Why is everyone staring at you? Don’t they know that you are not the werewolf? Why won’t they listen to you? Wait, what if I am the werewolf?
These are just some of the thoughts that run through your mind while playing One Night Ultimate Werewolf, a game in which any of your fellow players can be a vicious werewolf or an innocent villager, and you have to decide who to trust.
What is it about?
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a variation of the Werewolf game, but instead of taking place over multiple day/night cycles. It takes place over one night. The premise is quite simple, the villagers want to find out who the werewolves are in order to lynch them, and werewolves want to kill off the villagers before they can be discovered. Mixed in are a variety of other characters roles with unique powers that make discovering who the werewolves are a bit more interesting.
What is in the box?
The game comes in a small, easy to travel with box. Inside the box are 16 role cards which are made of a really good quality, thick cardboard stock. There are also 16 role tokens to remind you of which of the roles are currently in play, just in case you might have forgotten (this happened to us on a few occasions). The artwork looks great and really makes each character/ role come alive.
How does it play?
At the start of the game, a number of roles are picked equal to a number of players plus three. Each of the players is then dealt a role randomly which, only they are allowed to see. Players then place their respective role cards face down in front of them. Players are then instructed to close their eyes by the player designated as the announcer. When all the players have closed their eyes (and there is no one peeking) the announcer instructs players role by role, to open their eyes and perform the special action indicated on their role cards.
I should also mention that there is a free companion app available for download which, not only fulfils the job of the announcer but also times each round. The app adds to the theme (by playing various background noises) and takes away the need for the players to remember each role’s special action (as the app does the announcing for you).
After each player has performed their night actions the announcer instructs the players to open their eyes, and then the game really begins. Players now need to debate between each other (using the information at their disposal) on who they think the werewolves might be. Of course, the werewolves have to do everything in their power to keep the other players from guessing who they really are.
Players then vote on who they think might be the werewolves. After the voting has taken place, the player with the most votes reveals their role card. If the player was a werewolf, then the villagers win and if the player was a villager, then the werewolves win.
Here are some of the different roles and their special abilities:
Robber – At night, a robber may choose to rob a card from another player and switch it with his own robber card. The robber may look at his newly acquired card.
Drunk – The drunk has had so much to drink that he isn’t totally aware of what exactly is going on around him. At night the drunk can exchange his role card with anyone else, but may not look at his new role card.
Werewolves – At night, all the werewolves open their eyes and look for other werewolves.
Troublemaker – At night, the troublemaker may switch two other players’ role cards without looking at them.
These are just some of the unique roles and special abilities in the game.
What did I think of it?
I have only played a game of Werewolf once, and even though I really enjoyed it there were a few things that bothered me. One of these things were that Werewolf games tended to be on the lengthy side, that coupled with player elimination meant that some players spend more time watching the game being played than participating. One Night Ultimate Werewolf eliminates this problem by only taking place over one day/night cycle. This meant that we were able to play multiple games in one evening, which says something about how much we enjoyed the game. Each time we finished one game my group asked if we could play another.
I have to also mention that the game is really easy to teach. It took only a few minutes of teaching before we got too playing the game. It did take us a few games to truly grasp the intricacies of One Night Ultimate Werewolf, but once we grasped them the game became so much more fun.
We had some really great moments of bluffing and counter-claiming, and it is in these moments that One Night Ultimate Werewolf shines. These are the moments that you realize the game is really about who can successfully manipulate and get into the minds of their fellow players.
We found that even losing could be enjoyable as we analyzed what exactly went wrong or why we voted the way we did. Post game analyses tended to be just as much fun as playing the game itself.
I would also strongly suggest that you download the app, as it just made the game flow much quicker while also adding to the theme (by playing some really great background music and sounds).
I was really surprised with how much fun was packed into a 10min game of One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Not only is the game heaps of fun, we also found ourselves laughing uncontrollably during some of the games. All this, and the fact that I love bluffing and deduction games makes One nigh ultimate werewolf one of my favourite games, and one that will be played on many occasions.
One night ultimate werewolf takes what makes classic Werewolf so much fun and concentrates it into one compact, short and incredibly fun experience.
Gameplay: 9/10 The game is very easy to teach and quick to play. The debating, bluffing and accusing is really fun and I enjoyed the player interactions.
Components: 5/5 The components are top-notch. The artwork on each role card looks good and brings across the character of each of them successfully. I really appreciated the thick cardboard stock as the cards will definitely survive many playthroughs.
Complexity vs. Depth: 3.5/5 Although the game is not that complex to learn there are a lot of intricacies involved in playing the game and learning these makes the game just that much more fun.
Theme: 3.5/5 The theme of the game is helped a lot by the great artwork. Using the free app just adds even more to the theme, and is something I would strongly suggest you download.
Overall: 4.5/5 I loved the fact that One Night Ultimate Werewolf plays so quickly yet gave us hours of enjoyment (mainly because we couldn’t stop playing). The player interaction and how players react to different situations really make for a fun experience.
Board game supplied by Boardgames SA (www.boardgames.co.za)