OBJECT OF NIGHTMARE: The object of Nightmare is to collect your keys and evade your nightmare before time runs out.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 6 Players

MATERIALS: A rulebook, game board, VHS tape, 256 cards (time, fate, and chance), 36 keys (6 of 6 colors), 6 character tombstones, 8 nightmare cards, a plastic coin, a die, a nightmare bag, and a marker. 

TYPE OF GAME: Horror Themed Board Game



Nightmare is a race-against-time, horror-themed board game for 2 to 6 players. The goal of the game is to collect all of your keys and escape from your nightmare before the hour is up.


Players should be seated so all can see the screen the video will play on. The time, chance, and fate cards will all be separated and shuffled. The keys should be separated by color and shuffled. The coin and die should be placed near the board for easy access.

Each player will take a nightmare card and secretly write their worst fear on the card. These are then placed in the nightmare bag near the board.

Each player should pick their character and be randomly assigned a number token. There should be one for each player in the game. Each player then places their character on their gravestone on the board.

The tape should be ready to play, and once the play button is pressed the game begins.


The game is run by the Gatekeeper. He will explain most of the rules at the start of the tape. The game lasts for an hour at most, and if a player has not won by then you have all lost and the Gatekeeper wins.

When the Gatekeep is on the screen you may not move your pieces, and if he refers to you by number or any other means you must immediately respond with “yes my gatekeeper”.

The goal of the game is to collect all 6 of your colored keys. This can be done by getting certain cards, randomly from the gatekeeper, or by landing on certain spaces on the board. Once you have gained all your keys you may not go down the nightmare path down the center. You must reach the nightmare space by an exact roll to get on it.

Once you’ve reached the nightmare space you will randomly draw a nightmare card. if it has your fear, even if written by another person, on it you have lost. If not, however, you may stop the tape. If the hour has not passed you have won.


Time cards have a time stamp printed on them and directions for what to do at that time. Completing these tasks usually rewards you with an advantage.


Chance cards are just that. Some allow you to toss coins for certain outcomes, some rely on who you are and what number you are, or some just have key halves printed on them. All can reward you with keys or other advantages.


Fate cards usually have to do with opponents landing on your gravestone but can also get you out of black holes and the like.


The game ends either when the timer is up and the gatekeeper has won or when a payer has completed the challenge and beaten the game.

Amber Crook
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