Not every night can be club night … sometimes you've just got to stay in, invite some friends over, and play board games. But just because you're not at the club doesn't mean you've got to turn in your goth card and play some Monopoly with the mundanes. There's plenty of spooky board games out there! Below are just few of my favorites:
1. Goth: The Game of Horror Trivia
This game was created specifically with members of the gothic subculture in mind. It features a board designed like a graveyard, with a burial plot for each of up to four players. As players move around the board, they answer trivia questions related to horror movies, music and bands, gothic literature, or other macabre subjects. For each question answered correctly, players gain tombstones to fill their plots with. The first to earn thirteen tombstones wins. This game is perfect for goths who pride themselves on their knowledge of the scene. Let's see how much you really know!
2. Morbid Curiosity
This death-centric card game recently launched after being funded on Kickstarter. Designed by a therapist and a historian, it combines death-related trivia with thought-provoking conversation starters so that you can learn about yourself and your friends as well as about death in general. The black trivia cards are mostly multiple-choice or true/false, while the white conversation cards ask open-ended questions about your thoughts, memories, or feelings on certain death-related topics. The rules are simple: the players go around reading one question at a time, from either the white or black decks. The card is awarded to whichever player correctly answers a trivia question first, or has the "most interesting" answer according to the reader, for the more open-ended questions. Whoever has been awarded the most cards by the end of the game wins. This game is part of the death positive movement and is great for getting your friends and family to face their own mortality and talk openly about death.
This cooperative board game is reminiscent of the classic Clue. The premise is that a man was murdered in his mansion, with only a ghost as a witness. One player takes on the role of this ghost and tries to communicate with the other players, who play as mediums trying to solve the mystery. The ghost sends visions to the mediums, represented by illustrated cards, to help them guess who committed crime, where it happened, and with what weapon. If the majority of mediums correctly identify the proper suspect at the end, then the ghost's business is finally complete and it can move on to the afterlife. This is the perfect game for all lovers of mysteries and ghost stories.
Gloom is a hilarious tabletop card game where you screw your friends over by making them happy. In this game, two to four players are each given a family to play as. The object of the game is to make your own family suffer the most terrible tragedies before they die an untimely death. Negative event cards like "Mauled by a Manatee" or "Went Mildly Mad" played on members of your family decrease their self-worth. But you can also play positive event cards, such as "Was Delighted by Ducklings," on your opponents to thwart their mission of misery. A number of expansion sets exist for Gloom, as well as several themed spin-off versions such as Cthulhu Gloom and Gloom in Space. With its backwards nature and emphasis on the dull and depressing, Gloom is the perfect game for the morbidly morose among us.
5. Betrayal at House on the Hill
For those who like a little more complexity in their games and are down to spend some time reading the rules, Betrayal at House on the Hill is an excellent game. This one is a (mostly) collaborative board game set within a haunted house. The game is designed for three to six players, each of whom are given a specific character. Players explore the mansion, revealing new rooms as they go along. Eventually, the Haunt gets triggered, which introduces a particular monster or other scary scenario. The "betrayal" in the title refers to the fact that one of the players will end up turning traitor and joining with the ghosts and monsters. The game comes with dozens of different Haunt scenarios, many of which are influenced by tropes and classics of the horror genre, so you can play it again and again with new terrors every time.
Have you played any of these games? What other games would you bring to a goth game night?