Spooktacular Games: “Grim Grinning Ghosts”
Lightning flashes and the hallway you find yourself trapped in starts to stretch. Is the ceiling rising? Or is the floor dropping? What was that noise? Everything starts to spin and the walls fall away! You’ve found yourself in the brand new Disney Haunted Mansion: Call of the Spirits Game! Can you make friends with the denizens of this Ghostly Gala all while evading too many encounters with the Hitchhiking Ghosts who set out to really Haunt you?
Disney Haunted Mansion: Call of the Spirits Game is a brand new spooktacular game from Prospero Hall Games & Funko Games in which players rotate the never-ending hallway to grant them access to different rooms in the Haunted Mansion where they can claim cards to complete sets. Scoring depends on the number of cards in each set you collect and the player with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner. In addition to scoring points for sets of cards, you will also potentially lose points based on your Haunt cards. Haunt cards can be gained in a few ways, which we’ll go over as we talk through how to play a round. First, set-up. Place the game board in the center of the table and place the endless hallway in the empty space in the center of the board. The endless hallway should rotate freely, as this rotation will come into play in the game. You will need to shuffle the Ghost cards and the Haunt cards separately and place them face-down on the side of the board. Remove the Final Round card from the Event Cards. Shuffle the Event cards, put a number of them equal to the number of players back in the box without looking at them. Take the bottom two cards off the face-down stack and shuffle the final round card with those two cards. Put all three cards back on the bottom of the stack and set the stack to the side of the board. Place the dueling dials in easy reach and the Hitchhiking Ghosts figure in the Crypt. Find the First Player token and place your player figures in the Séance Room in the center of the endless hallway. Now you’re all ready to start.
This game is played in a number of rounds determined by the number of event cards before you reach that Final Round card. Each round has two phases. The first phase is called the Event Phase and the second phase is the Action Phase. At the beginning of each Event phase you will draw an Event card. These cards will have a set of arrows and a number indicating which direction the Hitchhiking Ghosts will move this round. The direction will indicate clockwise or counterclockwise and the number will indicate how many rooms the Hitchhikers move through. Any player in a room that the Hitchhiking Ghosts move through will have to draw one Haunt card. Players in the room that the Hitchhiking Ghost stop in must draw two Haunt Cards. In addition to the movement of the Hitchhikers, the Event cards may also have an extra rule, called a Condition, that applies to all players for that round. Once the Hitchhikers have moved, a player will take a number of ghost cards equal to three plus the number of players and distribute them face up around the game board starting in the room where the Hitchhikers end their movement, place two cards and then place a single card in each of the next rooms. Once all the cards have been placed and everyone understands the Condition the Event phase ends and the Action phase begins.
In the Action phase, players will take their turns starting with the first player. On the first round, the first player is the player who most recently heard a ghost story. Play will continue clockwise from them and the first player token will also move to the next player at the end of each round. On a player’s turn they may choose to take a combination of three actions from a total of five possible actions. Players may choose to Move, which means that they will move their figure into an adjacent room, from the Séance room into the Hallway, for example. They may also choose to Rotate the Endless Hallway. This action allows a player to spin the endless Hallway as far as they want. They could choose to do this to move their figure quickly to another room, or to move their opponent’s figures closer or further from a particular room. Players can also choose to Collect a Ghost Card. If a player is in the part of the Endless Hallway that is immediately adjacent to the room with a card that they want, the player is able to claim that card from the room. If however, the Hitchhikers are in the room from which the player claims a card, they must also claim a Haunt Card. Once you have claimed a Ghost card, place it face up in front of you, so that the other players can see it. Haunt cards will have a number between one and three on them and you should look at them as you draw them and place them face-down in a pile in front of you. You may look at your Haunt cards at any point, but you will most likely want to keep your total secret from the other players. If a player is in the same room as an opponent who has a ghost card that the player wants, the player can choose to Duel that opponent for the card. In this case both players will grab one of the Duel dials and will secretly bid a number between zero and three. If the challenger wins the bid, they will get to steal the card they wanted from their opponent. If however, the bids tie or their opponent bids higher, the opponent would keep their card. Either way, both players will draw the number of Haunt Cards equal to their bid and add them to their pile. The last option for players on their turn is to Discard a Card. Any player in the séance room may opt to discard a Haunt card from their pile to the bottom of the Haunt deck. Players may choose any combination of three of these actions and may perform all but the Duel and Discard a Card options multiple times on their turn. Once the last player has taken their turn, pass the first player token to the next player in rotation and start a new round with a new Event Phase!
When the Final Round Card appears as the Event Card, it signals the final round of the game. The Event and Actions phases proceed as normal, but at the end of the Action phase, players move to scoring and determining a winner. First, players will tally their Haunt Card totals. The player with the highest Haunt total will have to discard their largest ghost collection (ghost card collection with the same symbol). If two of their collections are the same number of cards, they will have to discard the collection that is worth the most points. Players will then score a number of points for each set of cards and, in some instances, extra points for specific combinations of cards. Each of the Ghost cards have an icon on them that shows what type of card that Ghost is. Each type of ghost has a number of ghosts that make a set, and if you have more cards of the type than makes up one set, you would score the first set and then move to scoring the second. You cannot however, split a set so that you have two shorter sets. The player with the highest score after all of the scoring is complete is the winner!
We are very excited about this new game and think it makes a wonderful addition to any Spooktacular game night!