Board Game Night: Werewords

I had a wonderful board game night last weekend. I wanted to write about some of the games I played, and enjoyed. As I’ve only played each of these games one or two times, These won’t be full reviews, more “first thoughts” articles. So these will be short and sweet, and not necessarily in depth.

Werewords. One, in a long line of social deduction games from Bézier Games, known for the one night ultimate series. But I think Werewords is the social deduction game for people who don’t like social deduction games, and for people who do like social deduction games. I’ve played social deduction games with a bunch of different groups of people, and they’re not always a hit. Sometimes folks don’t like having to lie to their friends, and sometimes they just don’t really like the genre. No longer.

Werewords, like its predecessors, gives everyone a hidden role card. Everyone looks at their roles and whomever got the mayor, reveals themselves, receives another hidden role card and takes control of the tokens box. Then you boot up the app on your phone. I know to some it might seem a little counterintuitive to play a card game with a phone app being a core component, but it’s a free app, is easy to use and it adds more to the game than it takes away, so hold your judgement. 

The phone app talks you through the night phase, where the mayor picks from a list of secret words and the seer and werewolves get to take a look as well. Then once the night phase is over, everyone asks the mayor yes or no questions, trying to narrow down what the secret word could be. Or appearing to, at least. Those on the werewolf team are there to try and lead the villagers in the wrong directions, but asking difficult or leading questions, and “thinking out loud” in a way to direct the other players away from the right answer. If they manage to stop the group from guessing the secret word, then everyone has a chance to vote on who they might think the werewolves are; if they get the werewolves, the villagers win, if not the werewolves win. If the secret word is guessed correctly, then the werewolves have a chance to try and vote on who they think the seer is, if they guess correctly, they win, if not, the villagers win.

So the seer has to try and guide the villagers towards the right answer without being too obvious, while the werewolves try and lead them away from it, again without being too obvious. Here, those that are the werewolves, don’t have to outright lie to the other players, as the only agency they really have in the game is asking yes or no questions to the mayor. The mayor can’t speak to the players, just handing out the correct token for each question.

I truly love Werewords. Some of the other hidden role games can wear thin after a while, but I haven’t managed to tire of this one yet. The 20 question style game play with the subtle directing from the players who already know the word, make the game captivating and make each round unique. While every round might start with “is it a noun?” being able to select from different lists of words at different difficulties, as well as make up your own lists, will keep me coming back to this one. It’s a great casual game to play after you’ve finished something long and strategic, to reset your brain and bring the group back together. So if you like social deduction games, but don’t really like lying to your friends, or are looking for a different kind of hidden role game to dip your toes into, give Werewords a crack.

You can find out more about Werewords here.

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