Town of Salem keeps you on the edge of your chair. It’s not because of fast-paced action or massive explosions; this game has neither. It’s because of the incredible social tension that the game elicits.
A loose recreation of the Salem Witch Trials
This title is an incredible exercise in social trust- or in manipulating your enemies.
Town of Salem is a great experience from beginning to end. While the game doesn’t move quickly, it manages to create incredible social tension based around the “he said, she said” of the infamous Salem Witch Trials.
In this case, you’re hunting for the mafia. They’ve infiltrated your sleepy little town; every morning, all of the town members must meet and discuss the previous nights’ events. Everyone has a role they have to play; those with Town roles need to eliminate the mafia and the dangerous neutral role threats. Everyone else has to defeat the Town roles.
Since everyone has specific jobs and duties that they can carry out every night, you can contribute to your town’s salvation or its destruction. Each role is assigned at random at the beginning of the game. The way each role is set up, even those with direct contact with one another (like over Discord) don’t want to share what their assigned role is. This game recreates genuine social distrust, even among close friends.
How do you know that player is really who they say they are? Maybe they’re the Jester and their objective is to be hanged by the town; maybe they’re serious, but you can’t trust anyone. This game puts the real Salem into perspective. When you’re told there’s a threat, you don’t know who to trust.
This game is multiplayer only, so if online settings make you nervous, this won’t be for you. The graphics are flat and the ranking system is confusing. All that aside, there’s not much bad to say about this game. It’s designed well and everyone’s roles are given just enough conflicting objectives to make each player’s motives suspicious.
Where can you run this program?
Town of Salem is available on Windows XP or later as well as Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Is there a better alternative?
No. It’s impossible to recommend a game with a similar scope to Town of Salem. It stands alone in its achievement, namely to sow incredible distrust between every player.
This title offers a perfect balance between engagement and fear. You’re not just afraid of being caught as the mafia; you’re afraid of being wrongly convicted while playing a Town role. This fear is central to the game, and the developers nailed it.
Should you download it?
Yes. Even if you’re not an avid gamer, you’ll have a great experience playing Town of Salem.