I just got back from GenCon, the annual tabletop gaming convention held every year in Indianapolis. Not only is there a grand exhibitor’s hall and countless gaming events to sign up for, there are also fellow attendees who are there to play games, just like me. So when we were sitting at a table at The Stink, the annual Wednesday night mixer, and a guy we didn’t know approached and asked if we wanted to play a game, we answered with an enthusiastic YES.
That game was One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
Have you played regular Werewolf? It goes like this. You’re all assigned roles. Most of you are simple villagers. One or two or more, depending on your group size, are werewolves. Sometimes one of you is a seer. A moderator tells you to go to sleep, and instructs the werewolves to wake up and kill someone (by pointing at them.) The seer can then wake up and point at someone, and the moderator will let them know through a hand gesture if that person is a villager or werewolf. Everyone wakes up to find one of their fellow villagers dead. So one person is immediately eliminated from the game. Player elimination is sad because it means someone is left out of the fun!
So the rest of the game is everyone discussing who they think the werewolf is, killing that person, usually getting it wrong at least once, and going through another night, again and again, until either the remaining villagers guess who the werewolf is and kill them, or the remaining werewolves kill the last villager. All the dead people can no longer participate.
It’s a fun party game, but it has some weaknesses. One is the aforementioned player elimination. The other is that you don’t have much to go on when guessing. Depending on the group, you end up sitting around for a while until one of you decides to arbitrarily accuse someone else.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf solves all of that.
It’s only one night, and no one dies. So no player elimination!
There are many more roles, and they all have their own objectives. So depending on how people behave, you have a lot more to inform your decision-making. It’s still a game of discussion and bluffing, but there’s some logic and deduction involved too. It does a great job of taking what’s fun about regular Werewolf and improving upon it.
It’s a 3-10 player game, but BoardGameGeek voters say it’s best with 6-8, which is how many I played with. We started with 6, then 2 more people came by to try it out.
There’s also a free phone app, so no moderator needed. You can get it on iTunes here.
You can buy it at your local friendly game store, or on Amazon.
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