Friday, October 3, 2008

Games: Betryal at House on the Hill!

New game last night! Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of those ever-changing games that's never the same twice. It starts out with up to six players in the foyer of a big creepy house. From there, it's a classic dungeon-crawl type with opening doors and seeing what's in the room, and you're building the house as you see what's there. And it's a big house-- three floors and dozens of rooms that are in different places each time because you draw them at random from a shuffled deck, somewhat like in Settlers of Catan, except you don't set it all up ahead of time. Periodically, there's a roll to see if the haunting starts, and if it does, whoever rolled is now the traitor, and based on which card asked for the roll and which room you were in, there's one of fifty different stories that could be the goal of the game. Here's where it gets really fun. The traitor leaves the room to see what crime / haunting / monster infestation is going on, and to see what he can do now. The rest take the time to learn what they can do to defend, and what their new goal is. Neither side knows what the other's side does. It's a great combo of collaborative and selfish gaming, and you can choose how mean you make it based on how the other players react. We played it twice-- each game took about an hour, which is stupid-fast for the games we usually play (Arkham Horror, I'm looking at you!)-- and once we had to find a person burried in one of the rooms, while the other time, there was a witch turning people into frogs. A keeper, this one. Like Arkham Lite, and another collaborative game, which really is my favorite sort.

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