Blood on the Clocktower Review: A Masterclass in Deduction and Psychological Warfare


Blood On The Clocktower Review

What if you could continue playing a game, even after your character’s demise? A concept often unheard of in the board gaming world, but not for Blood on the Clocktower. In my gaming circle, I am known as the person who relishes innovative mechanics and appreciates games that push the boundaries. Blood on the Clocktower perfectly fits that bill.

Recently, during a virtual game night to celebrate the anniversary of our group’s formation, we plunged into a session of Blood on the Clocktower. Amid heated accusations and crafty deceits, we discovered anew how this game remains one of the most enthralling experiences in social deduction games.

This Blood on the Clocktower review aims to delve deeper into the intricacies of this game. While it might not be the game for everyone, its unique mechanics and engaging theme undeniably carve a space for it in the board gaming sphere. A sneak peek into my final verdict: This game is not for the faint-hearted but delivers a thrilling experience that will get your adrenaline pumping.

Just The Facts

Key FactDetails
Game TitleBlood on the Clocktower
DesignerSteven Medway
PublisherThe Pandemonium Institute
ThemeDeduction, Horror
GenreSocial Deduction, Bluffing
Target AudienceParty gamers, Strategy gamers
Age Range14+
Number of Players5-20
Game Duration45-75 minutes
Complexity LevelMedium-High
Game ObjectiveUnearth who amongst the players are ‘demons’ in a story of deception and survival
Difficulty LevelMedium-High
Similar GamesWerewolf, Mafia, Secret Hitler
AwardsNone as of release
Release Date2022

Game Overview

Blood on the Clocktower is a social deduction game with a touch of horror and trepidation. Set in the seemingly serene village of Ravenswood Bluff, the game pits an ‘unseen evil’ against the ‘unsuspecting townfolk’. The objective is simple: for the good team, it’s to exterminate the evil hiding among them; for the evil team, it’s to sow chaos and survive the witch hunt.

At its core, Blood on the Clocktower is about trust, deception, and strategic decisions. Every player receives a character with unique abilities and then navigates a narrative that swings between day and night phases. During the day, players discuss and vote to execute someone they suspect is evil. At night, the ‘demon’ awakens to take a life, while other characters perform their secret abilities.

Although Blood on the Clocktower plays with a simple formula, it involves rich strategy, negotiation, and bluffing. The sheer variety of characters—each with unique roles—introduces a stunning complexity to the game, making it a challenge that’s hard to resist. Moreover, unlike many games in this genre, a player remains active and influential even after they’re “dead,” adding an interesting twist to the mechanics.

Components and Artwork

A crucial aspect of Blood on the Clocktower is its components and artwork, each of which adds a level of immersion that is seldom seen in games of this genre. The game components are substantial and of high quality. You’ll find grimoires, character tokens, and game screens—all of which are sturdy and long-lasting. The tokens, designed with meticulous attention to detail, not only provide information about the character roles but also enhance the theme and immersion.

The artwork of Blood on the Clocktower is steeped in mystery and foreboding, perfectly capturing the essence of the game’s theme. The illustrations are beautifully gothic, invoking an ambiance of dread that permeates the gameplay. Each character sheet showcases a distinct personality that adds a unique flavor to the overall design.

The aesthetic appeal of Blood on the Clocktower is not just decorative—it plays a pivotal role in crafting the overall experience. The game’s artistry does an excellent job of tying the theme and mechanics together, creating an atmosphere of suspense that keeps players engrossed from start to finish.

Gameplay Experience

One might think that the gameplay of Blood on the Clocktower would be an elaborate affair, given its robust set of characters and unique mechanics. However, once you’ve got the rules down, each session flows remarkably smoothly. The game kicks off with the storyteller assigning secret roles, which dictates each player’s abilities and alignment. From there, the game oscillates between day and night phases, with discussions, accusations, executions, and secretive nightly actions occurring in an engaging cycle.

