I’m a huge fan Bézier Games and their One Night titles. One Night Ultimate Werewolf and Vampire are two of the best party games I have, and Daybreak added much more to those two as we were able to mix and match roles into the fray. So when word came out that the company was releasing a version called One Night Ultimate Alien, I had to get my hands on it. I snagged some friends, updated the app, made my way to Watchtower Cafe in Salt Lake City, and played a few rounds for a proper review.
One Night Ultimate Alien works the same way as the previous versions, but with some additional twists. The plot remains the same in that there is a monster team (the aliens) and a Town team. The town’s job is to kill at least one of the aliens and keep the town alive, while the aliens are trying to stay alive. Everyone gets dealt a random role, a night phase is started where people do certain things based on their role card, and then once they wake up they have a set amount of time to figure out who the aliens are and kill one. Simple, right? Not so much in this version.
Unlike Werewolf and Vampire where there are a lot of roles based on the idea of mischief and misdirection, a lot of the game is based on protection. Nevermind for a moment the idea of the aliens trying to protect themselves, there are roles in this deck where you only win if certain people survive. A good example is a pair of aliens called Groob & Zerb, who if they are both in the game, can only win if both stay alive. Or the character The Blob, who will be instructed to keep a certain amount of people alive for they are now part of the blob. If people die who shouldn’t, these roles lose. However, if they manage to keep those people alive, they win along with whichever side wins. So there’s a great deal of looking out for specific people.
The game also threw int he role of The Oracle, who if she is being played will cause a rift in the space time continuum and cause random things to happen. She can choose to be on the aliens side if they want, the game can force the entire game to start over, the game can force everyone to not speak at all until after voting, it can cause a role to go twice—so many random options that add much more insanity to the proceedings. By the end of the night phase, you’ll know two things: some of the roles in the middle burn cards and whether or not the Cow role was tipped. You’ll also have to deal with roles that are in it for themselves, like the Synthetic Alien who acts like the Tanner from Werewolf, in that they are trying to get killed.
The game itself is very well put together so that a team of five can play, but the goal is to get a group of ten so you can have as much insanity as you can possibly get. Béizer Games were nice enough to send us the bonus packs for review, which we ended up using some of the roles from the third pack to add even more confusion to the game with the Body Snatcher and the Empath. There’s great potential here to have one of the best shouting matches ever with your friends as you try to win the game for yourself and your team. The one downfall to the game is that the app is required. It is by no means a huge problem, in fact, it’s little more than an inconvenience. But the app specifically brings up random things for people to do, which you could try with a human judge, but it loses some of the spice.
One Night Ultimate Alien is an amazing addition to the series. The fact that it can be played as a stand-alone game without any additional materials is great, the bonus pack for this specific game is great, and the fact that you can still mix this set in with the others and have ultimate battles with 20+ people is amazing. I highly recommend getting it if you love the previous editions, and it makes for a nice starter game that doesn’t really require knowing or having played the other versions to start.