(Full disclosure: not only is this my first review, I know the game designer/publisher personally. Take those two facts with as many grains of salt as you see fit. Comments are based on several plays of the print-and-play prototype with my weekly gaming group.)
One Stormy Night is a game in the Mafia/Werewolf vein which adds a few twists to the standard mechanic of accusing someone of being a traitor every round.
At the beginning of a game, each player draws a role card which assigns them to be a vampire, a werewolf, or a standard-issue plain human. Each role also has a corresponding 5-card deck in the middle of the play area. The human deck is made from common action cards alone, while the other two have some common cards and some cards which can only be found in the werewolf or vampire decks. Players vote on which deck to flip a card from in each round, then flip and execute the card from the winning deck. Once one deck is exhausted, players who hold the matching role win.
There are cards which allow players to move the decks around, remove cards from play, and change their roles, so it’s not a simple matter of figuring out who has which role and mechanically voting on your own deck. In fact, mechanically voting for your deck is generally a poor strategy, as usual in traitor/bluffing games.
- Short play time (10 min or less), which mitigates the weak points
- Kept our pretty hardcore group smiling and having fun as a starter game for the evening
- Enjoyed being overly dramatic in voting for first round (silly, since you don’t know what’s what yet when the game starts)
- Arguing about who has what role and why they are voting as they are
Potential weak points:
- Players can be eliminated, and once that happens, winners can be locked in with an unlucky balance (2-1 locks out the player on a team alone)
- Variety of cards is low, and only one card is not used each game
- Opportunity for deception is a bit limited
In short, it’s a quick game in the traitor/bluffing genre with two flavors of traitor which was a fun way to start an evening of gaming. A nice light appetizer to an evening of gaming which even a group of gamers who usually get right to the meatier games had a fun time playing.