Review: One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak

One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak is a fast-paced bluffing exercise. 

One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak is a standalone expansion to Bèzier Games’ One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Daybreak can be used to mix the game up when combined with the original release, or played on its own, which is what I did. The game is easy to set up and very quick to play, as a round usually lasts somewhere between five to fifteen minutes. Although, a single round rarely feels like enough.

The game is essentially a rework of the social game Werewolf (which some might know as Mafioso), where villagers attempt to root out the werewolves in their midst, and the wolves try to escape prosecution while misleading the villagers to the best of their ability. The major separating factor, besides the role cards and play tokens, is that each session only lasts one night. At the start of the game, each player is assigned a role and a team, which only they themselves know. Once everyone has been assigned a role card, the game enters the night phase. In the night phase, all players close their eyes and act based on their assigned role, taking turns opening their eyes per the instructed order. Some role cards can peek at other player’s roles and some even shuffle the roles around. After each player has completed their turn, the game enters the day phase. In the day phase, the game takes a much less structured turn, where players discuss who should be killed and who spared. This is where the fun of the game lies. The nightly escapades offer just enough information for each player to know something, while still preserving an air of mystery. Only rarely a round ends purely on rule based reasoning.

Even though the game pieces are few and the rules relatively short, Daybreak can be a little daunting for a first timer, as each role comes with specific rules. I found that the One Night Ultimate Werewolf app (available in the Google Play store and Apple App Store), that Bèzier has released for free, is a great way to get new players used to each role’s capabilities. The app also offers a voice-over for the game’s night phase, removing the need for one of the players to act as game master.

The beauty of One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak lies in the fast play format. Each round goes by so fast, that you end up playing multiple in a row. Not only is this great for parties, where players can join and leave the game as they please, but it lets you learn your friends’ bluffing habits. The mix of characters in Daybreak, and the still wonderful game of Werewolf, make for an exciting and ever changing party game.

Designer: Ted Alspach and Akihisa Okui
Publisher: Bèzier Games
Release Year: 2015
Number of Players: 3-7 (10 if combined with One Night Ultimate Werewolf)
Language: English
Playtime: 10 min
Ages: 8+