Designed by Andrew Jones, with artwork by Andrew Jones and Javier Barjollo, Hell on Halloween is a horror-movie themed board game where one player controls the psychopathic killer who is stalking the other 1-3 players and trying to kill them all before the end of the game's six rounds, each representing harrowing hours of the night.
As you might expect, the players trying to survive the night all represent archetypes from slasher movies and each has their own single-use special ability. Hell on Halloween is a hidden movement game but unlike other similarly themed games like Last Friday (Ares Games/Pendragon Game Studio), the movement is abstracted rather than subject to deduction: the killer selects a location from the three cards they've drawn and players will face an encounter with the killer if they happen to move to the stalked location. This makes for a relatively quick, light easy-to-play game. Don't be lulled tho' into a false sense of security: survival is tough!
Players (both the killer and the victims) all have an active Trait that gives them a bonus or special ability, and tho' you can only have one Trait at any one time, you can expect the Traits to change over the course of the game. You'll have access to a range of weapons, tho' those you start with are relatively weak. Some weapons require fuel, which you can roll for (50% chance of success with a six-sided die), but the supply of fuel in the game is very finite, as are the medical kits for healing injuries. Players start each round by going Trick-or-Treating for candy (rolling their candy dice, which are standard six-sided dice). The candy is used for movement to locations. The killer also rolls a d6 for each Trick-or-Treater and a roll of 1 represents tampered-with candy that causes the player to suffer a wound; they drop their candy and move to the hospital. Players can also suffer injury if they happen to choose a location that coincides with one of the trap cards drawn by the killer. Players start with just three health points, so every injury is potentially life threatening!
There's combat when the killer and a victim are at the same location, resolved by drawing cards corresponding to the weapons used. When a character is alone with the killer, other players can potentially come to their aid by joining the fight but they have to have sufficient candy to move. In our various plays at Board's Eye View, we found that it was relatively rare for players to be able to move to help each other in combat.
Hell on Halloween plays quickly (our games have mostly taken no more than 30 minutes) and more often than not, the killer has succeeded in eliminating all their victims within the six rounds of the game. However, each game will play out differently and there is a chance that victims will survive until 'midnight'. Hell on Halloween is a game with a high luck factor - good guesswork helps but there's not a lot of scope for strategy and the decision space is narrow - but the strong theme keeps the game engaging and exciting, right up to the bloody end!
Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype of Hell on Halloween so there could well be changes and improvements before the game is launched: Inferno Board Games have already added a 'Lone Wolf' solo version to the rules. They are bringing the game to Kickstarter - in October of course. We'll add a link when the campaign goes live, but in the meantime you can find out more on the publisher's Instagram page (infernoboardgames) and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/infernoboardgamesltd.