Roll the Dice - Why you should play Betrayal at House on the Hill

Liam Ferguson talks about a beloved board game that everyone should check out.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of the most annoying and addicting board games that I have ever played. Having only discovered it over the last summer and played a handful of games, I’m itching to play it again and again. 

The game is relatively simple - players are given a scenario where they are placed inside of a haunted house and gradually build it out tile by tile each turn. There will also be a variety of omen, item and event cards placed throughout certain tiles that players can pick up to their advantage or disadvantage. The goal is to build as many tiles of the house out before the haunt begins, at which point one player will betray the group and have a more sinister objective to complete before the rest can defeat them. The traitor will even receive a booklet with instructions on their objective that is separate from what is given to the rest of the players. 

The main appeal of the game is that you are guaranteed to have a different experience every time you play

The angle of one player becoming a traitor leads to a suspenseful game of cat and mouse between the single person and up to five others, with the creation of a fairly even playing ground as the traitor can typically summon monsters to fight alongside them. Players fight one another with weapons they have picked up or their bare hands and take damage both physically and mentally in game.

The main appeal of the game is that you are guaranteed to have a different experience every time you play. There are over 50 base scenarios and the randomised tile building nature of the game allows for the layout of the house to never be the same. A player could accidentally activate the haunt after ten minutes of playtime and the traitor could be wiped out in another five, or it could take half an hour to start the haunt and the traitor could periodically take out everyone else over the course of another hour. You could play a short game, say “one more” and then sit there for 2 hours screaming at one another. 

It is a remarkably unpredictable game that can be as frustrating as it is satisfying. It’s filled with pieces with all the house tiles, scenario cards, character tiles and item cards, yet is incredibly easy to get into. It may seem daunting at first, but once a game gets going, I promise you will slip into it quickly and have a blast.