Review Betrayal at the House on Hill, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Pandemic

Betrayal at the House on Hill

Betrayal at the House on Hill
Betrayal at the House on Hill

Last weekend we finally got to try out Betrayal at the House on Hill. We played the English version, because no localization. Oddly enough, despite the fact that only I knew enough English, there were no problems. People who love “Zombie Invasion” liked “Betrayal” too. Based on the results of two games, I am posting a small review of the game.

This simple game belongs to the genre of “horror”, telling the story of a group of people trapped in a mysterious mansion. Once locked up, the company begins to explore the house in search of a way out, but these people do not yet know that one of them is pursuing a very specific goal …

In fact, Betrayal at the House on Hill is split into two parts, which are two different games. The first part – exploring the mansion – is surprisingly leisurely and calm. The characters walk around the house, exploring rooms in which various events take place and useful items are found. Signs occur periodically, one of which, in the end, will mark the appearance of the Traitor. After that, the confrontation between the traitor and the rest of the players begins, and this is a completely different game.

First, the player who turns out to be a traitor takes the traitor’s book and goes to another room to study the corresponding scenario, which describes the traitor’s mission, the list and properties of the monsters under his control, as well as some information about the tasks of the other players (the rules of the game call them heroes). The latter at this time are studying the description of the same scenario in the book of heroes, from which they learn how to prevent the victory of the traitor and what monsters will resist them. Once everyone (both the traitor and the players) has become familiar with the scenario, the traitor returns to the room, and the game continues in a completely different vein.

Players continue to explore the house, but now each has a very specific goal. The traitor is his own, unknown to the rest of the player, the heroes are his, as a rule, the opposite. Also, the traitor gets at his disposal several monsters that move around the house and can engage in battles with the heroes. The game ends with the victory of one of the parties, and the traitor can win even if his character died, because the scenario does not always describe the traitor’s survival as a victory condition.

Betrayal at House on The Hill – Asmodee – Board Game – Adventure Game – Scary / Horror

  • A classic of the board and horror game is available again!
  • 50 terrifying scenarios, including 7 new haunts, to train you from room to room in a home with mysteries.
  • This board game features multiple scenarios, a different layout to each game, and enough chills to ice the heart of any horror story fan.
  • From 12 years
  • Game duration: 60 min

In this game, the interaction of characters is amazingly built. At first, all players independently explore the gloomy mansion, where you can safely expect trouble from each new room. Everything changes after the sign: the traitor endowed with new capabilities will be opposed by all other players, who now act together and can only defeat all together.

The game at Betrayal at the House on Hill is short-lived. The exploration phase rarely lasts more than half an hour, and after the appearance under the leadership of the traitor monsters, the denouement usually comes in several turns. It is even a pity that everything ended so quickly, because the players barely had time to get a taste …

Betrayal at the House on Hill is guaranteed to be played dozens of times. Such an amazing replayability of “Betrayal at the House on Hill” is provided by a scenario book containing fifty (!) Scenarios after the appearance of the Traitor. Players will meet with hellish bats, dead men, mummies, ghosts, hordes of rats, in a word, no game will be like the previous one!

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Mafia or its western version, Werewolf, is, in my opinion, quite good party games. The classic Werewolf (like the Mafia) had classic problems – dropping players out of the game and having a leader. Publisher Bezier Games tried to solve these problems by releasing a new version of a werewolf game called One Night Werewolf.

In one word – cute

For me, One Night Werewolf (ONW) is almost perfect in terms of quality and visuals. A small box, inside it are role cards and tokens. There is nothing to complain about the quality of performance. The cardboard is thick and durable. The art game is very cute – cartoonish. If you compare this game with the original Werewolf, ONW looks much more attractive.

Old new game

I will not deceive you – in terms of gameplay, ONW has remained faithful to the classics. In one village there were simple hard-working people. But in one unpleasant year, a werewolf began to visit the village at night. Soon the villagers suspected that the werewolf was one of the villagers. Who exactly? This is what the players have to find out.

According to good old traditions, each player receives a face-down role card. The game offers a wide range of roles – villager, fortune teller, robber, drunkard, hunter, etc. And of course there is a werewolf too! How can it be without him?

Each game must have 3 more roles than the number of players. So that everyone knows which roles are taking part in the game, small round tokens with roles are laid out on the table. First, tokens are selected, then similar role cards are selected, which are randomly dealt to the players. The three remaining cards are placed in the center of the table. Nobody needs to know which roles are left unassigned.

