Town of Salem – Let’s hang out!
Town of Salem is a small game and on the surface it doesn’t look like that much, but when the night falls in the town of Salem, the game gets much, much deeper. This title developed by BlankMediaGames, is one of those hidden gems, one of those games that will have you sink an uncanny amount of hours into its delectable game play. The game is one big murder mystery, where the murders don’t stop. Each day you have to try and figure out who the villains are and who are in fact innocent town folk.
Are you ready to hang with some friends? [Insert evil laugh here]
As soon as you hit the play button you join a lobby and in this active game I have never had to wait around for the game to get going, as soon as the lobby is full you are cordially transitioned to the next screen where you can choose a name to use for this current round. This means that when you play a new round of the game you can rename your in game character for the match. This is nice for consecutive matches, since if you keep the play button hot, you might just land with some of the victims, I mean, players you just played with. After that a wheel spins with different character roles on them. Each of these roles have special abilities, which they can use during the night time. The roles ranges from sheriffs, jesters, doctors, mafia members and the dreaded serial killer role.
The game starts out on a quick day cycle that turns to night, just long enough to say a hearty hello to all the other players on the 15 player map. There is an ominous elephant in the room at this stage in the form of gallows in the center, we’ll get there momentarily. As I have mentioned during the night time you can perform your character ability, Mafia members pick someone that they would like dead as well as the serial killer.
So everyone “awakens” the next morning to some of the players dead with a message displaying what role they were and which nefarious party decided to snuff their candle. Of course you don’t know who is who and what roles they are so as a town you have to collaborate on who the bump in the night is. When the town reaches a consensus via voting, the accused player gets put to the stand. Here is where you type up a storm in your defense as to why the town should believe you are on their side, on their side or not. After the defense phase a final vote is cast, guilty or innocent. When there are more of the one than the other it determines the fate of the said player. Voted innocent and you walk the sweet walk of freedom and fall back in the game. If not, well then, what did I say about hanging with friends? Yeah, you get lynched and enter the realm of the dead.
Doesn’t sound so hard, now does it? The problem comes in with actually trusting what someone says, looking at the town roster and trying to figure out who is with you, or against you. Mafia members know who each other are, they are an organisation after all. So while 3 mafia members conspire to take out all the townies, so does the serial killer. Then roles like the jester and executioner comes into play.
Jesters win with whichever party wins, good or evil as long as they get themselves hung by the town. So is that person suspicious or a jester trying to get himself lynched? Where the executioner receives a target that he needs to get voted to get hung. So then again, does this person really have the information to call out who one of the evil parties are or are they just trying to get their mark? Mediums can speak to those who are dead, retributionists can bring the dead back to life, lookouts can watch other houses for visitors, escorts can block the nightly abilities for who they visit, a sheriff can investigate if someone is part of the mafia, a doctor can save a life when someone is attacked and the list goes on.
Every person in the game gets a last will. This is a little screen where you can write things during the game. Playing as a Sheriff and writing that you found out that your loving neighbor is a member of the mafia in your last will, might just win the town the game. When you die, the other people in the game gets a view and access to your last will helping those associated with your side to piece together parts of the puzzle of who could be who. Then again, can you believe what they write? That’s up to you to decide.
The more involved the chat box gets the more interesting the game gets. Fishing for clues desperately as you try to win the town back from the evil forces at night, or to finish off key victims in order to establish your serial killer kingdom.
honestly it doesn’t look like much, but it has a certain charm to it. The map itself could use some finer touches and a few smoother looking textures, it looks quite, rough. It doesn’t take away from the game though and the death animations are a treat to look at when the time comes for someone to swing to the dead chat.
There are many skins for different houses, characters and actual maps in different varieties and all that jazz, that can be unlocked with in game currency or our old friend cold hard cash.
The sound of the game is spot on. It captures the feel of the game, it creates atmosphere. The little crescendo just before you find out if you survived the night strikes a level of anticipation into you.
The music is of a high quality and I have found myself just hanging around in the menu screens for the sheer listening pleasure of the highly addictive tune that plays. The sound of the rope tightening as someone gets lynched to the death sound your character makes all in a quality manner.
It’s one of those games where the music and sound effects aren’t overshadowed by other elements or demolishes other sound aspects. A real effective use of sound.
Fun factor/ replayability
Since I play this regularly I was actually taken a back a bit when I saw that I have already spent 50+ hours in the game thus far. Since every time you play the game different roles are assigned to the people in the lobby there is a fresh feel to each match, as yes there will always be a doctor and a serial killer, but how every player plays those roles vary greatly.
The chance that you will roll the same character role twice in succession is very low with the very large roster available. Apart from that, when you get tired of the classic roles, you can create custom lobbies, with witches, werewolves, arsonists, vampires and a whole lot of others as well to mix it up a bit. Of course if you feel particularly sharp in the game there is also a ranked mode, for those more into the competitive scene.
This game has by far my favorite profanity filter and I would highly advise you leave this on, since people online are well, people online. And with the added humor of someone dropping a few bombs and having it change to something like : “You are a son of a snap crackle pop”. It’s just worth it all the way.
Fun, oh yes, I enjoy this title a lot and I will keep coming back at regular intervals to play a round or two.
In closing, I would say grab a few friends, this game is so fun with friends it will make you cry a little from laughter almost every round as you see them squirm te get off of the noose or work together to face a common enemy.
This game is about cunning, deductive skills and a keen eye for the suspicious. I would recommend everyone gives this title a try at some time. It is definitely a welcome addition to my games library and have had my friends and I have many conversations about the rounds we have played.
So scoring, yes, yes. 1 for gameplay, 0.3 for graphics, 1 for sound, 0.4 for fun and 1 for my own impressions.
you can grab this title from steam for a mere $4.99 or your regional equivalent.
You can also find BlankMediaGames at their website: http://www.blankmediagames.com/
Thank you for reading this article, I hope that you enjoyed it and will enjoy the game. Until the next title I set my sights on!
Have fun and game on.