- Name of game, creator, platform
One Night Werewolf, Bezier Games, iOS/board/memory
- Target audience (as best you can discover from research or the games messaging)
8+ in age, people who are fans of board games/ social manipulation game in general. The art style is a good middle ground that can appeal to both board game newbies and D&D veterans.
- Formal elements of the game: how many players? What actions can players take? How do rounds work? Do they do anything interesting with player relationships/objectives/resources?
3-10 players. Players have different roles that they are assigned that fall into three general groups based on who they want to win: the werewolves, the villagers, or some other character in the game.
Each round is composed of two general stages. During night, everyone who has some sort of power wakes at different times to select how they will be using their power that round. Then, during the day phase, people talk to each other to figure out what is going on. Each round, some number of players may be eliminated via player powers or a majority vote.
Like most social manipulation games, ONW is essentially a mod of mafia. In mafia, a lot of the fun of the game hinged on being selected as the werewolf. In ONW, almost everyone has a unique role that makes the game more interesting for them.
- What kind of fun? How do the elements of the game lead it to be fun/compelling?
Fantasy: identities in fantasy world, having powers
Challenge: social manipulation, solving others’ social manipulation
Fellowship: public discussion mechanism
Discovery: every game has something to discovery – who is who
- My thoughts:
To be honest, I don’t think I fully understand how vanilla mafia works. Why are people able to figure out who the mafia members are based on anonymous assassinations alone? If computers played this game with each other, winning would 100% be probabilistic, right?
With ONW, there is far more happening and thus far more information to go off of. This not only makes the game more interesting for players, but it makes the outcomes more correlated with how players choose to play the game, as opposed to luck. For me, ONW is a highly tuned version of a classic game that I cannot think of some direct improvement. There are many directions one could take the game from here, but they would incur some sort of tradeoff.
The game mechanics themselves are not too demanding in terms of vulnerability. However, like all social manipulation games go, things can get heated when people are accusing each other of being ‘villainous’ roles. During these intense sessions (not to say that intensity is bad for the gaming experience), people may say or do things that offend, resulting in some level of vulnerability.