This game amuses me to (so far) no end. Caitlin Cooke's review describes the general set up of the game. (In reference to that review: if it's not clear, the traitor and the heroes come back to the same room to play together after reading their goals and devising game plans.) Both phases of the game are fun for sometimes different reasons. Exploring the house with reckless abandon, and having horrible tragedies befall the explorers before the haunt is always fun, as the devious house throws diverse and entertaining events that recall so many scenarios from myriad horror films. I like most of the haunts, and, based on how the exploration phase went, they do a good job of imparting dread and/or worry (in a good way) on either the heroes or the traitors.
That being said, I don't rely on this game for finely-tuned strategy. Since so many bad things can happen to your character at any given moment, it's a little nerve-wracking getting too caught up in optimizing your play (go ahead, roll the Dark Dice). The game can also get a little long towards the final stages of some of the haunts, but I'll usually want to play it again right after. Moreover, there are quite a few intricate rules to remember (and forget) about room placement and item management and whatnot. These are usually what make the stories drag a little, as we'll have to check to see if something is legit or not, but I don't mind it enough to take away from the recommendation.
As for clarity of the rules, I never played the first edition mentioned in a bunch of other reviews, but have heard from friends that there were a lot of issues with the rules in that one. I don't see too many inconsistencies or vague rules in this edition. Some issues pop up here and there, but it's easy enough to just make a decision about a resolution. My copy did come with the warped cardboard that other reviewers' have mentioned. I called up Wizards of the Coast, told them the problem, and they shipped a new set of cardboard sheets to me very quickly without wanting any compensation or proof that the tiles were indeed warped. Because of how responsive they were, I'd be happy to buy from them in the future.
There are a lot of great, enjoyable moments in each game, be they beneficial or detrimental to your character. Almost everyone I know who's played it has a lot of fun with it, and it gets played a lot amongst my friends. The game is a lot of fun if you're into the ambience and atmosphere of horror or gothic works; just be prepared to have your character go a little insane.
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