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Betrayal Legacy

17 years after he first set foot in the haunted House on the Hill, Rob Daviau returns to tell a story of Betrayal with a personal touch

HOMECOMING SCREAM

Betrayal Legacy is a homecoming of sorts for Rob Daviau, the Pandemic Legacy and SeaFall designer who spent 18 months working on the original Betrayal at House on the Hill in the early noughties during his time at Hasbro, taking over control of the project from creator Bruce Glassco as a result of the publisher’s hands-off inventor contract. (“With retrospect, I should’ve involved him more. I was just a young, brash designer going ‘Ah, I got this!’” Daviau confesses today.)

Not unlike a sequel to the classic horror novels and films that Betrayal took inspiration from, Legacy sees Daviau venturing back into the haunted house he helped build 17 years on, older and wiser – and, he admits, a little nervous, before quickly adding he’s “more excited” than anything else.

“I did spend a lot of time on it and it always had a fondness for me,” Daviau says. “In fact, it’s the only game that I’ve worked on that I not only am going to play later but will actively bring out, like ‘Hey, we should play Betrayal!’ There are some haunts that I’ve never played.”

Betrayal at House on the Hill was a horror anthology in a box, a gleeful mishmash of knowing cliché and tongue-incheek reverence spread across 50 wildly different scenarios that offered up constantly different scary stories and gameplay variants. Players might suddenly find themselves miniaturised and trying to escape a deadly feline in a toy aeroplane one day, or avoiding flesh-eating plants the next – all while dealing with a hidden traitor among the group, who wouldn’t be aware of their own shocking treachery until the haunt was revealed. The game’s lax exploration and combat, combined with its wild variation (something multiplied by its Widow’s Walk expansion, to which Daviau also contributed), won it as many fans as detractors.

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About Tabletop Gaming

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