What can you do with "grown-up" board game and small children? Bend the rules and play anyway! Werewolves is the first game my son and I "bent" to accommodate a 3 years old.
Werewolves of Miller's Hollow
Here's the original description of the game:
Werewolves of Miller's Hollow is a game that takes place in a small village which is haunted by werewolves. Each player is secretly assigned a role - Werewolf, Ordinary Townsfolk, or special character such as The Sheriff, The Hunter, the Witch, the Little Girl, The Fortune Teller and so on... There is also a Moderator player who controls the flow of the game. The game alternates between night and day phases. At night, the Werewolves secretly choose a Villager to kill. During the day, the Villager who was killed is revealed and is out of the game. The remaining Villagers (normal and special villagers alike) then deliberate and vote on a player they suspect is a Werewolf, helped (or hindered) by the clues the special characters add to the general deliberation. The chosen player is "lynched", reveals his/her role and is out of the game. Werewolf is a social game that requires no equipment to play, and can accommodate almost any large group of players (Source Boardgamegeek)
Even though I kind of hate the game mechanics of constructing argumentation out of thin air, the game is really fun. But definitely not suitable for small children. Nevertheless, the werewolf theme and the cards are perfect for them.
Here's how we play:
- I lay down 3x3, 4x4 or 5x5 cards on the table and hide 1, 2 or 3 werewolves among them. Only I know where they are.
- I then do the storytelling and play the werewolves by picking a villager to eat every night
- My son decides who is "lynched" everyday by also picking a card
- The whole fun resides in building the story around the game. Making gestures and noises. Being sad or happy with the characters etc. Believe me, you cannot do too much of that, watch the video below ;)
- We recently added the special roles of the hunter and the witch to added some additional fun and suspense for him. Maybe we'll add some other characters in the future...
This seems to be particularly fun as a story that you can influence. My son is really engaged and eagerly wants to find the next werewolf, even though winning the whole game really doesn't seem to be his goal.
I took an accelerated video of us playing one evening:
Have you ever modified a board game like this? I'd love to hear about it!