A meta-cooperative game of surviving a zombie apocalypse, where one of you might be a traitor.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Spreading mistrust amongst your friends
Dead of Winter is, on the surface, a cooperative game where players work together to survive an apocalypse. However, every game has roughly a 50/50 chance of a hidden traitor mixed in with the players, whose goal includes making all of the other players lose the game. In every game, regardless of the presence of a traitor, the players will also have their own secret objectives, many of which might look suspicious. So, even if you don't have a traitor in the game, if one of your friends seems like they are hoarding food, you're going to start questioning them. This environment of paranoia is extremely enjoyable.
Pro Great horror story
One of the core mechanisms of Dead of Winter is the Crossroads card system. These are cards that are read, in secret, by another player while you take your turn. If, during your turn, you take a specific action (maybe searching at the police station, or moving a character), play is interrupted, and a short blurb of story text is read. Then, the players are faced with a choice that has consequences in-game. Do you help out the band of survivors that showed up at your colony, adding more helpless mouths to feed but gaining more workers in the process? Or, do you send them on their way, knowing the chances of survival are grim? It's wonderfully thematic, immersive storytelling that, unlike many other random event systems in games, is directly triggered by the players' actions.
Con Unwinnable for some players
Occasionally through luck of the draw or poor decision making, a player's Secret Objective will become clearly un-achievable, or the achievement of which will lose the game for everyone. When this happens to a non-betrayer mid game it become very frustrating to have to stick it out knowing you cannot share in the win.