Betrayal at House on the Hill

Discover dark secrets and devious deeds as you descend into the depths of the deserted dwelling know as House on the Hill. By turning over tiles players reveal traps, omens, and treasures– all  while creating a unique house set up and racing the inevitable haunt. With the ability to support up to six players and an hour estimated play time, Betrayal at House on the Hill is perfect for parties.

After taking on the role of one of six characters, players explore further and further into the mysterious mansion, dealing with various trials and tribulations until the haunt arrives, bringing with it betrayal and deception. With 48 different haunts, 30 tiles and 80 cards (events, items and omens) each play session is guaranteed to bring something new to the table.

For those interested in a riveting board game filled with role playing elements and drenched in Cthulhu mythos, little will prove as satisfying as a play session of Betrayal.

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The X-Files

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Looking for something spooky to play for Halloween? Fans of The X-Files will love The X-Files board game from IDW games. In this game, one player takes on the role of the infamous Cigarette Smoking Man and the other players can play as Scully, Mulder, Krycek, or Skinner as they work together as a team to solve cases and uncover secrets before the Cigarette Smoking Man and his network can hide the evidence. As the agents work to solve cases throughout the United States, they encounter many different creatures and characters from the early seasons of the show such as the Jersey Devil and the Lone Gunmen.

Game play is fairly simple, making The X-Files a great choice for newer gamers and anyone who wants to spend some time in the X-Files universe. The game is well-balanced and all players are involved and have the opportunity to interact with each other no matter whose turn it is through planning and strategy or attempts to foil the investigations. Overall the mechanics of the game are solid, the art is well done, and the game itself is an entertaining medium/light game to play with friends. If you love The X-Files, give it a shot!

-Liza

Cargo Noir

Cargo Noir is a competitve game for up to give players in which you are a mafia family competing with other mafia families around the world to collect smuggled cargo, which you then trade for mafioso things such as dive bars, yachts, political cronies, and militia. Each player starts with the same number of ships and coins, then sends them out to bid on cargo. Players can try to outbid each other  by sending their ships to the same location with more coins. Uniformity and quantity of cargo are both important factors to consider to maximize your buying power when trading  your cargo for Victory Spoils, like yachts and dive bars. The Victory Spoils are worth points, which are tallied up at the end of the game to determine a winner. The game has different layouts for 2, 3, 4 and 5 players.

Cargo Noir’s artwork is very detailed and gives the game a “film noir” feel without being dark. In a game featuring mafia one expects to see places like New York and Hong Kong, but Cargo Noir also depicts locales as exotic as Tanger and Macao. There are five different nationalities of mafia families to choose from–from the Indian mafia family with their saris and snake-charmers, to the Che Guavara-style revolutionary family with their ammunition belts–each equally cartoonish and caricatural, which gives it a fun and international flavor. There is no reading required to play, just a lot of strategy in where you send out your ships and how many coins you are willing to bid for cargo. Strategy and math are used to determine which cargo you aim for, as uniformity  and quantity have their own benefits. The element of luck appears in the variety of cargo on the board. The premise is fun, the artwork is attractive and intricate, and the game is fairly straight-forward to pick up. The coins and ships do not feel cheap–someone who likes games with more interesting pieces than just cards would love it. Perfect for an after-dinner family activity, a get-together of friends, or anyone passionate about film noir!

-Natalie