One Night Ultimate Super Villains (Game Review by Chris Wray)

  • Designer: Ted Alspach, Akihisa Okui
  • Publisher: Bezier Games
  • Players: 3 – 10
  • Ages: 8 and Up
  • Time: 10 Minutes
  • Times Played: > 10

I’m a big fan of social deduction games and the “One Night Ultimate Werewolf” series in particular.  One Night Ultimate Super Villains (“ONUSV”) is the latest title in the series from Bezier Games. It was on Kickstarter last year, and backers (including myself) recently received their copies.  My understanding is that the retail edition will also be available soon.

ONUSV is arguably the most accessible of the titles: it is the easiest to learn, with the most streamlined roles, and I suspect ONUSV was developed with kids and non-gamers in mind.  Many of the roles are similar to those found in One Night Ultimate Werewolf, but here they’re given more of a comic book flair

Overall, I love the game, and I’m thrilled to own this 5th game in the One Night Collection.  

The Gameplay

The game is designed for 3-10 players, and like other games in the series, you play Super Villains with the free narrated app for Android or iOS.  The app here is a standalone app, so you’ll need to download it separately before your first play.

To set up the game, take the number of players, add three, and then pick that number of roles.  Hand out the cards to each player. So, for example, in a five player game, there’d be eight roles in the game.  The three roles not taken by the players go in the middle of the table. Additionally, there are role tokens you can put out to act as a memory aid about what’s in the game.  

There are three teams: the supervillains (who win if they don’t get caught), the heroes (who win if they catch a super villain), and the Mad Scientist or Intern (who win if they get caught).  The game goes through a night phase (where everybody uses their special role), then a day phase (where everybody discusses who they think is a supervillain). Everybody then votes, and they player with the most votes gets caught.

The game begins with the night phase.  Like in One Night Ultimate Werewolf, the group goes to sleep, and then the app starts narrating the game.  The big difference here, at least in terms of narration, is that the app walks through the roles a bit more, making the game more accessible to those not familiar with the series.

Here are the roles in the game.  Keep in mind that I’m keeping this brief, so I’m not going into every rule or exception here.  

  • Innocent Bystander (Hero).  No special role.
  • Mirror Man (Joins Team of Card He Views).  Looks at a card in the center and becomes that role, joining that team.
  • Temptress (Villain).  An extra villain card is set aside at the start of the game.  The Temptress can give that card to another player on her turn.
  • Dr. Peeker (Villain).  May look at another player’s card.
  • Rapscallion (Villain).  May look at one of the center cards.
  • Henchman #7 (Villain).  No special action, but is on the villain team.  
  • Evilometer (Hero).  Sticks out her fist when the villains are awake.  If they’re sitting next to her, they must tap her fist.
  • Mad Scientist (Neither Team).  Wins if they get caught.  
  • Intern (Neither Team).  Knows who the Mad Scientist is, and wins if they win, or if the Mad Scientist isn’t in the game, wins if she gets caught.  
  • Annoying Lad (Hero).  Wakes up and repeatedly and annoying taps the shoulder of a neighbor.
  • Detector (Hero).  Looks at another player’s card or two cards in the center.
  • Role Retriever (Hero).  May switch his card with that of another player, looking at his new card.  
  • Voodoo Lou (Hero).  May look at a center card and, if he does, switches it with a player’s card.
  • Switcheroo (Hero).  Switches role of two others players without looking at them.
  • Self-Awareness Girl (Hero).  Wakes up towards the end and checks her role to see if it has been changed.
  • Flipper (Hero).  Flips a card of another player face up, but if it is a villain, must flip it back facedown.  

Kickstarter backers also received Bonus Pack #4, which includes additional roles.  If past Bonus Packs are any indication, it will soon be available on the Bezier website.

My thoughts on the game…

I’ve played this several times, and I’m highly impressed.  Super Villains streamlines down the best parts of One Night Ultimate Werewolf and makes a family-friendly, easy-to-teach, and easy-to-understand version of the game.  The roles work well together, and this would be a great introduction to the One Night series.

There’s a lot of game here, that works at a wide range of player counts, and I like all of the roles that have been added into the mix.  In particular, I’m fond of the Temptress role, which is fun because it allows that player to convert somebody to their team, and the Flipper role, since that leads to some comical situations.  The Mad Scientist — which replaces the Tanner of ONUW — is also an extremely fun role to have in larger groups, and it seems to be the consensus favorite of my group.

While those are my favorites, all of the included roles work well, and many of them will have analogies to Werewolf roles.   

The game is easy to teach and fast to set up: from pulling this off the shelf to voting is really less than ten minutes.  Because the app narrates the rules, it’s easy to know the parameters of each game, even if you’re doing a setup you haven’t used before.  And that’s perhaps the best touch of the new game: the new app carefully explains the roles in game, greatly helping new players.

I’m a big fan of the new artwork, and I love the comic book vibe.  I also think this game has a more “family friendly” theme that could appeal more to younger players.  

If you’re new to the series, I’d say that Super Villains is worth starting with, as it is a more approachable version than One Night Ultimate Werewolf.  But if you’re like me, you’ll quickly find yourself going down the rabbit hole and owning all five games.

Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers

  • I love it! Chris Wray
  • I like it.
  • Neutral.
  • Not for me…

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