Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Party Game Review - Werewolves of Miller's Hollow

Werewolves of Miller's Hollow is a sort of modern update to an old high-school classic. You remember when you were horny all the time and always going to parties to meet girls, but you were too scared of girls to actually talk to any of them so you just sat in the back yard with two of your friends and watched the cool guys take the girls upstairs? This is one of those games you might have played at one of those parties, only it could have been called a lot of different things - Werewolf, Mafia or Killer, for example.

In the game, two or three people are werewolves, and everyone else is a townie. At night everyone closes their eyes, and the werewolves pick someone to kill. Then everyone wakes up and the townies pick someone to kill. The townies win if they can kill the werewolves, and the werewolves win if they can kill all the townies. And when you were playing this in high school, you always got killed first, and the cool guy always won because the girls would never let him be picked to get killed.

You can play this game with a deck of cards, or if you don't have cards, you could use scraps of paper. You don't really need a specialized deck of Miller's Hollow cards for the way you played in high school. All you need is a sheet of notebook paper, a pencil and a willingness to bury your self-esteem issues long enough to sit next to the head cheerleader for 20 minutes. Not that it would have mattered - your throat was going to go dry as soon as you sat down, and all you could have mustered to say to her would have been, 'How! Hi are you?', and then she would have thought you were asking if she was stoned and been horrified, and the cool guy would still have taken her upstairs, but possibly only after he hit you in the stomach for your impertinence.

If you do happen to buy the Miller's Hollow version of Werewolf, you get more for your twelve bucks than you would with the afore-mentioned college rule and a Bic pen. The Miller's Hollow version comes with several specialty cards, like the sheriff, whose vote counts double, the little girl who is allowed to spy on the werewolves, or Cupid, who makes two people fall in love (a great card if you're already sweating profusely and feeling self-conscious about your acne). These extra cards add a lot of variety to the game and introduce new elements of distrust and bluffing. Plus if you're really lucky, the asshole jock might pair you up with the hot chick from art class as a joke.

There are two reasons to buy Werewolves of Miller's Hollow instead of just picking up a pack of playing cards and shuffling in the jokers. First, Miller's Hollow comes with seven different kinds of townies and a lot of really cool cards. If you're going to play Werewolf, this is the right way to do it.

The second reason to buy Werewolves of Miller's Hollow is that it's only twelve bucks. A deck of cards is going to set you back five bucks anyway, and it won't be designed specifically to play Werewolf. So for another seven dollars you get all the cool cards and a good rulebook.

I guess a third reason to buy the game might be so that you can relive the awkwardness of wishing to hell the girl with the tongue stud would notice you while hoping to God the auto shop stoner didn't decide to sit next to you. But that's not that great a reason, because for many of us, we're grateful to not have to live through that again.


Neat art
Easy to play
Lots of variety compared to the original

Social awkwardness
You can play this game with a pad of Post-It notes

I wouldn't rate Werewolves of Miller's Hollow at the top of my list, but it's a fairly cool little party game, and it's wicked affordable. If you want it, go here:

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