Revamping Betrayal

The creak of footsteps on the stairs, the smell of something foul and dead, the feel of something crawling down your back – this and more can be found in the exciting refresh of the Avalon Hill favorite Betrayal at House on the Hill. This fun and suspenseful game is a new experience almost every time you play – you and your friends explore “that creepy old place on the hill” until enough mystic misadventures happen that one of the players turns on all of the others! Hours of fun for all your friends and family.

In 2004, Avalon Publishing produced a game called Betrayal at House on the Hill.  This board game is now out of print and very difficult to find, despite it’s popularity.  However, recently, Avalon Publishing announced that it would be reprinting the board game, with a release date set for October 5th, 2010.

I, for one, am super excited.

I have never had the privilege to play Betrayal but have heard some really good things about it.  Game On — the podcast I now do a segment for — has discussed it a few times over different episodes, and Board Game Geek ranks it at 399 in overall popularity with a rating of 6.89 out of 10.  What this boils down to is that the game is VERY good, even with some of the mechanical flaws that some report.  A near-seven out of ten is a very high score for Board Game Geek, and ranking in the top 500 games on that particular website is a true honor.  Adding to that list of note, Betrayal won the Origin’s Choice award in the year it was originally published.

This new edition promotes the same style of play that the original did, and is described by Avalon in the following manner:

Betrayal at House on the Hill quickly builds suspense and excitement as players explore a haunted mansion of their own design, encountering spirits and frightening omens that foretell their fate. With an estimated one hour playing time, Betrayal at House on the Hill is ideal for parties, family gatherings or casual fun with friends.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a tile game that allows players to build their own haunted house room by room, tile by tile, creating a new thrilling game board every time. The game is designed for three to six people, each of whom plays one of six possible characters.

Secretly, one of the characters betrays the rest of the party, and the innocent members of the party must defeat the traitor in their midst before it’s too late! Betrayal at House on the Hill will appeal to any game player who enjoys a fun, suspenseful, and strategic game.

Betrayal at House on the Hill includes detailed game pieces, including character cards, pre-painted plastic figures, and special tokens, all of which help create a spooky atmosphere and streamline game play.

What that boils down to is a cooperative game (meaning that players are working together) with one player secretly betraying the rest of the players.  It’s a horror style game, but not so terrifying that it would be completely unreasonable for middle-school aged children.

The new edition also promises improvements over the prior printing, including new haunts, revised and rebalanced old haunts, new item and event cards, new counters, a new mechanic for certain haunts, revised rules based on the FAQ for the old printing, and updated components.  This makes it sound like Avalon really took to heart the problems the players were having with the first edition and have smoothed out the wrinkles for this new printing.

Retailing for $50, it’s a bit pricey, but for 3-6 players (playing best with 5-6) and all the bits and pieces that come with, I know I’m planning to put up for this reprinting.

And hey, it’ll make an awesome addition to your nerdy Halloween parties!!

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