[Top 10] Best Horror Board Games Loved By Millions Worldwide

Best Horror Board Games, best horror tabletop game
The Thing

Ten horror game to keep your on the edge of your seat

I have a passion for the horror genre. Horror films mesmerized me, even as a kid. To this day it is still my favorite film genre. With board games I love it when publishers use the horror theme for their games. Here is a list of my favorites.

10. Camp Grizzly

Camp Grizzly is a slasher movie style board game. You play as camp counselors. Otis is a teddy bear mask-wearing killer. The Game uses a deck of cards that randomly controls Otis.

The goal of the game is to escape the camp with your life. This is difficult. Otis can spring up when you least expect it.

  • If Otis damages you, you move slower
  • You need to pick up items to help you survive to win the game. Having a weapon is a great idea.
  • For combat roll dice for your weapon and add modifiers. Otis also rolls dice and adds his modifiers. The higher results win the fight. Unfortunately, Otis wins ties.

If Otis wins the fight, he deals damage equal to his damage stat on his card. Then the player flees in a panic, several spaces equal to their panic stat.

Otis never dies. If a player wins combat randomly placed Otis at a new location on the board.

Cameos are characters that wonder the board. Otis can kill them increasing his body count. Raising his body count increases his abilities.

Publisher Ameritrash Games
1-6 players
60 minutes
Age 18+

9. Fury of Dracula

Fury of Dracula is a hidden movement game where players are trying to locate and defeat Dracula. There are four miniatures for characters and one for Dracula. The person playing Dracula gets a miniature map to keep track of Dracula's secret location. This smaller map can be hard to read.

The game comes with a rule book for advanced play and a learn to play book. The learn to play book walks through first time players through set up and play making it easy to learn. The player sheets have turn sequences listed for easy reference.

Play overview

  • Dracula plays location cards on his turn to represent where he is. But leaves it a secret.
  • Dracula wins when the despair counter gets to 13
  • Hunters are searching locations for items that will aid in defeating Dracula while also looking for Dracula himself.
  • It is more dangerous for hunters to search and move around at night.

Combat

  • Hunters have cards to play such as punch, dodge or escape. They can also play item cards like a rifle for combat.
  • Dracula and the hunters play cards at the same time and compare symbols on the cards. If any of the symbols match, the hunter's card hits Dracula. If none match, Dracula’s attack succeeds.
  • If the hunters can defeat Dracula, they win. If Dracula can evade the Hunters long enough, he wins.

A downside of the game is that it can drag on and take longer than the suggested playtime.

Publisher Fantasy Flight Games
2-5 players
120-180 minutes
Age 14+

8. Cthulhu Wars

Lovecraftian games are very popular these days. There are a couple on this list. Cthulhu Wars is one of the plethora of Lovecraftian games out there these days. In this game, cult leaders face off against each other. Whichever cultist collects the most doom points on the doom tracker, and collects all 6 of their spellbooks wins the game.

  • Cthulhu Wars includes awesome artwork and a bunch of fantastic plastic figures.
  • Game set up depends on the number of players. Each faction has different abilities and spellbook requirements to fulfill.
  • The first player gets to choose the order of play. Either clockwise or counterclockwise.

Gameplay phases

  • Action phase – Each player takes one action. This phase continues until all players are out of power. Some actions include move, battle, and summon.
  • Gather Power Phase – Each player regains power.
  • First Player phase – Player with the most power takes the first player token and chooses the order of play.
  • Doom Phase – Players move several spaces on the doom track equal to the number of gates they control on the board. Afterward, each player can take part in a ritual of annihilation.

Ritual of annihilation

The active player spends power equal to the current position of the ritual marker on the ritual of annihilation tracker. They then advance the marker on the tracker by one. This allows them to move their marker on the doom tracker extra spaces equal to the number of gates they control. This gets them double the doom tracker moves. Also, they take an elder sign trophy token for each great old one they control on the board.

If someone reaches the instant death on the annihilation track, it triggers the end of the game. You count doom points. If no players have all six of their spellbooks, then all players lose and the game is over.

Summoning great old ones unlock new abilities for the players

Publisher Peterson Games
2-4 players
90-120 minutes
Age 14+

7. The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31

One of my favorite horror films is John Carpenter’s The Thing. So naturally, I would have to at least try a game based on the movie.

The Thing is a co-op game where the players are trying to find and defeat a shape-shifting alien.

