This is a horror hide-and-seek game. One player plays the "Hako Onna" (the Woman in the Box), and the rest of the players are "Visitors", who try to escape from the mansion - but if you accidentally stumble upon the Hako Onna, you're dead.
- Hako Onna board
- 1 Hako Onna Summary
- Safe board
- 4 Visitor Summaries
- 9 Room Boards
- 58 Story Tiles
- 1 Noise Board
- 6 Noise discs
- 6 Noise cards
- 1 Door Barrier
- 4 Visitor Pawns
- 38 Cards
- 11 Advanced Cards
One player is the Hako Onna and takes the Hako Onna, Summary, and Safe boards. She should sit apart from the other players who are the Visitors: these players take a pawn color of their choice, the corresponding Hakobito tile and a Visitor Summary board.
Randomly choose one Visitor as the starting player. That player then chooses 1 Visitor Item card and places it faceup in front of themselves.
Then, going clockwise around the table, each Visitor does the same. Any remaining Visitor Item cards are placed out of the game.
Put the 1F Hall room board on the table. This starts the first floor of the mansion. Shuffle the rest of the room boards. In turn order, Visitors draw a room board and place it so that at least one door aligns with a door on a room board already placed.
Doors that align to walls do NOT count as doors!
When the Basement or 2F Hall are drawn, they are placed on the table, unconnected to the room boards forming the first floor. After the 2F Hall is drawn, newly drawn room boards may align to either the second or the first floor. No room boards are aligned to the Basement.
After all room boards have been placed, the Visitors place their pawns in the 1F Hall.
Take out the 24 "Empty" tiles, as well as the tiles containing the Safe, the Key Ring, the Bones, and the Hako Onna. Set these tiles aside until later, do not return them to the box.
Of the 6 Combination tiles, the Hako Onna player secretly chooses 3 and places them facedown on the Safe board. This will be the combination of the safe. Note that the order of the numbers does NOT matter.
Put the remaining Combination tiles facedown in the box bottom. Then place the Key Ring tile at the bottom of the Safe board.
Of the 3 Weakness tiles, the Hako Onna player secretly chooses 1, and places it facedown on the "Weakness" spot of her Hako Onna board.
The other 2 tiles are placed facedown in the box bottom.
The bottom of the box will become a mixing area from which you will place tiles in the Shadow areas of the rooms.
Place the Safe tile facedown on the designated Shadow in the Study room board. The Safe always starts here, but it might be moved by the Hako Onna during the game.
Put the remaining Item and Diary tiles facedown in the box bottom - which should now contain 22 tiles in total.
Shuffle them carefully so that no one sees what is where, then place the tiles facedown, one at a time, into the Shadows on all of the room boards. You should end up with one empty Shadow space. It does not matter which space is empty as it will be filled later.
Line up the 10 Diary cards. These are used to keep track of the Hako Onna's powers. As Diary tiles are found, place them on these cards.
Set the "Time of Despair" card aside then shuffle the other Hako Onna Power cards.
The Hako Onna player draws three cards and chooses one to secretly keep in her hand. Put the two unchosen cards back in the deck and reshuffle it.
Place the "Time of Despair" card on the bottom of the deck. Leave the deck near Hako Onna, facedown.
Note: At the beginning of the game the Hako Onna cannot choose Power card No. 4 - "Moving Things".
Note: During the game, in order to gain other powers, the corresponding numbered Diary tile must have been found.
You can choose regular, hard or nightmare difficulty. Each has slightly differing setup as noted below. For any difficulty place the Noise board where everyone can reach it, and the Noise discs beside it.
- On regular, use the 4 black discs and the red disc with the small "blip".
- On hard, use the red disc with the big "blip" instead.
- On nightmare, use 3 black discs and both red discs.
Alternatively, if you want to use the cards instead, put the Noise board and discs back in the box, and instead shuffle and line up the six Noise cards facedown in a 3x2 grid.
- All visitors must now close their eyes -
Once the Visitors' eyes are all closed, the Hako Onna player places the Bones tile facedown into any Shadow space. If there a tile is already in that space, then move that tile to the empty Shadow space.
The only exception is that the Hako Onna may NOT place the Bones tile where the Safe tile is. The Safe tile ALWAYS starts the game in the Study, in its designated Shadow.
