Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition

I love Are You A Werewolf? and it’s sister game Ultimate Werewolf.  That’s why we host an evening of it each month in my shop.  It’s also why I stay up till dawn during conventions.  Playing werewolf is more than just a game, it’s downright a hobby all of its own.  My other half knows my love of werewolf runs deep, to the point that she begged and bargained with the kind folks over at Looney Labs for an “I am not a werewolf” t-shirt for me for our anniversary (Thanks Andy and Kristin for your kind generosity!  I love it and wear it proudly!).

Game Information
Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition
DesignerLegend Dan Hoffman
ArtistSanjana Baijnath
PublisherArclight, Bézier Games, Inc., Pegasus Spiele
Year Published2013
# of Players3 - 12
Playing Time60
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
CategoryDeduction, Horror, Murder/Mystery
MechanicPartnerships, Role Playing, Variable Player Powers, Voting
ExpansionUltimate Werewolf: Inquisition – Full Moon
FamilyWerewolf / Mafia
Alternate NamesWerwölfe: Inquisition, 究極の人狼 異端審問

Info courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Info.

Now that you have a complete understanding of how much I love this game, let me just say that Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition did not live up to standards.  The game tries to fit a niche: a smaller group of gamers want to play werewolf but they don’t have nearly enough people nor a moderator.  What you get is a barely functional game that is not nearly as compelling as the game it’s trying to imitate.

The game is played using a series of “hut” cards and a series of face down player cards.  During the day, players take hut cards and perform the abilities upon them, which could be looking at one or more of the face down player cards, or it could be casting a vote.  Votes are represented by little black cubes that are placed on the player cards, and players are attempting to vote out the werewolf cards that are amidst the player cards.  The player card with the most cubes at the end of the round is lynched, and it and it’s corresponding hut is removed from the game.  Then it’s night time and the werewolves cause some mischief.  One row of face down player cards is picked up and everyone closes their eyes.  The cards are passed around the circle and when they get to the werewolves, they can be rearranged.  Then everyone wakes up and the cards are dealt back out, presumably in the same order they were in before, and a new round of voting begins.   What the werewolves are hoping with this action is that they can fool the villagers into voting for the wrong card, thus lynching one of their own, rather than a werewolf.

So where does the game go wrong?  Firstly, it’s very very difficult to not be caught as the werewolf player.  When cards are passed around the circle, very small tells can give away that you are the werewolf:  how long you take, sounds of cards shuffling, the way you grab the cards.  Remember, you are theoretically playing with fans of wereworlf and we are used to looking for tells.  The rules allude to the fact that this is a problem, and say that the passing of cards is not meant to be a way to figure out who the werewolf is.  But do you realize what you are saying?  “Hey everyone!  We are going to play a game with hidden roles where you are intended to be critical of other peoples body language and actions, but this part here… can you NOT be werewolf players for a minute?”.  That’s just lazy game design and breaks the whole thing.  After roughly two rounds, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind who the werewolf was and then it’s just a matter of not falling under the werewolf’s influence, which isn’t exactly hard.

Review of
'Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition'
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I think it goes without saying that I am disappointed.  Given my love of werewolf, I was completely enamored with this idea that I could play it in a more intimate setting without the need for someone to it out as moderator.  I really wanted to love this game.  Luckily for me, another gamer introduced me to an alternative:  The Resistance.  It’s another hidden role game that fixed the problems present in Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition.  Give it a try instead, and I think you’ll be much happier.

 

 

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Monday, February 3rd, 2014 at 2:00 pm and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Party Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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