Set op

  • Players each roll two dice. The player with the highest roll takes the captain indicator.
  • Each player gets five supply cards
  • Players must determine who is real and who is the alien in disguise. Each player receives a blood sample card making sure not to show it to the other players. One of them is the imitation card that reveals that the player is no longer human.

Time to investigate.

  • Draw a mission log card
  • The captain chooses a room to investigate.
  • Each player provides one supply card from their hand into the investigation pool. The captain will shuffle the pool and look at the card. There are red sabotage cards that the imitation will use to throw off the investigation. The captain reveals the supply cards one at a time. If you reveal a sabotage card, resolve it immediately. If you cannot resolve the car, the mission fails. If all sabotage cards get resolved and the mission requirements met, the mission is a success revealing the room chip.
  • The thing can show up in any room. If it shows up, the players have to battle it. If do not defeat The Thing or the original mission fails, the infection tracker increase. The thing wins if the infection tracker reaches eight.
  • Draw new supply cards. Deal out new blood sample cards and the captain passes to the left and the round repeats.

Escape

If the players can make it to the third sector of the board and get all the room chips, the current captain nominates the final captain. Players vote on a new captain. A failed vote can raise the infection level. The final captain decides who gets to escape. If there are any imitations left, The Thing wins. If the group is all human, the players win.

Happy hunting

Publisher Mondo Games
4-8 players
60-120 minutes
Age 17+

6. Mansion of Madness

Mansions of Madness is a scenario-based game. The second edition of Mansion of madness differs from the other games on this list. It requires an app to play the game. The app can change the scenarios with each play. The app will also keep track of combat and action that the players take.

  • The app makes it easy to learn to play for beginner players.
  • You build the map with tiles as you play. The app determines the boards layout.
  • Each investigator gets to move and take an action on their turn
  • Investigators have health and sanity scores that deplete as the game goes forward.
  • Investigators will have to investigate rooms, find equipment, and fight monsters if they want to survive.

If you fill up your damage track, you become wounded. A wounded player gains a hindrance based on the wound card they receive. If you fill-up the damage track a second time, your investigator dies. Don’t worry. The app keeps track of everything for you.

Fill up the sanity track and you have to take a card that gives you an insanity condition. These cards can make the game much harder. These cards bring a lot of tension to the table.

Some tokens reveal puzzles. The app will assign a puzzle at random for players to solve. The puzzles are sometimes distracting from the game and can take the focus off of the main game.

The downside to the app is that it can overshadow that this is actually a board game. The app can make it feel that you are playing the game on your tablet more than on your tabletop.

Publisher Fantasy Flight Games
1-5 players
120-180 minute
Age 14+

5. Eldritch Horror

Eldritch Horror is another Lovecraftian co-op game. Playing investigators, you will travel the world trying to stop the ancient ones from destroying the world. You win the game by solving three mysteries.

If the doom tracker ever reaches zero, then the ancient one awakens, and you will have to resolve what is on the back of the ancients one’s sheet. Sometimes this will cause you to instantly lose, but sometimes it could have you solve the fourth mystery to win.

Each round has phases

  • Action phase –Each investigator performs up to 2 actions per turn.
  • Encounter phase – Fight monsters, or have other encounters that can cause complications for your investigator if you are not proficient in the skills need to overcome the encounter.
  • Mythos phase – Evil also gets a turn. Draw a mythos card and resolve it. If you cannot draw a mythos card because there are no more left, you lose.

Just like other Cthulhu based games, there is the possibility to drive your investigator insane.

If your investigator dies or goes insane during a round, don’t worry. You will get a new investigator at the start of the next round. Once the ancient one is awake you can no longer get a new investigator when you die. The game is over if all investigators get eliminated. You lose.

Publisher Fantasy Flight Games

1-8 players
120-240 minutes
Age 14+

4. Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter is an intense zombie apocalypse survival game set in the middle of, well, winter.

Players start in your colony. This is your safe zone. Or at least you feel safe here. Is anything safe when brain-eating zombies are lurking around every corner?

Each of the other locations has its own deck. The cards in these decks represent items that survivors can scavenge.

There are two trackers used in the game. The round tracker goes down with each round played. The moral tracker can fluctuate depending on events that happen in-game. If either tracker reaches zero, the game is over and the survivors lose. The scenario being played determines the starting numbers for these trackers.

Pass out secret objective cards to each player. One of these cards might name you as the traitor.

  • To start you draw four characters then pick two.
  • The scenario being played will determine the win condition of the game.
  • Players can get extra searches in location by making noise.
  • Increase die rolls by spending food tokens.
  • Players can vote to exile a character. Exiles still continue playing but get no help from the colony.

