The best horror board games push your imagination, encompass you in a spooky or mysterious headspace, and are fun as hell! Modern board games have had a huge resurgence in popularity in recent years, and there are even some awesome board game apps on iOS these days. However, nothing is quite as awesome as pulling out a horror-themed board game and playing it by yourself or with a group. The best horror board games cover a wide range of styles of games and there are even some that are good for children. Here are the best horror board games.
Lovecraft's universe comes to life in this co-op deck-building game. The base game is the best place to start and learn the rules, but Fantasy Flight Games supports these games with huge expansions and several campaigns that are all super well-written and spooky! You'll play as investigators, each with a unique deck to uncover the real mysteries that are happening in the world.
Obscurio is a visually stunning game where two to eight players work together to solve several different mysteries while stuck in a mysterious library. The catch: someone in the group is trying to deceive you. Each round, you'll try to escape the library by using clues (that come in the form of heavily detailed illustrations), but if you pick the clue from the traitor, you'll get closer to being trapped in the library forever.
Silly zombie fun
Last Night on Earth is a fantastic zombie game that acts and plays a bit like a cheesy, '80s B-movie. It's a semi-cooperative game, with a handful of different scenarios in the box, dozens of fun and unique items, and asymmetrical characters with different abilities. Last Night on Earth offers a ton of replayability and a lot of fun!
One vs all
Betrayal at Baldur's Gate is a new version of the very popular Betrayal at House on The Hill, which is set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe! It has a unique game design that changes the game rules in a big way, halfway through the game. You start as a group of people exploring a spooky tavern, and eventually, a haunt will trigger, and typically, one of your party members turns into a traitor!
Different every time you play
Dead of Winter is another game that can be one vs. all, but you are never truly sure if there is a traitor amongst your party or not. Your group needs to survive the zombie apocalypse. Still, each character has a unique story they can complete, and one of your team members may even have a secret objective that can cause them to be the winner rather than the group surviving.
Great for big groups
In Mascarade, each player will get one character, which will have different powers with the goal of being the first to collect 13 coins. However, all the character cards are face down and other players can swap face-down cards with whomever they want. You can play the whole game without ever knowing which character you really are!
Escape room on the table!
Exit is a series of escape room games, and in The Sinister Mansion on top of having to escape the mansion, there's a spooky mystery to solve! Each Exit game is destructible, which means you can only play it once. Still, with 10 different exit games (and more coming), there's a lot of games out there if you love the genre!
Can you beat Sherlock Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective tasks you with investigating murders and other cases in Victorian-era London, and your goal is to solve the case by following as little leads as possible. You're given a newspaper, a map of London with a ton of different locations you can go to and question people, and sometimes, a clue to start you off. You can even play a four-part, mini-campaign to try and catch Jack The Ripper.
Classic movie monsters
This game brings the classic Universal Studios monsters like Frankenstein's Monster, The Invisible Man, Dracula, and more to life. You'll need to work together as a team to destroy these monsters once and for all to save the town. Be careful though, each monster has a different set of win-and-lose conditions, meaning you have to make sure you're playing smart.
Start your collection with something thrilling
Board games offer a great tactile experience that allows you and your friends or family to spend time together and have fun. Plus, there are a ton of great games that embrace the paranormal!
My personal favorite on this list is Arkham Horror: The Card Game (opens in new tab) because it just offers such a unique experience every game and it's superbly well-written, so the stories feel real. The decisions you make have a significant impact on the game. The good news about Arkham Horror: The Card Game is the base set is just the beginning if you like the game. There's also a lot of new campaigns and scenarios you can buy.
If you're looking for a fun game that's easy to pull out with the family, I would suggest Horrified (opens in new tab). It's not too complicated to learn, and although it does have monsters, it doesn't really have any mature content, making it great for kids. The box advises ages 10 and up, and I would agree with that assessment.
Lastly, if you love solving mysteries Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures (opens in new tab) is fantastic. Reading newspapers for clues, questioning the right people to get information, and slowly but surely solving the case is a super satisfying feeling.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.