Jinkies! Scooby Doo and the Gang Go CardboardJuly 24, 2020
Zoinks! Scooby, Shaggy, and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang have a mystery to solve, and they need your help!
Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a rethemed version of Avalon Hill’s award-winning Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill.
If you’re familiar with Betrayal, this game plays more or less the same way, but with one major difference: the rules are considerably streamlined because, unlike previous versions of the game, Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is aimed at younger players, supporting gamers 8 and up (previous editions of the game were 12+.)
It results in a different experience, but no less fun.
If you aren’t familiar with the game, Betrayal at Mystery Mansion, is a relatively simple game you can play with your family, and laugh about the hijinks the gang gets into (Scooby was so scared he hid in the closet in one game.)
The game isn’t difficult to pick up and learn, even for newer or moderately experienced gamers. Picking it up, and learning it from the rules, with a group who’d never played previous games wasn’t difficult.
The rule book well-laid out and clear, and provides a really good understanding of the game’s progression.
A session took about 45 minutes, including learning, but the expected play duration is 25-50 minutes; our session felt long enough to enjoy, but not so long that play dragged, as turns were relatively quick, even playing with four players.
It was thematic! The nostalgia was real. If you love Scooby-Doo, and you have kids, Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a great way to spend an evening.
Key differences between this and other Betrayal games
If you haven’t played previous betrayal games, you can skip this section of the article.
If you’ve played previous Betrayal games, you’ll notice some major differences (which are helpfully spelled out in a sidebar at the beginning of the rulebook.)
Here are a few of the major differences: there is no haunt matrix. Haunts are partially determined by a Mystery Card chosen at the beginning of the game.
A player may volunteer to be the Monster, meaning that younger players don’t need to be put on the spot.
Damage is general, you can choose the stat that takes damage, instead of a stat being specifically targeted.
There is no player elimination: after all, the gang always makes it back after a case, so why should Betrayal at Mystery Mansion be any different?
There are other differences but these are some of the main ones
Great for families
Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a great choice for a family game night, especially for fans of Scooby-Doo!
It’s simple to learn, but there are just enough elements of depth and strategy to engage and not overwhelm.
There’s enough to keep veteran players entertained too, as they pore over the inside jokes of Scoob and the gang.
All-in-all, Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a fun entry into the betrayal family.
A copy of Betrayal at Mystery Mansion was provided for review.
All images copyright Wizards of the Coast unless otherwise indicated.
If you have any questions about gameplay, hit me up in the comments, or on Twitter!