Published on April 22nd, 2014 | by Cullen0
Ultimate Werewolf: Tabletop Review
Tabletop games are a fantastic way to liven up any party and promote social interaction. However, the common hurdle is that tabletop games, more often than not, can only be played by a select number of people at any given time. Bezier addressed this problem with a rather ingenious game: Ultimate Werewolf.
Ultimate Werewolf is the ultimate party game, capable of supporting anywhere from 5 to 68 players at any given time. That’s right, 68 players! The rules are simple: as a villager, your mission is to weed out the werewolves and kill them; as a werewolf, you must convince the other villagers that you are innocent, while secretly feasting on those same villagers each night.
Contents: Ultimate Werewolf comes with a rulebook, a score pad, and 80 fully illustrated cards.
Gameplay: This game requires zero setup time other than a quick explanation of the rules and distribution of one card to each player. The game is overseen by a moderator, whose job is to keep score and ensure fair play. The moderator hands out one character card at random to each player. This card will reveal if you are a werewolf or a villager, along with information regarding what special roles you must play during the game. Dozens of special roles are available to help both the werewolves and the villagers achieve their goals while thwarting their opponents simultaneously. Players cannot divulge which card they possess.
The game has two primary phases, Night and Day. The moderator informs the players that it is nighttime and all players must shut their eyes or rest their heads on the table. Only those holding a werewolf card may keep their eyes open or lift their heads up. Making as little noise as possible, all werewolves must agree which villager is to be eaten. This is typically done with hand signals. The moderator ensures that villagers keep their eyes closed during this process. Players are then told it is daytime and the moderator reveals which player has been killed.
All players must now guess, based on the sounds they heard while their eyes were shut, facial expressions, or pure intuition, who they think is a werewolf. As each player throws around accusations, it is hard not to become overly enthusiastic and really get into creating a persona for your assigned role. Deciding who is to be killed off by the village is all about majority rules. Whichever player receives the most votes of suspicion is killed off and eliminated from the game. The player killed must then reveal their character card and show the group if they were indeed a werewolf or not. These two phases are then repeated over and over. The game is resolved when all werewolves have been eliminated, or there is an equal number of werewolves to villagers.
As stated previously, in order to make gameplay more interesting, each card is assigned a special role. Here is but a brief list describing some of the village characters and their roles:
• Bodyguard: Choose a different player each night to protect. That player cannot be killed that night.
• Cupid: The moderator chooses two players to be lovers. If one of those players dies, the other dies from a broken heart. A werewolf can be one of the lovers.
• Ghost: If you die the first night, each night you can write one letter as a message from the beyond for villagers to interpret.
• Village Idiot: Always vote for players to die.
• Mayor: Your vote counts twice when voting to kill a werewolf.
• Private Investigator: Once during the game, learn if one player out of three is a werewolf.
• Pacifist: Always vote for players to live.
• Seer: Each night, after the werewolves go back to sleep and before the villagers wake up, point at a player and learn from the moderator if they are a werewolf or not.
• Minion: Work with the werewolves to kill the villagers.
• Cursed: You are a villager until attacked by werewolves, at which time you become a werewolf.
The list goes on and on!
My Opinion: My first experience playing Ultimate Werewolf was in a group size of approximately 26 people. To say this game was fun would be an understatement. It was intense! The longer we played, the more enjoyable the game became. Even though I was killed off mid-game, watching everything unfold as a spectator was equally as entertaining.
Ultimate Werewolf’s biggest selling point of accommodating large groups can also be its biggest downside. Although the game says it needs a minimum of 5 players, it is clearly more enjoyable when played with at least 10 or more players. That being said, Ultimate Werewolf has many great things going for it. It is inexpensive to purchase, travels well, accommodates large groups, and is easy to learn and play regardless of personal gaming ability or experience. All in all, I can not recommend this game enough.
I want my last words to be; Hold my beer and watch this!
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