Critical Play: Competitive Analysis – Ji Hong Ni

The game I played this week was One Night Werewolf. The idea of this game is that roles are randomly (and secretly) distributed at the beginning. Each “night,” when everyone closes their eyes, the werewolves wake up and pick a victim. During the “day,” all the players discuss and vote someone off, hoping to kill off a werewolf. There are also other characters that have various abilities to perform through the night as well. This game is tethered to social deception which our game, Three Night Alibi (tentative title), relies on as well. In our game, we have three days, or rounds, to figure out the murderer through the various alibis the characters provide. 


One Night Werewolf contains multiple rounds and this allows the players a chance to talk and defend their case on why they are not the werewolf. The rounds are also timed so the pressure is on the ticking clock. This allows for fellowship and fantasy to be the key takeaways of fun from this game when playing but also graphical aspects. The game also has a narrative mode that the players have to follow; using game tokens and cards that are designed for the fictitious world, it emphasizes the fantastical elements of the game. A similar game to Werewolf is Mafia, so there are games that are similar in that aspect. Other murder mystery games like Clue could have a different set of mechanics that vary. I haven’t played enough games in this genre to speak too much about it or if there are other games that use different mechanics. However, the open discussion narrative aspect of Werewolf could incite more aggressive conversations that if not facilitated well, could lead to toxic rounds and petty behavior. 


Overall, One Night Werewolf is a social game hinged on social deception and if there are any changes that needed to be made, I would look at the section when the Narrative get’s a bit out of control. Maybe incorporating a limit of how much players can speak so not one person dominates the conversation.

About the author

Junior studying CS with an Art Minor :)

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