Review: Shadow Hunters

Shadow Hunters

Designed by Yasutaka Ikeda

Plays 4 – 8 players

Plays in 45 minutes

A small village besieged by Shadows--vampires, werewolves, and faceless abominations. It is up to the newly arrived Hunters to defeat these evils. However, those evils will also fight back and innocent villagers will be caught in the crossfire. Some of the villagers simply want to be alive at the end of the game; other villagers have more nefarious goals, taking advantage of the havoc being wrought by the battle between good and evil.

At the start none of the players know who, if anyone, is on their team. By using special cards and watching the behaviors of others, players must decide who to ally with in their quest for victory. At the same time players are collecting artifacts to keep them safe and weapons to help them fight. Whenever you are in a location close to another player you can attack them but hopefully they aren’t your ally!

Game Components

Players roll two dice to determine where on the game board they will move and resolve the action on that location. Most of the time actions will be drawing one of the three different types of cards (Attack, Defense, and Investigation) and either keeping or resolving those cards. If you are on the same location as another player, or immediately adjacent location, than you can attack them once on your turn. This is done by simply rolling the two dice and doing damage equal to the difference.

The game progresses with players deciding who their friend is and who their enemy is and attacking each other, sometimes with special abilities, until at least one player has met their victory conditions. Most often this will be the condition that the hunters have successfully defeated all the shadows or the opposite. In the case of a hunter victory most of the neutral characters will also win!

Mainly a hidden role game, Shadow Hunters succeeds in adding onto that mechanic with simple combat, interesting cards, and powers. There is less deception than most hidden role games as the victory condition is to find out whom to defeat and do it quickly. This takes away some of the pressure of having to lie to your friends and family that is in pure hidden role games like Werewolf and Resistance.