Get in the Halloween spirit, and discover who among your friends is a hidden werewolf, in this quick deduction game – One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
Designer: Ted Alspach & Akihisa Okui
Publisher: Bezier Games
Genre: Deduction, Hidden Roles
Play Time: 10 Minutes
Number of Logged Plays: 24+
In One Night Ultimate Werewolf players work to figure out who is a werewolf that caused some chaos the night before in the quiet village. The whole game takes place over one night, and players will get the opportunity to figure out who the werewolves are the morning after. Narration can be done by a player, but there’s an excellent free app that will narrate the whole night and tell players when to take their actions.
Before players start the game, they will select what roles they want in the game, which will always include two werewolves. The other roles will be a mix of villagers and special roles that can do unique actions during the night phase. The number of roles selected will always be the number of players plus three. If players are new to the game, the manual suggests a couple different setups based on the number of players.
The corresponding role cards selected to be in the game are gathered up and randomly given to players. Role cards are face down and each player views their role. The remaining three role cards are placed in the middle face down to add some mystery as to what roles are actually held by the players.
Once everyone has looked at their role card, the player running the app can start the game. The app will instruct players to close their eyes and go through the whole “Night” phase, which has certain roles “waking up” and performing actions.
Once the “Night” phase is over, the “Day” phase will begin, which is where players will discuss what they did and who they think the werewolves are. During this phase, players can say whatever they want, but they are not allowed to show their card to anyone or look at themselves. Once the “Day” phase ends (timer set in the app), players will vote on who should die. The player with the most votes will suffer a horrible death, and if there is a tie, then all tied players will suffer that same fate.
All players will then reveal their cards. If a werewolf dies, the village team wins. If a villager dies, the werewolves win. Whatever card the player ends up with when they are flipped over will determine their team. It doesn’t matter what role they started off with, only what role they ended up with
In One Night Ultimate Werewolf each player will get one of the following roles and perform the corresponding action during the night phase:
- Doppelganger (Recommended with more experienced players): The Doppelganger will look at another player’s card and becomes the role that they looked at. The Doppelganger will do the following based on what role she becomes:
- Villager, Tanner, or Hunter: She is now on the village team and does nothing else for the rest of the night.
- Werewolf or Mason: She wakes up with the other werewolves or masons during their night phase.
- Seer, Robber, Troublemaker, or Drunk: She immediately does the corresponding role and does not wake up when that role is called.
- Minion: At the end of the Doppelganger phase, she’ll keep her eyes open and the werewolves will be told to put their thumbs up.
- Insomniac: After the normal Insomniac phase, the Doppelganger will get a “Doppelganger Insomniac” phase where she will perform the Insomniac action.
- Werewolf (Werewolf Team): The villain of our story. All werewolves wake up and open their eyes to see who else is on their team. If there is only one werewolf and players are using the “Lone Wolf” option then they can look at one of the three center cards.
- Minion (Werewolf Team): The human sympathizer who wants the werewolves to continue causing chaos in the village. During the Minion phase, the werewolves will put their thumbs up to let the minion see who they are. The werewolves will not know who the minion is. If the Minion dies and no werewolves die, the werewolf team wins. If there are no werewolves, the Minion wins if they don’t get killed.
- Masons (Village Team): The bros of the village who always stick together. The Masons wake up and look for the other mason.
- Seer (Village Team): The town fortune teller.The Seer may look at another player’s card or look at two of the center cards.
- Robber (Village Team): The village’s friendly identity thief that takes advantage of this chaotic situation. The Robber can swap their card with another player’s card. The Robber then looks at that card and becomes that role. He does not wake up during his new roles’ phase.
- Troublemaker (Village Team): Some people just want to see the village in disarray. The Troublemaker can swap two other players cards. She does not get to look at the cards she is swapping. The players who got their cards swapped are now the roles on their new card.
- Drunk (Village Team): The town drunk is just looking for a good time. Unfortunately, he had a little too much and blacked out for the night. The Drunk swaps their card with a card from the center, but does not get to look at their new card. The new card they received determines what team they’re on at the end of the game.
- Insomniac (Village Team): Who needs sleep anyways, right? The Insomniac wakes up and looks at her card to see if it has changed. The card in front of them determines what team they’re on at the end of the game.
- Villager (Village Team): Your everyday civilian. The Villager does not wake up at night and has no special abilities.
- Tanner (Their Own Team): Sometimes you just really hate your job, so what better way than to try to get yourself killed amidst the chaos? The Tanner is on neither the werewolf or village team. The only way that they win is by being the one that dies at the end of the game.
- Hunter (Village Team): The guy that will take you down with him. If the Hunter dies, then the player that they voted for also dies.
The phone app will tell players to wake up in the following order listed above. If there are any roles that aren’t in the game, they’ll be skipped. After all the night actions are performed, all players will wake up for the “Day” phase and the deduction portion of the game begins. At the end of that phase, players will cast their final votes and the player who receives the majority of the votes is killed.
