Game Night: Betrayal at House on the Hill (3rd Edition)

In October we did a game review of Betrayal, but this is just a quick story of one game night recently when we took it off the shelf.

Game Night: Betrayal at House on the Hill (3rd Edition)

Why was Betrayal a good choice for both board game enthusiasts, casual players, and non-gamers?

  • Easy to learn; you mostly just need to read cards and tiles.
  • Tile mechanic is simple.
  • Cooperative nature of the game means nobody is worried about strategy…at least until the betrayal.
  • Games do not last too long.
Our Betrayal “Board”

What characters did we play?

In Betrayal, there are 12 characters (2 variations of each figure), but there is no strategic way to choose the right one.  During the game, the strengths and weaknesses of each character can help you succeed or fail, but the random events, items, and omens can even things out or push a character towards death.  

We played:

  • Oliver Swift:  speedy, with average might and knowledge, but low sanity
  • Michelle Monroe:  mighty, with average speed and knowledge, but low sanity
  • Jaden Jones:  very knowledgeable, with average speed, and sanity, but low might.
  • Persephone Puleri:  full of sanity, with average speed and might, but low knowledge

So you can see that we had all of the bases covered for a well rounded group. 

What was the story for this game night?

In this instance, our real family was playing the four people who were going into a haunted house on the hill in answer to a mysterious invitation.  Each of us received a mysterious letter, inviting us to the house, but we quickly regretted our decision after arriving. 

Normally, the best strategy is to explore the house as much as possible before the Betrayal happens, and against popular wisdom, to split up!

That is what we did at first.

This night however, when we “triggered the haunt”, it was one of the rare instances where there was no traitor and we continued to work in a cooperative manner!  That was great for our family game, and also, prevented it from going too long, since the betrayer usually has to take some time to figure out the new parameters of the endgame.

I found a dog during my search of the house, which is when things started to go wrong.  “It was a great party well into the night, until that cute dog suddenly turned to dust right before” my eyes!  As I choked on the dust, I realized that something was very wrong.  I sensed that someone else was in the house and that they wanted me to stay!

Third Edition Betrayal has 50 endings!

In total, I have seen about 8 endings and some of those were in 2nd edition.  Betrayal 3rd edition has 50 endings that spawn from 5 different reasons that the group went into the house.  This creates an interesting backstory to make the adventure more personal than some other cooperative games.

In this ending, we quickly discovered that there were a half dozen ghostly housekeepers wandering around the house, trying to kill us.  We got lucky when Michelle first encountered 3 at once, since she was the mightiest of us.  She managed to beat two of them and tie one, only to find out they don’t die, but were stunned by her fists of fury.  

We knew that we had to clean up certain rooms in order to placate the housekeepers…before they killed us.  The only problem was that we hadn’t found any of those rooms!  Michelle ran from the ghosts after her first encounter and stumbled upon the first room, but unfortunately fell through a hole into the basement, where Persephone was searching.  Jaden managed to evade trouble, but also ended up sliding down a chute into the basement.

With 3 of our group in the basement, that left me (Oliver Swift) running around the attic alone.  I managed to find two more of the rooms that needed cleaning, but was running for my life with four ghosts chasing.  I wasn’t as strong as Michelle, but I found a magic item that gave me extra might for combat, which proved to be the equalizer. 

My cleaning skills weren’t up to the task though, so I was running into rooms, trying to clean, then getting swamped by ghost cleaners when I failed.  

Meanwhile, Jaden found the other rooms in the basement, and Michelle managed to get out of the basement to come up and help me, but she ran into the Mystic Elevator, which dumped her back in the basement!  With the rest of the group cleaning in relative safety down below, I slowly managed to clean the rooms in the attic.

Oh and did I forget to mention, that this ending is on a timer.  Every turn after the ghosts attack, all players choke on withering dust and slowly die, one point at a time.  

By the time we scrubbed the last room and the ghostly housekeepers faded away, a couple of us were teetering on the edge of death.

But we survived and won the game together!  Another great night of Betrayal!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. Have you ever seen this ending?
  2. Do you have a Betrayal strategy or do you just run around and wait to see what happens?
  3. Do you like the games that have no Betrayal or that end in a free-for-all?

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