Barbie’s Murder Party at the House on the Hill comprises several quickfire minigames hosted inside a mansion laid out in the format of Betrayal at House on the Hill. In each of these minigames, most of which were inspired by Jackbox’s Trivia Murder Party, one teammate is matched up against the traitor, who always has a fixed score. Players win a minigame only if they beat the traitor’s score. After beating each of the minigames once (in a single playthrough), teams will find the key to the mansion and win the game.
|Level||Short Description||Description of Game||Traitor’s Score||Time limit (s)|
|Spirit of Algebra||Math||Players must solve simple math problems (addition or subtraction) as multiple choice questions.||10||30|
|Discombobulated Contraption||Anagrams||Players must unscramble anagrams.||11||45|
|Reanimated Hog||Pigpen||Players are given a word in English and must identify the correct Pigpen translation from 5 choices.||6||40|
|Brain-hungry Zombie||Memory||Players must memorize the layout of a binary 6x6 grid and reproduce it accurately.||94% (34/36)||25|
|Spooky Cryptex||Passcode with Rules||Players must guess the correct 7-letter word from 4 clues, each of which hints at some subset of letters of the main word.||85% (6/7 letters)||45|
|Experimental Horror||Verbal Memory||Players are initially shown 10 words, each for a short duration. Afterwards, players must select from several choices the word which was previously flashed.||10||35|
As with other Playmate games, the best strategy is by playing with more teammates! More teammates means more lives! It's also better to play the levels you find hardest first. This lets you waste less time, or reset right away if you lose a life on the first level.
Individual strategies for the different minigames can be found below:
|Spirit of Algebra||There's not much to say about this one, you just have to be fast. Because there are only 4 choices for each question, one micro-optimisation is to reset the position of the cursor to in between the 2nd and 3rd options to minimize the amount of time it takes to click the right answer.|
|Discombobulated Contraption||A common strategy is to have a teammate use an anagramming tool like nutrimatic to solve these anagrams and relay them to the player. However, this solution requires fast fingers as the delay in communication really adds up. Alternate strategies include assuming common 2-letter or 3-letter strings (ER, ING), or deliberately giving up longer anagrams in hopes of getting shorter ones, which can work if you're lucky enough.|
|Reanimated Hog||Online tools like this one can translate pigpen without losing time to page reloads. Alternate strategies include looking for letter patterns to skip deciphering, or memorizing the symbols for just the vowels and checking those. One trick a team shared with us was to ID the majority symbol in each column, then pick the row which agreed with the majority the most. This works because the wrong answers were generated on the server by taking the correct answer, randomly choosing a few positions and changing those letters into other random letters.|
|Brain-hungry Zombie||Like the other games, splitting up the memorization across teammates helps. Each teammate can take a different quadrant or section of the grid. A chess-based numbering system can help relay the tiles to click.|
|Spooky Cryptex||Having teammates for this minigame might help - each player can suggest different options for each clue and build the word incrementally if there are any overlaps. It helps to write ? for unknown letters and to fill them in as you have ideas.|
|Experimental Horror||It can help to type the words as they appear, splitting them up between teammates if you're slower at typing. This both helps you remember the words, and gives you a list to refer to later. This minigame is unique in that playing it multiple times in succession might make it harder if you don't write down the words, as words from one session might bleed into another in memory.|
This was the last Playmate game to be created; we conceptualized and implemented it 3 days before our first full hunt testsolve, which took place 2 weeks before the start of the hunt. Consequentially, we were concerned about being too ambitious with this game. An earlier design of the game involved 4 more minigames, which would have translated into a lot more coding that we had time for.
The initial idea involved a bunch of "scary" things you might find in a puzzlehunt, such as random anagrams, layered errata, unclued semaphores, and case-sensitive answers. However, we decided that most of these would be more unpleasant than fun, and dropped all but random anagrams and pigpen. We even made up some fun anagrams for characters you might find, like DRAMA ORGAN MAN, but unfortunately had to abandon the idea as it came too close to another puzzle (This Anagram Does Not Exist).
We’re delighted at the game's reception, despite its late addition to the Playmate. Except for pigpen, which we can agree is the most universally hated minigame of all time.