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Top 5 Chiller Games To Chill With This Halloween

Cartographers Thunderwork

Halloween is a time filled with adrenaline highs and sugar rushes! But what goes up must come down! And when your trick or treating energy is flagging, it’s lovely to be able to rest your bones, retire your broomstick for the evening, and settle down with a relaxing game. So here are 5 options we think are perfect to chill out with!


Now, there couldn’t be a Halloween themed blog without a monster or two so we are starting with a brilliant flip and write game that you can play solo or with others. In Cartographers you are mapping Northern Lands in order to please Queen Gimnax. Played over 4 seasons, you will be flipping over shape cards and drawing polyominos of different territory types on your map sheet. But you can only achieve points for two territory based scoring objectives (“Edicts”) each season. And the number of shapes you get to draw each season also differs.

What sets Cartographers apart from most games in the genre, however, are the Goblins. If a Goblin card is flipped over in the shape deck, you must swap boards with another player so that they can draw a shape on your board! And for every edge that remains open at the end of a season, you’ll incur a -1 point penalty! A flip and write with direct player interaction is a rare beast indeed and this one is brilliant!


Halloween is a huge deal out the US. And whilst there are no spooks or spectres in Cascadia, this game is set in one of the most beautiful regions in America. And every time I play, I come away feeling super relaxed and satisfied. The Pacific Northwest is a cornucopia of wonderful wildlife, and Cascadia is a gorgeous tile laying game about matching indigenous species to their favourite habitats. A spatial, placement optimisation game, you are puzzling out how to create territory majorities (“corridors”), as well as achieving the wildlife goals in play. With an open drafting mechanic, whether playing solo or in multiplayer mode, this is a "you vs your own brain" type game. And it is one of my all-time favourites.

Sunset Over Water

Vampires hate sunshine. So the fraidy-cat in me welcomes any game that will keep those flying fearmongers at bay! Sunset over Water is a stunning set collection game where you play painters creating works of art that can be sold for points. Each turn you move through locations picking up landscape cards. But how many cards you can pick up and what direction you can travel depends how early (or late) you get up! I get so caught up marvelling at the beauty of each card that I often have to be prompted to take my turn! And I’m so chilled out by the end that I feel like I’m lying on warm sand with my face turned to the sun, feeling all my stress wash out to sea.


Another wildlife based choice; Wingspan is as chilled as it is beautiful. And believe me when I say this game is GORGEOUS. A tableau building, engine cranking, card drafting, hand and resource management game from Stonemaier, Wingspan will awaken your inner ornithologist, and then soothe your sugar-addled soul with sweet bird song. Each bird has a power that has the potential to create combo-tastic effects. And each turn you decide whether to (a) gain resources, cards, or eggs, or (b) lay birds from your hand into one of the three habitats in your tableau.

Whilst it sounds like there’s a lot going on, Wingspan plays as smoothly as ectoplasm oozing out of your kitchen tap! And with 2 stunning expansions already out (European and Oceania) and another (Asia) due to be released next month, Wingspan has enough content to chill out the hottest devils in town!

Rustling Leaves

The final game on this list is a small roll and write game with the thickest pad I have ever seen! But it’s for good reason as it is actually 4 games in one! In Rustling Leaves, you roll two D6 which sets the dimensions of the enclosure you must draw on your seasonal sheet. The tricky thing is that you can only score one symbol within the enclosure you have just drawn. And Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter contain their own wonderfully thematic scoring conditions. Solo or multiplayer, the gameplay is the same. But no matter how many people around the table, it’s a lovely 15 minutes of quiet focus that’s perfect for drowning out the crazy Halloween chaos!

Having written this blog, I have realised that nature and wildlife seem to be the key to keeping myself calm! And I hope this list helps you carve out a few moments of still during this spookiest season of all. If you're after something even spookier, shop our Halloween games here!