The Hako Onna player now chooses where she starts, which can be in either of the two rooms marked "GRUDGE" (Red Bedroom or Kid's room).
She may look at all the tiles in the chosen room. Then pick one to place facedown on the "Location" spot of her Hako Onna board.
She then places the Hako Onna tile facedown on the now empty Shadow space.
The tile she has on her board will stay there and be out of reach for all Visitors until the Hako Onna moves again and puts it back into a room.
- All visitors now open their eyes -
The Hako Onna player now reads the following aloud:
SLAM! the entrance door shuts tight, with a deafening thud.
This door will ONLY open when there are none left alive.
No one gets out... NO ONE ALIVE... welcome, to my home. none will escape.
Object of the Game
The Visitors win if they either:
Figure out the combination to the Safe, open it and get the Key Ring, and peek at the Secret Exit.
Defeat Hako Onna
Find out what is her weakness, and use that item against her.
Give Her Rest
Find the Mary Doll, and then peek at the Bones.
The Hako Onna wins if either:
All Alone Again
Every Visitor is dead.
If it is determined there is no way for the Visitors to win.
Starting with the Visitor to the left of the Hako Onna player, the Visitors take turns; each turn starting with them trying not to Make Noise.
At the beginning of each player's turn, that player must pick up the next Noise disc and try to stack it on the Noise board (alternatively, flipping a Noise card). This may succeed or fail.
If they successfully add the Noise disc to the stack, then the Visitor has avoided making noise and can take their turn. When the turn is finished, play continues with the next Visitor to their left.
If they fail, and the stack falls, then the Visitor has Made Noise and the Hako Onna immediately takes a turn. All of the Noise discs/cards are reset. Then after the Hako Onna's turn, the player that failed tries again.
Noise System (Noise Discs)
Place the Noise discs around the Noise board as indicated.
Regular Difficulty: Place the black discs at positions 1,2,4, and 5. Place the red disc with small "blip" at position 3.
Hard Difficulty: Place the red disc with the big "blip" at position 3.
Nightmare Difficulty: Place the red disc with the big "blip" at position 2.
The other red disc at position 4. Place the black discs at positions 1,3, and 5.
Placing a Noise Disc
When it is a Visitor's turn, they pick up the disc positioned at the lowest number of the Noise board, then must place it onto the stack.
The first disc placed MUST lean on the white "blip" of the Noise board. Subsequent discs must be stacked on top of a previously placed disc. The red discs may be placed with the "blip" facing up or down.
When placing a disc, if the stack topples, then the player has Made Noise.
A topple is defined as either:
- The bottom disc does NOT lean on the Noise board blip
- Any other disc touching anything else than the disc beneath it.
If the first disc is being placed and slips off the Noise board blip, then it is considered a topple.
However, if the disc being placed falls off without the rest of the stack toppling, that is NOT a topple - simply pick up the disc and try again.
When a visitor makes noise:
- The current Visitor stops their turn.
- The Hako Onna takes a turn.
- The Noise System is reset.
- The player who toppled the stack gets to try again beginning with the disc positioned at #1 on the Noise board.
If the Hako Onna topples the stack by bumping the table, or something similar, the Noise System is reset, but the Hako Onna will NOT get her turn. If anything else topples it over mid-turn, it does count as having Made Noise. Follow the steps above, except that the current Visitor can finish their turn.
If the Visitors successfully place the fifth disc, then the Hako Onna player will take her turn after the current Visitor. After the Hako Onna's turn the Noise System is reset and the next Visitor will take their turn as normal. This does not count as having Made Noise, instead, it is called Time Overdue.
Passing your turn
A Visitor may also pass their turn by simply taking the next disc, keeping it, and not placing it on the stack.
However, you may NOT pass your turn when you should place a red disc. Passing means you do nothing else and play goes to the next Visitor. Also, the Hako Onna may NOT use an interrupting power on a passed turn.
If you pass when you should have placed the 5th disc, a Time Overdue will trigger.
Alternative Noise System (Noise Cards)
If your play area is not conducive to stacking discs or the players don't like having a dexterity element in the game then Noise cards can be used instead of the discs.
Shuffle the Noise cards and arrange them in a 3x2 grid, facedown.
Picking a card
On a Visitor's turn, flip one of the cards faceup to reveal its number.
