top of page

Horror in the Library - You must not read from the book!

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

You awake to find yourself in the labyrinthian library of the Mad Professor. He has trapped you here and only one may escape its confines by collecting the pages of secret books hidden within the library's great stacks. To the one that achieves this, all the riches and mysteries of the library are theirs to keep. But can you make it out alive?

The Horror in the Library game box

Players: 2-4

Ages: 12+

Game Time: 45 - 120 minutes

Hello my lovely Geeks and Geekettes, Dino Girl here with a fabulous game for you from Blue Donut Games. Horror in the Library, created by is one of two library based games that we picked up at Expo, the word nerds are out in force it seems, and our own lovely Word-nerd Suey is no different, keep your eyes peeled for a fabulous review of the second library-based game soon.

Horror in the Library pitches players against each other to be the first to collect the many rare pages they require, and escape the library. But as you can imagine, this is no ordinary library. The Halls are haunted with both evil and benign spirits; some provide blessings, others provide horrible curses. Armed with only your wits, you must navigate the library, avoid its monsters and curses, and escape with enough inner fortitude to come up both alive and with your sanity intact.

Photograph of a game of Horror in the Library in progress

I really enjoyed this game. We were privileged enough to be granted a preview copy, so some of the pictures and games rules may be slightly different to those in the finished game.

You play as one of four characters. There are two more characters to be picked up in an expansion game. You begin by agreeing how many pages you will require to complete the game. A short game may consist of two pages, a lengthy game may be to collect the maximum of six pages. From the tokens you select one of each colour up to the total number of pages required. For example, in a six page game you would select one of each coloured marker (Blue, Black, Red, White, Green and Yellow). For a three page game, such as the one we started with in our play through, you get to pick which colours. Being the Jubilee recently, I figured a red, white and blue approach would be very fitting for our game.

Each coloured token holds an image. Somewhere in the library is a card which matches that image, and these are the cards or “pages” that you will need to collect.

You find Pages by searching the rooms you are in. The game consists of varying room tiles, which are randomly selected at the start of the game, and randomly placed, including their orientation. But don’t worry, if you find yourself in a dead end, you can use part of your turn to rotate the tiles as you need. I particularly liked that each tile has a small brass fitting to assist in lifting and turning tiles. On each tile is a series of images, these can be:

  • Bookcases - needed to search for your required pages

  • Desks - useful for searching for blessings (though you may end up with a curse instead)

  • Mirrors - which allow you to travel between rooms further apart

  • Pictures - beautiful images that help you regain your fortitude.

Not every room has all four items, so you will need to move between rooms. Rooms will have a selection of doors. Some doors will be open, which you can pass through without issue. Others will be closed, which takes a toll on your fortitude score.

Your starting fortitude is zero and can move throughout the game to plus or minus five. Your character cannot conduct searches with a negative fortitude score, so your best bet in these scenarios is to use your three allocated actions to move to a place with a picture.

Searching the rooms can be tricky, the library is haunted and too much activity draws the beasties to your location. In a two-player game, conducting three searches in a room will bring a monster to your location. Once monsters are in the library, they cannot be killed. They can however be attacked, and if successful be moved to another location on the library board. If you’re a particularly mean player you could drop the defeated beastie in on your competition.

Players can search the same room, but don’t forget there can be only one winner, and your opponents can stab, shoot or poison you to steal your precious pages.

A close up of standees from the Horror in the Library game on room tiles

Once you have collected all your pages, the first player to the centre portal is the winner. The remaining players are forced to wander the library corridors for all eternity.

I really enjoyed the game. The collection of pages requires the roll of two dice, and each colour gives a grid reference on the library shelves. This does mean a lot of luck with your rolls, but the designers were good enough to add in a method of luck mitigation. During my first play though, I had selected red, white and blue pages, but my dice rolls were only providing green or black, and the few white pages I had collected did not match the token I had randomly selected at the start of the game. But no matter, the extra pages were able to be exchanged for the page that I required as one of my required actions.

A close up o the Lady Hermione Elderoy player board with a 'Nihilism' card on top of it

Blessings and curses became something of a joke, as in a two-player game with Sam-Wise it seemed I only collected blessings and he only collected curses. Blessings and curses are drawn from a bag blindly, so my poor luck with the bookcases was some what mitigated by my fortuitous luck in drawing blessing cards. Curses however are the only way to come across weapons in the game, which you can use to steal pages. Sam-Wise decided to shoot me, however I had no pages suitable for stealing.

I think he was just upset he'd been cursed so often . . .

Sadly we weren’t able to play with additional players just yet, but adding more players to the table would increase the mayhem. There’s bound to be more backstabbing, card swaps and monsters as well as people turning rooms around just to make you use up your turns to put the rooms right again.

Further close up for standees from the Horror in the Library game on room tiles

An image of a die face with five pips

I want to give this a steady five on my dice rating, though I think it may score a six for others, particularly in a game with four or more players. It’s simple enough that people new to gaming can pick it up easily, but has enough variety in the gameplay that seasoned gamers will enjoy it.

Horror in the Library goes live on Kickstarter on the 17th of June 2022. We shall definitely be looking in on progress as the campaign unfolds!

Take care and we’ll see you soon

Dino Girl xxx

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page