Tabletop Games for the Spooky Connoisseur

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Get ready for a spooky game night with these thrilling tabletop picks perfect for the October season! From classic party games to immersive narrative experiences, there's something for every gamer.

The season of spook is now upon us, and pumpkins, scarecrows, ghosts, and skeletons are all on our minds! We are getting pumpkin spice lattes, watching scary movies, playing horror games, and decorating our houses and lawns.

However, it doesn’t have to stop there! If you’d like to bring that spooky celebration to your game night or are hunting for some high-quality tabletop gaming that is perfect for the October season, look no further!

The games here are not in any particular order – each is quite enjoyable in its own right!


Image: Amazon

Werewolf is one of the most classic party games of all time, taking the game Mafia and refining it into a system with defined rules and strategy-based gameplay. Each person gets a role – most of the players are some sort of villager, but 2-3 are werewolves in disguise.

The actual play is split into “days” and “nights” – during the day, the village gets to discuss and try and decide who the werewolves are. During the nights, players can do all sorts of things based on their roles, including killing other villagers, learning the identities of other villagers, and saving your friends from the jaws of their enemies. The aura of mistrust and suspicion that is draped across a group of players during a game of werewolf is enjoyable to watch and experience, and the nature of the game leads to some truly memorable gameplay moments.

The sweet spot for this game is 6-15 players – any less and the game moves too quickly, any more and the game becomes a bit overwhelming. I have had successful games with up to 20 people, but I would not play with 75 personally, despite the claim on the box!

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Image: Amazon

I debated whether or not to put this right next to Werewolf, and decided it was worth it to talk about them back-to-back because of its quality and similarity! One Night Ultimate Werewolf is based on the original Werewolf, but takes a significant spin in another direction – instead of having a day/night cycle that rolls until there are either an equal number of werewolves and villagers or all of the werewolves are dead, this game has one single day/night cycle.

It is app controlled, which adds to the ambiance, and during the night roles can shift and change unexpectedly. Sometimes, you don’t even know who you are! This is a great quick play for a big group, and there are quite a few expansions that add engaging and exciting roles!

Dead of Winter

Image: Amazon

Dead of Winter is a game by Plaid Hat Games – a group focused on creating engaging narrative content as well as excellent gameplay. Because of this, Dead of Winter is a stand-out story-driven game. You and your companions are stuck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and you must travel through and survive in a brutal and deadly world.

The game keeps a feeling of dread and helplessness at its forefront, and you constantly feel like death is at your doorstep, and though you are working with your friends to beat the game, sometimes you need to make choices that will result in consequences for others. If you want an immersive board game that forces you to delve into the uncomfortable choices and no-win situations that surround a world filled with zombies, look no further!

Betrayal at the House on the Hill

Image: Amazon

No spooky game list would be complete without a shoutout to one of the most interesting and popular spooky games out there – Betrayal at the House on the Hill. This is a co-op(ish) game that puts you in the role of players who are investigating a house filled with horrors. Well, to be specific, a house filled with one primary horror. The house changes every time you play due to a modular tile system, and every game has a twist.

The game comes with 50 separate haunts, each one adding a unique element to the game. The plethora of haunts give this game quite a bit of replayability, and with the most recent 3rd Edition released, you can expect compatible expansions to be released down the line that add even more to the base game! 

These haunts add various gameplay elements, often turning players against each other (or creating a situation where one person is the villain and the rest of the players must survive or defeat them). Sometimes, you know who the villain is, sometimes the villain is hidden, sometimes the villain lives within the house itself. This results in some fantastic gameplay moments – I picked up my copy of Betrayal for this spooky season, and loved my first game with the new edition.

The one drawback is that this game contains player elimination, which can cause frustration and result in one or two players sitting out while the rest finish the game. Overall, however, this game is 100% worth your money and your time, and I highly recommend diving in and taking a look at the horrors and spooks Betrayal at the House on the Hill has to offer!

DC Deckbuilding: Dark Knights Metal

I have logged more time into DC Deckbuilding than perhaps any other game. When I was in college, my gaming friends and I would spend hours playing and customizing the game to our liking. It is one of the most expansive games I have ever played, and I have kept up with every expansion and spin-off.

Dark Knights: Metal is a standalone game, and it is on the list because of The Batman Who Laughs, pictured on the cover. He is one of the main components of the game, meaning that his horrifying visage is constantly staring at you as you play. He adds quite a few interesting mechanics to the game, making this an excellent variant of DC Deckbuilding. The components added change the game enough to make it a unique experience while still keeping to the traditional DC Deckbuilding formula (and ensuring compatibility with other sets).

Return to Dark Tower

Image: Polygon

This game popped onto my radar within the past few months, and I am deeply anticipating getting my hands on it. Full disclosure, I have not yet played this game, but its reviews are incredible. You and your friends play as a group of heroes attempting to defeat the monolith that stands in the center of the gameboard, a large and ominous threat to your survival that is spreading darkness across the land.

Through an rpg-lite style series of missions and quests, your character grows and evolves as you prepare to take on the might of the tower itself. The tower is the centerpiece of this game, and through a Bluetooth connection interacts with an app on your phone. This app tracks the game and controls the tower’s actions, which can deeply complicate matters for the company attempting to defeat it.

It is the most expensive game on this list, retailing at a whopping $190, but from all accounts, it is worth the investment for the gameplay experiences you will have fighting against the Dark Tower. The game is also a fantastic shelf piece – the box is large and well-made, and as you can see from the image pictured, the game looks amazing on the table.

The Dark Quarter

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Image: Board Game Geek

The Dark Quarter is a bonus game, specifically because it has not yet arrived in stores. Earlier this year, Lucky Duck Games ran a quite successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for a very interesting and well-put-together idea: a horror-based narrative-driven campaign-style game. The Dark Quarter puts you in the shoes of paranormal investigators searching for the source of a streak of violent crimes. Demonic forces are at work, and it is up to you to solve the mystery and restore order to your home.

The game promises a system of difficult decisions that have significant ramifications, and a story that grows and evolves as you explore the campaign. It also promises not to hold back – though it is not technically rated M, the developers have been clear that the content you can expect in the game will be what you would expect from an M-rated video game – they are not shying away from language, violence, and disturbing situations.

If this sounds like something you and the friends you game with would enjoy, it is definitely worth putting on your radar (it also promises to be playable single-player if you don’t have people in your gaming group that would be comfortable with the content rating on the box). Their anticipated release date lies within 2023.

But Wait, There’s More

Okay so perhaps I am out of line here – this article is about board games after all, but to celebrate the spooky season, I have been playing the game Inscryption.

Image: Steam

Inscryption is available on all major platforms, and though it is a video game, it is a card-based deckbuilder. Imagine Slay the Spire, but with a massively unnerving atmosphere, a fascinating metagame, and a lot of mysteries to unfurl. I dare not say more, as spoiling something like Inscryption would be just short of criminal, but so far I highly recommend it (I am decently early in my playthrough, and thus have quite a few more mysteries to unravel).

Its placement on this list is simply because it is functionally a roguelike board game, despite the fact that it is completely digital. It plays like a card game, except instead of playing against a friend, you are playing against a phantom enemy who always feels one step ahead of you. It is an excellent choice if you’re looking for some solo gaming fit for the season!

Each of these games would be an excellent addition to any collection and are full of exciting twists, turns, and moments of suspense-driven gameplay. Whether you’re into social deduction, narrative-driven gameplay, or epic quests against formidable enemies, there is a game on this list for you! So if you’re ready for some spook at your next game night, lower the lights, light some candles, and break out one of these games certain to complement the October atmosphere! 


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