With Halloween creeping around the corner, Betrayal at House of the Hill is a wonderful party game (or a gift) to play with your friends. It is a haunting experience for 3 to 6 players, with great replayability and an ever-changing gameplay experience. But the pricetag of ~£44.99 ($54) is no joke, so is it worth buying? Let’s take a look.
How easy it is to learn Betrayal at House on the Hill?
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a surprisingly easy to learn and explain game. Each player takes a role of a character from a group that found themselves in a haunted mansion. You explore the mansion until the haunt starts, after that you read the one of the 50 scenarios and find out if one of you is the traitor (or all of you are).
The game is surprisingly simple to pick up, and we have never had a problem with new players understanding the rules, and instantly immersing themselves in the atmosphere.
When it comes to replayability, Betrayal at House on the Hill is hard to beat. Here is a list of features that help with this:
- Map tiles – the map is build as you discover the mansion with room tiles. That helps you build different layouts with every new game.
- 50 different scenarios – also known as haunts, each one of them has different story and goals. Not all of them have 1 person betray the party, so you can never be sure if your game will be cooperative or competitive at the end. Some have the party work against unknown threat, or give each person their own goal to win. Needless to say, every game will be unexpected and different!
- Scenario cards – first introduced in the Scooby Doo spin-off (yes, really), the scenario cards enhance the atmosphere and help you avoid running into the same haunts.
When it comes to size of the play area, a standard dining table is enough to accommodate the players. The map is built up as you move through the mansion, so you can easily fit it in your player space and shift things around as needed. There are few decks of cards, and tiles that not everyone needs to have access to them to draw, so you can put them anywhere you want (even keep them in the box). The player area doesn’t need to be that big, as it get a character dial with the stats, and a few cards you will collect along the way.
How much does Betrayal at House on the Hill cost? Is it worth it the price?
Betrayal at House on the Hill costs around £45 on the UK Amazon (or $35 on the US Amazon) which is a reasonable price for a game with so much tiles, cards and replayability. This means you get pay about £0.90 ($0.70) per scenario. Most game sessions play 1 scenario, that would take you on average about between 2 and 3 hours (time varies by number of players, their familiarity with the game and haunt), so you can easily get hundreds of hours of gameplay out of Betrayal. Some scenarios are not as good as others – some have poor writing, or not so engaging mechanics, but the sheer amount of them still makes the game worth it, as most of the time if you hit a slightly worse quality scenario, that’ll probably be the only time you’ll play it.
All in all, as far as price goes, we think the game offers great value for money! If you have a version in mind, you can go ahead and stop here and go pick up a copy. But there’s a lot of versions to consider, so let’s go through them.
Which version of Betrayal at House on the Hill should I buy?
If you have walked in a board game shop, you probably have seen the a lot of versions of Betrayal that you just don’t know which one to get, and it can be pretty confusing. Even if you haven’t seen them, it’s worth knowing that those many versions are out there so you can pick the best one for you! To help with that, here’s a quick overview on what is in what box:
Different Betrayal at House on the Hill editions
If it is your first time buying a game from this series, we recommend grabbing the latest edition of Betrayal at House on the Hill. Once you have experienced most of the haunts, it is also worth grabbing an older edition as they have different scenarios.
You can easily identify the different editions by the box art.
Betrayal at House on the Hill: 3rd Edition
Recommended for people new to the game, and people who already have older editions, as it has different scenarios.
Betrayal at House on the Hill: 2nd Edition
Recommended to buy if you have already finished Betrayal at House on the Hill: 3rd Edition and want to play more scenarios.
Betrayal at House on the Hill: 1st Edition
You are very unlikely to see it in the stores, as it is no longer in print.
Recommend buying only as a collectors item.
Once you have a core game, you can get some expansions, or spin-off games to have more scenarios. Some of them make for wonderful gifts!
Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk
Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk is an expansion pack for Betrayal 2nd edition. It introduces more scenarios, tiles and mechanics, that are later adopted by the 3rd edition of the game, but unfortunately 3rd edition isn’t backwards compatible.
Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk requires the core game (Betrayal at House on the Hill) to play. We recommend getting it only if you already have 2nd edition, and want to get more scenarios.
The Betrayal Legacy is a little different then the other Betrayal games as you follow a story. It has three chapters, where you play a family. It has more story and it is great for dedicated players, but not so much for random groups. As the Legacy name suggests, Betrayal Legacy brings in continuity in your follow up playthroughs. It rewards players that have played the game before with named heirlooms that benefit you more if it has your name on it, or with only the knowledge of where you can find specific items.
Recommended for players who are familiar with both Betrayal at House on the Hill and fans of legacy games. Betrayal Legacy is a standalone game and doesn’t require you to buy the base game.
Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate
The Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is a Dungeons & Dragons edition of the game. It has different scenarios, characters, miniatures, and tiles, and is set in the fantasy city of Baldur’s Gate, a fan favourite of both tabletop and video gamers. It’s also a bit less horror-themed, and more fantasy-themed, so if anyone at your table doesn’t enjoy horror, this makes a good alternative.
Recommended for fantasy lovers, and perfect gift for Dungeons & Dragon fans. Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is also a standalone game that doesn’t require the core game.
Betrayal at Mystery Mansion
The Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a Scooby-Doo! spin-off game for Betrayal at House on the Hill. You play as the characters of the famous TV Series Scooby-Doo, you explore a mansion looking for clues, encountering strange occurrences and monsters. The haunt start here when you find enough clues, and one of the players will switch sides to play the monster. It comes with 25 new haunts based on episodes. For families and fans of the series, Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is the way to go.
Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is kids friendly, and fun family board game. Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a standalone game.
Companion App for Betrayal at the House on the Hill
While you can play the game without the app, the companion app is great for setting the mood and helping you to keep track of all the different haunt effects. As Betrayal can literally become a different game every time you play it, it’s definitely worth checking out unless you enjoy poring through rulebooks.
Conclusion on Betrayal at the House on the Hill
Betrayal at House on the Hill is excellent value for your money, and we highly recommend it to both beginners and veterans of board games. It is a great game for families with teenagers, horror parties, or just casual game nights.
- A ton of replayability
- Some scenarios are very good
- Fast setup
- Easy to learn
- Some dodgy quality board pieces
- Some scenarios are not as good