- Designer: Jeremie Kletzkine
- Publisher: Bezier Games
- Artwork: Victor Perez Corbella
- Players: 5 – 10
- Ages: 14 and Up
- Time: 20 Minutes
- Times Played: > 12 (On the Kickstarter Deluxe Edition)
As regular readers know, I’m a huge fan of social deduction games. I’m an especially big fan of the recent trend of mixing social deduction with other mechanics, such as how Werewords mixed a word game with a social deduction game.
Werebeasts is a new title that mixes set collection with social deduction, using the tagline “The Social Deduction Collection Game.” The game was on Kickstarter last year, and backers recently received their copies. It will be in retail in coming weeks.
I had been eagerly awaiting mine: I was a playtester, and loved it in its early days. We’ve played it about a dozen times in the past week, and Werebeasts has been a big hit with my group. Werebeasts is one of those easy-to-earn party games that provides laugh-out-loud fun, and I enthusiastically recommend it.
Werebeasts can be played with 11 different kinds of werecreatures: Werekittens, Wereclowns, Werenanas, Werezombies, Werebagos, Weresharks, Wereblobs, Wereghosts, Werehouses, Werenados, and, of course, Werewolves. (As Kickstarter stretch goals, Werecapone, Weresquito, Werethulhu, and Werebot are in some versions of the game.)
At the start of the game, you’ll take the “Werechow” goal card, plus goal cards for the creatures equal to the number of players plus one. For example, in a five player game, you’d have seven goal cards: six creatures, plus the Werechow card. The goal cards are shuffled, two are returned to the box, and one goal card is placed facedown between each set of players around the table.
For each creature in the game, there are four auction cards: three single cards, and one double card that counts twice. The auction cards are shuffled together, each player takes one of them plus eight Werechow, and the game can begin.
On a player’s turn, he may first accuse other players of collecting a particular werebeast or of collecting chow. A player does not have to accuse, and doing so is a risky move: if he or she is wrong, they are out of the game. Of course, if you’re correct, the accused player is out of the game, revealing the card he or she was collecting. The player on the winning side of takes either the Werechow or the cards of the eliminated player. (Players may not accuse others of collecting cards that they themselves are collecting.)
After he or she is done with accusations, the player then conducts an auction. He flips up an auction card from the pile, and then evaluates offers, taking combinations of cards and/or chow. A player may take the card himself if there is no active bid on the table.
The game ends as soon as the last auction card is sold or when only two players remain. At that point, players reveal their goal cards. A player scores one point for each auction card he has matching his goal, remembering that the double cards count as two. For the player(s) collecting Werechow, they get one point for each four Werechow tokens. The players with the most points wins. The even of a tie, the player with the most Werechow wins.
My Thoughts on the Game
I’m a big fan of Werebeasts, and I suspect it will hit the table often at my game nights. Werebeasts is one of those social deduction games that everybody seems to enjoy, and we’ve had laugh-out-loud fun playing it.
Werebeasts is a fun intersection of social deduction, bluffing, and negotiation. At the start of the game, the focus is on set collection, since nobody has enough information to make accusations. Most players attempt to quietly gather a few of the cards they need, hoping that their neighbors aren’t making their own pursuits too obvious. Most players also take a few other werecreatures as decoys. Clever players may even avoid the cards they need at first, hoping to win out on accusations later.
The middle phase of the game is when the negotiation ramps up. You want to gather cards and chow for trading, but you also don’t necessarily want to take the best deal for yourself, as you could be unwittingly handing points to your opponents. And, of course, you want to pay attention to not only what players are offering, but also what they’re not offering, which can be even more important!
The final phase of the game — and this is the really fun part — are the accusations. It is hard to win Werebeasts without prevailing in an accusation. Because the winning player gets either cards or chow — itself a decision that reveals a lot — they’ll start accumulating resources quickly as players are eliminated.
Werebeasts plays fast, and it is easy to learn. You can teach this in just a couple of minutes: the gameplay in Werebeasts is intuitive. I’ve played this with four different groups, consisting of gamers and non-gamers alike, and everybody seems to enjoy it and pick it up with ease. Our plays are taking 15-20 minute.
I love the artwork, and I especially love the production value of the Deluxe Edition. The werecreatures chosen for the game are comical and whimsical, and it adds to the laugh-out-loud fun of the game. It’s hard to beat the comedy the first time somebody sees the Werenana card. The large, chunky cans of Werechow in the deluxe edition are an especially nice touch.
We’ve had a ton of fun collecting Werebeasts, and if your group loves social deduction games, I expect they will too. When I update my list of favorite social deduction games this year, Werebeasts will certainly make the cut.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it! Chris Wray
- I like it.
- Not for me…