I was taking a risk when I agreed to review Werewolves: The Pact.
I don't have a huge circle of friends here, but I knew that my friend Jeremiah did. And the man loves games. So I figured I could ask him to get a group together, and he would be able to deliver.
He did. Nine people besides myself, to be exact. Other than he and his girlfriend, I had met (and played games with) two of them. The others were complete strangers — both to me and some of them to each other.
So there I sat, with five people I'd never met and two I only knew a little bit, with an untested game that I knew had some issues just from reading the rulebook.
I decided before I arrived to balance my role as moderator — which I believe means giving people a good time — with my role as reviewer.
That meant creating my own moderator guide but not giving the players any aids, even though they would have come in very handy.
These people were awesome. They jumped in, laughed, accused each other for reasons that had nothing to do with the game, and were willing to play three rounds.
Not one of them had played a social deduction game. One told me she'd only ever played Monopoly, but they trooped through.
I can't say I recommend this situation as a first trial for Werewolves: The Pact, but we all had a good time, and I met some amazing people who I look forward to getting to know better.
What does all this mean? Probably that jumping in is a good thing, and games break down barriers between people.
These are things I already believed, but it was nice to have them confirmed.
Full disclosure: I received a review copy of Werewolves: The Pact from Asmodee Editions. I wasn't required to write a positive review. These are my honest opinions.