The classic board game Betrayal at House on the Hill is set to receive a meaty expansion in the form of Widow’s Walk on October 14. We’re talking 50 new haunts, a new floor, and new everything else to boot. In advance of release, we’ve actually got a new room and item to reveal exclusively on Inverse!
For those not familiar, Betrayal at House on the Hill is a tabletop game that tasks three to six players with exploring a haunted mansion that they design through play. The idea is that, with multiple floors, rooms, items, and haunts, no two games will truly be alike. Think of the haunts like game scenarios — “winning” isn’t always going to mean the same thing in every one of them.
The best part? One of the players betrays the rest. (See also: the game’s name.) Depending on the scenario, that can happen in many ways, but the group generally “must defeat the traitor” afterwards in order to win.
Without further ado, here are the two exclusives we have to reveal — straight from Wizards of the Coast and Avalon Hill.
Panic Room: One might think every room in the House on the Hill is a panic room, but this one really is. If you can escape, you’ll be able to move to a room with a dumbwaiter — one of the new features in Widow’s Walk.
The Left Hand: Something wicked from Widow’s Walk this way comes and it’s your own hand! But don’t worry — you’ll probably be alright. Because you won’t have a left! Oh, sorry. Too soon?
Since all that might be a bit confusing without context, we asked Wizards of the Coast’s Shelly Mazzanoble and Widow’s Walk lead designer and Lone Shark Games president Mike Selinker a few questions.
Dumbwaiters are a new thing in Widow’s Walk, correct? Does that mean we can move from the Panic Room to any room with a dumbwaiter even if it’s not next to the Panic Room? Even if it’s on a different floor? What happens if there is no other room with a dumbwaiter yet?
Shelly Mazzanoble: You can move from a room with a dumbwaiter symbol to the landing either one floor up or one floor down, assuming such a floor exists, by spending 1 additional space of movement. This requirement is in addition to any other such requirements, such as being in a room with an opponent. So, if the Menagerie were on the basement, you could move from it to the Foyer by spending 2 spaces of movement; if it were on the ground floor, you could move from it to the Basement Landing or the Upper Landing by spending 2 spaces of movement. If you don’t have enough Speed to that far, you can’t use the dumbwaiter.
Was there a specific inspiration behind adding the Panic Room?
Mike Selinker: The movie Panic Room. (Ed. note: Welp. I asked for that.) Also, it got put to good use in a haunt by Magic: The Gathering developer Mons Johnson based on another recent horror movie series. We like panic.
With The Left Hand, it seems like the choices are all very situational by design. That said, drawing a new item seems like the only result that reveals more information. Is that the common pick for players when it crops up?
Mike Selinker: It’s highly situational. In some ways, none of those situations are ideal. Usually the thing you say “I can afford to lose a point in this!” is the thing you wish you had more of later on. But never underestimate the power of teleporting to an omen room of your choice. That is sometimes worth keeping the boring old hand you started with.
Alternatively, with The Left Hand, which choice do you find yourself drawn to most often as a player that also helped design the game?
Mike Selinker: It depends on whether I also have the Chainsaw. If I do, ain’t nothin’ stopping me from cutting off my hand. It’s groovy.
Widow’s Walk is available October 14 with an MSRP of $25. It’s just in time for a Halloween game night! The expansion requires the base Betrayal at House on the Hill game in order to play.
Photos via Wizards of the Coast