Fangs review — Blood for the teeth god

Fangs is Kosmos’ reprint of Shadow Hunters, one of my favorite social deduction games from the olden times that I never got around to getting a copy of. There’s a couple minor tweaks here and there, but the real change is the retheme, so it’s already time for me to do another dive into how much a retheme can change a game.

Shadow Hunters was an innately silly game that pitted human hunters against supernatural beings and weird neutral third parties. The only way to discover who’s on which team is through the effects of a location which you roll to travel to at the beginning of your turn, or just attacking people until they’ve taken enough damage that you can eliminate characters that would’ve died. Other locations give you items, like chainsaws or guns that make your attacks more effective and medkits that you can use to heal people to a specified damage number, which also happens to instagib the lowest health character. I loved Shadow Hunters because it was a social deduction game that ensured everyone got involved in some way and everything about it screamed “don’t take me seriously.”

Fangs, on the other hand, has Underworld and Vampire Diaries energy- definitely corny, but there’s gonna be people out there that think it’s serious business, and you’ll have to put in the effort to correct them. As a result, I feel the need to do stuff like use its absurdly long full title, Fangs: Werewolves vs Vampires vs Humans, in order to keep things in perspective. There’s also been mechanical tweaks to balance it a bit, but hon, if you’re looking for balance in a light social deduction game, you’re barking up the wrong tree. As a result, the whole thing is left feeling kinda clumsy and a smidge too earnest while its predecessor hit the sweet spot of tongue-in-cheek poking fun at itself. If I were to go more in-depth, I could point out that the lack of an actual board in comparison to its predecessor feels cheap, but hell, it is cheap and this isn’t the type of game that cheapness detracts from, so complaining about that feels disingenuous.

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Nick grew up reading fantasy novels and board game rules for fun, so he accepted he was a dork at an early age. When he's not busy researching the intricacies of a hobby he'll never pick up, Nick can be caught attempting to either cook an edible meal or befriend local crows.




Review Guidelines

As much as I may dislike the tweaks Kosmos made in the change between Shadow Hunters and Fangs, it's still my favorite high player count social deduction game by a wide margin, and it's absurdly cheap now, so I'm gonna stop complaining and say it's absolutely perfect as that inexpensive game that you pick up to push your order into the free shipping territory.

Nick Dubs

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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