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Time to 20 Plays: 3 Weeks
How to Play: Werewords is similar to the old-fashioned game 20 Questions mixed with Werewolf. It has nearly identical rules to Insider, too. In the basic game, there are four roles: Mayor (runs the game), Seer (knows the magic word and tries to help the villagers without being obvious), Villager (nothing special), and Werewolf (knows the magic word and tries to keep the villagers from guessing it).
The entire game is run with an app containing countless magic word possibilities. After the Mayor selects the magic word and the Seer and Werewolf/Werewolves see the word, players have four minutes to ask the Mayor yes/no questions about the secret word, and he responds with double-sided tokens. If the magic word is correctly guessed before time runs out, the Werewolf gets a chance to win the game by pinpointing the seer. If he is correct, the Werewolf team wins. If the magic word is not guessed correctly, all players get to discuss and then vote in an attempt to pinpoint a werewolf. They can win by guessing correctly or lose by guessing incorrectly. There are several optional roles (Beholder and Minion) that add a few interesting twists after you’ve played a few times.
I've played it so much because:
1. It combines social deduction with an intellectual exercise. Werewords is a clever game. It’s still in the social deduction genre, which is a genre I tend to get a bit sick of, but the 20 questions element adds enough to make the game seem fresh. There’s nothing quite like the experience of being the Mayor while also being the Werewolf.
2. The game’s easy to teach/learn and very customizable. Since the app walks you through most of the steps, the game is already a breeze to teach. But based on the group, you can change the roles and the difficulty level of the words. I’ve also been told that you can create custom sets of words, but I haven’t tried that yet.
3. The app is of excellent quality. Much like the app Bezier offers for its One Night series, the Werewords app limits the amount of teaching you have to do. The interface is simple, and the graphics are perfectly suited to the game.
I'd play it more if:
1. The Seer weren’t easy to pinpoint at random with lower player counts. Other games with this mechanic have a similar issue; the Werewolf will sometimes correctly guess the Seer at random because there are so few players. I’ve even heard the Werewolf say something like, “I have no idea. I’ll just guess _______.” Those games feel like such a letdown for the Villager team. They did their job and lost the game anyway.
Overall: If you want a fresh twist on the social deduction genre, Werewords might be what you’re looking for. It’s a simple game that encourages nuanced play styles based on the specific role you’re given each round. Because the app runs the show, there’s minimal teaching and minimal downtime. After each five-minute round, you’ll be wanting to play again. Werewords is an excellent party game, especially when you have at least six players.
As one example of the craziness that can occur in this game, I tried Ridiculous (the hardest difficulty) words with some of my AP and honors students. With the word “Naruto,” we’d narrowed it down to something animated that’s on TV. However, there was no Seer to help guide us. With less than one second left, one of the students shouted out “Naruto!” when no one else was even close. The Werewolf incorrectly assumed this student was the Seer, so we secured the victory in style. These kinds of crazy endings happen pretty regularly with Werewords, and it certainly has my recommendation.
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Thanks for sharing your review! The 20X Review format is such a good idea to test the longevity of a game We're glad you're still having fun with Werewords.
Social Media Manager, Bézier Games