Will you or your opponent be left standing in this card game set in the Werewolf universe?
Android & iOS
# of Players
Silver is a card game set in the Wereworld world from Bezier Games. Players navigate a deck of cards with 14 different residents and tend to their own village, using their powers and exchanging cards in an attempt to end up with the fewest points when the round-ending vote comes up. After four rounds, the player with the lowest score wins the game, this takes about 10 minutes.
Silver was released ahead of the physical game as a free preview. The app only plays one human against an AI. The app has no online play or other options, it’s simply a way to test out the game against a challenging AI.
A round of Silver beings with each player getting five resident cards placed face down in a row in front of them, which is their village. Players may peek at two of these cards, but they are then turned back over while the other three remain hidden for now. On a turn, a player can either flip a new card from the deck or exchange with the top face-up card in the discard pile. After flipping from the deck, you can exchange that card into your village, use the ability on the card, or take no action. The goal in the game is to have the fewest points at the end of the round. Points are kept by the number on each resident, ranging from zero to thirteen with each number representing a different character. There are multiple copies of each character in the deck.
The big trick of Silver is that, when exchanging, you can trade all of your cards with the same residents for a single card from the deck or discard pile. As the goal is to end up with the fewest points, you can see the power in exchanging three 11 value residents with a single two value card. The other interesting piece in the game comes with the character abilities. Each of the 14 are unique and allow you to break the rules in some way. One card lets you view two of your own cards, another allows you to flip a card over, another allows you to exchange cards with your opponent, and so on. The higher the value on the card, the more powerful the ability. The highest card in the game, for example, is the Doppleganger which can be used as any number when you are exchanging. Pair a Doppleganger with those three 11 value cards from earlier and suddenly you can exchange four cards for one.
A round ending is usually triggered by one player choosing to do so, but is also automatically triggered should two zero-point cards end up face up at the same time. Once you have four or fewer residents, you can trigger the end of the round by calling for a vote. At this point, your opponent gets one more turn and then scores are tallied. If you were the player who ended the round and ended with fewer points than your opponent, you get a zero for the round and a special ability in the next. If you ended the round and didn’t finish with fewer points, you get a ten point penalty plus the sum of your cards. If you didn’t end the round, your score is simply the sum of your cards.
All of this adds up to a fun game of trying to shed your hand. With the card values, you don’t necessarily have to shed too many, as a couple of zeroes and ones would be a great score. The resident abilities are geared to give you awareness about you and your opponent’s villages. This brings up another vital piece of the game: memory. Exchanging matching cards is the crux of winning the game, and, generally, most of your cards are hidden face down in your village. As such, you will want to peak at them using card abilities so you know the full layout of your five cards. The tricky part then comes to remembering the numbers and order so you can make smart exchanges later. If you attempt to trade multiple cards that don’t all match, you get penalized.
You end up playing a game of memory while trying to manipulate cards to your advantage. The most important aspect is exchanging so you can shed points, but the resident abilities are vital in being able to know enough about your cards to perform positive exchanges. This game presents a fun dynamic. If I have a complaint, it’s that the four rounds seems a bit long for the lightness of the game, I’m not sure much would be lost cutting it off after three.
Barrier to Entry
Silver contains a full set of text rules as well as a few pages of “How to Play.” Additionally, the game will show instructions throughout to help you along. All in all, there is plenty here to get you started in Silver. By the end of those first four rounds you should have a decent feel for the rules, even if some of the resident abilities aren’t totally clear.
Look and Feel
The art in the game is great. Each resident has a unique look and is beautifully drawn. There is a nice purple hue throughout the app which pulls together a nice aesthetic. The cards themselves look good. The text is a bit small (there is an option to enlarge it, but that doesn’t actually do a ton of enlarging), but any card can be zoomed in on for a closer look. Also, you will know the cards well after a few plays.
Actions are performed using click-and-confirm. Select a card or two to exchange, then the exchange button will highlight on the bottom of the screen. Same for using some abilities, calling for a vote, or ending your turn. Things generally work well, although I have gotten a bit mixed up at times and accidentally passed on the change to exchange cards. Without an undo button, those mistakes can’t be fixed.
There is none, that was easy! The physical game allows for two to four players, in case you were wondering.
Everything I’ve written about is single player, that was easy! The AI here is pretty good. You will lose a lot because of the nature of luck in this game, but if you play smartly, and get some of that luck on your side, you will feel deserving of the win you earn.
It’s pretty great to see a company use the digital medium as a free preview for their physical game. It’s a unique approach and one that certainly got more eyeballs on their game than they might have otherwise. The app download numbers probably fall well short of the foot traffic Bezier got at GenCon (where the physical game was released), but I’m sure awareness of the game was higher due to the app. We also saw this done with Twice as Clever hitting app form before physical release. This is a great trend we can definitely get behind.
The Wrap Up
This app is free, the game is fun, and it provides a competent AI to challenge you. Stop reading and go try it for yourself.
Nitpicks on the implementation are limited to some small text and lack of an undo button. You can argue about this not being a full implementation, but if you are coming in expecting it to be, you clearly skipped to the bottom of this review. I have to approach this app for what it is; a free, limited, preview of a new physical game. On that level it definitely succeeds.