Werewolves is filled with wild accusation, bare-faced lies and mob hysteria – exactly my idea of fun.
It is a game in which each player is assigned a secret role with different mechanics – you could be a range of things, including a plain ol’ villager, a badass hunter, a powerful witch, a mischievous cupid, or a slavering, ravenous werewolf. During a nighttime phase, the werewolves silently choose a hapless victim to devour. Then, during the day, the villagers have to figure out who amongst them are werewolves in villagers’ clothing, while the werewolves do their best to hijack the narrative.
In our game, I was a simple vanilla-ger whose big mouth got me killed off early on. Although this meant I couldn’t participate for the majority of the game, I instead got to watch the game unfold from the afterlife with a glass of consolation bubbly.
From observing, I got the feeling that each game will really vary in style depending upon the audience. Our group was somewhat reticent to spout theories about who was a werewolf and why, which meant that it was hard to suggest ideas without drawing too much attention to yourself and getting killed. Most accusation was based on shuffling during the night phase (God help you if you unknowingly picked a creaky chair) and looking shifty, rather than analyzing who defended who and who the werewolves chose to kill off. Essentially, the kind of game you play and how much you enjoy it depends almost entirely on who else shows up.
Because you are basically required to call people who you’ve never met before liars and murderers, if you are super uncomfortable interacting with strangers you might be better off with a gin and tonic downstairs. Otherwise, unleash your inner sociopath, indulge in some McCarthyism, and whip up some bloodlust amongst the mob.
What made Werewolves a great experience was the atmosphere – the upstairs room of the Henry Austin was antiquated to exactly the right degree, and game master and all-round gentleman Nick Phillips is soft-spoken and dapper in a coat and tails. That said, a little extra theatrical spice would have gone a long way and made Werewolves stand out more from games of Mafia or The Resistance you may have played with friends at parties. All in all, Werewolves is a great opportunity for some socially-acceptable lying and makes for a great weeknight out.