Review: Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Designed by Bruce Glassco

Plays 3 – 6

Playing time 30min – 2hrs


A group of friends have decided to venture into a house on the top of a hill.  Unfortunately for this group, one of the party has nefarious plans.  Betrayal on the House on the Hill is a cooperative exploration of a seemingly abandoned mansion. Once the players are betrayed it becomes a team versus team game as the players struggle to survive the horrors that confront them.

At the start of the game everyone selects one of the provided characters and begins exploring the house.  Exploration continues until the player runs out of movement or draws a card.  The card could be a helpful item, a frightening event, or an omen of the betrayal about to begin. If a turn ends with an omen card the current player rolls dice to see if the second phase of the game begins. If the roll fails, exploration of the house is continued by the next player.  Players venture deeper and deeper into an eccentric house filled with strange items and horrors. Some rooms will help the explorers while other rooms will be difficult to traverse or even cause harm. While the explorers can be harmed in this first part of the game they can never be killed.

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Once the omen roll succeeds, the second part of the game begins called the Haunt. There are fifty different scenarios that could be played, depending on the omen and room the player is in.  New rules are created for the scenario with each side only knowing as much as needed to get victory for themselves but the house will still hold secrets for both sides. At this point explorers, both good and bad, can be killed. Depending on the outcome of the game a different ending is read for good or for ill.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a fun mostly cooperative game that is pretty simple for people to learn. Even if some players have a harder time coming to grips with the gameplay the cooperative start is an easy way to learn the rules before the transition to a versus game. The imaginative and unique scenarios provide extensive replayability with rules to help if you don’t want to repeat a scenario. We’ve never experienced a player who didn’t enjoy both exploring the house and then trying to survive the scenario that is revealed.