Betrayal at House on the Hill Board Game Buyer’s Guide
8 mins read

Betrayal at House on the Hill Board Game Buyer’s Guide


With its campy take on the horror trope of a group of people exploring somewhere they shouldn’t be, Betrayal at House on the Hill is a great game to bust out when you have a group of friends over (we think it’s one of the best horror board games out there). It’s a personal favorite of mine thanks to it being easy to pick up and can be a great time regardless if you are brand new to board games or a longtime cardboard enthusiast, thanks in part to the fact that it’s cooperative – until it isn’t.

Betrayal first revealed the traitor among you 20 years ago with the release of the game’s first edition, with the second edition arriving six years later and the latest third edition in 2022. Many games receive expansions to increase their longevity and freshness, and Betrayal is no different, having received a handful of new boxes and characters, but also spin-off games that work Betrayal’s systems into a different IP. It’s a lot to grapple with, but read on, and we’ll pull the mask off of what content is worth investigating.

The Games:

Betrayal at The House on The Hill (2nd / 3rd Edition) Board Game

Betrayal at House on the Hill

MSRP: $55.99

  • 3-6 Players (best with 5-6)
  • 60 min.
  • Ages 12+

Betrayal at The House on The Hill tasks players with moving through a creepy old house, discovering (building) the layout and rooms as they go, all the while discovering items and completing events that progress the game. The “betrayal” part in the game’s name comes from the fact that at some point, an event known as The Haunt will trigger, where one of the players will be revealed to be a traitor and the game shifts from a fully cooperative endeavor to an asymmetrical one, where the traitor gets a new victory condition (usually involving killing the others) while the remaining players need to stop them. It’s great fun and always nerve-wracking when the haunt starts to find out who the traitor will turn out to be.

The most current version of this classic horror game, the third edition of Betrayal, maintains all of what has made the series popular – the modularly-built house as you explore, eclectic characters, and devious scenarios. This latest rendition of the classic game features 50 brand-new haunts and additional tweaks that help the gameplay flow while maintaining that Betrayal feeling folks love. Both the second and third editions can still be bought (only the third is available through the official Hasbro shop, though), and while there are subtle differences between the two, both remain great games. For those that have the second edition, the third comes with 50 new haunts, a new cast of characters, and some adjusted mechanics that make it worth picking up, especially if you have had your fill of the second edition’s haunts.

Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate Board Game (Dungeons & Dragons crossover)

Betrayal at Baldur's Gate

MSRP: $55.99

  • 3-6 Players (best with 5-6)
  • 60 min.
  • Ages 12+

Dropping teenagers for wizards, mummified fingers for magic swords, and creepy mansions for the dingy streets of Baldur’s Gate, Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate maintains much of the same systems and gameplay of your classic Betrayal experience and injects it with some good ol’ Dungeons & Dragons DNA. Each character, portrayed by a classic D&D class, comes with unique abilities, setting them apart from the others and is the main difference from classic Betrayal. This game is a great option to play if you are more of a fan of the medieval fantasy aesthetic, D&D, or just want to shake things up a bit from your usual Betrayal game night.

Scooby-Doo! Betrayal at Mystery Mansion Board Game (Scooby-Doo! crossover)

Scooby-Doo! Betrayal at Mystery Mansion

MSRP: $55.99

  • 3-5 Players (best with 5)
  • 25-50 min.
  • Ages 8+

For the younger players out there, Betrayal at Mystery Mansions puts you in the legendary shoes (or paws) of Scooby-Doo and the other members of Mystery Inc. in this version of Betrayal. Mystery Mansion has been made a bit simpler than your normal Betrayal experience – having only “inside” and “outside” areas as opposed to three stories of a house, being able to choose the “traitor,” and only 25 potential haunts among other tweaks that make this game more geared towards gaming groups that find themselves with some younger dice rollers. Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a great introduction to the Betrayal system, but unfortunately, the game does not let you play as Scrappy-Doo.

Betrayal Legacy Board Game

Betrayal Legacy

MSRP: $78.74

  • 3-6 Players (best with 5)
  • 45-90 min.
  • Ages 12+

For those who want more of lasting experience, Betrayal Legacy turns what is normally a one-off experience into a generational campaign, taking place over the course of 300 years. Decisions that you and the other players make will have large and permanent impacts on how the story progresses and its outcomes. Many of the classic Betrayal mechanics remain, including discovering rooms, traitors, items, and more. This may be a great choice if you have a recurring game night or consistent game group that you play with. Be aware, though, as a Legacy style game, the entire campaign (consisting of many individual game sessions) is meant to be played only once, so if permanently altering or destroying game components makes you feel uneasy, then it may be best you opt for other versions of Betrayal.

Expansions

Betrayal Evil Reigns in the Wynter’s Pale The Yuletide Tale (3rd Edition Only)

Betrayal Evil Reigns in The Wynter's Pale The Yuletide Tale Expansion

Betrayal Evil Reigns in The Wynter’s Pale The Yuletide Tale Expansion

MSRP: $21.99

  • 3-6 Players (best with 5)
  • 60 min.
  • Ages 12+

Contents:

  • 2 figures w/ removable bases
  • double -sided character board
  • 2 room tiles
  • 2 haunt books
  • Story prologue book
  • 4 game cards
  • Scenario card
  • 4 clips

When the weather gets cold and the holidays are fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to bust out the Evil Reigns in the Wynter’s Pale The Yuletide Tale expansion for the third edition of Betrayal. This holiday-themed expansion introduces new characters to play, a special scenario card and more to play with to get your group in that murderous festive spirit. Just remember, this expansion is only compatible with the third edition of the game, and will not work with second!

Betrayal the Werewolf’s Journey Blood on the Moon (3rd Edition Only)

Betrayal The Werewolf's Journey Blood on The Moon

MSRP: $21.99

  • 3-6 Players (best with 5)
  • 60 min.
  • Ages 12+

Contents:

  • 2 figures w/ removable bases
  • double -sided character board
  • 2 room tiles
  • 2 haunt books
  • Story prologue book
  • 4 game cards
  • Scenario card
  • 4 clips

Sara, the mysterious girl that you or one of the other players takes on, is at the heart of the Werewolf’s Journey Blood on the Moon expansion. Incorporating the special tiles, cards, and haunts that are included will force you to contend with Sara’s predicament, and determine her fate. This expansion is compatible exclusively with the third edition of Betrayal at The House on The Hill.

Betrayal at House on the Hill Upgrade Kit (2nd Edition Only)

Betrayal at House on The Hill Upgrade Kit

MSRP: $19.99

Contents:

  • 6 pre-assembled double-sided character cards
  • 8 custom pearlescent green dice

If you find your second edition character cards looking a bit rough and dinged up, then it may be time to look into upgrading. This upgrade kit provides you with redone character cards for the cast of second edition with built in dials for the stats – meaning no more dealing with the clips! The fancy dice this pack comes with are nice too, but just keep in mind that this pack are component upgrades only and don’t add any new content to the game itself.

Bottom Line

Betrayal at The House on The Hill is one of those classic titles that should find a home in anyone’s board game collection. The randomly generated map on top of the wide variety of haunts means that you can expect every game to be unique and provide its own challenges and twists. Many of these games and expansions can be found well under MSRP on Amazon or a local store and are easily worth the investment.

For more, check out our picks for the best 2-player board games, as well as the best board games of all time.



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