In the colony phase

Pay food – If there are not enough food tokens for all survivor’s morale will decrease.
Check waste – Waste cards can decrease moral.

Resolve crisis

  • Add zombies – Add zombies for each character at a location. For each noise, token roll a die. On a three or lower add a zombie.
  • Check the main objective.
  • Move round tracker.
  • Pass first player token.

Betrayal

If you drew a betrayal secret objective card, you get to try ruin the game for the other players. You want to work to get the moral tracker to zero. Do this by attacking other survivors or through sabotaging the crisis cards.

Publisher Plaid Hat Games
2-5 players
30-120 minutes
Age 13+

3. Mysterium

Mysterium is a co-op who done it horror board game. It is a staple of game nights at my house. One player is the Ghost. Their job is to give visions to the other players to help them solve the mystery of who murdered the ghost.

The ghost must remain silent throughout the game. Instead, to tell the players if they are right or wrong they knock once or twice. The other players are psychic investigators. And the ghost is sending them visions.

  • The investigators have to guess the person, then the location, followed by the weapon used in the murder. Each correct guess advances the investigator to the next level.
  • There are only seven turns to complete the investigation.
  • The art on the cards is very surreal. The ghost hands out cards each round, and the player needs to interpret the art on the card to make a guess based on the image.
  • Any players that complete all three of their objectives can assist other investigators that have not completed their three levels.

Once all players solve all three of their sections, they gather their suspect, location, and weapon cards. The ghost assigns a number to each group. The ghost chooses one and pulls cards from his hand that represents the cards in that group. One card for location. One for the suspect and one card for the weapon. Players then vote on who they think the murderer is. If the majority of the psychic’s guess correct you win.

Publisher Libellud
2-7 Players
42 minutes
Age 10+

2. Betrayal at House on the Hill

This is a scenario-based horror board game. One of my favorite games I have played. We enjoy playing this game frequently at my house.

You build the house as you move around and explore. Whenever you move into a new room, draw and place a room tile.

The scenario that you are playing is not known at the beginning of the game. Once the haunt starts, then the traitor reads the traitor's book and the rest of the group reads the survivor book. A chart in the traitor book tells the group what scenario they are playing. Determine the scenario based on the last omen card played and the room where play occurred. The book contains the objectives for winning for both sides. The first side to complete their objective wins.

Publisher Avalon Hill Games
3-6 Players
60 minutes
Age 12+

1. Last Friday

Welcome to Camp Apache. Where you should be having the time of your life as a camp counselor. Smoking weed, drinking beer and finding your summer love interest. But there is a maniac on the loose and he is killing anyone he comes across.

Last Friday is a horror board game that plays out like a slasher movie. It captures all the cheesy aspects of horror movies perfectly. The art on the box even hints at who the maniac is. The game has four chapters each having different objectives. This game is a favorite at my house. We play this game often. I am a pro at playing the maniac. Campers don’t have a chance at survival.

In Last Friday, one player is the Maniac and gets to track their movement around the board in secret. The rest of the players are the camp concealers. Like I said, each chapter has a different goal.

  • Chapter one – The consolers have to find the keys to the cabins. Get to the cabin, unlock it and then hide inside where it is safe. At least safe for now.
  • Chapter two – In this chapter the players are hunting down the maniac. They can kill the manic in this chapter. Don’t worry though. Just like in the movies, the manic will return to continue his killing spree.
  • Chapter three – one counselors is the predestined. Only they can kill the manic to win the game. In this chapter, the manic is actively hunting the predestine. The other players tasked with protecting the predestine.
  • Chapter four- Now the bloody shoe is on the other foot. The predestine is now hunting the maniac. Only they can kill the maniac. If they can accomplish this before time runs out, the campers survive and win. If not, the maniac wins.

The players have abilities that allow them to find out the location of the maniac. Also, every third round the maniac has to show where they are on the board or where they were three turns ago. It just depends on which chapter you are in.

Don’t forget to pick up the expansion. It adds a few new features and a second killer.

Publisher Pendragon Games
2-6 Players
30-120 Minutes
Age 14+

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Spawned in the toxic Mid Ohio Valley, I am impervious to the Green Dragons poison breath. When not creating D&D adventures, I spend my time listening to records and watching sci-fi and horror films.
Gamer Since: 1988
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: D&D, Shadowrun
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOOM, Left 4 Dead 2, Guild Wars 2
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