pleasant to the eye
- Does not cause conflict situations
- Takes up a lot of space on the table
- The game requires at least 2 hours of free time
Arkham Horror: The Card Game – a cooperative card game with the original plot
- A living card game of eldritch mystery or 1 to 2 players (or upto 4 with 2 core sets)
- Blurs the line between the traditional card gaming and role playing experiences
- Players assume the roles of unique investigators marked by specific strengths and weakness
- Investigators are opposed by the challenges from adventure specific encounter decks
- Campaign rules grant additional depth to your decisions and allows you to “level up” your deck between adventures
In Arkham Horror: The Card Game detectives try to solve mystical secrets and conspiracies together, while trying to overcome the past which haunts them.
The gameplay is simple, but various and exciting. It keeps the development and branching of the plot in secret till the end of the game. It is possible to improve the abilities of characters as they progress through each scenario, customize the player’s deck.
The story of the opposition of the detectives to the forces of the Ancient One received a new card format. You will only find cards and tokens: the cards have replaced the playing field, and the tokens have replaced cubes. The game is designed for 1-4 players older than 14 years, one game takes 1-2 hours. If you appreciate the works of Lovecraft, and the joint search for clues and fighting monsters is a familiar thing for you, then this game will definitely appeal to you.
- A fascinating story
- An intriguing development
- Interesting characters
- Updated card format of the game
- Best horror board game to play solo
- You will need to buy the extended version with add-ons if you like the game
- Limited number of scenarios
- Rules of the game are not easy
One box of the game is designed for 1-2 players. If you want to play a threesome or foursome, you will need another copy of the game.
Nyctophobia – an amazing board game based on horror movie
- Author: Cytherine Stippell
- Offers a whole new way to experience a game
Nyctophobia is one of the most unusual and mysterious cooperative board games which will definitely surprise you. The players try to hide from the pursuer in the black forest. It seems to be easy, but you do not see anything, because you are wearing glasses that do not allow light to pass through. The goal of the game is to find a car to hide from the maniac and wait for the police to arrive. And it’s all by touch!
The game Board has trees and other relief figures on it representing the forest. The game is designed for 3-5 players older than 7 years and one game party takes 30-45 minutes. This game will appeal to everyone who likes something new and unusual, as well as who is not afraid of the dark.
- Development of tactile sensations
- Physical interaction between players
- The unusual format of the game
- One game takes no more than 1 hour
- This game can be played also by the blind or visually impaired people
- You need to be careful during the game, so as not to hurt other people
- You need to rely only on intuition and tactile sensations in order to win the game
- All players except the pursuer do not see anything
One Night Ultimate Werewolf – the best horror board game for Halloween night
- Each player gets a unique role: A Werewolf, Seer, Troublemaker, or another, all with special abilities
- After a secret night phase that includes changing roles, players have just 5 minutes to find a Werewolf
- Includes a free iOS/Android app that makes playing incredibly engaging and addictive
- May be combined with One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak and One Night Ultimate Vampire for epic battles
- 3 10 players, Ages 8 and up
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a great game for a Halloween night, or just for a friendly get-together. The game mechanics are very similar to the famous game “Mafia”. A peaceful village has been attacked by bloodthirsty werewolves and the residents need to bring the light on who are the real werewolves through discussion.
The main difference between the game One Night Ultimate Werewolf from other analogues of the game Mafia is that all players participate in the game until the very end and they are not eliminated in the voting process. The host also gets a role and participates in the game. The game is designed for 3-8 players older than 8 years, and one game lasts 15-30 minutes. Fans of psychological games in the spirit of ” Mafia” will definitely like it.
- Classic, but at the same time atmospheric tie of the game
- New and interesting characters
- You can download the app that will act as a host
- The game promotes the development of observative skills
- One game takes no more than half an hour
- For a greater variety of characters you need to buy additions to the game
- Sometimes conflicts may arise during the game
The Bloody Inn – a Black card game based on real events
- Unique, macabre theme and Game play.
- Several different alternate scenarios, including a solo variant.
- 78 multi-function guest cards.
The mechanics of The Bloody Inn are based on resource and action management. The goal of the game is to become the richest tavern owner, but you need to remember that at any time a police officer can look into the tavern.
On the way to success in business, you will have to bribe your guests, rob, kill, bury corpses, but the most importnat is not to arouse suspicion from the police.
This game creates an [ominous, scary, chilling, etc.] ambiance, thanks to its interesting characters and setting. The famous game designer Nicolas Robert worked on it and this game won many awards. It is designed for 2-4 players over the age of 14, and one game takes about 30 minutes.
- Cool design
- An unusual story
- The need to show prudence and management skills
- Dynamic addictive gameplay
- Individual interpretation of the rules is possible
- This game contains elements of cruelty that may not be acceptable to some people
Zombicide – a sticky game in the spirit of the zombie apocalypse
- Monstrous Minis – From the Survivors, to the evil Necromancer, to the mobs of rotting zombies, each is represented by an incredible, highly detailed miniature figure.
