The board game market is filled with a diverse range of offerings, with games made to cater to every crowd. Casual players can enjoy 70s board games like Boom Again, which revolves around trivia questions related to boomer culture in general. It’s a simple yet elegant game that works great for old friends catching up, or for helping new friends bond.
Horror fans, on the other hand, can get plenty of thrills and chills from games inspired by Lovecraftian horror, Stephen King stories, and even games based on cheesy slasher movies. That said, while a good horror game will build a nice atmosphere on its own, there is a lot you can do to add to the horror atmosphere of the play session. Here’s how you can go about setting the mood for a horror board game night.
1 – Creative lighting
LED light strips that change color on command are becoming more affordable every year, and they can do a lot to change the mood of a room. Dim red or deep purple lights spread around the room can add to the horror atmosphere, especially when combined with blackout curtains to keep light from the outside out of the room.
The trick here is to get the lighting to look cool without impacting the player’s ability to see the board or read text throughout the play session. Make sure to test the lighting setup ahead of time to make sure it works in this regard.
2 – Music
Background music can also add to the creepy factor of a horror game. You can get great results with a single Bluetooth soundbox placed underneath the table. Or if you can invest a little more, set up a sound system around the corners of the room so the music will surround the players.
It’s important to make sure the music sets the mood for the scene without being too distracting. Look for playlists of horror background music, and be ready to tweak the volume of the music during the play session to make sure it’s not making it hard for players to communicate.
3 – Decoration
Props can add a lot to the atmosphere of a room — look for fake spiders, fake cobwebs, and fake bones you can set around the room or dangle from the ceiling. You can get great deals on Halloween decorations for your game room if you are shopping out of season.
Creepy paintings and posters can also do a lot to add to the atmosphere of the room. And they have the advantage of being easy to remove, so you can lighten up the room when it’s time to play a more family-friendly game.
4 – Costumes
Asking players to come dressed up in customers from home can be an inconvenience. But you can get around that issue by buying lots of one-size-fits-all accessories and costumes so players can dress up at your place before the game starts. Robes are great for this, as are creepy masks and other simple accessories. It can do wonders to set the mood and help people get into the mood. Or get them into character, if it’s a roleplaying game.