Dracula’s Feast: New Blood, from Jellybean Games and Blue Beard Entertainment has successfully funded on Kickstarter, but if you’ve already worked up an unquenchable thirst, you can download the print and play version now, for free.
Based on an original game called Dracula’s Feast (note the absence of the New Blood suffix) New Blood is a re-implementation that features brand new artwork and an extensive range of new features that address some of the minor balancing issues and other criticisms from the original release. The Kickstarter blurb suggests:
“Dracula’s Feast: New Blood improves everything you loved about the original. The second edition includes:
- New roles! The game now comes with 10 unique roles (plus any promo roles unlocked through stretch goals), including a brand-new guest for advanced players – The Witch
- Extensive rebalancing! Since the first edition was released, we’ve playtested the roles hundreds of times to ensure that all the characters are finely-tuned and ready to scare
- Updated art! Character artist Michael Dashow has done an amazing job of bringing the guests to life, giving each of them their own thematic movie poster
- Streamlined rules! Years of development have resulted in simplified, more accessible rules – while still containing all the strategy of the original. Changes include players keeping their powers after they’re revealed, fewer rules exceptions, and simpler (but equally strong) guest powers
- More powerful actions! The tweaks to the three basic actions mean that every turn you take matters
- Advanced guests! The characters have been split into ‘basic’ and ‘advanced’, to make the game easier to teach to new players, and to provide a meatier game experience for experts”
Like the original Dracula’s Feast, New Blood is a logic based deduction party game that will likely ring bells with anyone who has played games like One Night Ultimate Werewolf, both in terms of theme and gameplay. Look closer, though, and you’ll find that New Blood actually plays in a very different way. Players will never need to lie or deceive their opponents in New Blood, instead relying on the mechanics of the game to help them work out which of their guests occupy the various monster roles in play.
With this in mind, gameplay is about as simple as you could imagine. On her turn, a player will simply ask if one of the other players occupies a specific role – such as the Zombie, or the Witch. That player will then answer secretly by passing a “Yes” or “No” card back to the inquiring player. The other action available to players is to dance with one of the other guests.
When the dance action is taken, the two dancing players simply swap their monster cards. If at any point a player feels that they have guessed the roles of every other player, then she may accuse them all (and if she guesses correctly, she’ll win.) Guess even one guest incorrectly though and that player will need to reveal their monster to everyone else, providing vital information that might allow someone else to steal the win.
Aside from these basic concepts, each monster has its own special ability that can lead to unique win conditions or special abilities. Whilst I can’t speak from first hand experience, these abilities appear to be what really differentiated the original Dracula’s Feast from its competition and with improved balancing in New Blood, I’m really excited to see what the game has to offer. Gameplay aside, just look at that artwork? All said, I think New Blood is looking like a rather unique and exciting addition to any party game shelf.