The game’s mechanics are undeniably one of its biggest strengths. Despite the influence of luck and uncertainty in the players’ roles, strategic planning, and clever bluffing are key to winning. The gameplay encourages deep player interaction, inciting tense moments of suspicion, and careful negotiation that keep everyone on their toes.

Unique to Blood on the Clocktower is the idea that “dead” doesn’t mean “out of the game”. Deceased players can continue to participate in discussions, provide information, and even possess special abilities—ensuring they’re invested in the game until the end. This compelling approach to player elimination sets the game apart from many in its genre.

Theme and Immersion

In Blood on the Clocktower, the theme is not just tacked on—it is deeply woven into its mechanics and gameplay. The concept of villagers vs. demons is consistently carried through the game’s narrative, reinforced by each character’s unique abilities and the alternating day-night cycle.

The game takes immersion to another level. It crafts a riveting narrative that sucks players into the tense atmosphere of Ravenswood Bluff. The discussions and negotiations during the day, coupled with the anxious anticipation of the night phase, build an experience that’s captivating and atmospheric.

Blood on the Clocktower also embraces storytelling aspects. The storyteller shapes the game, adding dramatic flair to the unfolding events, while players weave their narratives, either trying to convince others of their innocence or subtly casting suspicion. This fusion of gameplay and storytelling makes Blood on the Clocktower an immersive experience that sticks with you, long after the game has ended.


In Blood on the Clocktower, no two games will ever feel the same, thanks to its wealth of characters and their unique abilities. The game offers an incredible amount of variability, with different characters in play every time, ensuring a new narrative and strategic landscape with each playthrough.

The game’s setup allows for surprising turns of events and shifting alliances that keep players consistently engaged. You’ll find yourself trying out different strategies, adjusting to the dynamic gameplay, and tackling new challenges. The randomness of character distribution combined with the complex interactions of abilities create countless possibilities that add significantly to its replayability.

In addition, the modular nature of the game with its varying storylines—each introducing a different set of characters and a unique demon—means that Blood on the Clocktower stays fresh and exciting over countless sessions. It invites players back into the haunting ambiance of Ravenswood Bluff time and time again, ensuring a game night that’s always filled with suspense, strategy, and unexpected twists.

Player Interaction and Engagement

Blood on the Clocktower excels in facilitating deep and intricate player interaction. It isn’t a game where you can win by quietly calculating your strategy. To succeed, players must negotiate, bluff, cooperate, and sometimes betray. It pushes players to actively engage in discussions, express suspicions, and test alliances, creating a social dynamic that is intensely competitive and immensely satisfying.

The game’s unique mechanics keep player engagement high throughout. Even when a player is killed and becomes a ‘ghost’, they continue to interact, influence discussions, and use certain abilities. This departure from traditional player elimination mechanics ensures that every player remains invested in the outcome of the game, regardless of their status.

One of the most exciting elements of Blood on the Clocktower is the potential for emergent gameplay. As players negotiate and manipulate, they can craft complex narratives and unexpected strategies that extend beyond the pre-defined rules. These moments of player-created drama add an extra layer of depth and excitement to the game.

Learning Curve and Accessibility

Though Blood on the Clocktower falls into the medium-high complexity level, it manages to remain surprisingly accessible. The game comes with a comprehensive rulebook that outlines the basic structure of the game, individual character abilities, and specific gameplay rules. The rulebook is well-organized and easy to follow, ensuring a smooth learning process for beginners.

That said, new players may find the initial few games challenging, given the wide array of character roles and their complex interactions. Yet, once players grasp the fundamentals, the game becomes a thrilling experience that encourages strategic thinking and social interaction.

In terms of accessibility, Blood on the Clocktower fits well for a diverse range of gamers. Whether you’re an experienced gamer looking for a challenging social deduction game or a party gamer seeking an immersive, large-group experience, this game offers plenty to enjoy. The minimum recommended age is 14, but the game can still be appreciated by younger audiences with a knack for strategy and deduction. This broad appeal, combined with the game’s continued support after death, ensures that no one feels left out at any point.

