Villainous: The Game That Let’s You Be a Disney VillainJanuary 17, 2019
I am a Disney fanatic. My family and I go to Disneyland twice a year and my husband and I have a shared life goal of seeing every Disney park in the world.
When we learned about the game Villainous, we were ecstatic to play it. Villainous is a game in which 2-6 players each take on the role of a classic Disney villain and compete against each other to reach their unique objective first. While I’m not a huge villain fan, I was still excited to play a board game in the world that I love.
The game is fairly easy to learn, taking a few minutes of explanation at the beginning and very little set up. It only took us a couple of turns to get used to the order of actions, the general mechanics, and to familiarize ourselves with our objective and how it tied into our decks. Once the game gets going, there are so many variables in play that it stays interesting and you never know what will happen next. One aspect that I enjoyed is that there is very little randomness involved. Every decision feels like it matters.
You start out the game with a player board and drawing 4 cards from your deck. Each turn, you must start by moving your character to a different location. Then, you can perform all of the actions on your location, such as playing cards, collecting currency (Power), having allies fight heroes, or playing Fate cards to affect your opponent. You always draw back up to 4 cards at the end of your turn, giving you time to plan your next turn.
I chose Maleficient, whose objective is to curse all four lands. Her deck was all about getting curses out fast and finding ways to remove heroes or prevent heroes from getting in her way. I loved playing her so much that I immediately wanted to try again using the same villain. She also had an awesome card that allowed her to stay in the same location for multiple turns.
Thematically, this game provides all of the magical enjoyment any Disney fan could hope for. Each villain has a unique board, deck of cards, and Fate deck, meaning that for every villain, there is a plethora of art to get you into the flavor of your character. To add to the flavor, each board has a quote from the villain and their locations come directly from their movie.
Here are some fantastic examples of cards with wonderfully executed flavor.
The villain decks are each tied to the unique objectives in a synergetic way, using powers that tie deeply into the character’s story arc and powers, and the Fate decks are full of heroes and effects inspired by the movies as well. Lastly, each villain comes with a Villain Guide that gives helpful tips on how to play their specific deck. This is really fantastic for teaching the game as well!
If I were to summarize this game in one word, it’s unique! I can’t think of another game that plays like this and each character is so different. Playing the same villain multiple times is also appealing because once you start to figure out the synergy, it’s fun to try and master that particular card combo. Since there are six different villains, there is a lot of replayability.
I am excited to play this game more with more players and look forward to expansions that include more villain options from my favorite Disney movies!