The world is full of horrors, but one in particular shakes us to our core: having no plans for Halloween. ‘Tis the season to get spooky, and you should celebrate the coming darkness of October in a suitably scary fashion. For some, this might be hiding your eyes during a horror movie, while others use Halloween as an excuse to play thematic games with friends.
Why not do both? We’ve already recommended plenty of horror board games, horror RPG games, and horror wargames to suit the season, but we’ve got even more recommendations for lovers of scares. This time, we’ve paired some of the best horror movies of all time with the best board games to recreate their most terrifying moments.
Here are our recommended board games and their horror movie counterparts:
The Sixth Sense – Mysterium
There are plenty of board games that feature ghosts, but none scream “I see dead people” quite like Mysterium. This is a co-op board game where one player takes on the role of a mute spirit, while everyone else is a medium attempting to solve the mystery surrounding their death.
As we mentioned, the ghost player can’t speak – that would be too easy. Instead, they must communicate the murder weapon, location, and suspect using cards with cryptic images. It’s up to the mediums to make the right connections and solve the murder before time runs out.
Mysterium has another thing in common with one of the best ghost movies ever made: it’s pretty light on scares. It may have a spooky theme, but Mysterium is a suitable family board game for younger players with a tolerance for ghosts.
Alien – Nemesis
The Alien franchise does have its own board game in the form of Alien: Fate of the Nostromo. However, we think an unofficial Alien board game does a far better job of capturing the movie’s feel. Introducing Nemesis, a co-op board game where you’re trying to make it back to Earth aboard an alien-infested spaceship.
Yes, it’s giving “we have Xenomorphs at home”, but this is an excellent entry in the survival horror section of the board game genre. Everyone wants to make it out alive, but you’ll each have different objectives to complete as well as unique ways of approaching the alien situation.
Your faith in your allies is paper thin, your ship is falling apart around you, and the enemy gets stronger the longer you hesitate. This is a tense, campaign-based board game filled with secrets, strategy, and some high-stakes dice rolls.
The Thing – The Thing: The Board Game
There have been many attempts to adapt John Carpenter’s The Thing into a tabletop game. We think The Thing: The Board Game is the most successful attempt. This hidden role game captures all the terror of sharing a cold, cruel military base with a creature that looks just like your friends – and wants to wear your body next.
Someone at the table is definitely infected, and it helps to figure out who if you want the human crew to survive. However, the board game keeps you on your toes by throwing an avalanche of tasks at you.
You need light, food, and heat to live. You need a way to escape the base. And you need to stop the alien infection from spreading. This is a complex game that doesn’t let up, and it’s a great adaptation of one of the best alien movies of all time.
The Blair Witch Project – Ten Candles
If you’re a fan of The Blair Witch Project, we’d recommend trying a tabletop RPG rather than a board game. Specifically, you should give Ten Candles a go. This is an improv-heavy game that’s played out in various ‘scenes’ – which perfectly creates a found footage feel. And, like many of the Blair Witch’s scariest moments, Ten Candles takes place in the dark.
Ten real candles are lit for the duration of the game. You play with the lights off to represent the lightless world your characters find themselves in. There are unknown monsters hiding in the shadows, waiting for their moment to strike.
If you fail a roll for a skill check, a candle goes out. And when there’s only one candle left, your group will tell the story of how all your characters die. Ten Candles makes you feel lost and out of control, even if you’re in the Game Master seat – a true supernatural horror spectacle.