Hands-On Preview: Town of Salem Introduces the Return of a Familiar Party Game of Lies and Murder
Town of Salem, PC, BlankMediaGames
There is a large amount of people who remember the old Mafia/Werewolf party games which placed two teams against each other. The goal was to kill the members of the other team. The catch? No one knew for sure who was on the same side. The game of lies and deception sparked an intriguing experience which was launched into the spotlight through the release of the 2005 movie Cry Wolf.
The movie, along with the popular AOL game, twisted the old party game by placing players into a pit divided by wolves and sheep. As a wolf, it was the player’s job to converse with other wolves in order to take out the sheep without being discovered. As a sheep, it was important to discover the identities of the wolves without being killed in the middle of the night. As a game which took place primarily in a chat room, it succeeded in creating an experience full of thrill and paranoia.
Town of Salem, a game created by BlankMediaGames, portrays its own version of the Mafia/Werewolf party game. The game, which takes place in an alternative version of Salem, introduces a lobby of up to 15 players who are randomly divided into different alignments: Town, Mafia, Serial Killers, Arsonists, and Neutrals.
As a Town member, you are responsible for tracking down the Mafia and other possible killers before they kill you. But since the alignments are a secret, it’s your job to learn how to locate deception. By taking a chance and voting off suspicious players to be lynched, you will eventually reveal who is good and evil… but accidentally killing off teammates will obviously place you in a dangerous disadvantage.
At night, the Mafia can chat and decide which unsuspecting Town member to kill. What’s interesting to note is the presence of roles such as the Serial Killer, who also has free reign and can decide who to kill on their own. But while the Mafia/Serial Killers inflict terror during the night, they must assume the role of an innocent Town member during the day in order to win.
In addition to the alignments, each player will obtain a specific role during the game.
- BodyGuard – Protects one person each night from death
- Doctor – Heals one person each night, preventing that person from dying if attacked
- Mayor – Gains three votes after successfully being revealed as the Mayor
- Escort – Can distract someone each night
- Medium – Can speak with the dead at night
- Retributionist – Resurrects someone from the dead
- Transporter – Choose two people to transport at night
- Investigator – Investigate a person each night to obtain clues
- Sheriff – Check one person each night for suspicious activity
- Spy – Can listen to the Mafia at night
- Lookout – Watches someone at night to see who visits
- Jailor – Choose someone to lock up for the night
- Veteran – Obtains three alerts. If attacked while alert, the Vet will shoot the intruder
- Vigilante – Takes justice into his/her own hands and shoots someone
- Blackmailer – Able to blackmail one person each night
- Consigilere – Check one person for their exact role each night
- Consort – Distract someone each night
- Disguiser – Choose a target to disguise as
- Framer – Choose one person to frame each night
- Janitor – Choose a person to clean each night
- Godfather – Kills one person each night
- Mafioso – Carries out the Godfather’s orders
- Amnesiac – Remembers who he/she was by selecting a role in the graveyard
- Survivor – Puts on a bulletproof vest on at night for protection against attacks
- Witch – Control someone at night
- Jester – Trick the town into voting against him/herself. Can kill someone who votes them as guilty
- Executioner – Tries to lynch a specific target. Turns into a Jester once the target is killed
- Arsonist – Douse someone in gasoline and ignite all doused targets
- Serial Killer – Kill someone each night
Obviously not every role will be present in a game which contains 7-15 players, so it is a challenge discovering just who is an ally and an enemy. This successfully creates an intriguing game of paranoia which is ignited by other players’ assumptions and actions.
The game, which is completely free-to-play, is only available on PC and can be accessed through your internet browser. With no downloads required, this is a game worthy of playing, at least to satisfy your curiosity. Because it’s still in Alpha testing, there are still some minor bugs and annoyances, but they don’t take away from the experience as a whole. Town of Salem is a very addicting and entertaining game, particularly for those who are intrigued by mystery.
The interface is incredibly simple, and you can add friends and play with them either in Classic Mode which offers a smaller variety of roles, or Custom Mode which has access to all of the roles. But the game can still be thoroughly enjoyed as a solo experience since every player will be tossed into a lobby with other players.
However, if you’re a person who has to play a game filled with animation and action, you’ll be disappointed. The animation is simple and works to provide a tone during the day and night times, but there isn’t any actual gameplay outside of a minor point-and-click experience. Town of Salem operates primarily through the chat room and simple actions that can be taken by specific roles during the night.
That has always been the beauty of the different versions of Mafia/Werewolf, though, and Town of Salem doesn’t disappoint by trailing away from the traditional methods. To those interested in playing, you can sign up and start playing by visiting BlankMediaGames. More information on the game’s status can be found on its Facebook page.