The game is hosted by an electronic application. It can be downloaded, if I’m not mistaken, on any platform. I highly recommend using this particular application because it perfectly replaces the presenter. Its only drawback is that there is no Russian language in it. If there are players at the table who do not understand English at all, then you will probably not be able to play with the application. The application can be customized as you like. First, you select the roles that are present in the game in the menu, then you set up the time for playing the game. As soon as the timer starts, the voice of the host announces that night has come, so all players must close their eyes. Then, in turn, the facilitator names the roles that should wake up and do their own thing. During these actions, players can peep at other people’s cards, swap them, etc. Naturally, at the same time they will make a little noise. So that rustles and noises are not heard, the application has a sound background – as if grasshoppers with crickets are cracking. Those. it creates a real atmosphere of the night, and it makes it difficult to overhear what other players are doing.

Of course, you can play without the app. One player can sit with their eyes closed and simply call the sequence of roles to “wake up”. But how to drown out the rustles – this will be purely your problem. If someone hears that his neighbor is making noise, then the intrigue will disappear immediately.

As soon as the presenter finishes listing the roles, morning comes, all players wake up, and the application begins to count down the time until the start of voting. During this time, players must decide which of them is a werewolf. First of all, the players ask each other what role they play, what they did at night. For example, rednecks sleep at night and generally do not know what to do at night, a fortune-teller can spy on another player’s card, a robber can swap role cards with another player, a drunkard changes his role to a card from the center of the table and does not look at it. In general, there is complete confusion at the table, and the players are given only a few minutes for everything. Do you like to chat more? Set the timer for 5 minutes. Do you like hardcore? A minute will be enough.

As soon as the clock ticks, after 3 … 2 … 1, each player must point his finger at another player, whom he suspects of involvement in the werewolf. The player with the most votes dies and reveals his role card. If a werewolf is killed, the village team wins. If the werewolves at the table remained intact, they win. Some roles can slightly change the rules for achieving victory.

Actually, that’s all. After one kill, the game ends immediately. But you can play several games up to 3 or more wins.

Chaotic, but quite good

I liked ONW almost from the first try. In particular, I was delighted with the fast games. In other games of this kind, it was possible to discuss for a long time who plays what role, as a result of which someone will definitely give himself away or someone will come up with such a question to another player from which he cannot laugh it off. In a few minutes, with a large number of players, you may not have time to figure out how to expose the werewolf, so you will have to vote on guesswork. I do not advise spending too much time on discussions, because when you begin to understand the game better, you can easily figure out who is. For example, first we find out who the fortune teller is, ask her who she watched, and then the question of technology. The more players at the table, the more time you can give for discussion.

It is recommended to play the first games with simpler roles – redneck, werewolf, fortune-teller. As players become more experienced, new roles can be introduced. Why is it better to do this? Because the game has specific roles, the meaning of which is not immediately clear. But the transition from beginner to advanced is pretty quick. 4-5 games and you are ready to play with anyone.

Of course, I was delighted with the application. At first, I was skeptical when I downloaded it to my phone, but after trying it, I concluded that it was done perfectly. With this application, you can safely do without a presenter (but on the condition that all players understand English). The announcer has a clear delivered voice, background noise allows players to look into other people’s cards without fear. Having an app easily solves the presenter’s problem. A definite plus.

In terms of gameplay, I want to say that this is a simple toy for pure entertainment. Great for a half hour laugh with friends. Feels like a very fast Werewolf without knocking out players. I quickly laid out the roles, turned on the application, fell asleep, woke up (in the game sense of these words) and after a couple of minutes you already point your finger at another player. In terms of the depth of the gameplay, ONW is no different from the usual Werewolf. Even in some way, I felt a little sad that the roles from ONW completely duplicate the roles from Ultimate Werewolf. Moreover, there are only 12 of them in ONW (if you take the Werewolf from MX, then you will find many more roles there). Still, I would like to see more roles in the base box. In ONW, it’s pretty easy to overplay if you play a dozen games every day.

Of course, the lack of roles can be easily treated with additions, of which there have already been 2 pieces and it seems that the third is on the way. Honestly, I understand why the publisher did this (the publisher wants to make money), but as a player I don’t like it. If there is a simple Werewolf’s ultimate box, then why not make the same for its faster version? If you like the basic box, then you will 100% want to try new roles from special stages.

