One Night Ultimate Werewolf
- Designer: Ted Alspach & Akihisa Okui
- Players: 2-10
- Time: 10 Min
This is a fun and fast game that leaves my family howling with laughter every time we play. One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a simple hidden-role game, however, the information you start with may transform over the course of a round making you wonder if in fact you may be a Werewolf after all. One Night Ultimate Werewolf has a pedigree that stretches all the way back to 1986 when a man named Dmitry Davidoff invented a game called Mafia. In Mafia, each player is assigned a hidden role of either a mafia hitman or one of many innocents. The game has a night phase in which one of the innocents is secretly killed by the mafia, and a day phase that sees a trial and deliberation ending in the arrest of one of the players. The game ends when either the mafia has killed all the innocents or all the mafia have been arrested. Ten years later, Mafia would later be re-themed as Werewolf.
Fast forward to 2014. Seeing issues like long play time and early knockouts souring the game for some, Ted Alspach and Akihisa Okui teamed up to create a version that plays in 10 minutes or less but still maintains all the intrigue, tension and manipulative fun of the original game. Here’s how it works. Hidden roles are still assigned, but the silver bullet in this game is the fact that once you look at your role you can never look at it again. You may go to sleep as a villager and wake up as werewolf. Most roles allow each player to perform an action during the night phase that subtly shifts the information everyone started with. When daybreak comes, players quickly scramble to decide who the werewolf is… because as it says on the box, “all it takes is lynching one werewolf to win!” This game is so much fun, and you will spend just as much time talking about the outcome as you do playing. It’s portable, inexpensive and easy to teach. I will suggest, however, that it should not be played with less than five people as the deliberation and wild accusation-making is less engaging with only a small complement of three or four. Also, be on the lookout for the expansion, One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak, coming in 2015.
Pros: Quick Game Play, Easy to Learn, Anyone Can Play, Laugh Out Loud Fun, Great Art, App Support
Cons: Theme May Not Appeal to Everyone, Original Werewolf Fans May Be Less Enthused