A game for two to six players, Last Friday can be played as a single chapter or multi-chapter game. Despite an incredibly ‘busy’ board, the game isn’t too complicated, and you can be up and running in under 15 minutes first time out.
Last Friday, a Friday The 13th themed board game (which is not titled Friday The 13th, wink), designed by Antonio Ferrara and Sebastiano Fiorillo and published by Ares Games, is a hidden movement deduction game. One player moves in secret and works against the rest of the players, who move in full sight of everyone at the table.
The game's board depicts Camp Apache, a quiet summer camp in the middle of the forest where nothing could possibly go wrong. Except for the deranged maniac who has come back from the dead and plans to murder all of the camp counselors who have gathered this fateful night! At first glance, the board itself is a bit intimidating with so many icons and image depictions. However, it is fairly simple to navigate after a brief explanation by the rule book. Playing through one round and learning as you go was the best way to become acclimated to the gameplay.
What Is It About?
The most exciting thing about Last Friday is the game mechanics. While the majority of players work cooperatively, one player is always the ‘murderer’, working against the rest of the group. For the player who controls the murderer, it’s a very different game to the usual cooperative, and you view play almost as an outsider.
The murderer has their own little gameplay area, consisting of a miniature board map and movement tracking sheet. This is all hidden from the other players, and allows the murderer to plot their movements in secret. You see, in Last Friday, the players don’t know where exactly the murderer is. They can set traps to try and highlight his position, and every three turns get a glimpse of where the murderer was earlier in the game, but his exact location is mostly hidden. In Last Friday, one player takes on the role of the maniac at Camp Apache, and the other players control the five campers who are repairing the camp in exchange for a free vacation.
There are five ways to play the game: the full playthrough of all four chapters (which I recommend), or playing any of the four chapters individually. Though Last Friday isn’t a terribly complicated game, it would take a while to walk through each scenario individually, as there are detailed rules about setting up for each chapter based on what happened in the previous one, plus even more rules if playing just a chapter individually.
Is It Good?
The artwork is excellent, and the components are nice. Every element of the game comes down to the Friday the Thirteenth theme (even if they can’t say those words), and the slasher theme fits especially well with the gameplay. This will be a game I pull out on a chilly fall evening each October.