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Don't Go In There!
While I was wondering what to write about this week (Should I revisit how much I hate Barrens Chatters? Mention how I conquered the world, and Stick, in Civ4 again? Or tell everyone how much I sucked at Guitar Hero the other night?), our friends came by for beer and Betrayal House.
Betrayal At House On The Hill is an Avalon Hill board(ish) game based on every bad horror flick you've ever hid your eyes from. You and your friends are the intrepid explorers of a Creepy Old House, and you start out with all the cliches, like the Jock, the Little Girl, the Hot Chick, the Gypsy and the Scientist.
Stick and I have a house rule that every player has to speak in character for the duration of the game. No long words for the jock, a Russian accent for the scientist, etc.
As you explore the haunted house, you receive events, item and omen cards. The items are more horror movie cliches. A cursed mask, a creepy skull, a bell, a book and a candle, each sold separately, and all sorts of disturbing weaponry. It's kind of like a haunted Clue, only you could be the murder victim.
At a random point in the game, depending on a complicated system of who's in the master bedroom with the rope at what time, one or more of the players turns traitor. This is the flaw with the game... there are a limited number of scenarios so after forty or so plays, the game's
Betrayal House is campy and zany. The items, and even the character stats, are completely unbalanced. The zaniness means that even the most competitive gamer can't get too bitter about getting offed. The simple stats and movement rules are great for non-gamers. It's a good