Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Halloween Board Games

It's time for a second post in anticipation of Halloween! Normally next week will be the last article on this theme so if there is anything you absolutely want to read, be sure to drop me a line.

If you're still panicking about what in the name of all that is evil you might possibly do at your Halloween party, look no further; you have stumbled upon the perfect solution. Board games are great at parties and provide for much more interaction than watching films (my second go-to Halloween activity). Since plenty of games have sufficiently creepy themes, I'm here to propose a couple of appropriate Halloween games. As always when I recommend something, I have test-drivenplayed all of these (not counting the variants!) and I love every single one of the games on this list. 

Arkham Horror
Board game - 1 to 8 players
The town of Arkham has never been the quietest place around, but now things are really turning around for the worst. You and a couple of aquaintances have the feeling that something bad is about to happen, so it is up to you to investigate every part of Arkham in the hopes of solving the mystery, or at least stop those strange gates from opening. If you're lucky, no ancient deities will devour you; if you're very lucky, that is.
Tip: rulebook-wise, this is a challenging game so it helps having someone around who already knows Arkham Horror. Otherwise, having the BoardGameGeek forums nearby will also help.

Blood Bound
Card game, party game - 6 to 12 players
The clan of the Beast and the clan of the Rose have been at war for ages and are now looking to finish their feud in the bloodiest way possible. To win Blood Bound, you will need a couple of helpful clan members, good deduction skills and a talent for bluffing. The goal of the game is to kill the elder of the opposite team but that is easier said than done; one small problem: the only thing you know is whose team you're on and whose team your neighbours claims to be on, so you'll have to be careful when you get stabbing...

Card Game - 2 to 6 players
I always like describing Ghooost! as 'UNO for goths' but that does not do it justice by far. The rules are slightly more complex, there's actual artwork, the theme is spooky and the characters on the cards are references to existing horror stories. The goal of the game is for every player to get rid of the cards in their haunted mansion as quick as possible. The best part of the game: the loser has to make a ghastly sound.

Card game - 2 to 4 players
The goal of Gloom literally is to have your given family die as miserable as possible. To make that happen, a series of utterly terrible events has to occur. Or, if you're feeling like annoying someone, you can thwart your opponents by making their families live happily ever after. 
Tip: the game is even more fun if you narrate your family members' shenanigans instead of just playing the cards.

Mansions of Madness
Board game - 2 to 5 players
Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's stories, Mansions of Madness is one of the most intense, atmospherical horror games I have ever played. There are several scenarios in which you and your friends play investigators that have to unravel the mysteries of a certain location. Working together is vital if you want to find the clues and expose the secrets of the game.

Card game - 3 to 6 players
The Munchkin card game series has so many expansions and editions that there are plenty of options, even for a Halloween party: Munchkin Bites!, Munchkin Zombies and Munchkin Cthulhu can all be played as stand-alone games or can be mixed up if you would like to be, say, a slow voodoo cultist with black lipstick and goth boots of the elder gods. Hilarity is unavoidable.
The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow
Card game, party game - 8 to 18 players
A small village is tormented by werewolves. It is time for the villagers to take a stand and find out who the real werewolves are - and get rid of them. However, no one knows for sure who they are because during daytime, they look just like everyone else. Every player, villager or werewolf, has to use their best convincing and bluffing skills to make sure the village is safe... one way or another.  
Tip: you can also play The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow without the cards: here's a simple guide.

Zombie Dice
Dice game, party game - 2 to 99 players
Zombie Dice is one of the silliest, fastest and funnest horror games ever. You're a zombie and obviously, you're hungry. The goal is to be the first to eat thirteen or more brains. Sounds easy enough for any decent zombie, but sadly, 

Board game - 2 to 6 players
The zombie apocalypse is upon us and you and your friends are looking to escape from the dreadful town you're stuck in. However, you really only care about your own safety - the other can gets their brains eaten, for all you care. Basically, the goal of the game is to survive and be the first to get to the helicopter that will fly to safety. 

I have attempted to keep my Lovecraft obsession within bounds for this one, so maybe one of these days a 'Lovecraft Board Games' post will pop up, you never know. Be sure to leave a comment if I've forgotten your favourite creepy board or card game.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Eight Halloween Recipes

At last, 'tis the season for baking! It might just be all of the Tumblr and Pinterest recipes popping up, but it's almost Halloween and I just can't help but want to bake ALL the things. Since it would have been selfish to keep these amazing finds to myself, I decided to share them with you. This is just a small selection of recipes for creepy and cute food that might be great to serve at a Halloween party (or every other day of the year, because you know, goths). 

Spiderweb cheesecake - vampire cookies - ghost meringues - dirt pudding - graveyard cake - witches' fingers - jello worms - mummy hot dogs
Spiderweb Cheesecake: The recipe sounds slightly challenging so I'm guessing it's not for beginners but the result is beautiful and, without a doubt, delicious.
Vampire Cookies: For lovers of the undead: these cookies seem quite easy to make and look amazing in their simplicity. What more can you ask for?
Ghost Meringues: These meringues look ridiculously adorable. They also remind me of these similar ghost cupcakes.
Dirt Pudding: Although it might be more of a children's treat, this pudding looks easy to make. Unfortunately ir also sounds unhealthy enough to give anyone a liver crisis. Then again, omnomnom.
Graveyard Cake: This is one of my favourite things to make, ever. Personally I prefer Voltaire's recipe (from his book Paint it Black, I make it almost every year) but there's plenty of other good recipes.
Witches' Fingers: Both the witches' fingers and the mummies look amazing - I'd personally not use pretzels (too salty) but rather some kind of long cookie.
Jello Worms: Not for the faint of heart (or stomach); these jello worms look almost too real. Display on a plate of dirt (crumbled Oreos) for maximum effect.
Mummy Hot Dogs: I made these last year (using vegetarian sausages) and they were a great success. If you're feeling creative, you could even cut the sausages so the mummies have tiny limbs.

Enjoy browsing and baking and be sure to let me know your favourite spooky recipes - I'm always on the lookout.