It was a typical Friday here at HalloweenCostumes.com… Scooters whizzing by, coworkers donning eyeliner and dreadlocks fresh from a pirate photo shoot, and the occasional pop of a Nerf gun dart sailing overhead. Always keen on discovering fun and creative ways to team build, I had ordered a game called "Are You a Werewolf?" from Looney Labs, an online business famous for carrying products that are both intellectual and entertaining. It had just arrived and I was eager to play! Perhaps at any other office the question “do you want to play a werewolf game” would be met with skepticism, but here it was met with an enthusiastic table of ten people from various departments, ready to bond over a werewolf-themed journey…
The game comes in the form of a small card deck. After assembling your “village” of 7 to 15 players everyone is assigned a random card which determines their role:
1 moderator: This person guides the villagers through game play
1 seer: This lucky villager gets to ask the moderator questions and receive special clues
2 werewolves: Werewolves discretely “maul” villagers one by one, trying not to reveal their mischievous identities
The remaining players are villagers, the angry mob desperate to uncover who among them is a murderous werewolf!
Rounds of “night,” when the werewolves do their killing, and “day,” when the villagers decide who to execute in retaliation, continue until only one species is left alive. The idea is simple but as our group discovered, the length of each game can vary greatly based on how much everyone embraces getting into character! Our first attempt lasted less than 10 minutes, but after encouraging deeper discussions our second and final round was 25 minutes of hair-raising fun!
The card deck includes a list of helpful recommendations, but using our newly gleaned werewolf wisdom, I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks straight from the folks here at HalloweenCostumes.com.:
Count on it
Since the number of players can vary from 7 to 15, be sure and adjust the number of cards dealt accordingly. I’ll sheepishly admit that I mis-counted the first time, we didn’t have enough werewolves, and had to deal again.
Whether you are playing with friends or coworkers, use your personal knowledge of the group to your advantage. Is your normally chatty coworker clamming up? Is your calm and collected friend fidgeting and avoiding eye contact? These should be red flags. Body language speaks volumes, and our players used the close proximity in which we sit on a normal work day to their advantage. People said things like, “You share a desk with him. Is he acting differently than usual?” This really helped pinpoint suspicious individuals right away!
Take the Lead
The more in-depth your discussions are, the more fun the game is. If you have a friend or office mate with a take charge attitude, use it! Asking things like, “why do you feel that person is suspicious,” or “what makes you think that,” makes game play more intelligent, and certainly more entertaining. One of the answers that came about for us was, “well, I’ve always thought that he looks like he’d make a good werewolf!” Our unofficial village “leader” was killed off partway through game two and discussions became less lively, so that may be something to consider when choosing who to kill off.
If you are too vocal and adamant in your denials of being a werewolf, or on the other hand too suspiciously quiet, you will be flagged as suspicious by the group. In our experience, striking a balance and keeping a good poker face was the most successful approach. This advice is especially salient for whichever player is designated “seer.” In our case, the seer discovered who one of the werewolves was. She steered the villagers too aggressively to this individual, and was killed off by the remaining werewolf the very next round.
We also put our zany heads together and came up with some ideas on ways to ratchet up the fun another notch. We’re definitely planning on implementing these next time we play:
Try some Tunage
Try playing a spooky soundtrack during the evening. Our first round the werewolves were correctly guessed right away because other villagers heard them rustling around and identified where the sounds were coming from. We made light tapping noises from that point forward, but werewolf-inspired music would have been more entertaining. She-Wolf by Shakira anyone…?
Adopt a Persona
The deck suggests taking on characters like Mayor, Undertaker, or Police Chief. Being a costume company, we are stoked to give this a go next time we play. Try providing pitchforks for the angry villagers, utilizing accessories like whistles and badges for the police staff, and even smearing some fake blood on the fallen players.
Get into the “Spirit”
Chances are, not everyone will be comfortable diving into a persona right away. What could be a better way to loosen everyone up and spark some extra chatter, than adding adult beverages! This game was such a successful office morale builder, that we have already set aside an evening for wine and werewolf night. Or maybe moonshine would be more appropriate? Either way, make sure everyone is of age. And don’t drink at the office. Insert other mature adult-type advice here...
Check out Looney Labs and order a copy of Are You A Werewolf for yourself! Whether you play at the office, at home, with coworkers, with friends, or even with a random group of passersby, if your experience with the game is as enjoyable as ours, you’ll have a howl of a good time. While you’re waiting for the game to arrive, check out our selection of werewolf costumes to tide you over.
Aleksandra Sobic is a writer for HalloweenCostumes.com and suggests playing this card game with some spooky music and a few festive snacks and beverages.