Town of Salem is a free-to-play, browser-based multi-player game funded by a Kickstarter campaign. The game was inspired by party games like Werewolf and Mafia.
I discovered this game by chance when my friend convinced me into playing it one night. At first I was reluctant because I own so many multiplayer games already. I decided to give the game a chance because my friend really wanted me to play it with him. It turned out to be a very good gaming decision. After the first initial game I was completely hooked. I spent all night playing the game and went to bed at 7 in the morning, long after my friend had gone to bed.
The menu layouts of the game are easy to navigate. The matchmaking system is stable and fast, which is impressive considering that it’s a browser game. The layout also includes a friends list that lets you add people you enjoy playing with. You can chat with friends or queue up with them to play a game. The layout of the menu reminds me of the League of Legends game client. If you are familiar with LoL, you’ll have no trouble navigating Town of Salem’s interface. There is also an achievement system within the game. When you complete an achievement, you earn coins. You can use coins to buy new skins or animations for the game.
There are many different modes within the game. So far I’ve only played the classic mode because it is simple and well balanced. If you are a new player I suggest that you start out with the classic mode before trying the other game modes.
Once you have 15 people in the lobby the game will begin. One thing I like about Town of Salem is the ability to name your character whatever you want. Your character name does not have to be the same as your account name. This is a very good thing because other players can’t repeatedly target you over multiple games since you can rename your character every game. I believe that Naming yourself is a game within a game itself. A name that stands out too much like Jesus, Hitler, Lebron, Putin, and Batman will get you killed in first round guaranteed. On the other side of the coin, a stupid name such as jkfasjglkjasg, , and jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj will get you killed out of annoyance.
When the players are done naming themselves, they are randomly divided into alignments—Town, Mafia, Serial Killers, and Neutrals. If you are a Town member (the good guys) you must track down the Mafia and other villains before they kill you. The catch? You don’t know who is a Town member and who is a villain. If you are an evil role, such as a Serial Killer, you secretly murder town members in the veil of night and try to avoid getting caught. Neutral member have their own objectives which are usually selfish in nature.
There are two game phases—night and day. The night phase is when most roles use their abilities. Serial Killers can murder people using stealth, Doctors heal people who are attacked, and Sheriffs interrogate people for suspicious activity. There are many other unique role abilities as well. The day phase allows the Town members to discuss who they suspect is a villain. Next is the voting phase. Once the voting phase starts a majority vote from the town will put someone on trial. One role that I find particularly interesting is the ‘Jester.’ Your win condition as the Jester is to trick the town into hanging you.
If you receive the most votes during the day time, you will be put on trial. This is when you plead your innocence to the town or trick them into saving you if you are the bad guy. Next is the judgement phase. During this phase the town will vote on the fate of the defendant. Players can vote guilty, innocent, or abstain. If there are more guilty votes than innocent votes the defendant is sentenced to death by hanging. If there aren’t enough votes the person gets to walk free and potentially become the next OJ Simpson. This process of night and day is repeated until one alignment manages to kill all members of the other alignments.
All of this may sound complicated, but the game is quite easy to learn. What I like the most about Town of Salem is that it’s a game based on intelligence and not speed. All you need to to play the game is your keyboard and mouse. This means that even a casual gamer can find the game to be enjoyable. There are no other games on the market like Town of Salem and I’ve had a lot of fun in the game tricking other players. The only minor complaint that I have is that when a player get murdered the game takes way too long to announce that the player is dead.
As based on our rating system:
Gameplay – One of the most unique games you’ll ever play. There is no AI so you’ll be playing against other humans 100% of the time. Many social interactions and trickery from the game can be applied to real life social interactions and vice-versa. 40 of 45
Control – Everything works the way that it should. 25 out of 25
Graphics – This is one of the game’s weak points, but it doesn’t matter because you don’t play this type of game for its graphics. The towns and characters in the game are nicely drawn, but everything seems to be a little rough around the edges. The highlight of the game’s graphics is the hanging animation. Overall the graphics are passable for a flash game. 10 out of 15.
Sound – The music in Town of Salem is great and evokes a sense of mystery, but it gets repetitive after a while since there are very few tracks. However, there is an option for you to mute the in-game music. As for sound effects, there are minimal sound effects in the game. 4 out of 10
Story – Something about some village set in some country in some witch hunt era. Good enough for me. 3 out of 5
Total Score – 82%. Town of Salem is one of the best free games I’ve played this year. Game developers Blank Media Games recently released the game on steam for $4.99. You can buy extra character skins and pets with real money,but you won’t get any competitive advantage from it. In fact, having a fancy skin might get you killed faster . All in all, Town of Salem is an awesome murder mystery that you can play with your friends. If you are looking for a game that involves diplomacy and subtlety then Town of Salem is the game for you.
Over the last month, the writers at RXN have decided to also appraise a game’s masculinity as well, to help combat the poison of SJW influence in the gaming world (not to mention that being a man is awesome). The end of every review will now also include a short summary of how masculine a game is.
Town of Salem is a game based on deception, murder, and manipulation. You can play as a serial killer or a member of the mafia and kill everyone. The hanging animation in the game is brtual and you can see the bodies being laid out on the ground after they die. The game has no filter and you say or name yourself anything you want in the chat. Finally, I would like to give the developers of the game a high masculinity score. They took a risk releasing their own unique brand of game and managed to come out ahead. Total Masculine Value = A
You can play the game for free at Blank Media Games or support the company by purchasing the game on steam.
Update: minor grammar corrections.