If the total of the faceup cards is 11 or more, then the player has Made Noise. Follow the steps listed on the previous page.
A Visitor may pass their turn by simply taking one of the facedown cards and keeping it, not looking at it nor flipping it faceup.
However, you may NOT pass your turn when the '0' card is faceup. If you pass by taking the 5th card, a Time Overdue will trigger.
If there is just 1 card left facedown after another card is revealed or taken, that is Time Overdue as noted above.
If the Visitor succeeded in not making noise, they may do ONE of the following main actions:
- Use an item
In addition, the Visitor may also do any amount of the following free actions:
- Show/Give/Get a tile to/from a Visitor in the same room
- Discard a tile onto an empty Shadow in your room
- Share information.
Hako Onna Interrupting
Some of the Hako Onna's powers (#s 6, 7, 8, and 10) allow her to interrupt a Visitor action, but this cannot be done once the action has been resolved.
For a good game, it's important that whatever the Visitor wants to do, they FIRST announce what they intend to do (including pointing out any target) and THEN does it.
No real waiting time is needed, but the Hako Onna player should be given time to interrupt, should she want/be able to.
Move to an adjacent room that's connected to your current one via a door. You can also move using the stairways between the Storage Room - Basement as well as between 1F Hall - 2F Hall.
Secretly look at one of the tiles in the Shadows within the room you are in. If there are two tiles in the same Shadow, resolve both at the same time.
If it's the Hako Onna or a Hakobito, reveal it, and you die. Then put the tile back facedown.
If it's a Diary tile, reveal it and place it on the corresponding Diary card. If it's portable (an Item, a Weakness, or Combination number), you may pick it up, then place it facedown in front of you, not showing it to anyone. If it's the Safe, try to guess the combination. If right, obtain the Key Ring. If wrong, tile remains facedown.
If it's the Secret Exit and you have the Key Ring, reveal it, and the Visitors win. If you do not have the Key Ring, the tile remains facedown.
If it's the Bones and you have the Doll Mary, reveal it, and the Visitors win. If you do not have the Doll Mary, the tile remains facedown.
When a tile is removed from the board in any manner, replace it with a facedown Empty tile. If there are no Empty tiles left, then do nothing. However, if you want, instead of replacing it with an Empty tile, you may take one of your tiles and place it facedown onto the Shadow.
You cannot Peek into a Shadow space with no tile on it, but you can Peek at a faceup tile.
Use an Item
Choose an Item card or reveal a tile that you have and resolve it. Some items require you to specify on what you will use the item. Other items, if used within the same room as the Hako Onna, will kill you, before the item resolves.
The Hako Onna will shriek upon activation of the item and then reveal her tile, killing you immediately. Afterwards, her tile is flipped facedown.
If the Hako Onna is not in the same room, she may interrupt the use of an item with one or both of her set powers, even after you have stated on what you will use the item, but before the item is resolved.
Note: Items are reusable unless they say otherwise. Some items work Passively in reaction to some other effect.
A Visitor chooses to activate their Smartphone. If the Hako Onna was in their room, she would shriek, reveal her tile, and kill the Visitor.
If she is not in the room, she may interrupt instead, with one or both of her set powers, either now, or when the Visitor states how or on what they will use the item.
If she does not interrupt, the Visitor may resolve the item.
Show/give/get a tile to/from a visitor in the same room
The Visitor whose turn it is, and any other Visitor in the same room, may always show each other their tiles, as well as give or receive tiles from each other. If a Visitor Peeks at a tile, they may show this tile to any other Visitor in the same room.
Discard a tile onto an empty shadow in your room
If there is an empty Shadow in the room, the Visitor whose turn it is may always freely discard any of their tiles there, facedown.
As long as it's not the Hako Onna player's turn, all Visitors may at all times, out of turn, freely share information. Please note that the Hako Onna player is also listening!
And no, you can't cheat by speaking a language that the Hako Onna player can't understand! You are, however, allowed to exchange winks and such, lie about tile contents, etc.
Playing the Hako Onna
The Hako Onna player could be compared to a Game Master of a role-playing game, in the sense that she is the entertainer, and should do her best to keep the tempo.
The game is unbalanced, designed in favor of the Hako Onna. She should keep the other players tense, engulf them in fear, and then win. Her goal is to either kill all the players or make it physically impossible for them to win.
