As much fun as it may be to exclusively play Complicated Board Game the Card Game for months on end we sometimes like to try something new. To that purpose we set our minds and table space this past weekend toward a haunting game of Betrayal at House on the Hill. If, like me, you've somehow managed to avoid playing Betrayal for this long cease all action you are currently taking, go directly to your local game store, and buy a copy. Then force the next person who wanders into your line of sight to play it with you. The games great. It drips with theme and the sheer number of endings during the haunt phase of the game is just sweet.
But the first half of the game is a bit odd. You see, once you and your companions/future betrayers arrive in this House upon said Hill theres very little reason to progress. The game depends on the fact that you will be willing to have your character work against the forces of self preservation by wandering off into this horrifying abode simply for the sake of exploring. In making our game we've been told again and again to really examine the players motivations in playing. The general consensus seems to be that, sure, winnings nice but there needs to be a good reason why a player feels compelled to do things.
Evidently not. I could explore that house all day with no end game or apparent benefit in mind. Perhaps Betrayal is the exception to the rule. Maybe a fun mechanic can be strong enough to stand on its own and keep players invested in the game. Even if its only just long enough for your former ally to open a gate to hell and feed you to the Lord of Demons.