Bezier Games One Night Ultimate Werewolf

  • Each player gets a unique role: A Werewolf, Seer, Troublemaker, or another, all with special abilities
  • After a secret night phase that includes changing roles, players have just 5 minutes to find a Werewolf
  • Includes a free iOS/Android app that makes playing incredibly engaging and addictive
  • May be combined with One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak and One Night Ultimate Vampire for epic battles
  • 3 10 players, Ages 8 and up

Also, of the minuses, I will note the monotonous chains of deployment of the situation, which quite often took place in my game company. When you often play with the same roles, each game begins with the same questions to the players – who was the fortuneteller, whom she watched, who replaced whom, etc. Therefore, if you often play in the same company with the same roles, then again you will quickly get bored.

But the most important thing in this game, what distinguishes it from its brothers – there is no leader in it, all players are involved in the game, there is no elimination of players, and the art is excellent.

My opinion: the toy is great for casual games or if geeks want to relax. This is a good mobile version of Mafia. For those who are harmed by mafia-like games, I advise you to stay away from One Night Werewolf. This board is not for every day, but it comes in great on holidays + it has a small price. It remains only to somehow acquire additions …

Pandemic

Pandemic
Pandemic

I flew to the meeting in Paris on a direct flight. Lucky. I had to get to the last meeting with transfers, and I was almost late. The Engineering Service promises to soon address the problem by building research stations in high-risk cities. When this is done, it will be possible to get there by business flights.

In the cabin, someone coughed, and I shuddered involuntarily. The person may have a cold or just choke on a piece of chicken, but outbreaks in the surrounding cities make you think the worst. The results of the latest researchers show that our specialists are moving in the right direction, and a life-saving vaccine will be ready in the coming days, but the infection is spreading too quickly. If the pandemic cannot be stopped quickly, the world’s largest cities will turn into necropolises …

The board game Pandemic is the brainchild of the master of cooperative games Matt Leacock, who also gave the world the Forbidden Island and then the Forbidden Desert. Pandemic is also a co-op for two, three or four players, but it can also be played in solo mode.

“Pandemic” turns your company into a group of doctors trying to defeat four deadly diseases, the epidemic of which suddenly hit the whole world. To do this, you need to invent a cure for each. But time is limited, and players along the way must also fight the disease in already infected cities and prevent new outbreaks. If you don’t do this, they will lose even faster.

Inside are the rules, two decks of cards wrapped in foil, and lots of plastic components. The cards are embossed “like linen”, and all the other components necessary for the game are immortalized in plastic. This even applies to markers, which are most often made of cardboard.

Each player gets the role of a specialist of a certain profession, who has certain skills that distinguish him from other players. There are seven different roles available in the game, but since a maximum of four people can play the basic version, the composition of the virus fighters in each game varies. Tactics, accordingly, also have to change. Therefore, the games are played in different ways, and the replay value is very high. We have already played many games, but it is still interesting to play.

In general terms, the course of the game is that the players travel around the playing field, exchanging cards in order to collect five cards of the same color. These cards are needed for the invention of drugs, of which there are four to be invented. The difficulty lies in the fact that cards cannot be exchanged anywhere. If you are not an Explorer, you can exchange a card only in the city to which it belongs. Traveling around the world is also associated with certain difficulties.

Meanwhile, viruses are multiplying intensively. If players don’t take action against the spread of disease, their outbreaks will exhaust the virus in the box and the game will be lost. Also, new epidemics periodically occur, the total number of which depends on the selected difficulty level.

All of the above makes Pandemic an exciting collective puzzle game with dynamic events. 

What I also liked was the minimal impact of randomness. Random events happen every turn. This is mainly the spread of viruses around the world. But with the exception of epidemics, diseases manifest themselves in cities where they have already been identified earlier. So you can predict the development of the virus and prevent outbreaks of diseases that make life very difficult for doctors.

Pandemic

  • As skilled members of a disease fighting team, you and the other players work together to keep the world safe from outbreaks and epidemics
  • Pandemic is a cooperative board game in which players work as a team to treat infections around the world while gathering resources for cures
  • 2 – 4 players
  • 45 minutes

Summary: an excellent cooperative with simple rules, adjustable difficulty level, minimal influence of randomness and recognizable “handwriting” of the author. Due to the large selection of characters, tactics can differ to varying degrees, which makes the board replayable. There is a random, but it is just enough to maintain the atmosphere of the game at the proper level. Great for playing with children who, at the same time, will catch up on geography. For lovers of cooperatives, I recommend that you definitely read.

And finally, it is worth mentioning that a version of the game “Pandemic: Legacy”, in which the players are waiting for the passage of the campaign, has recently gone on sale. Due to the decisions made by the players, the game will physically change from game to game. After completing the campaign, the final version, which in each case will be different, can be played as in the usual “Pandemic”.

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