The Hako Onna has no action to attack the Visitors. Instead, she waits for them. There are three ways for a Visitor to get killed:
- They Peek at the Hako Onna tile
- They use a specific item in the same room as the Hako Onna (see item descriptions)
- She uses the "I'm Behind You" power when a player Made Noise
The Hako Onna player will need to wait for Diary tiles to be found to unlock powers.
When visitors have their eyes closed
The Visitors should not have to sit with eyes closed for a long time, so the Hako Onna player should decide what to do before asking the Visitors to close their eyes.
Of course, sometimes she must mess with more tiles in order not to reveal what she's doing, but it should be kept to a minimum.
Remember, the Hako Onna player is the host, the entertainer, and should keep things moving.
Hako Onna's Turn
The Hako Onna player only gets her turn whenever a Visitor Makes Noise or Time Overdue. Remember that after the Hako Onna player has finished her turn, the Noise System is always reset.
Each action listed below can be done once, in the order it is listed, during the Hako Onna player's turn. However, none of the actions are mandatory.
- Set/Take back a Power
- Activate a Power
The Hako Onna player screams, points out the room (not the Shadow, just the room) that she is in. If there are two rooms on a board, she must point at the specific room (pointing at the room name is often best). Then she draws one Hako Onna Power card.
If the power is unlocked (the corresponding Diary tile is on the matching Diary card), she takes the Power card to her hand.
If not, she puts the card at the bottom of the deck.
If she draws the "Time of Despair" card, she puts this card at the bottom of the deck and draws two cards to her hand. These Power cards are kept even if the they are not unlocked.
Please note that having a Power card in hand is not enough to use it. It must be Set first.
The Hako Onna screams and points to the Kitchen; not to any specific Shadow but the whole room. This informs the Visitors that she is in this room - and not in the Storage Room.
Then the Hako Onna draws a Power card. She gets to keep this card in her hand because the matching Diary card is unlocked (it has the corresponding tile on it).
Set/Take Back a Power
Hako Onna can NOT activate a Power card in her hand; it must be set first.
The Hako Onna player EITHER Sets one of her Power cards from her hand to the left or right of the Hako Onna board (i.e. she has two places to set a power), OR retakes one of the set powers to her hand. She may not do both.
Once a Power card is set, it can be used immediately.
All Power cards return to the Hako Onna player's hand after being activated and to be activated again must be set again.
Some Power cards (#6, 7, 8, and 10) allow her to interrupt a Visitor turn.
Set Power Example
Having drawn the "I Will Reach You" Power card, now the Hako Onna must set the card before she can use it.
She simply places the card facedown to either side of her board.
Some strong Power cards can only be activated when a certain amount of powers are unlocked (the Diary tiles are on their corresponding cards), as noted by the symbol shown here.
The power in question may still be Set, but cannot be activated until the right amount of powers are unlocked.
Unlocked Power Example
With her Power card set, she would like to use it but it requires 3 unlocked powers. She ends her turn and waits, patiently.
The Visitors take their turns and eventually uncover a few more Diary tiles, thereby allowing the Hako Onna to use her "I Will Reach You" Power during one of her turns.
All Visitors Must Now Close Their Eyes
Activate any of the Powers 1, 2, 3, or 4
If she has set one or two of Powers 1, 2, 3, or 4, she may now use them. This is not announced aloud. She may use both if she wants.
Once used, the powers must be retaken to her hand. Remember that some dangerous powers need a certain amount of unlocked powers in order to be activated.
Notes on additional Powers:
Powers 6, 7, 8, and 10 are used during a Visitor's turn, to interrupt them. They cannot be used during the Hako Onna's turn.
Power 5 happens automatically when a player Makes Noise AND the Hako Onna is in the same room.
Power 9 is passive (always in effect when the power is set).
Activate Power Example
The Hako Onna has set the "I Will Reach You" power and decides to use it this turn, allowing her to move twice.
First, she moves through the door from the Kitchen to the 2F Hall. She looks at the tile in that room.
Then, with her second move, uses the stairs to continue to the 1F Hall, where she looks at all the tiles in that room (though there is only one tile there, just like in the 2F Hall).
The tile she finds in that Shadow space is the Gasoline item (yellow).
