Betrayal at House on The Hill Review

01 June 2020
Reviewing a classic, right from the start

Avalon Hill/Wizards of the Coast | Survival horror | 3-6 players | 60 minutes | 

In Betrayal you appear to have walked straight into a horror film, full of creaky stairs, rooms with blood dripping down the walls and generally spooky stuff. Initially though things get off to a slow start but as you explore more of the house, including the first floor and the basement (surely there’s always something horrible in the basement) the playing area grows and grows.

As you’re exploring the house you’ll also be encountering various obstacles that require you to roll against one of your skills (magic, speed, knowledge and sanity) to overcome them. Plus you’ll hopefully discover items or weapons that can be used to your advantage later on. So far, so what?

Well Betrayal also has one of the greatest surprises in a game, which we’re obviously about to ruin here... you see as you’re exploring this creepy house you’ll occasionally discover omen icons, which require you to roll some omen dice. If you roll an amount lower than the amount of omen cards that have been discovered then the ‘haunting’ begins. That’s right, it turns out that everything isn’t what it seems and one member of your party is actually the bad guy. They can be a vampire or a werewolf and they then get to consult the Traitor’s Tome to choose exactly what campaign everyone is playing. There are 50 different scenarios to choose from in the Tome, which adds huge amounts of replay value.

Meanwhile the other good guys now consult the Survivor’s Guide, which details exactly how they can win the game. This should all be done in secret so neither side knows exactly what the other is trying to do. Betrayal is an experience quite unlike anything else and takes a little to get into but then things become so crazy once the traitor is revealed and the action totally changes. 

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