If you’re a fan of board games, then you’ve probably heard of Arkham Horror and Betrayal at House on the Hill. Arkham Horror and the Betrayal at House on the Hill board game are two of the most popular games with spooky themes. Both offer a great gaming experience and an intense level of suspense.
Betrayal at House on the Hill and Arkham Horror are horror board games. The main difference is that Betrayal at House on the Hill has multiple scenarios in one box. In comparison, Arkham horror has extended, variable outcomes with add-on expansion packs.
In this article, I’ll compare and contrast these two games to help you figure out which one you might like the best. I’ll start by discussing the premise of each game, then move on to comparing the gameplay mechanics.
Finally, we’ll give our verdict on which game is better overall.
What Is Arkham Horror?
Arkham Horror is a cooperative board game suitable for 1-8 players. The game’s objective is to close all the gates of Arkham and prevent the Ancient One from awakening. It takes place in the fictional, occult town of Arkham, Massachusetts.
In Arkham Horror, players take on the roles of investigators trying to solve mysteries and ultimately prevent an apocalyptic event.
Players must work together to investigate clues, battle monsters, and cast spells to win. So, if you’re all about teamwork, this is the game for you.
The game is based on the Cthulhu Mythos, a shared fictional universe created by renowned horror author H.P. Lovecraft. This game has tons of lore, making for an immersive experience with dynamics similar to a role-playing game.
Arkham Horror has gotten a lot of praise for its immersive gameplay and high replay value. It’s an excellent choice for fans of horror movies and Lovecraftian fiction. If you’re looking for a challenging, cooperative board game that will scare you witless, then Arkham Horror is worth checking out!
Arkham Horror is a timeless classic. It’s a unique experience, and it’s unlike any other game you’ve probably played.
Here are some of the Pros for choosing Arkham Horror as your next board game:
- It’s an excellent game for people who love horror movies and suspense-riddled stories.
- The gameplay is very strategic, and there’s a lot of suspense and excitement involved.
- A typical game can last for several hours, so it’s perfect for people who want a long, engaging gaming experience.
- There are many different expansions available for the game, so you can play it repeatedly with different results.
- It’s easy to learn how to play, making it perfect for new gamers.
- The components are high quality and will last for years.
The Arkham Horror board game is a great game that has some fascinating mechanics and features.
However, it also has its share of cons.
Here are some of the biggest cons of the Arkham Horror board game:
- The game is exceptionally time-consuming, and it can easily take up to 3 hours to play.
- It’s a complex game with many rules that can be difficult to remember.
- The rule book is over 100 pages long, and it can be hard to get into without reading it.
- There are many optional rules, and some people think that the rules are too complicated.
- There’s a lot of luck involved, which can be frustrating for some players.
- The game can be pretty expensive, especially if you want to buy all the expansions.
- The campaign system isn’t very balanced.
- The campaign system becomes repetitive and boring after a while.
Players assume the roles of investigators who must work together to stop an otherworldly evil force from conquering Arkham. The game is divided into the investigation phase, the encounter phase, and the battle phase.
In the investigation phase, players gather clues and solve mysteries to progress the story.
In the encounter phase, they face off against monsters and other creatures from beyond the world.
In the battle phase, they fight to survive and hopefully seal away whatever evil has been unleashed.
The game’s goal is to close portals opening up all over Arkham and prevent the Ancient One from awakening.
There are three ways to lose the game. Either all players die, too many gates have opened, or the Ancient One awakens. Players win by defeating the Ancient One or evacuating all players from Arkham. With so many potential ways to close the game, you won’t get bored with it for a long while!
How to Play Arkham Horror Video
What Is Betrayal at House on the Hill?
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a board game where players take turns exploring a haunted mansion of trap-filled rooms, dark corridors, and doors with unknown outcomes. In each play, you and your friends are characters who have come together to tell stories.
In this game, you explore the house, gather items, and use those items to further your own goals, kind of like in Clue, that board game we all know and love. However, this game spins the old mechanics of investigator-style games and turns it into a wild feud between game players.
At some point in the game, you might find yourself forced to betray one of your friends by becoming a traitor or helping another player become a traitor. With the ability to turn on other players, there are infinite possibilities for the game’s outcome.
The betrayer gets to play with some great tools, including items that can strengthen characters or help them escape the house.
Betrayers have limited time to scare out all of the other players before they win, so they need to make every turn count.
If you have ever played Betrayal at House on the Hill, you probably know how fun and exciting it is.
Here are some of the pros for picking up Betrayal at House on the Hill:
- Betrayal House Hill is an excellent game for people who want to feel like detectives.
- Betrayal House Hill is more streamlined—it’s easy to learn and play.
- The game is faster-paced, with less downtime between turns.
- There’s more player interaction and strategy involved.
- The artwork and components are of a higher quality.
- It’s cheaper than Arkham Horror, making it a more affordable option.
