Halloween! The season of spooks, spirits, and of course, silly board games! Of course, there’s no better way to spend it than with your family and friends, and there’s no better way to do THAT then with a good game! Luckily, Outset Media has you covered! We’ve done the research, collected the data, rewatched the Friday the 13th movies, and assembled a list of what we think are the best Halloween board games for your buck- and we’re pleased as pumpkins to share it with you!
2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy, Ages 6+ Disclaimer: Not distributed by Outset Media
Everyone knows that the lion is the king of the jungle, and that tuna is the chicken of the sea, but which insect is the champion of kingdom Animalia? The answer has plagued humanity for hundreds of years, but people keep telling me my idea of setting up an insect wrestling league is inhumane and unethical. Imagine my delight when Kabuto Sumo popped up on Kickstarter- a game about wooden beetles shoving each other off a log. It’s as silly as it sounds, but the excellent art, cool components, and surprisingly strategic gameplay really elevate this one- let’s explore it in more depth!
2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Low Complexity, Medium Strategy, Ages 8+
Cosmic dust swirls through the ether; specks of light riding the wave of the universe’s expansion. With but a gesture, you swirl the dust around your finger, coalescing it into a shape- a sphere- a PLANET. Yours and yours alone to decorate- sweeping grasslands, frigid tundra, or endless oceans? Pick and choose, mix and match, but don’t forget- the landscapes you choose will reflect the life that grows on your little planet. And much like being alive on a planet, you’ll be arbitrarily judged and awarded points for your performance. Build a perfect world brimming with monkeys, dolphins, and penguins- where pests like mosquitos and people who talk during movies don’t exist. You can do these things (and some other thematically similar things) in the aptly named Planet by Blue Orange Games.
2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Low Complexity, Medium Strategy, Ages 5+
One of the best feelings in board games is looking down at the end of a board game and seeing the sum of your efforts. Your big pile of cash in Monopoly, your conquered nations in Risk- that completely arbitrary pile of bits and bobs that signifies your superiority over the other players. Some of my favourite games are emblematic of this principle- Patchwork, Tiny Towns, and Kingdomino, for example. These games are all about building and planning- fitting different pieces together in the most efficient way to maximize your points. Every decision impacts your long-term strategy, every mistake comes back to haunt you. Cloud City is very much typical of the genre in these ways. It’s not the most complicated or clever puzzle, but what really sets it apart from other tile-laying games is the pieces. You’re not placing cardboard tiles, you’re building a little 3D future city. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that’s the coolest thing you COULD build in a board game.