'Betrayal Legacy' Spoiler-Free Review: No Such Thing As Too Much Praise

Betrayal Legacy is a gaming experience I will never forget. Playing the same board game with the same group of players over a dozen times doesn't sound like the best way to spend multiple nights, but the way Betrayal Legacy shifts and changes after each playthrough made every game feel fresh and unique.

Betrayal Legacy is the best board gaming experience I've had Avalon Hill

Betrayal Legacy is a legacy game, based on Betrayal at House on the Hill. Legacy games are designed to be played multiple times as each game can alter the experience for the next one. While those familiar with Betrayal at House on the Hill can open the box and start playing right away, even the most seasoned Betrayal vets should have no idea what to expect. To preserve anyone's experience, this review will be spoiler-free.

Right away, Betrayal Legacy shows how it stands apart from the original Betrayal at House on the Hill. The first mission does a perfect job of setting the tone for the rest of Betrayal Legacy, and serves as a good reminder to keep yourselves guessing about what's to come. Betrayal Legacy is also smart for what it does and does not take from the original Betrayal.

In the original game, players always start out working together to explore a house up until the haunt is revealed. The more focused approach to haunts in Betrayal Legacy, as opposed to Betrayal at House on the Hill's randomized approach, allows for more creative storytelling and game manipulation. One mission immediately starts with a haunt, for example. Another starts with certain tiles of the board already discovered. This ensures players will have the tiles needed to finish each mission, and helps tell each mission's story and add to the worldbuilding.

A look inside the box of Betrayal Legacy Avalon Hill

What happens in between games is the most interesting part of Betrayal Legacy. Certain cards are destroyed or temporarily taken out of the game. Parts of the house are expanded and destroyed, or otherwise permanently altered based on the outcomes of certain missions. There's an overarching narrative throughout the entire campaign, and many of the pieces added to the story are discovered based on how games end.

Simultaneously, there's the second overarching story of the family legacy of the players, who alter the house and its contents along the way. Every time you sit down to play Betrayal Legacy, you must create a new person in your family tree. Each mission is set around 20 years after the previous one, meaning you could be playing the child, niece or cousin of your character from a previous game. It's even possible to keep your character from a previous game, assuming they made it out of the mission alive.

There are many new mechanics and twists I would love to talk about, but doing so would dampen the excitement for players who haven't discovered them yet. Just know there are so many smart ways Betrayal Legacy plays with expectations of those familiar with vanilla Betrayal. Be sure to record everything that happens, such as if you are that mission's traitor or if your character died and where they died. These seemingly minor details can have major implications by the end of the campaign.

While it's tough to talk about Betrayal Legacy without spoiling anything, I can say how my friends and I reacted while playing. We would quickly go from friends to enemies once a traitor was revealed. We gasped in disbelief when decisions had to be made or some new mechanic was revealed. The insanely climactic finale wouldn't be believable had it been scripted. After the final dice rolls we all stood and applauded, capable only of muttering "holy shit" to ourselves. It really was that much fun.

Of course, if you didn't find Betrayal at House on the Hill to be fun, you might not love Betrayal Legacy. The core gameplay features are all the same, and while some changes to rules do iron out issues found in Betrayal, each game is largely a similar experience. We did encounter a few rules snags while playing, but if you just go with the story and as a group decide on what sounds the most fun and fair way to figure out the problem, you'll be fine.

Many legacy games are designed for one playthrough of the campaign, and that holds true for Betrayal Legacy. If you want to play through the story again, you'll need to buy an entirely new copy. That said, once you complete the campaign, your copy of Betrayal Legacy can be played infinitely in "Free Play" mode. Essentially, a completed copy of Betrayal Legacy is a completely unique version of Betrayal at House on the Hill, shaped by the decisions you made during the campaign.

Betrayal Legacy is now available wherever board games are sold.

So what do you think? Are you interested in playing Betrayal Legacy with your group? Have you already started your journey through the campaign? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, but please keep them spoiler-free for everyone else.