Beta Test #12: Town of Salem

You’re a mean one, Beta test, you really are a heel. You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel Beta Test! You’re a monthly game blog who’s a big ass third wheel! Is my brain full of spiders? Do I have garlic in my soul? Or do I just really enjoy the voice of Tony the Tiger? Moreover, Does everyone also have a problem with Fairy tale of New York, or is it just me? So many questions, not enough time because holy hell!

It’s Christmas my dudes.

Hello my Scumbags, my Maggots, by cheap lousy – Nope, not going there. Can’t. Shan’t! I’m a Bethany Griffiths, and this is Beta Test. A game review platform where I – a person who thinks that song is way worse than baby it’s cold outside, self confessed Noob – choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review.

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So it’s been a whole ass year since I started doing this little thing called Beta Test. A whole year of gaming as a novice, and trying something new. A giant year for me of travelling overseas, starting a new job, and getting my shit together (mmmk). I gotta tell you, it makes me so happy that you’ve all joined me for this wild ride. I’m so happy to have brought a little Beta into your life, and I’m so happy to be going into this next year GUNS SO OUT THEY’RE BLAZING!

Today, my little humbugs I delve into Town of Salem, a Steam driven take of one of my Favourite all time games, Werewolf. For those that aren’t in the know (or don’t have a collection of 10-15 friends to sit around every weekend night for a month with), Werewolf is a ‘whodunnit’ card game where players are issued a secret card each. They take turns guessing who has the wolf cards, and lynching (verbally, dear god please verbally) people they find suspicious. The wolves come out at night (when everyone has their eyes closed and pick people to off until there isn’t anyone left.

You know, like a really complicated version of wink murder, or Heads down thumbs up, or Cluedo … or Christmas with the in laws. (watch me ducking the hatchet this December 25th)

Now, as someone who has played this in at least three iterations of its original form, (long card game, condensed card game, and online using only Facebook Messenger *don’t ask. It’s so stressful*) I was really dang nervous to start playing it online. What if people didn’t like me, what if I gained a bad online presence, what if it was a boys club…What if they shouted N00b at me? But like everything else on the internet, the only thing I had to worry about was the amount of Antisemitic, racist, and Xenophobic names people played under. Go figure.

Anyway…

Developed and published by Blank Media Games, Town of Salem employs all the tactics of the card game Werewolf (or sometimes as it’s known, ‘Mafia’) that I know and love, and makes it it’s own in the online realm. The game is a tactic take on the classic murder mystery, where you take turns over the course of many ‘days’ and ‘nights’ to find out who the baddies are, and who to trust. You play as a customizable character that looks like it belongs in an incarnation of ‘the crucible’, and change teams every time you play.

There are many different characters in the game, such as the Joker- who can only die if they’re lynched, but the village wins- the sheriff -who can question one person a night- and many more. (My personal favourite to play as is the mob boss because I can sit back, kill a person a night, claim joker to the Sheriff, and throw people under the bus.)

The games themselves go for roughly ten minutes in their classic form, and the banter is pretty easy going. I will say though, if you’re not over 16 years old, might want to give this one a miss for a bit. Some people go really hard, and even I felt intimidated in the first few rounds. Thankfully I think a patch has been worked into the game, because as time wore on, I found less of the shit storm of online trolldom, and more people there to actually play a decent game. But I digress.

Where Town of Salem shines is it’s variety. Even if you play long periods of time, or binge like I did, you’ll get a different game in every incarnation of the setting. With all the character roles, it’s a challenge for everyone involved, and really easy to get hooked on. Yeah, I spent a whole day playing and met the same people roughly three times? It’s got a really big online forum, which is great because it means if you have a boring game it won’t stay that way forever.

Because of the way it gave me an outlet for my longing for game nights with friends, but also all the troll banter, I give this game:

5/5 Mafia Bosses for style
3/5 Mafia Bosses for Community spirit
4/5 Mafia Bosses for easiness
0/5 Mafia Bosses for the names people give their characters. Seriously, the fuck dudes?

So holy Heckerooni, that was the last Beta test of 2018. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had trying new things, and being a total goof about flubbing through everything. If there’s one thing I think we can all take away from the year it’s – Don’t be afraid to start something. It might just be the best thing you could have ever done. And what of 2019? Don’t worry, like I said, not unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ll be back. Bigger and Beta than ever (gotta leave em on a pun).

So, for the FINAL TIME OF 2018, I’ve been a Bethany Griffiths, and this has been an ‘amazed at how the year’s gone’ Beta Test. A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review.

Until next time,

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