HAUNTED HOUSE REVIEW
I have been looking at some old games I used to love playing as a kid, and this one, Haunted House, is one that really sticks out in my mind. I really do not know how we acquired it, maybe a car boot or jumble sale? but me and my brother would spend hours playing this at our Grans house, usually at night to make the experience more 'spooky'.
Haunted House, the game I remember so well from my childhood, this was the second generation of the game that was released by Denys Fisher, after Which Witch?
Again, this game had a predecessor name called Which Witch? which was published in 1970 by the Milton Bradley Company (MB Games) and designed by Marvin Glass and Associates. The board is shaped like a haunted house with four large rooms: the Broom Room, the Witchin' Kitchen, the Spell Cell and the Bat's Ballroom, respectively, assembled before play into a three-dimensional model house with vertical walls, and a large plastic chimney in the very center. There are four tokens, colored red, yellow, blue and green. Each token is shaped like a child, either a boy or a girl, with four corresponding "mice" tokens of identical color. Which colors were boys or girls would vary with each game.
Milton Bradley's (MB Games) Which Witch? Where it all started.
Gameplay involves the players to roll a single die, leading them through the various squares in each room into the next, with several "danger" squares, so-named due to the fact that they are in the path of the game's "whammy ball" (explained below). In the fourth room, the Bat's Ballroom, was the end of the track, with the "Charmed Circle" on the final square. The player to reach the Charmed Circle first wins the game.
The haunted house is occupied by three witches: Ghoulish Gertie, Wanda The Wicked and Glenda The Good. The witches would appear upon drawing a card, drawn after each roll of the die, which then instructs the player what to do.
Drawing cards instructs players to drop a metal "whammy ball" into the chimney (upon drawing the Ghoulish Gertie card), whence it falls randomly into one of the four rooms and may knock players' pawns off the track, at which point the player(s) with the upset token(s) would have to start at the beginning of the room that he or she was in. This part of the game was always the tense bit, especially if you had a pawn on one of the danger areas where they could get knocked over. Drawing the Wanda the Wicked card results in the player being turned into a mouse, at which point the player removes his or her token from the board and replaces it with the corresponding mouse token. As a mouse, the player is frozen on the spot and cannot roll the die until he or she draws the Glenda The Good card, which breaks the spell, at which point the player replaces the mouse token with the child token, and game play then continues as normal.
Ghost Castle was released in the UK by MB Games, changing the setting from a Haunted House.
The artwork on the box and game board was always very striking and memorable, and you had to be careful putting the board together as not to try and damage it too much as the card could start to crease or bend.
A version of this board game was released for The Real Ghostbusters, with identical play mechanics but Ghostbusters characters and cards. Which Witch? was sold as Haunted House by Denys Fisher and later as Ghost Castle in the UK.
The Ghostbusters franchise took the idea and released a game on the same principle.
I have been watching some of the Haunted House box sets on eBay and they are fetching at least £30 or more, one day I think I need to purchase it for nostalgias sake.
Review by Matt @ Bored? Game!