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Haunting House Game Review
Posted By Flames On November 29, 2004 @ 8:09 pm In Other Games | No Comments
Available at Amazon.com 
The Haunting House: a Twisted Strategy Board Game for 2 to 6 players is just one of several products offered from Twilight Creations, Inc. The object of this game, to get to the exit, sounds easy enough. Trap doors and sneaky opponents stand in your way from winning the game.
The board for the game is actually a series of tiles. This causes it to be easy to store and transport to wherever you’re going. A flat surface is required, the full layout will fit on just about any table. Also included are markers for play as well as cards to designate action. The art for the game, by Dave Aikins, is professional and beautiful in its simplicity. Aikins has created a nice blend of functionality and illustration, at no point does the art distract you from playing.
Sitting down to play requires an extensive review of the instructions. Pictures assist setup of the game, this was by far the easiest part of learning how to play. It took us a while to figure out how the flow of the game was supposed to work. To keep track of whose turn it is, a starting player marker is used. While useful in the beginning, as the game progresses it can go quite fast and as a result using the marker became optional as long as we kept track of whose turn it was.
There are two rounds of play for each player’s turn. Here’s where we had challenges figuring out how the rounds worked. It wasn’t clear when we were supposed to pick up our cards. The cards are color-coded to correspond with the pieces. At the beginning of the game cards should be distributed to each player. We interpreted a “hand” to be the player’s lot of 10 cards. For the random card round, the player to the right chooses four cards from each player’s hand. Order of play is essential in this game, so you need to pay close attention to what’s going on. The chosen card round are cards you as a player choose. There are some cards excluded from this round, however, they are bordered differently and easy to spot.
The flow of the cards determines the movement of the board’s pieces. Players can only move to open pathways, and can only move one space. Movement is easy enough, and once you figure out how the rounds work the game flows fairly smoothly. As with the board, pictures represent how the cards work. These instructions are extremely clear and took no time at all to learn. The cards also indicate the layout of the board. Some cards, like “Hall of Mirrors”, tell you that you can do nothing. Others like “Trap Door” allow you to move through a trap door on the closest board’s piece to move additional places. Here’s where the strategy comes into play. Not only do you have to watch closely where your piece is on the board, but you have to watch everyone else’s as well. With cards like “Move Exit” and “Switch Places” game play can be both fun and frustrating.
Game play is extremely focused and players need to think a few moves ahead in order to stay on top of their game and their opponents’. Highly strategic, this would be a great game for people interested in having a competitive experience. The game suggested retail price is $22.99. While the price appears higher than other similar games, the print and materials quality of the game is competitive with larger retail board game manufacturers.
Reviewer: Monica Valentinelli
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