Bezier Games is known for their One Night Ultimate Werewolf games, but they have more than that, though, still, with a werewolf theme. One of those games is Silver. Does it really branch from what they’ve done before?
In Silver you have a village of five cards in front of you. These cards are face down and at the start of a round, there are four, you look at two of them. Then you take turns either taking cards from the discard pile to put into your village – face up, drawing a card to put into your village from the draw pile – face down, drawing a card and playing it for its special power, or calling for a vote. You call for a vote when you think your village has the fewest points left in it. Each villager has a point total, and while you don’t want to get a 12 in your village, using it to steal a good card from someone else and giving them a high value card always works out nicely. There’s one trick for calling for a vote, though, and that’s that your village has to have fewer than five cards. To get rid of cards, you can trade in two cards of the same number when playing a card from the discard or that you drew into your village. When the vote happens, whomever calls for the vote, if they have the fewest points, they get zero points for the round, everyone else gets what is one their cards, but if they don’t have the fewest points, they get ten plus their total while everyone else just scores the total points on their cards. After four rounds, the person with the fewest points wins.
There are some things that I really like about this game, but I didn’t love it the first time that I played it, which was at GenCon. The concept of the game is quite simple, and I hadn’t picked up on the amount of depth that you might need for the game. Knowing what cards are strong when is interesting, and knowing to just discard a card sometimes and do nothing with it, because it isn’t worth the risk. There’s more depth to it than you’d initially think. That said, just the base box with the base set of cards, that is enjoyable, but for long term replayability, I think that you need some of the stand alone expansions. Silver Bullet and Silver Coin I haven’t actually played yet, but from what I know of them, they mainly add more villagers that you can play with.
In Silver there are villagers numbered from 0 to 13. A 0 is just a normal villager, no special power, unless both are face up in villages, at which point you just score. But other numbers have powers. A 13 is a doppelganger of any other number when trading in two for one (or even three for one or four for one if you can set it up). A 2 face up in your village allows you to peak at one of your cards each turn so you can figure out all the numbers that you have. A 7 lets you look at two of your cards once, if you discard it after drawing it. And every number has something that it allows you to do. However, in the base game there is only one set of cards from 0 to 13. 12 is an exception to that, but you pick which set of the 12’s you want to play with. Silver Coin and Silver Bullet give you more sets of cards of various numbers. That means that you choose which set of 1’s, etc. you play with and you can create your own combinations. This is very much like having Sushi Go and then getting Sushi Go Party! which gives you more possibilities, this just creates them as stand alone expansions so you don’t have to buy everything.
But even with that said, I do like Silver a lot. I think that while the expansions would make it more playable over time, just the base game is nice because it’s easy to teach and it plays quickly. Once you have a concept of what you can do on your turn, you just need to learn the cards, and as the teacher, I don’t need to teach all of them. I can just show you what a few symbols mean and you can learn as you go. Now, learning as you go can sometimes suck because that probably means you’ll lose the first game, and in Silver, that’s no exception, except for the fact that the games are short. Maybe a four player game would take 60 minutes, which isn’t that short, but a two player game, even the first one with me teaching someone, maybe took twenty minutes, and after that, probably could play a game with two players in fifteen minutes. And I think with four, maybe 45. So as a two player game, it can really fly, with more, it does add more time, but the more comfortable people get with the game, the faster it goes. And even if the person is picking stuff up in the first round to figure out the game, rounds two through four will go much faster. Plus, as I’ve said, it’s so simple to teach, it’s easy to get to the table.
Overall, I think this is a good family weight, almost party game. Yes, it can only play up to four, but it’s one of those games that I’d use as a filler between bigger heavier games, and that people can really get into because of the simplicity of the game. If you’re looking for something with longer term strategy, I do think you’ll need the expansions, but for a good game to pull off the shelf with your more casual gaming friends, I really like Silver as a new game to do that. And I do now, after teaching it once, think I could teach it in five minutes to new gamers.
Overall Grade: B
Casual Grade: A
Gamer Grade: B-
Have you had a chance to play Silver, is it a game that you like?
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