This new game of blowing candles and spooky surprises is the perfect addition to any Halloween fête this year.

With University Games’ Evil Eye, players age 5 and up must blow out as many electronic candles as they can without being spotted by the Grim Reaper (and his creepy 360-degree rotating head!). 

The game assembles in a few quick and easy steps, with the addition of a couple of batteries. Keep in mind: Once it’s together, it won’t fit easily back in the box, so feel free to leave the game out as a spooky piece of room decor (or break it down to place it back in the box.)

Switch off the lights to begin the creepy fun. Two to four players should sit at an equal distance around a table, with the game board easily within reach of all players. The way the game board is positioned, each player should be directly in front of one of the four electronic candles. The candle that is in front of each player is the one he or she will try to blow out.

The game has two modes of play easy (I) and difficult (II). Once you select a mode, all candles will blink at once to signify the game has begun. Once the Reaper begins to turn his head, take a deep breath in, and blow, blow, blow!

The object of the game is simple: blow out your electronic candle as many times as you can to score points without getting caught by one of the sensors on the game base. To avoid getting caught, quickly duck your head out of the Grim Reaper’s line of sight. If he spots you, your candle will turn red and you cannot score any points until your candle resumes its yellow color, which happens at random intervals. When your candle turns red and the Reaper is looking in your direction, hide from the sensor to avoid getting caught.

To ensure a higher point total and more candles are blown out, blow toward your sensor on the game base (a small open circle underneath your candle) rather than directly at the candle. This way each blow counts in your final tally to win. Helpful tip: Make sure to take plenty of breaths between rounds — you don’t want to get too winded!

While you aim to blow out your candles without getting caught, the coffin lid trembles throughout the round, while eery music plays throughout the challenge. After a few minutes of play, Oscar the Skeleton will (not so subtly) emerge from his coffin to reveal the winner (think of this like a jack-in-the-box surprise—not for the faint of heart!). Inside his coffin, a score counter reveals the winning player’s final tally of blown-out candles.

The winner’s candle will blink red and yellow, and sometimes multiple candles will blink at the end, signifying a tie.

Once the score disappears (and the switch is still turned on to the correct mode of play), players can blow on any candle to begin a new game.

If your friends are tired of blowing out the candles with all their might without getting caught, you can play alone against the Grim Reaper, as your goal is to reach the highest possible score you can.

Now, it’s time to catch my breath before Halloween, when I’ll no doubt be playing again!