Unboxing One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Recently we were given a copy of the game One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Having become gamers, our friends now see it as a good idea to get us games at Christmas, and we love them for it. My girlfriend and I have acquired Secret Hitler, TIME Stories, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf through such beloved companions. Christmas is a wonderful time of year.
“But it’s September!” I hear you cry.
Yes, but our friends have been travelling. Thus, this pleasant piece of our pleasing past time has just been delivered to our hands.
Now, I have to admit, for such an influential game as One Night Ultimate Werewolf is meant to be in the social deduction genre, I know absolutely nothing about the game. So, today, in great “I don’t have a Youtube channel so I’m doing this the old fashion way” fashion, I figured we would unbox One Night Ultimate Werewolf together and see what wonders it beholds.
Unboxing One Night Ultimate Werewolf
I’m not 100% sure if we could call One Night Ultimate Werewolf a small box game. It isn’t a large box, but when we say “small box games” like Multiuniversum, Tiny Epic Quest, or Inbetween. Instead, I think this is just a game that has a small box.
Now, believe it or not, there are a few interesting things to point out about the box. The first is that it is by Ted Alspach and Akihisa Okui. Ted Alspach is the mind behind the Mad King Ludwig games, as well as Suburbia – both of which are within the BGG Top 100. The second is that One Night Ultimate Werewolf has these two markings on the box –
So, there are actually four core games in the One Night collection. These are One Night Ultimate Werewolf, One Night Ultimate Alien, One Night Ultimate Vampire, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf: Daybreak (with, I believe, One Night Ultimate Supervillains incoming). On top of that there are deluxe editions that have Ted Alspach’s name on the box but not Akihisa Okui. Werewolf is considered the first and original.
Pointing out the obvious symbols that you can probably read for yourself, the game is for 3 to 10 players. It lasts around 10 minutes, and it is for ages 10+.
After an unreasonable amount of pulling on cellophane to try and get it off the box, teaching me a valuable lesson that I should (a) stop chewing my nails and (b) remember where I put the scissors, I finally managed to get into the box.
The first thing that crossed by mind was that actually the contents of the box leave the box half-empty, but once you realise all the cardboard pieces are still packed that is perfectly understandable. The inside of the box will never be as empty as it is now.
On top of the box are two instructional booklets. One of these, the one pictured on the right, includes the base rules of the game. The one pictured on the left is a list of the additional roles there can be during the game and how they play.
Okay – so a brief intermission from the unboxing, I actually took a minute to read through both booklets in order to give a full first impression. Both are only 4 pages, making it a pretty easy read.
Firstly, the rules seem fairly simple. They are very similar to other games like Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, with common mechanics used across both games. Essentially, in One Night Ultimate Werewolf, the werewolves have to survive and everyone else has to hunt the werewolves. The game, according to the second booklet, is actually based on a Japanese game of the same game (designed by Akihisa Okui) and adapted further.
On a different note, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong was released in 2014, the same year as One Night Ultimate Werewolf. This was also the year Spyfall was released. It turns out 2014 was a really interesting year for the genre.
The game itself is split into day and night phases, with players waking up one by one during the night phase to do specific actions. During the day players debate/argue and vote on who they believe is who. One player acts as the announcer throughout, although there is an app which I believe can take on this role.
Secondly, I love the idea of the additional characters. We have played Deception: Murder in Hong Kong a fair amount, and in that we added a couple of additional roles to really spice up the game. A couple of roles added a whole new aspect and dynamic.
In One Night Ultimate Werewolf the base game for three players has 2x Werewolves, the Seer, the Robber, the Troublemaker, and 1 of 3 Villagers. Aside from those there are also the Doppleganger, the Minion, the Mason, the Drunk, the Insomniac, the Hunter, and the Tanner. Seeing how much two characters changed Deception, I can only imagine what the additional characters do for One Night Ultimate Werewolf.
Next is a set of thick cardboard character cards. We now know what these are for, with several being placed in the middle of the table and with one being passed to each player to begin with. Purely from a quality perspective, these are on thick card and die cut.
I have to admit, I think Gus Batts did an amazing job with the character artwork in One Night Ultimate Werewolf. It feels both kind of comforting and yet also kind of disconcerting at the same time. Gus Batts has done the artwork for all the core games in the One Night collection, not including deluxe editions.
Finally there are role tokens. These can be used to try and keep track of who is what during the game. The number on the tokens denotes the order they wake up in.
As mentioned before, there is an app and I look forward to seeing how this will interact with the game. I decided to have a quick download to take a look.
The One Night Ultimate Werewolf App
My first thoughts are that the Werewords app, which is a game designed from the same universe, is pretty good, so I imagine this will work well. The app is quite large, coming in at 72.16 MB. Over my terrible internet connection, that can’t even properly load the WordPress reader, it is taking a while to download.
Here are a few screenshots from that app.
There are a few interesting quirks about the app. The first is that it contains all the One Night Ultimate games. The second is that all of those games can be put into one game – they can be mixed together. It’s a really interesting option for people who either want variety or want to play like a 40 person game. I don’t know how that works with the initiative order, but can you imagine it?
Thirdly, the app has a lot of customisation options. You can have a male or female narrator. There can be a game timer, and there can even be background music. I don’t quite understand the additional options yet, but there are a few other things you can tinker with in the app as well.
I ran through an introduction and the game does feel very epic. Unfortunately the music stops after the introduction, even if a timer is added. I understand why, but it would have been nice to add additional atmosphere to the game.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf Unboxing: First Impressions
By far, not the hardest game to unbox; however, I thought it would be worth running through nonetheless. It seems like it will be a fun game to play, and I have to admit I am curious. I also like the idea, at this point, of mashing together a few versions of the game. I can imagine Vampires and Werewolves work well, as well as Aliens and Supervillains when the latter gets released. In regards to the mechanics, the additional characters should be really interesting to play, and I don’t think the game will get particularly old fast.
Once we’ve played it I’ll publish a full review.
So, what do you think? Is One Night Ultimate Werewolf a game you have played? If so, would you recommend it? Do you have any hints or tips to share? Let me know in the comments below.