Welcome to another edition of A Roll of the Dice reviews with your game master, me! This week we will be reviewing what has to be the game that can be played by the most people at one time, Werewolf. This party game can be played with as few as five people, and as many as seventy five, depending on which version you own, and how many friends you can possibly fit inside your house (seriously, who can fit seventy five people ANYWHERE with enough room to play a game that involves a lot of pointing secretly?).
Werewolf is the type of game that is really fun to play with a medium sized group, and is really good for those groups who may have a few too many people to play most games (which puts it along with resistance for this). Why don’t we see a brief run-down of how a turn goes, and a description of a few of the (many) cards you can use.
HOW TO PLAY
So werewolf is a game of dualities. The werewolves are trying to kill off enough villagers to take over the town, and the villagers are just trying to go back to living peaceful lives by ridding the world of those terrible werewolves. Fairly basic concept.
For the villagers to win, they need to kill ALL of the werewolves that are in play, making sure to toss insults as they do. For the werewolves to win, they have to have equal to or more werewolves left alive than villagers, which may sound a bit easy, but with six people, there is only one werewolf, so he has to kill four people without getting caught, which is very difficult.
The game starts by taking out the Seer, Werewolves, Villagers, and any other special card you may want to use, and shuffling them together to hand out the amount of players there is. The amount of werewolves does increase with the more players you have, and the larger the group, the more special characters you can use. You hand one card to each person face down, and everyone looks at their own card discreetly. Once you know who/what you are, the fun really begins!
Next thing we do is introduce ourselves as villagers (of course the werewolf and seer should lie) and what our job in the village is. Baker, builder, jailer, town wench, or anything in between. After our introduction, each player will enter the first night, which is when everyone closes their eyes and puts their heads down. Now, we do have to have one friend who is not involved in playing, they are your moderator to make sure no one is looking when they shouldn’t be.
Every “night” the moderator will first ask the seer to point to a person who they believe the werewolf is and either hold up two fingers in a V for Villager or three fingers in a W for a Werewolf. The Seer can not come right out and call out the werewolf, but they can try to convince the other villagers of who the werewolf was, giving a better chance to the villagers of killing him in the morning.
Once the Seer is done, the moderator will call on the werewolf to do the same. The difference is that whomever the werewolf points to is “killed” in the night, and will be out once everyone wakes in the morning. Once everyone is awake, the moderator will state that John or Franz (your villagers name) was killed last night, and no one seemed to see anything happen. This repeats every night until one or the other has finally won the game.
There is one action that happens in the daytime though, and that is the Villagers can try flushing out the werewolf. This means that there is a nomination and vote each morning for who the village thinks is the werewolf. You are not required to call anyone out if you are unsure, but it is the perfect time to either attack who you suspect, or get the heat off of you by throwing it on someone else. If you accuse someone and get the votes to kick them out and they are a werewolf, congrats it is one less enemy in the game. If they are a villager however, you just made the werewolves job easier, as they are still out of the game. Be careful who you choose, but above that, be careful of who you trust.
There are a lot of special characters, and far too many to list all of them on here. You will want to pick up the Ultimate Werewolf game as it is easily chalk full of so many different options to play with, including a lot of different werewolves to try and utilize. It is a game that you can a hundred different things to, but it is not required for it to be just as fun. A group of friends, and the basic pack is more than enough to have a great time playing a really good game.
DESIGN – 10
This is one of the games I feel really good about giving a perfect score on design. The main reason is that there is so many different designs every time they release a new variant, it comes with all new art work, characters, concepts, and enough to keep you checking back for more.
The artwork is clean, it is the right amount of cartoony, and it gives you the feeling of really being in a 16th century village trying to survive the elements and the added horror of a new enemy. The werewolves are one part horror movie monsters, and one part Disney looking creatures, which I actually find refreshing. It could be a lot worse, they could be Twilight Werewolves, but at least then the villagers would always win, as we would just want to give up on fighting them.
The game design itself is a fun one. It really adjusts the betrayal style of game with a lot of mistrust being used to throw your closest friends under the bus any chance you get. The rules are fairly simple, and the character abilities are written right on the cards, so there is no second guessing what to do on each turn, you just get to do it. All in all, a well designed dynamic, that is fun with few, or many, people.
REPLAY VALUE – 10
This was also one of the easiest decisions I have ever made with giving this perfect score. This is not your usual card game which has a high replay value just because you can re-shuffle and have a brand new dynamic. This one is not just about who is the werewolf and who is the villager, it is more about who is the best deceiver. It is easy to lie, but in this game it is hard to get others to buy what you are selling.
The best replay though isn’t even who is who, it is the stories you give to your villagers. We played four games in total, and every one of us changed our characters and back stories every time we played. One of us though, went from Town Drunk, to Wench, to Mayor, then to prisoner for using all of the towns money on trying to find who the werewolf was and failing. It brings out the creative nature that most gamers have, but do not get to use on a regular basis. I am always excited to find a game that allows you to have that excited and outgoing look with a lot of imagination.
Lastly is the mass amount of alternate cards there is too choose from. You can pick a guard (who gets to protect one person each night, and if they choose the person the werewolf also chooses, then they save that villager), or a sorceress, alternate werewolves, or hunters. There is a lot of different options, and I am excited to eventually try as many of them as I can.
FUN FACTOR – 10
I can not believe I am saying this, but I couldn’t find anything I did not like about this game. We had a ball every time we played, and above that, we never felt it was getting boring or repetitive. The game changed so much each time, and held our attention so well, that it never felt like we were pushing it to play another one.
The main fun is what I’ve been saying about being able to create a whole town out of just using your imagination. Seeing how your character reacts with others in the game, and tossing everyone you know and love, under the wagons. Half the fun is figuring out who keeps killing off those you care about, and the other half is knowing that it is actually you, but no one expects it.
Finally, the best part is having fun with a group of friends as small as five to six, or as many as seventy five (seriously, is there any other game that hosts seventy five people in the same game?) so you know that no matter the level of people, the game plays the same way, just more of each character.
I hope this has given you enough idea on what you think of the game, and whether or not it is for you. I can say, if you want a fun game that is easy to pick-up and play, easy to learn, and bundles of fun to play with friends, than you need this game.
Stop by The Comic Hunter, and grab a copy (or several to get all the expansions to be able to use any of the characters that have been released) and start playing this one right away. If you need another member, let us know. We would love to be a part of another one of these games, and keep an eye at The Comic Hunter on board game nights. Always some fun people looking to game!
As usual, leave your game requests in the comments, and I will do my best to get to them as quickly as possible. We will be having some fun times at The Comic Hunter soon on board game days, and I will take quotes from local players to put into the reviews. we want to know what you think about these games too. Every person who gives their opinion really helps another gamer choose what they should keep an eye out for in the future.
Thanks again, and remember, May The Dice Roll Ever In Your Favour!