- Player Boards – These helpful, plastic boards allow players to keep track of weapons and armor, as well as special skills, wounds, and experience all in one simple-to-manage spot.
- Scary Scenarios – The included scenarios will send players to medieval city streets, through ancient vaults, and force them to come face-to-face with some scary abominations.
Zombicide contains an interesting combination of easy-to-understand rules with an intensive brain activity. Every step needs to be thought out ahead, otherwise one bad card can kill you. The game “Zombicide” is equipped with 10 unique missions of various complexity, in which players will explore boarded-up houses, search for exits from locations, conduct a sweep off the territory, hold a bunker and so on.
Thanks to an interesting story, non-banal missions and the need to think over every step, this game will easily brighten up your leisure time. It is designed for 1-6 players older than 10 years, and one game takes 1.5-2 hours. The game “Zombicide” will certainly appeal to all fans of action movies and zombie themes.
- Easy-to-understand rules
- Strategic thinking and clear coordination of the team’s actions
- Fascinating various missions
- Stylish art and a lot of highly detailed miniatures
- For the sake of balance of the game some rules may seem illogical
Fury of Dracula – a vintage horror board game in the style of persecution.
- A Game of deduction and Gothic horror
- The count returns with 5 new fully painted figures for Dracula and each Hunter!
- 2-5 players where one is Dracula being tracked by the hunters. Ages 14 and up. 2-3 hour playing time
- Same suspenseful Game, now with an improved, easier to follow rulebook and larger, standard-size playing cards
- Excellent replay value; Get a unique experience depending on which of the characters you play as
Fury of Dracula is a “semi-team” game. One of the players will have to break out of the team and become Dracula. However, all other players should act as smoothly as possible to achieve success.
In recent editions, developers have made the rules more logical and modern compared to outdated versions, and illustrators and sculptors have invested all their skills and inspiration to the design of the game’s components. The game is designed for 2-5 players over 14 years old and one game can last 2-3 hours. People who are not indifferent to the vampire theme and the Victorian era, will definitely love this game.
- The game is well balanced
- Ability to change the difficulty of the game to optimize it for all players
- Bright illustrations in the latest editions
- The game develops team spirit
- The board game based on horror movies
- Older editions of the game are less exciting
- One game can last more than 2 hours
How to choose the perfect horror board game? Buyer’s guide.
Buying the perfect horror board game is a responsible business. Therefore, you should pay attention to the following points:
- The age of the players. This is one of the key parameters for security reasons. You need to play Board games carefully with children, because someone could lose small figures, or even worse – a child could accidentally swallow it. Be aware that children will quickly grow bored playing adult horror games. Various moments of cruelty or vulgarity in the game can cause a child to react unpredictably and put other players in an awkward position. Therefore, when choosing a game, it is very important to pay attention to the age limit.
- Size. Before buying a game, you need to think where you plan to play it. Some board games take up a lot of space, sometimes even more than a normal table. If you plan to play on the road, it is better to choose a compact version or card game
- Number of players. This option is specified on the box, there are games for two people and for large companies. There are even solo-games.
- Time. How much time do you plan to spend on the game? There are games which can be played during 15 minutes, and there are games where one batch can be played for 2-3 hours.
- Complexity of game. If you are a knowledgeable board game player, then you are more interested in board games with intricate rules. However, if your company consists of only amateurs, then you need to either adapt the game to the company, or look for a new game.
- The quality of the game content. Ill-conceived design, chips and parts made of low-quality materials, the playing field and additional materials made of thin paper, materials that you need to cut or glue yourself can spoil the impression of any game. This is especially true for horror games, where an important part of the mood and fun of the game depends on the visual accompaniment.
How we tested
We have tested all 10 games. Firstly, we have divided all board horror games into age categories, to make sure that none of the games would have a negative impact on the players and would not hurt someone’s feelings. Then we chose the players for each game. We tried to create the necessary mood in the spirit of horror and explained the rules of each game, made sure that everyone understood them and started playing. During the game, we paid attention to players’ mood, following the rules in order to understand how difficult the game was for them. After the first trial game, we offered to play again, because it was noticeable that many players began to enjoy closer to the middle or the end of the game.
The second game was much more fun and active, the players were more involved in the process and almost had not any confusion with the rules. It was noticeable that they were imbued with the atmosphere of horror. Some of the guys relaxed, some of them were little oppressed by the atmosphere.
And when we offered the guys to play the game for the third time, we noticed that most of the guys finally begun to enjoy the game, and someone on the contrary cooled down and began to lose interest. As a result, we had a great time with horror Board games, tried to recreate the necessary mood and surroundings, so that all players were immersed in the world of bizarre and terrible horror Board games.
Despite belonging to the horror theme, all board games of this genre are different. Some of them focus on challenging visuals, unusual plot, put pressure on emotions. We are sure that even among such a large range of horror games, you can always choose the board which will appeal to any company and make the party interesting and memorable. Moreover, the sphere of horror board games is constantly developing and every year there are more and more amazing desktop horror stories. We hope that our review was useful for you. Now you can easily choose your ideal horror Board game or add a decent board game to your collection.