In recent years, the likes of Among Us have launched social deduction games into the stratosphere of popularity. You may have seen the “Town of Us” modifier to the game, which adds special abilities for players, or perhaps you just watched your favorite YouTuber play a game with the aim of tricking friends or strangers alike, such as Trouble in Terrorist Town, Project Winter, Goose Goose Duck, Eville or Epic Mafia. While Town of Salem has never made it to the popularity of Among us, its presence has been felt in this gaming landscape for some time, and the upcoming full release of Town of Salem 2, could change that.
The premise of Town of Salem is simple: you take part in a fifteen-person social elimination game consisting of day and night cycles. You’re given a role with specific abilities, and a goal to fulfill within the town. You also have a will that shows itself upon your death and a death note to show players should you kill someone.
At day you use diplomacy and evidence to vote out someone you think might be on the opposing faction. At night, you gather evidence, kill other players or simply use abilities that work for your benefit. Towns are the good guys but do not know each other, Coven are the bad guys in small numbers but know each other, and neutral roles fill self-serving purposes for good or evil.
Firstly let’s talk about the art overhaul. Town of Salem 2 is a high graphical upgrade. Instead of the game purely including text-boxes based prompts with small flash-based animations, now the unity engine is utilized to the fullest. Using special abilities will now launch a full cutscene animation, like these.
Town of Salem 2 is aiming to make a definitive experience in social deduction, taking the original game, which was quite decent in its own right, and creating a fully functioning engine with which to make and customize the experience to a group’s needs and entertainment values. The custom role list system allows for the inclusion of over 50 roles in any amount you wish, even adding options to turn Town roles into evil Coven counterparts for extra layers of deception.
All the while creating tried and tested role lists to provide the best-standardized experience to players who want to avoid experimentation. I’ve noted that before the game even entered early access, role lists were fine-tuned through a selective beta to ensure quality. Roles and lists continue to be worked on through the early access process.
Town of Salem 2 may not be completely friendly to newcomers. With over 50 roles to learn and understand, on top of an already thriving community, who have experience from the last game, it may be difficult to jump in. I can promise you though, that after a few games, you will start to understand the rhythm of the social discourse and how you should go about presenting your role and findings.
Becoming an expert in Town of Salem requires many games with multiple roles. Sometimes you may find that you have an easy time, and others, you may wonder why people even play this game so much. You will learn to keep a detailed last message that may allow you to gain revenge on your killer after death, or perhaps death is your goal, using the deadly Jester role to kill those who hung you.
If you’re going to play this game, you are going to need one of these things:
1. A friend or two for you to laugh with and converse about the crazy things people are doing.
2. The will and patience of a God with the raw determination to succeed despite everything.
3. An absolutely chaotic nature that thrives in deception and finds people getting heated funny and amusing.
4. A logical and mathematical brain that enjoys solving puzzles and psychologically analyzing other players.
5. A very social person who enjoys meeting and conversing with new people in video games.
6. You are bored on a night and want to pretend to be a pony in front of 14 other people trying to take the game seriously.
All of these things can be a reason to step inside Town of Salem 2. Of course, if you don’t like people and just want to play a solo game, this may not be for you; the game is entirely multiplayer.
So if you desire a game where every type of personality is acceptable (except being abusive), and to flex your mental muscles, or just learn how to talk to people in a crazy environment, try Town of Salem 2, which is available on Steam for the low price of $10.