‘Werewolf’ game review
By Ed Appleby, Illustrator
This October, I’m going to be taking a look at a series of darker themed games. This week we look at a game that can literally involve a whole village.
Werewolf, also known as Mafia, is a party game designed by Dimitry Davidoff for eight or more players. In the game, two or three players are secretly werewolves who kill off one of the other players every night. The rest of the players are villagers who, in the morning, pick one of their own to lynch in hopes of getting rid of the werewolves. Some villagers have special abilities, such as killing, healing, or identifying whether other players are the werewolf. The game ends once all the werewolves are killed or there are no villagers left.
One player gets to play the Storyteller. This player works outside of the game, making sure the day and night sequences work and everyone follows the rules. It is usually the most experienced player or one who has the best flair for storytelling.
The best aspects of the game are its subterfuge, bluffing, and maintaining the alliances among the werewolves. It is similar to other betrayer-style games such as The Resistance or Bang! The game is quick, and can involve a lot of people. It does have the elimination issue that some other games have, but it can still be entertaining even to someone watching from the outside.
Werewolf is considered to be public domain and you can find the rules to it easily enough online. But if you want something a little more stylistic and permanent, you can find several versions on Kickstarter or pick up the seminal version Werewolves of Miller Hollow published by Asmodee.
This is a game to pull out at your Halloween party, for both kids and older gamers. I cannot recommend it highly enough.