FTW Staff Picks - Shadow Hunters

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.

Shadow Hunters

Genre: Deduction

Designer: Yasutaka Ikeda

Player Size: 4 to 8 Players

Game Length: 30 minutes

For fans of: Avalon, Bang!

Shadow Hunters may just be the game responsible for the inception of For The Win Cafe. So it was only a matter of time before we had to make it a FTW Staff pick.

Shadow Hunters is a game of dice-rolling, team-based combat and deduction. All these elements of which are susceptible to great randomness and deception. Shadow Hunters isn't always fair or balanced, but it's always a good time. It's a light and quick play, making it a great entry-level game for folks who are new to the deduction genre. 

Since its release, many games have eclipsed what Shadow Hunters has done. But there is a certain charm and individuality that has yet to be matched. The role of the Neutral player(s) gives a wild card feeling to every game. Objectives are mostly known, but the Neutrals give the game a strong twist. It's a mechanic that a game like Dead of Winter has taken and innovated on in its Secret Objectives for each players. Even over a decade after its release, Shadow Hunters is influencing games today. 

Werewolf is one of the oldest, most well-known deduction games. It's special because of the way the game unravels, with each round revealing bits of information piece by piece. Shadow Hunters comes closest to replicating that same progression as the game moves to its climax. And that's why we feel its maintained popularity for over a decade, and will likely continue to hit tables for decades to come.

Earl OliverosComment