She then places the Gasoline tile facedown on the Location space of her board (pink) and puts the previous Location tile that was there back onto the Shadow she had occupied in the Kitchen (blue).
Finally, she takes the "I Will Reach You" Power card back into her hand.
The Hako Onna player takes her Hako Onna tile off the Shadow she is in, replacing it with the "Location" tile she has on her board.
She then chooses a room up to one room away (following the same rules as the Visitors, only through doors and staircases; or staying in the same room), looks at all the Shadow tiles there one by one, choosing one Shadow to hide in. If any of those tiles were faceup, she may flip them facedown if she wants.
Having chosen her hiding spot, she puts her Hako Onna tile there, and puts the tile that was there (if any) to the "Location" space on her Hako Onna board.
Note: If the Hako Onna moves to a Shadow that was empty, she does not take a tile to her board, and when moving from a tile that was empty, none is returned.
Note: The tile that the Hako Onna player has on her board is out of reach for the Visitors. This way, she can actually block a certain item from being picked up, until she moves again.
Note: All Hakobito players (if any) will move in the same way, keeping their "location" tile in front of them (which is also considered out of reach for the remaining Visitors).
However, a Hako Onna tile or a Hakobito tile may never be kept. Meaning that if either the Hako Onna or a Hakobito moves to a Shadow where the Hako Onna or another Hakobito already is, simply stack the tiles on top of each other.
However, this will make it obvious to the remaining Visitors that there are two enemies there, so it's not a very advantageous move.
All Visitors Can Now Open Their Eyes
The Hako Onna's turn is over, the Noise System is reset.
If the Hako Onna player's turn was triggered because a Visitor Made Noise, the turn goes to the Visitor who just Made Noise.
If it was triggered by Time Overdue, the turn goes to the next Visitor instead.
If they are set, Powers 6, 7, 8, and 10 interrupt a Visitor's turn when activated. Remember, a power that the Hako Onna has in hand CANNOT be used; the power must be set before it can be used.
When interrupting, the Visitor's turn is paused, the power is flipped faceup, resolved, and retaken to the Hako Onna's hand. Only after that is the Visitor's turn resumed. They may then choose to reevaluate their choice of action if able.
Interruptions may be done after the Visitor has successfully placed their disc, and has said what they plan to do - but must be done before the resolution of that action.
It may be done after the Visitor has said "I Peek at this Shadow", but it cannot be done after the Visitor has actually peeked at the tile there.
It may be done after the Visitor has revealed an item, and even after the Visitor has said where to use it, but it may not be done after the Visitor has actually resolved the use of the item.
If both set powers are interrupts, both can be used during the same interrupt.
Note that the use of items "Strange Charm" and "Fire Extinguisher" CANNOT be interrupted!
Interrupting Power Example
The Hako Onna has the "Open This" Power set already.
She decides to use it and interrupt the current Visitor's turn, before they resolve their action, to force that Visitor to Peek into a Shadow in the room they occupy, 1F Hall.
Waiting in the only Shadow space of 1F Hall is the Hako Onna. The Visitor reveals the Hako Onna tile and dies. Then the Hako Onna tile is flipped back facedown.
The Hako Onna smiles creepily.
Visitors: Win, Die, and Lose
The only exit is the Secret Exit, but it is locked.
The keys to the lock are in the Safe.
The code to the Safe is the three Combination numbers that the Hako Onna player chose during setup. In order to guess the code, the Visitors should find as many of the unused Combination numbers as possible.
Peeking at the Safe
A Visitor who Peeks at the Safe tile may attempt to guess the three numbers.
The order of the numbers is irrelevant, and you don't have to be sure.
Indeed, you may guess wildly, though that is rarely wise.
If the Visitor guesses correctly, the Hako Onna player gives the Key Ring to that player, who keeps it facedown in front of themselves.
If they guess incorrectly, keep the Safe tile facedown, and their turn is over. If a Visitor with the Key Ring Peeks at the Secret Exit, the Visitors have escaped, and won. Note: If the Visitor doesn't have the Key Ring, keep the Secret Exit tile facedown.
Safe Combination Example
The Visitors have found two combination numbers already. Having also found the Safe, they want to try the combination.
On a Visitor's turn, they peek at the
Safe tile and guess the three number combination, "2, 3, and 5?". Correctly guessing all three numbers allows the Visitor to take the Key Ring from the Safe board.