- You can play as several different characters, and each has unique abilities.
- The game can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the number of players and how long they take to explore the house.
Betrayal at House on the Hill board game is fun and exciting, but it has some significant problems.
Let’s take a look at these cons:
- The game accommodates 3-6 players, but the betrayal becomes more intense with more players.
- If you’re not familiar with the game, it can be challenging to understand what’s going on and make strategic decisions.
- There’s a lot of waiting around while other players explore the house.
- Some mechanics (such as moving up in rank) can feel unfair or arbitrary.
- The endgame can be frustrating if someone has been betrayed multiple times.
- There’s a lot of luck involved, which can be frustrating for some players.
- Some of the cards are pretty confusing and difficult to interpret.
- If someone gets too invested in the game, they can become quite angry and emotional.
This board game revolves around the haunted mansion.
As you take turns, each player rolls two dice and moves through a random set of rooms. Each room affects the game, whether it’s a positive or negative impact.
You can choose to move to another room or stop and explore the space you landed on. But in that case, you risk being attacked by spirits that haunt the house.
The game lasts for about an hour and ends when all players are killed or successfully escape the house.
Arkham Horror vs. Betrayal House Hill Comparison
These games both have great acclaim for their unique gameplay and horror genre. They are both excellent picks, but some features might make one more appealing to you and the people you want to play them with.
So, let’s look at the most important similarities and differences between these two games:
Interestingly, these two games are based on pulp horror fiction, giving them a unique game-play atmosphere. Both games are cooperative but can turn into competitive games very quickly.
The games have similar mechanics, including item cards, monster spawning, and exploration. Arkham Horror is perfect for hardcore gamers, while Betrayal House Hill is great for those who want a more casual gaming experience.
The amount of time it takes to play these games is one of the most noticeable differences. Arkham Horror is a classic board game for 1-8 players and takes about 3 hours to play. On the other hand, Betrayal House on the Hill is a card game for 2-6 players and takes about 25 minutes to play.
Arkham Horror is significantly more complex than Betrayal House Hill but provides a richer gaming experience. Betrayal House Hill is simpler than Arkham Horror, making it more accessible for new gamers and people who don’t want to invest an entire evening playing one game.
If you’re looking for a challenging game that’ll keep you entertained for hours on end, then Arkham Horror is a perfect choice. However, if you’re looking for something fast and easy to play with your friends, Betrayal House Hill is the better option.
What Arkham Horror Does Better Than Betrayal House Hill
- Arkham Horror is a more complex game that offers more strategic options.
- Arkham Horror has more cards and components, making the game more varied and unpredictable.
- The Lovecraftian theme of Arkham Horror is much more atmospheric and suspenseful than Betrayal House Hill.
- Arkham Horror is a longer game, providing a greater sense of satisfaction when you finally win.
- Betrayal House Hill can feel repetitive after a while, whereas Arkham Horror offers new challenges with every playthrough.
- There are more unique and interesting mechanics in Arkham Horror.
- The story and setting of Arkham Horror are much richer and more complex than those of Betrayal House Hill.
- The artwork in Arkham Horror is stunning and brings the world to life.
- Arkham Horror is significantly more complex than Betrayal House Hill, making it a more challenging experience.
What Betrayal House Hill Does Better Than Arkham Horror
- Betrayal House Hill is a faster game—it can be completed in under an hour, while Arkham Horror can take up to 3 hours.
- There’s more player interaction in Betrayal House Hill – players are constantly interacting with each other, while Arkham Horror has players primarily working on their own.
- The gameplay is more strategic in Betrayal House Hill, as players must carefully plan their moves to succeed.
- The artwork and components are of higher quality in Betrayal House Hill.
- The betrayal mechanic creates a sense of tension and suspense missing from Arkham Horror.
- The storyline is more linear and easier to follow in Betrayal House Hill—Arkham Horror can be confusing for new players.
- Betrayal House Hill is cheaper than Arkham Horror with additional expansion packs.
- There’s less setup required for Betrayal House Hill than for Arkham Horror.
Which Game Should You Play?
You should play Arkham Horror if you want teamwork, camaraderie, or a unique game with many technicalities and extended gameplay. If you want suspense and intrigue, and a game that can’t stretch on for hours, go with Betrayal House Hill.
If you’re looking for a horror-themed board game, both Arkham Horror and Betrayal House Hill are great options! They are both highly-rated, unique games that spice up game night.
Still, usually, the choice boils down to the amount of time you want to spend playing. Go with Betrayal House on the Hill for a short, more straightforward game. However, go with Arkham Horror to dive deep into lore and exciting mechanics.
In the end, it comes down to personal preference—so try out both games and see which one you like best!
In this article, we looked at what makes Arkham Horror and Betrayal at House on the Hill such great games. Though they may seem similar, there are many differences between them.
So, whether you want a long, complex game or a more straightforward, suspenseful game, these two have you covered.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.