Review – One Night Ultimate Werewolf
A hidden role game.
Title: One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Year Published: 2014
Designer: Ted Alspach, Akihisa Okui
Publisher: Bezier Games
Game Time: >5 Mins
Set-up Time: >1 Mins
Mechanic: Hidden Roles, Bluffing, Voting
How to win: Varies depending on players role.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a fast game for 3-10 players in which everyone gets a role: One of the dastardly Werewolves, the tricky Troublemaker, the helpful Seer, or one of a dozen different characters, each with a special ability. In the course of a single morning, your village will decide who is a werewolf…because all it takes is lynching one werewolf to win!
Choose the roles being used in the game. You will need 1 per player + 3 more.
Shuffle the role tiles, deal 1 face down to each player and put 3 face down in the middle of the table.
Put the tokens representing each character in play on the table as a reminder to everyone which roles are in play… and that’s it!
For game play I am going to describe a basic 3 player game with 2 Werewolves, a Seer, a Robber, a Troublemaker and a Villager. I’ll describe the other roles in my Round Up.
Everyone looks at their role, the 3 in the middle remain untouched.
Someone needs to call out each role one at a time. Optionally (and preferably) you can use the awesome iOS app to call out the roles. It’s voiced by Eric Summerer and is very thematic. Also, it has a little background noise that helps cover the sound of moving tiles.
Everyone closes their eyes.
The Werewolves then wake up (open their eyes) so they know who the other Werewolf is. Of course, the other Werewolf may be in the middle of the table, or even both Werewolves!. The Werewolves close their eyes.
You can play an optional “Lone Wolf” mode where if there is only one Wolf, they can look at a card in the middle.
Then the Seer wakes up, if there is one. The Seer can look at a players role, or look at 2 roles from the centre of the table. The Seer closes their eyes.
Then the Robber wakes up and can exchange their card with another players card, and look at their new card. The Robber closes their eyes.
Then the Troublemaker wakes up and can switch two other players roles and then closes their eyes.
Then everyone wakes up and the REAL games begins.
Then you have a time for discussion, bluffing and lying. The Werewolves will be trying to convince everyone they are Villagers. The Villagers will be also trying to convince everyone they are Villagers, but also to root out who the Werewolves are.
If you use the iOS app you can set a period of time that will automatically start to count down before having to vote.
When time is up, someone calls 3,2,1 and then everyone points at someone else who they wish to kill.
A player with the most votes dies. Any player tied with the most votes also dies. If everyone only receives one vote, no one dies.
If at least one player is a Werewolf and no Werewolves are killed, the players that end the game as Werewolves win.
If at least one Werewolf dies, everyone who ended the game with a Villager as their role wins.
If no one is a Werewolf and no one dies, the Villagers win.
The game is quick and fun. The variety from the roles makes all the difference. Which roles you play with will vary from game group to game group and will also depend on the experience level with this game and the number of players. Here is each role, in the order they are called out. But first, 3 roles do not have a ‘Night Action’…
Villager, Tanner and Hunter
A Villager has no ability, they are just on the Villager team.
The Tanner is a little confusing really. He wins if he dies so you’re trying to get yourself killed if you’re the Tanner. If the Tanner dies and no Werewolves die, the Tanner wins and the Werewolves do not. If the tanner AND a Werewolf dies, both the Tanner and Villagers win together, but separately.
If the Hunter dies, the player he is pointing at also dies. This gives the Villagers an extra chance of killing a Werewolf.
OK, here are the roles that have a ‘Night Action’, in the order they are called out.
1 – Doppelgänger
One for groups who know how to play. She will look at another players role and become that role.
If she sees a Villager, Hunter or Tanner she becomes that role and keeps her eyes closed for the rest of the night.
If she is a Werewolf or Mason, she wakes up in their phase.
If she is a Seer, Robber, Troublemaker or Drunk she takes their night action now in the Doppelgänger phase.
If she is a Minion, the Werewolves will put out there thumbs so she knows who the Werewolves are.
If she is the Insomniac, she will perform her role at the very end of the night phase, after the Insomniac.
2 – Werewolves
Werewolves open their eyes so they can see who the other Werewolves are. The Doppelgänger-Werewolf will open her eyes here too if she saw a Werewolf.
3 – Minion
The Minion is on the Werewolf team. The Werewolves will put their thumbs up so the Minion knows who the Werewolves are, but the Werewolves won’t know who the Minion is.
4 – Mason
There will always be 2 Masons in a Game. Like the Werewolves, they open their eyes and look for the other Mason. The Doppelgänger-Mason will open her eyes too.
5 – Seer
The Seer can look at a players role, or look at 2 roles from the centre of the table.
6 – Robber
The robber can change their role with another player, then look at their new role.
7 – Troublemaker
The troublemaker can switch two other players role cards without looking at them.
8 – Drunk
The Drunk swaps their role with any of the 3 cards in the middle of the table, without looking at it!
9 – Insomniac
The Insomniac will look at her role card. As this is the last action in the night phase the Insomniac has a lot of knowledge going into the day phase.
There is a lot to remember here when calling out the various roles. The free app is great for doing this for you and acting as a timer. It adds atmosphere and Eric Summerer’s voice suits the game perfectly.
I’ve played this 3 players all the way up to 10 players and enjoyed it with any number. With 10 players a lot of stuff can be bounced around the table. A lot of accusations, lies, bluffs and sometimes the odd silly mistake.
With 3 players you’d think it wouldn’t work but it does. With the game having 6 roles in play it works well as you can still bluff to the other 2 players. Oh, and it’s HILARIOUS when two of the players are Werewolves and they hide it well until the vote…
The downside? Well, when a round starts someone has to speak first. Sometimes too many people refuse to start talking, or even talk at all. You can’t just sit and wait for everyone to give up some information before you start otherwise the game doesn’t go anywhere.
Sadly, I have seen people win this way. On one particularly bad occasion the Tanner won by refusing to speak at all. While it can be seen as good game play, making himself seem guilty, it made for a bad game experience.
I’ve played this a lot, and will continue to as long as people are willing to play it with me.
I give it 7/10