The 7 Best Horror Board Games
When getting together with fans of all things frightening, a spooky board game can create hours of fun for the entire group. The best horror board games use compelling characters, storytelling, and artwork to build tension for both quick games and hours of narrative role-playing.
The size of your group is important to consider when choosing a game. The best overall pick on this list is great for up to 10 players, but there are also good options for smaller groups and even playing solo.
The length of gameplay is also an important factor in deciding which game is best for you. For a fast-paced game, the best overall option provides about 10 minutes of gameplay. Others on the list are more immersive and offer between 30 to 180 minutes of gameplay.
To entertain groups of all ages, there are several options that appeal to both kids and adults. However, three of the games on this list are best for groups aged 14 and up. And, if you like games with a video component, you can even choose one that works with a companion app to bring the board game to life. There are options for many types of horror fans on this list, too. Game concepts include werewolves, Dracula, zombies, ghosts, haunted houses, and murderous innkeepers.
No matter how you prefer to be scared, these are the best horror board games to keep things spooky all year round.
1. The Overall Best Horror Board Game
- Number of players: 3 - 10
- Ages: 8 and up
- Length of gameplay: 10 minutes
This fast-paced group game is a favorite among horror fans of all ages. It starts when each player is given a card which they secretly view. This card gives them the power to help either the Villager or Werewolf teams. Then, players have five minutes to find who the werewolves are. The game comes to life through a free app for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. With no eliminations and no moderator, everyone has an equal chance to have fun.
What players say: "This game is absolutely great. Quickly became a family staple. It's one of those games that is simple enough to become immediately engaging, but nuanced enough to stay interesting for the long run."
2. The Best Narrative Role-Playing Game
- Number of players: 1 - 5
- Ages: 14 and up
- Length of gameplay: 120 - 180 minutes, according to reviewers
An app-assisted narrative board game inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft, this game takes up to five players through the cursed mansions of Arkham. It features four campaigns of different lengths and difficulties, and over 500 components including 32 plastic figures. The required companion app is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. It even includes a conversion kit to integrate 1st edition game components if you're a long-time fan.
What players say: "I love tabletop games that tell stories, and this one does it very, very well. It's like seeing a movie but you and your friends are participants."
3. The Best Zombie Apocalypse Survival Game
- Number of players: 2 - 5
- Ages: 13 and up
- Length of gameplay: 90 - 100 minutes
This zombie apocalypse board game puts players in a small colony of survivors who must work together towards group victory, but at the same time, players must also complete a personal objective to win as individuals. Players often have to decide what’s best for the colony and best for themselves, which creates high-stakes gameplay.
What players say: "Without a doubt the most tense I have ever been playing a board game, and I was honestly ecstatic that the betrayer won. He couldn't have played it better."
4. A Fan-Favorite Haunted House Game
- Number of players: 3 - 6
- Ages: 12 and up
- Length of gameplay: 60 minutes
According to Tabletop Gaming, this fan-favorite game embodies “the spirit of the old Scooby-Doo cartoons.” A cooperative horror game that includes character cards, pre-painted plastic figures, and special tokens, this option invites you into a spooky world that you'll want to return to again and again.
What players say: "It can be a long or short game depending on the variables and it covers our need to include all of our age groups for entertainment value."
5. The Best Game For Dracula Fans
- Number of players: 2 -5
- Ages: 14 and up
- Length of gameplay: 120 - 180 minutes
This suspenseful board game features one of horror’s classic characters, Dracula. Gamers can play as Count Dracula to create new vampires and lay traps for enemies, or they can play as Hunters to stop Dracula once and for all. The game comes with five fully-painted figures and illustrated cards.
What players say: "Fury of Dracula is consistently in my top ten games of all time … Generally it takes about 2-3 hours, but I am always riveted start to finish."
6. A Ghostly Game That's Great For Groups
- Number of players: 2 - 7
- Ages: 10 and up
- Length of gameplay: 45 minutes
In this cooperative investigation game set in the 1920s, everyone wins or loses. One player is the ghost while the other gamers play as psychic mediums. Together, they try to figure out who committed a murder. With many suspect, weapon, and location variations, this can be played over and over again without repeats.
What players say: "Trying to interpret the clues leads to some of the most amazing and off-the-wall theories (some of which actually turn out to be right). This is a great game to play with friends [...] I absolutely love it and would recommend to anyone looking for an entertaining board game."
7. A Shorter Strategic Game With Solo Gameplay Option
- Number of players: 1 - 4
- Ages: 14 and up
- Length of gameplay: 30 - 60 minutes, according to reviewers
Set in 19th-century France, this strategic horror board game pits players against each other. Taking on the role of innkeepers, players must prey on their wealthy guests, committing robbery and murder to make ends meet. While it's fun for up to four players, there’s also a solo game option for those who want to play alone.
What players say: "There's a lot of strategy in the box; manage your peasants, pay them, launder money, build an annex or five to bury the mounting bodies - and do it all without being caught by the police that could turn up at any time."
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