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Updated October 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for best Halloween games

Costumes, candy, and decorations go a long way, but Halloween games can add laughter and conversation to your petrifying party.

Just as this fun-filled holiday is celebrated by people of all ages, Halloween games can be enjoyed by kids and adults as well. Dexterity games that challenge people to hit targets or balance objects are silly and don’t take too much thinking. Thematic activities like balancing an eyeball on a spoon can get everyone involved, while board games and card games offer a mellower way to be festive. Some games are played in teams, while others have a single winner. There are also some games that don’t have a winner and are simply fun activities that get everyone involved. If your gathering has a specific theme or age group, you should choose a game with a theme that fits well and will be enjoyed by most players.

When choosing your Halloween game, consider the age range and number of people in your group, as well as where your game will be set up.

kids in costume playing games
If anyone in your group has accessibility concerns that may prevent them from playing a game, you should include other activities they can participate in.

How to buy the best Halloween game

Board game vs. party game

The simplest way to look at Halloween games is to divide them into traditional board games and party games.

Board games are generally the more laid-back choice, though they require everyone to learn the rules to play. They can be played by kids or adults, sometimes together. In addition, they can offer an activity with few social pressures where people who aren’t well-acquainted can play together and have fun. However, if it’s late at night or people are tired from too many sweets, a board game may be difficult to focus on.

Party games range from dexterity activities like ring toss games to classics like burlap sack races, usually with a thematic twist. They can be on the loud side, and they work well as icebreakers to help everyone relax and enjoy the atmosphere and company. Take note of how much space a game requires, as it can be harder to accommodate a bean bag toss than “pin the eye on the zombie.”

Choosing a Halloween game for your group

Know your audience before you buy — not all Halloween games are suitable for children, nor are they all engaging for adults. In addition, the number of players a game can support is an important factor.

  • Age: Will your gathering include several children, a group of teens, adults, or a mix of ages? Knowing this can help you find a game that’s both safe and enjoyable for your crowd. You should also consider how physically demanding a game is and whether any players will find it too challenging. The same goes for games with small text that may be difficult for some to read.
  • Number of players: Take note of how many players a game can support. Oftentimes, dexterity games like bean bag toss can easily be played in teams, or people may enjoy just watching. Board games only have enough components for a certain number of players and aren’t usually as entertaining to watch for those who aren’t included. If you’re just getting a game for your family to play during spooky season, find one that will accommodate everyone (or everyone who wants to play).

Costumes with masks and gloves can make playing dexterity games challenging. While this can make some games difficult, it can also serve as a handicap when adults are playing with young children.

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Halloween game features

Halloween themes

While there are some classic themes that many people enjoy, there are as many options as there are costumes.

  • Classic themes: Ghosts, zombies, witches, and vampires will never go out of style — at least not in October. These themes are crowd-pleasers for all ages.
  • Untraditional themes: These are things that aren’t strictly associated with Halloween but still work well, such as pirates, cowboys, or mad scientists.
  • Neon and glow sticks: While not exactly a “theme,” games involving glow sticks are fun and can sometimes be played in complete darkness.
  • Movies and TV shows: If your party is based on a specific franchise, like Twilight or The Munsters, look for officially licensed games to fit your evening perfectly.

Indoor vs. outdoor

Choosing the setting of a Halloween game can set its tone as a central activity everyone participates in or a more secluded activity for a small group.

Indoor games, which may be board games or simple dexterity games, can be set up where everyone can see them or a bit farther from the action. Putting games in a room away from the food and music can offer a breather for those who need it.

Outdoor games can also be set up to the side, but because they may support a large number of players, they can serve as the main event as well.

Halloween team games, individual games, and activities

Some games are everyone-for-themselves, while others put players in teams to face off. Still more may be more “activity” than a game, with no winners or losers.

  • Team games: Many dexterity games that involve throwing darts or guiding blindfolded players put people in teams. This is a good way to level the playing field since you can pair up older and younger players. In addition, players lose or win together, so defeats are shared just as victories are.
  • Individual games: For those with a competitive side, these games let everyone jostle for victory. These may be party games or board games.
  • Activities: The line between “game” and “activity” is blurry, but some Halloween games simply offer a fun experience that doesn’t involve success or failure — just having a good time. Halloween activities work particularly well with young kids who may have trouble following the rules of head-to-head games.
kids in costume playing a game with their teacher
DID YOU KNOW?
Think carefully about the placement of games in which objects are thrown to make sure no bystanders or fragile objects are disrupted.
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How much do Halloween games cost?

Inexpensive

Simple games like guessing how much candy is in a jar or pin the bone on the skeleton cost from $5 to $10. Because these are likely made of paper or thin plastic, they may not survive beyond the night, but they work well for one spooky evening.

Mid-range

For $10 to $20 are larger dexterity games like bean bag toss, as well as some card games and board games. These are usually made of more durable components and can be brought out every Halloween.

Expensive

Games with inflatable or mechanical components as well as larger board games cost from $20 to $40. These tend to be elaborate and eye-catching, and they can often accommodate larger groups.

A good ongoing game for a Halloween party is a “guess how many” jar. Fill a jar with Halloween candy and have partygoers write their guesses on slips of paper, awarding the jar to the closest answer.

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Tips

  • Learn to play before Halloween. Even when a game appears simple, you should read the rules so you can get people playing as quickly as possible.
  • Set the game up before guests arrive. This way, they may see the game and want to start playing.
  • Consider non-sticky snack choices. Games and greasy or dusty food don’t mix well. Opt for snacks like pretzels and hard candy to keep your game clean.
friends in costumes playing games at a Halloween party
Halloween games can be a great prize to give away. Just be sure to give it to someone toward the end of the night so people have a chance to play.

FAQ

Q. Are inflatable games susceptible to popping?

A. They are, but they may include a patch kit to fix leaks. In a pinch, you can also cover the hole with duct tape, though this fix may not last. If you have trouble finding the leak, try making a mixture of dish soap and water and rubbing it on the inflated toy to locate the leak.

Q. Should I worry about the age range of a game if young children will be playing?

A. Yes. Most of the time, this rating is because a game either has small pieces that could present a choking hazard or because it didn’t go through sufficient safety testing for a lower age rating.

Q. What do I do if players cheat or want to change the rules?

A. Fun is the number one priority with Halloween games. If young players are cheating, you may need to supervise the game. If people are simply changing the rules, as long as all players are okay with the change, it’s best to go along with it. Otherwise, you should stick to the rules included with the game.

 

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