With more games these days utilizing applications, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a shining example of this implementation. With the help of the app, this game has quickly become a mainstay in our game group because it’s so quick to play and is always a blast. Since the application drives everything, it’s pretty easy to give a brief overview of how the game works and let newer players know that the app will tell them exactly what to do as long as they remember their role.
We’ve typically played this game with different groups of 6-8 players and it’s been a huge success with each group. At first, we played games with the recommended amount of villagers, but found out quickly that repeatedly getting that role gets pretty boring. But the more villagers you take out, the more of an advantage the village team gets. Since most roles give players more information, it can be difficult as a werewolf to come up with a good lie about what role they are pretending to be if there aren’t any villagers. I think this is really only a problem for newer players since they aren’t quite as familiar with the game yet to weave a solid tale to convince players of their innocence.
The amount of chaos all the special roles can create in the game is one of my favorite parts. It creates some great moments when someone thinks they’re one role, but they turn out to be a completely different one. We had a game where a friend started off as a werewolf and didn’t quite follow everything that happened that closely, and ended up assisting the werewolves in their victory. The look of excitement on his face went away once he flipped over his card and saw that he was now the robber. On the other hand, it’s also really exciting to find out your deduction skills were on point and you know exactly who the werewolf is.
I will say that this game might not go over well with people who feel like it’s too random. The main reason for this is not knowing what role you’ve ended up with if you don’t have enough information. On top of that, you’ll have to believe that the information someone is providing is the truth. This isn’t unlike any other deduction game, but the major difference is that the game takes place over ten minutes representing one “night” rather than multiple rounds for you to gather information. So the strategy is going to be a bit different since you’ll have to be a bit more aggressive and know what questions to ask a person when they claim something.
One thing I liked to do is to claim a role that I’m not and say I did something to see if anyone else disputes me. This usually works to get some discussion started on what else people did and to see if anyone else will dispute the claim. So the strategy is there, but which ones work will depend on the group you’re playing with and how convincing you are.
Overall, I think One Night Ultimate Werewolf is one of the best party games you can buy. The amount of plays and stories we’ve gotten out of this game for only $15 is pretty insane. We’ve tried other social deduction games in the past like the Resistance: Avalon and it just kind of fell flat for us. I think the biggest draw for me with this game versus similar games is how quick each round is. So if you make a mistake in the game it’ll be over in a matter of minutes and a new game will begin soon after. It’s kind of like the movie Edge of Tomorrow where you can learn from your mistakes playing as a werewolf or figure out ways to draw the werewolf out from game to game. It might not be for everyone, but you should at least give it a try if you’re at all interested in a social deduction game.
If you’re looking for a quick game that plays well in large groups, look no further than One Night Ultimate Werewolf. We’ve played this games more times than we can even count, and have always had a great time playing it.
In this game, there’s a bit of a catch 22 – being a simple Villager is incredibly boring because you do nothing, but if you take them all out of the game, it makes it virtually impossible for the werewolves to ever win.
Whenever I have been the werewolf, I’ve found that when we eliminated the Villager as one of the roles, it’s really hard to win. You end up with a situation where two people are claiming to be the same role. While this does make the game interesting, it’s very hard for someone to win as the werewolf because there are more layers to the lie. You have to also say what you did as that other role, and that can be hard to come up with on the spot. I’ve found that when I know I’m the werewolf, I try to think in advance what role would be easiest to pretend to be. I also try to listen to see when I can hear someone doing things during the assigned time at night.
I personally find being the werewolf incredibly stressful. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely prefer not being one and trying to figure out who is the werewolf. I can remember a few games where I pretended to be a role like the Robber, and then had to make up more lies about what I did when it was my turn to wake up. It gets even more complicated if you jump the gun and someone else really is the Robber.
One of the best things about this game is that everything is explained to you via an app on your phone. It tells you exactly what each role is supposed to do, and you pick it all up really quick. It’s not a tough game to learn at all. There are a few roles that are initially confusing, but you get the hang of the whole game pretty quickly. There’s also music that adds to the ambiance, unless you pick one of the weird song choices that are just a bit to jazzy for the feel of the game.
What I have discovered from games like these is how bad of a liar I am. I have very obvious tells that I have to try to curb when I play this game. And this is often the case with some of our other friends as well. But it’s what makes this game so entertaining. Sometimes I’m surprised by how great someone is at lying, and other times it’s really fun to just call someone out in the middle of their lie and watch them try to cover their butt. This game offers so many different experiences.
Overall, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a super fun group game that can be played multiple times in a row. We often play it 10-20 times in one night, and rarely get sick of it. It may not be for everyone though. Some people don’t like the tension associated with lying your way through a game, and also having to accuse others of being a liar. But I personally love this game and find it entertaining every time we play it.
-Quick to play
-Easy to learn for new players
-App is excellent
-Lots of different role combinations to try
-Plays well with a lot of players
– Great party game
-Being a plain old villager can be boring
-Can be difficult being the werewolf as a newer player
-Can be unbalanced depending on roles selected
He gives this game 10 Villagers out of 10.
She gives this game 9.5 Werewolves out of 10.