I needed a simple and portable game that would accommodate and entertain a large group of Boy Scouts in my troop, ages 10 1/2 to 18, while camping. After doing some research, I stumbled upon Werewolf/Mafia, a game originally created and attributed to to Dmitry Davidoff at Moscow University's Department of Psychology. Was it created as a wacky psychological experiment regarding human interaction once a group is confronted with suspicion, information, disinformation, and misinformation? I'll let other who are more knowledgeable than I am, explain its origins. I just know that the game is fun. I also thinks that it helps my scouts to organize themselves, structure group play, select a moderator/leader, follow rules, and explore creative role-play.
I quickly hand-crafted a set of basic role cards and introduced the Werewolf version of this party game to my scouts. They simply loved it? Though I originally moderated the game for them, they were soon organizing the game themselves and selecting their own moderator who often came up with very creative and funny back-stories about the game. I'll assume that everyone is familiar with the basic game play so I won't go further into the details of game play, other than to say that the werewolves are out to get the villagers and villagers must discover/guess who the werewolves are and who is on "their side" before the villagers are eliminated.
Because of their love of the game and their frequent gameplay at campouts, I've made many homemade versions of the game, but, quickly had to replace them as soon as I made them due to wear and tear--boys can be hard on the role cards since they get excited during game play, when they discover who is a werewolf, or when someone is eliminated from the game. But, I cast aside my homemade versions of the game and purchased them a copy of Ultimate Werewolf to enhance their playing experience.
My scouts have been thrilled with the villager, werewolf and other special roles on the cards included in Ultimate Werewolf. They love its artwork. They especially enjoy the variety in game play with the insertion of the special role cards.
Because boys can be hard on the cards when they get excited, I sleeved the cards in Ultra Pro card sleeves and inserted them in Ultra Pro Top Loaders--so far this has extended the life of the game and protected the cards from wear and tear. I expect them to play on every campout in the coming years.
And, they must be good werewolf ambassadors because they're exporting the game to other neighboring troops on our Council campouts because I now see other troops playing the game too beside the campfire or coming to visit our campsite to play.