I have a large family and we are always on the lookout board games that can accommodate more than the standard 4 players that a lot of games cater to. On a recent trip to Walmart my oldest saw this game, looked at the back, and exclaimed “this one is like One Night Ultimate Werewolf, we need to get it!” That was pretty much the only thing I needed to hear to convince me to buy it and I can tell you I was not disappointed.
The game, at its heart, is a bluffing game. Four to eight players are each dealt one cardboard card that contain either a mongoose, a human, or a snake. Each player also has tiles labeled A, B, C and Snake. One person (I’ll call them the ref) then takes a stack of cards that contain questions on one side and answers on the other and places one in the center of the table, question side up. All players look at their role for the round, with the mongoose player grabbing the provided mongoose figure and placing it in front of them (signifying that they are not the snake for the round). The ref then asks all players to close their eyes and then the ref flips over the card to the answer side and asks all snakes to open their eyes and look at the answer. After a few seconds the snakes close their eyes and the cards is flipped back over and everyone opens their eyes again. A timer is set for 2 minutes and players discuss what the answer to the question is. The snakes job is to trick the others into answering wrong, while the other players are trying to answer correctly. At the end of the round, players are given points according to their role and the answers given. Snakes get one point for every incorrect answer while the mongoose and humans get points for every correct answer. The role cards are then shuffled and passed out again at the start of the new round. The person with the highest score after 6 rounds is the winner.
That’s a short explanation of the game. The real fun is obviously in the playing. Since the mongoose player is known each round, the human players will usually side with that player, as they know that the mongoose on always on their side. The strategy of the game is on the snake’s shoulders, as they must try to steer the others away from the real answer. This may seem simple, but these questions are doozies. Here’s an example: In the 1800’s what could you do to enter the London Zoo for free?: A) Pick up elephant poop B) Bring a cat to feed to the lions C) dress from head to toe with feathers. That’s not that easy of a question unless you’re into some really esoteric stuff. As a snake, I knew the answer was B but I could not give that away. Instead of trying to lure them away from the correct answer, I tried to steer them towards the correct answer in a suspicious way, which worked wonders! I got full points for the round, though one of my kids used that same tactic on me 2 rounds later.
The kids love it and we’ve played it multiple times since then. My one complaint abut the game is that there is a finite number of question cards in the game and once you’ve seen them all it would be very hard to replay through them, as the answers are quite memorable. This greatly diminishes the replay value of the game, but at $19.99, I still think its a good buy, as it will take you quite a few games to get through them all. If you’re looking for a similar kind of game that is infinitely replayable, may I suggest One Night Ultimate Werewolf/Vampire/Alien as a suitable alternative (review coming soon).
That’s all for today, stay safe and keep gaming!