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- 60 Minutes to play
- 4-8 Player game
Shadow Hunters Description
Reviews By Mark Newheiser : Date February 18, 2010
Shadow Hunters fills several niches in my gaming circle: it’s fast– a full game ranges from 30 minutes to an hour with experienced players. It accommodates a large number of players, other than pure party games like Cranium or Taboo there aren’t many other games that work well with bigger groups like 5 to 8 people. But the strongest appeal of the game is the mystery each game brings: every player has a secret identity and victory condition which allows them to win. The game is spent trying to figure out who the other players are and what they’re trying to do, by the actions they take and pieces of information you’re able to learn about them through hermit cards. I’ve found that whether I’m winning or losing, the game is always exciting because I’m constantly trying to discover who everyone is and predict how the game will turn out, and the game is such that even if your character dies you can still win.
There are three “teams” in the game, Hunters who are trying to kill Shadows, Shadows who are trying to kill Hunters or kill three Neutrals if that’s possible, and Neutrals who each have their own objective: one is just trying to survive, one is trying to obtain equipment cards, one is trying to kill someone when two people have already died, and one wants to die first or else get rid of the Shadows. All characters have special abilities they can only use when revealed, one Shadow character can heal upon attacking successfully, and two of the hunters can deal out a one-time attack to damage a character. The danger is that using your ability forces you to reveal which character you are and open yourself up to retaliation from your enemies. Players take damage throughout the game and go up on an HP track: the points where different characters die are labelled, so that if you make it to 8 Health, you have to reveal if you’re the character who dies at that point, otherwise everyone knows you have to be a character with more than 8 health.
The basic mechanics of the game are rolling the dice to move between locations, taking cards, and choosing whether to attack anyone near your location. You get information about other players by playing hermit cards, which answer questions like “is this player a hunter or neutral” or “does this character have more than 11 hp”. You keep track of the information you’ve learned to guess who’s on your team and who wants you dead, although one Shadow character, the Unknown, is allowed to lie on hermit cards, which always leaves an element of uncertainty. The mechanics are refreshingly simple, while there’s a high amount of luck, you make a number of hugely influential decisions in how to use your special ability, when to reveal yourself, and when to try to kill someone you think is your enemy.
Reviews By Charlie "42" : Date February 26, 2012
Shadow Hunters is one of my very favorite games, and I’m so glad it was re-released with the expansion included. When my friends and I get together, we always bring out Shadow Hunters. It’s so much fun in a group, especially an outgoing group of people. The variety and secrecy make it a new game every time. I don’t think I’d ever get bored playing this game… I haven’t yet, and I’ve been playing for years.
That said, I would strongly recommend purchasing card protectors for the character cards. One of mine got a corner bent down early on, and then everyone could tell who Gregor was–not a good thing. Card protectors quickly solved the problem, being opaque from the back, but I wished I had had them before the problem happened so I’d still have perfect cards. Aside from that, the board and pieces are very durable and will probably last a couple generations.
I strongly recommend this game to anyone who likes having fun with family or friends. You won’t regret buying it.
Reviews By Ariana Hazzard : Date April 20, 2012
First off: This game is basically my favorite board game of all time. It’s easy to pick up, easy to get into, and EVERYONE is involved. It’s interesting even after you’ve died.