Tuesday, October 28, 2008

13 Days of Halloween - Ghoulish Games

I love to play board games, but especially love the spooky board games. What better time to play them than on Halloween and/or at a Halloween party? Here are just a few of my favorites.

This is a storytelling card game. Sure, the objective is to win, but more importantly, it is to tell a good, entertaining story to go along with the cards you play. Here's a great description I found online - better than I could write - First, you assume control of the fate of an eccentric family of misfits and misanthropes. The goal of the game is sad, but simple: you want your characters to suffer the greatest tragedies possible before passing on to the well-deserved respite of death. You'll play horrible mishaps like "Pursued by Poodles" or "Mocked by Midgets" on your own characters to lower their Self-Worth scores, while trying to cheer your opponents' characters with marriages and other happy occasions that pile on positive points. The player with the lowest total Family Value (i.e. kills off all your family members) wins. It's tragic and hilarious all at the same time. Not for those who don't appreciate dark humor.

This is a straightforward and easy board game. You're trapped in a town full of zombies and need to make it to the helicopter pad on the other side of town to escape. Cards that map out the town are laid down as you go along and you can pick up weapons and such along the way. The best part is the game comes with 100 miniature zombie figurines. There's nothing like a board game where you can chant "brrraaaiiins" and no one thinks you're weird. Not to be played with people who have never seen Night of the Living Dead (or any zombie movie for that matter). They just won't get the humor in it.

Speaking of brains, here's another card game that we love to play. You and your zombie co-workers work at Friedey's Fast Food Restaurant of the Damned. You have a lot of work to do, but only one brain to share amongst you. Play cards to try and get people to drop the brain, and use it to get all your work done and be the first one to finish your shift for the night. Almost every time we've played this game, we laugh all the way through at the funny cards.

WOLVES AT THE TABLE (Lupus in Tabula)
This card game is actually based on a very old German party game, which utilizes the art of bluffing and deduction (think "Clue"). The rules are so simple, it can be played without cards, although the card game adds more layers to the game. Players sit around a table and are secretly assigned a role (i.e. villager or werewolf). Every night villagers are killed by werewolves. It is your job to figure out which villagers become werewolves at night, and lynch them. Then you wait for the next full moon to see if you were right. Can you identify the werewolves before they murder everyone?

I don't know if they still sell this game or not. It is a board game controlled by a video tape (that tells you how old it is - pre-DVDs). It is a race against time and the game's host, The Gatekeeper. The aim of the game is to collect 6 of your character's keys and then race to the center of the board; The Nightmare Square. If the tape reaches 60 minutes The Gatekeeper Wins! The way the Gatekeeper's script is written, it's as if he's interacting with your guests. He overacts, and his dialog is groan-inducing cheesy, but for some reason, whenever I play this with my friends, we laugh our heads off.Please support your local board game shop. I think board games and card games are a fun entertainment media and I would hate to see it die out to electronic video games (which are, in some ways, impersonal and not nearly as social). Do you have a fun Halloween party game you'd like to share? Leave me a comment and let me know.


Anonymous said...

I'm sad that I've never played the werewolf game with you. The other ones are awesome! I remember the nightmare game very well. A ghoulish delight. -Chad

D.L. White said...

I know! What a tragedy! You would totally love the werewolf game. You'd be great at it.

raven said...

Gosh I love all those games. We have to play some Gloom sometime! We've got the updated CD version of the Halloween game, but so far even time we played no one has ever one. We can't seem to collect enough keys before the time is up. Lupis and Tabula is the best! Thanks for reminding me of all these great games around this time of year.