Strategies, Tactics, and Tips

Success in Blood on the Clocktower often hinges on a delicate balance of trust, deception, and strategy. Here are some tactics to consider:

  • Understand your role: Each character has unique abilities. Use them wisely to aid your team and hamper your opponents.
  • Communication is key: Share information strategically. Be mindful of what you reveal and when, but remember, information can be a powerful weapon.
  • Use bluffing strategically: If you’re evil, consider masquerading as a good character. If you’re good, you might try to seem evil to draw out attacks.
  • Dead doesn’t mean useless: Even after death, you can influence the game. Use your continued presence to aid your team or sow discord.


Blood on the Clocktower currently offers two official expansions:

  • Sects & Violets: This expansion introduces new characters and a unique demon, adding an extra layer of intrigue and strategy.
  • Bad Moon Rising: An advanced expansion designed for experienced players. It brings in a set of complex characters and a new demon, offering a greater challenge.

Comparison to Similar Games

When compared to other social deduction games, Blood on the Clocktower sets itself apart through its unique mechanics and immersive theme. Games like Werewolf and Mafia offer a similar experience of deception and accusation, but Blood on the Clocktower takes it to a new level with a diverse cast of characters, the day-night cycle, and post-death interaction.

The strategic depth and immersive gameplay of Blood on the Clocktower certainly give it an edge, but it may not be the best choice for those who prefer simpler, quicker games. Werewolf and Mafia are better suited for players who want a less complex social deduction game, while Secret Hitler offers a good blend of strategy and simplicity.

However, for those who crave deep player interaction, strategic gameplay, and rich narrative elements, Blood on the Clocktower is a brilliant choice. The game has intricacies that reveal themselves over multiple playthroughs, rewarding players who are willing to engage with its complex mechanics and thematic richness.

Hits and Misses


  • Unique Mechanics: Blood on the Clocktower innovates on traditional social deduction games with its engaging gameplay mechanics. Players are always involved, even after death, which mitigates player elimination frustrations.
  • Engaging Artwork and Components: The quality of the components and artwork does more than enhance the aesthetics—it also reinforces the game’s immersive atmosphere.
  • High Replayability: With a variety of characters and game scenarios, no two sessions feel alike. This gives Blood on the Clocktower a high replay value.
  • Deep Player Interaction: The game encourages intense social dynamics, negotiation, and bluffing. The level of player interaction is truly exceptional, creating exciting, memorable moments.


  • Complexity: Although the game is accessible, the high number of character roles and their interactions can feel overwhelming to newcomers.
  • Lengthy Game Sessions: A game of Blood on the Clocktower can stretch for quite some time, especially with larger groups. This might not appeal to players who prefer shorter, faster-paced games.

Blood on the Clocktower Review: Final Thoughts and Verdict

After careful examination, Blood on the Clocktower stands out as an engaging social deduction game that strikes an impressive balance between depth, player interaction, and theme immersion. Its unique mechanics, especially the continued involvement of ‘dead’ players, are truly noteworthy.

While the game’s complexity might daunt beginners, once the rules are grasped, the experience is thrilling, challenging, and addictive. Blood on the Clocktower requires strategic thinking, communication skills, and a knack for bluffing. Its high replayability ensures that it remains exciting, even after numerous playthroughs.

On the flip side, the game’s complexity and potentially lengthy duration might be a deterrent for those who prefer quicker, less involved games. However, these aspects are part of what makes Blood on the Clocktower a standout game for players who relish in-depth strategy and rich social dynamics.

Blood on the Clocktower receives a well-deserved final score of 8.5 out of 10. It is highly recommended for fans of social deduction games, particularly those who are looking for a game with deep strategy, immersive theme, and high replayability. It promises a thrilling, suspense-filled experience that will keep you coming back for more. It’s an adventure that’s sure to enthrall you, whether you’re defending the village from the sinister demon, or, perhaps, you are the demon itself.

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