Now they need to find the Secret Exit!
The Hako Onna is weak against one of three items - the item that she chose during setup. In order to guess which item she chose, the Visitors should find one or both of the remaining Weakness tiles, deduce which one she chose, and then find the Item in question.
A Visitor may Use this Item on a Shadow, by specifying the Shadow, and then flipping the tile.
If the Hako Onna was not there, the tile that was in the Shadow (even a Hakobito), and the item the Visitor used, are both put out of the game (not replaced by an Empty tile).
If the Hako Onna was there, but it was the wrong item, that used item, and any other tile in that Shadow, are put out of the game, and the Visitor in question dies.
But if the Hako Onna was there, and the item was the right item, she is defeated and the Visitors have won.
Attempt to Defeat Example
The Visitor decides to try to defeat the Hako Onna by declaring a Shadow in the room they are in and revealing the "Rusty Chain" tile in front of them, believing it to be the item that is her Weakness.
However, the Hako Onna is not in that specified Shadow, and instead it is a Diary tile.
Both the Rusty Chain and the Diary tiles are removed from the game.
For the Visitor's sake, hopefully, the Rusty Chain was not her Weakness.
The Hako Onna is just a sad little girl who died alone. If you bring her doll to her body, her soul will gain the rest she is longing for.
Somewhere in the house, the Doll Mary lies, and can be picked up.
Somewhere else, the Bones lie. If a Visitor holding the Doll Mary Peeks at the Bones, the Hako Onna breathes a sigh of relief as her spirit finds rest, and the Visitors have won.
Death and the Hakobito
When a Visitor dies, they turn into a Hakobito, and begin playing on the Hako Onna's side. That player shows all their items to all the players and then puts them out of the game.
They then take their pawn and place it in front of them, then place their Hakobito tile facedown on the same Shadow as the Hako Onna or Hakobito that killed them.
The Hako Onna and Hakobito players play together. So during the Hako Onna turn they move at the same time, may share information, and talk freely (show tiles to each other and decide where to move).
Just remember that you are the host; don't let the guests wait too long!
The player is no longer a Visitor and will keep their eyes open during the Hako Onna turns, moving their Hakobito tile just as the Hako Onna does, as noted below.
A Hakobito chooses a room up to one room away (following the same rules as the Visitors, only through doors and staircases; or staying in the same room), looks at all the Shadow tiles there one by one, choosing one Shadow space to hide in, then placing the chosen tile under their Visitor pawn, making it out of reach to Visitors.
If they move to the same space as the Hako Onna or another Hakobito, those tiles cannot be removed. Instead, they stack their tile on top of it.
Of course, this makes it obvious for the remaining Visitors that there are two ghosts there, so it's probably best to not do that.
Hakobito Move Example
Having died earlier, the blue player is now a Hakobito. On the Hako Onna's turn he gets to move. Going into the next room, looking at the tiles, he finds the Doll Mary and decides to move there. While there, the players won't be able to pick up the doll.
Apart from moving, a Hakobito has no special powers. They do not count as Hako Onna in any way regarding card effects. The only Hako Onna power that they are included in is #5 - "I'm Behind You", as noted on the card.
They are just a Hako Onna bonus. If she wins, they win. But just as a bonus. After all, they did die.
End of the Game
If all of the Visitors die, the Hako Onna has won and the game ends.
Alternatively, if there is no way for the Visitors to win anymore, the Hako Onna wins. For example, the weakness item has been destroyed, a Hakobito holds the Doll Mary, and the Hako Onna is sitting on the Secret Exit.
If this happens on Hako Onna's turn, the best way to mark this is to place the box lid with the inside facing upwards on top of the room boards, and then tell the Visitors to open their eyes.
They will open their eyes and be staring into the "Game Over" in the box lid, and hopelessness will surely engulf them.
The Hako Onna player may also win if the Visitors simply give up by screaming, "I lose all hope!"
Advanced Powers and Items
Advanced Powers and Items should NOT be used until you are very, very familiar with the game.
Some of them are very strong; some might even call them overpowered. While they offer different strategies and advantages, use them cautiously and wisely so as not to ruin the enjoyment of your game.
Do not include Impossible Upside Down if using the Alternative Noise