Blog: Tabletop Spoops

Halloween has come and gone for me the past few years, and I got tired of not celebrating one of my favorite holidays. This called for impromptu plans! A few invites and a few days of cleaning later, we had two amazing friends over for a double date of scary tabletop games. Well, at least one was scary.

I worked a shortened day at the shop marathoning classic horror movies (the only potentially all-ages-appropriate ones anyway), and then ran home to get ready! We all picked out some quick costumes (Captain America, Witch, Carebear and Playstation Controller) and decided on a game of ‘Letters from Whitechapel’, a murder mystery game based on the notorious Jack the Ripper and his late 1800’s killing spree. The objective of the game is split between one person and the remaining party; someone plays Jack himself, attempting to commit his crimes and make an escape to his hideout while the rest of the players gang up as detectives, seeking clues and attempting arrests to catch him.

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This is a big game, and I mean that mostly in scope; the image above is the playing board, where every white circled space is a possible location for our killer, while every tiny black dot is a location that detectives can be to move around and try to find him. There’s a little complexity to turn-taking, as each round can change the direction of your fellow detectives, all while Jack, the player hidden behind a screen, is mapping out there path of least resistance and chance of getting caught. We detectives were incredibly lucky to have caught our Jack, as it was literally the last possible round of play, and we only randomly began making arrests at our best guess of location. His hideout was mere spaces away from where he was apprehended.

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We also played ‘Concept’, a decidedly less frightening game, though no less tricky! It’s very much like ‘Pictionary’ but without the ability to speak out clues, draw your prompt, and so on. You have to use markers and smaller tokens to emphasize important ideas of what your prompt has to do with and let the players roll through their thoughts until you’re on the same page. It’s a simple game in concept (I’m hilarious), but with some hilarious possible spins on what you’re trying to convey to other players. There’s also tiered difficulty on each card, so if you choose to attempt a more challenging prompt, the team does earn more points, but let me tell you, even some of the easiest prompts were giving us trouble.

We had some pizza, way too many snacks and candy, and honestly, a really, really great night. It felt good to get together with close friends and enjoy a holiday together, something I’ve not done for a few years, whether because of work, lack of motivation to plan something, or whatever other excuse I can think up. I’m going to hope that posting on here will hold me accountable to continue planning these things!

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