Eville hands-on preview: Wolves in sheep's skin

VestGames' Eville is a new spin on the party deception genre.

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Eville is a new title in development from VestGames, and is a spin on the formula popularized by games like Among Us and Town of Salem. Players in a small village must work to deduce and expose the conspirators hidden among them. I had the opportunity to play a couple games of Eville ahead of its release later this year with developers and other writers.

Nosey neighbors

Eville features all of the core mechanics you’d expect from the genre. A small group of players are randomly selected as “conspirators,” and must work in secret to slowly kill off the other players one by one. The citizens must properly identify and execute all of the conspirators in order to win. However, VestGames is adding several factors and layers onto the gameplay.

Eville features individual character roles, which are randomly assigned at the start of the game. These roles include the Trapper, who can set traps for killers; The Mayor, who has increased voting power; and the Guard, a strong physical threat to any adversaries. What’s really interesting, is that there are also roles for the conspirators. The Thief can steal money from citizens, and the Smuggler can access trap doors to all homes.

During the course of a match, players can publicly claim a role. When doing this, all players will be alerted that somebody is claiming to have a certain role. However, there’s no way to verify if that’s really the case. This adds an extra level of drama and confusion when two players claim the same role, or a player’s behavior isn’t aligning with the role they say they are.

A knife in the back

During my time with Eville, I got to experience the game as both a citizen and a conspirator. Each character’s name is highlighted with a color, which is also the same color that corresponds to their respective home. During the day, players can purchase items from shops, which will better help them throughout the game. At night, things get spooky, as it’s time for the conspirators to run amok, causing as much chaos as possible.

As a citizen, I sat perched up in my home, weapon in hand, waiting for someone to attempt to break in and kill me. It was a cool level of tension that’s so prevalent in these sorts of games. On the other hand, my nights as a conspirator were sent dashing through underground tunnels, popping up in the home of unsuspecting citizens looking to take them out. With the citizens having their own measures to fight back against conspirators, I felt like I needed to be more thoughtful in my strategizing.

Similar to Among Us, Eville has a voting period, where the town gathers in the square to potentially vote off an alleged conspirator. When a player is accused, they’re put in a small cage, where players can vote whether or not to execute them. In order to vote, the other players must stand on either the red or blue side of the cage. I feel like this mechanic really heightens the drama that is the discussion/voting round, as you can physically see people sway towards one side or the other.

A town of mystery

Eville is shaping up to be an interesting take on the party deception genre. With a number of added gameplay elements, it will be fascinating to see how audiences receive it when it launches later this year. You can wishlist the game on Steam for future updates.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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