Mummies! Werewolves! Mad scientists! None of these are featured in the games below! For Halloween this year, we have made a special selection of possibly upcoming games with a typically autumnal horror theme, in order to celebrate the season and sustain the dark long nights with dice chunking and card comboing.
It seemed fitting to start with Grimm World to set the stage and put you in the right mood. Grimm World is described as an open-world RPG adventure game, which sounds very promising on paper, albeit this is pretty much what the game is now – a mere promise of a future game. If you want something a bit more concrete, the first iteration of the system (appropriately named 'Grimm World: First Step') is available as a PnP on BGG already. As for the full game, although an English version has been promised, the Work In Progress PnP is only available in German so far, but a few gameplay videos are available here, so you can see things are moving on.
Another game that comes with an exotic language and whose availability is still an open question: Because the Lonely Novice Hope to Enter the Dungeon..., which I have mostly featured for its appropriate choice of Gustave Doré engraving, a perfect fit for a Halloween Special post. The game seems to be available from a Korean website, if you feel adventurous enough. BGG lists an English version, at the very least.
And since we are apparently on a Fantasy streak, let me complete the trilogy with The Forest of Fyri: Perilous Pursuit, a bounty-hunting game where you play under the constant threat of being mercilessly devoured by ravenous creatures from the darkest depths of the wood. You need to explore tiles, roll dice, hunt down your prey and collect the bounties into town.
As a transition to more traditional Halloween themes, Witchbound sends us on a quest to become the witch of a magical island. Both the gameplay and the artwork look much reminiscent of RoboMon to me, as you go through a book of locations in which you can explore many details and interact with the people populating the island.
The trouble with witches are the pesky pets. In Hissy Fit, you face true kitten horror as you struggle to get your cat in a basket to take it to the vet. You will face a screeching and flesh-tearing madness, intent to make you pay the price of your intolerable arrogance. Some days it’s hard to be a witch.
After this flurry of furious skin-shedding feline lacerations, a haunted house full of ghosts looks just like vacation, especially if there is money to be found. That’s just the pitch of Haunted Inheritance, a game of mansion exploration where you eagerly search the room wherein lies your due loot as the clock is ticking and the monsters roaming.
And if you are thirsty for even more mansion exploration, you can download the PnP game The Castle of Sanguine Blight. This seems to be a pretty simple game, since you only flip cards, follow the encounter guidelines, and roll two d6 to overcome challenges, but at least, it features flying skeletons and undead pixies. To get it, you must pay a small fee on DriveThruRPG .
A complete and sudden change of theme and tone might be the most anguish-inducing move of this post, so I hope to shatter your resolve a bit with Forage, the third game of Mark Tuck’s Orchard trilogy. Dressed in fall colors and featuring chestnut soups and mushroom toasts, this will offer a new opportunity to lay cards and put colorful dice on them.
And with the last two games, we move onto true horror of cosmic proportions: facing the alien among us, the extraterrestrial beings that watch over us every day with inscrutable intentions. It starts with the discovery of a weird stone-like Monolyth that defies all archeological knowledge and reveals that they have been visiting our Earth for longer than humankind itself. This Phil Walker-Harding game tentatively retraces the eerie, seemingly mystical edification of these long-forgotten beacons, and offers you to move 3D polyominoes to erect a 4x4x4 block of colored stones. Published by CMON.
Since it’s so nice to pretend for a while that you are one of our true-yet-hidden overlords, other board games exploit this vein, which is the case for Crop Circle Champions a tile-laying game where you exploit core fields as a playing ground for the Inter-Galactic Championship of crop circling. Since I’m too lazy to read anything more about the game, there is only one thing left for me to say: Go, go, Milky Way!
And happy spooky Halloween, obviously.
All images are from BGG.