Jeff Provine – Blogcritics https://blogcritics.org The critical lens on today's culture & entertainment Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:59:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Board Game Review: ‘Monarch’ from Resonym https://blogcritics.org/board-game-review-monarch-from-resonym/ Wed, 23 Jan 2019 02:23:35 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494905 Players must strategize to show who is the most able to inherit the crown.

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Monarch from Resonym pits players against one another to determine the greatest leader. The crown will soon pass on, but the Queen will name her successor based on who can best provide prosperity to one’s own land. Players will work to create the greatest boons for the realm, but there is still plenty of room for a little courtly sabotage.

Each game of Monarch begins with establishing a board for the land. Land tiles are shuffled and dealt out into a grid that gives nine spaces for actions. The table continues with a Market deck that offers special actions to allow players to expand their strategies while gaining Crown points. Above these, bonus Banner cards serve especially strategic players with pluses for collecting cards in particular suits or “paths,” representing qualities of culture, wisdom, might, and bounty.

On one’s turn, one may choose to Harvest or Tax. Harvesting provides Food tokens from the farmlands on the table, while Taxing provides gold from the towns, whose populations must be fed. Players will need to balance their actions, earning food to turn into gold while racing the others to get to the valuable cards in the Market.

The goal of Monarch is to hold the most Crown points when the game ends upon one player collecting a seventh Court card. Players will have to keep a close eye on the Market, seeing what cards best fit their strategies. Some cards will boost production with further food from the Golden Orchard or more gold from a Jewel Bazaar. Many cards give special abilities, like a Precious Comb discounting gold costs. The most valuable cards are the ones that increase their Crown value based on other collected cards, such as the Beastmaster gaining points for each animal controlled. Players will have to calculate their choices at maximizing the potential of each Market.

Two special kinds of Market cards change up the game. The Unwanted Guests serve as negative Crowns, a good way to slow down a player who’s in first place. The Moon cards, meanwhile, serve as environmental effects that come into play immediately upon drawing. Some offer free food or gold, some take gold and food away, and a few encourage cooperation. On the mystically named Diamond Moon and Hollow Moon, players will have to pool resources to gain bounties, or face penalties, adding a strategic complication regarding whether players will work together or not.

Monarch is a strategy board game for two to four players aged 12 and up. It is a moderate length game, lasting less than an hour, even half an hour for speedy players experienced with the game. The use of randomized tiles for the board and the shuffled Market deck boosts replayability, meaning players will have to determine their strategies with each new deal. Some games will be plentiful in food with struggles for gold, while others will have plenty of gold for when players are able to feed the burgeoning population. With strong gameplay and chivalric zeal in its aesthetic, Monarch is a clever strategy game players will visit again and again.

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Card Game Review: ‘Ogre Cheerleaders’ from Paw Warrior https://blogcritics.org/card-game-review-ogre-cheerleaders-from-paw-warrior/ Wed, 23 Jan 2019 02:12:37 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5495130 Quick play and clever actions in a new classic card game

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Ogre Cheerleaders from Paw-Warrior Games delivers the flavor of speedy classic card games played in study hall with new levels of complexity more modern gamers crave. A standard deck of cards offers a wide variety of short games like Speed or Pinhead. They are readily replayable since they are such short games, but the overly straightforward rules gradually get old. Ogre Cheerleaders keeps that liveliness of quick play while instituting a variety of actions that will give players plenty to work on for their strategy.

Ogre Cheerleaders begins with dealing each player four cards for their hands, each with its own special rule. The gameplay is straightforward. Players take turns each playing one card onto the table, applying a new cheerleader to the field. The cheerleader cards line up, building off one another to the left and right. Players then use the savvy of the special rules on the cards to remove or reorder cheerleaders to score points.

Each card in Ogre Cheerleaders carries its own special action. Many of them operate from the “Bench,” a side section of the table where cards may be moved or pulled from. This is the real skill of Ogre Cheerleaders: being able to best determine when to pick up and move cards to create scoring sets. Other cards add fun random elements, pulling from an opponent’s hand or the draw deck to immediately play an unknown card. Depending on the cards played, a chain reaction might take place with cards feeding into further actions for a wild turn.

Once a player has set down a card and settled all of the actions, they review the table for sets to score. Players can score on matching suits, each fittingly fanciful or gross as an ogre might be, or by runs of sequential numbers, or by matching the number in play. When a set is made, the player collects it, and sets it aside for scoring at the end of the game.

Play continues until the draw deck runs out. The last round is finished out so that every player has had the same number of turns for the game. When the game is over, players count up the cards in the collected sets. Rather than winning by collecting the most sets, each card is worth the number printed upon it. Players will have to strategize not just to collect sets but to collect the most valuable sets. To do this best, players may need to set up multi-turn strategies of benching certain cards until the perfect one comes in hand. However, waiting too long may have an opponent swoop upon the set.

Ogre Cheerleaders is a card game for two or more players aged eight and up. Games are very speedy, lasting only a few minutes. The standard setup for Ogre Cheerleaders is for two dueling players, but more players may be added in for an even more chaotic game. With its quick play and rapid turns of strategy, Ogre Cheerleaders is perfect for lovers of classic card games.

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Card Game Review: ‘Kingdoms’ from Strackspelsfabriken https://blogcritics.org/card-game-review-kingdoms-strackspelsfabriken/ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 21:41:30 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494918 This engaging update of a the classic card game Sevens takes players into a fantasy realm.

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Kingdoms from Strackspelsfabriken adds a whole new depth to the classic card-laying mechanics of the game Sevens. The most obvious addition is the fantasy setting. Rather than simple suits, the cards now play in fanciful kingdoms, ruled over by the powers of animals, the sea, fairies, and dragons. The silhouette art adds to the mystical aesthetic, allowing players’ minds to fill in the gaps and imagine the whole of the world interacting as the cards go flying.

The basic mechanic of Kingdoms resembles Sevens: the four kingdoms are laid out, and the player with the green seven goes first. Play continues with each following player laying down a six or eight green or a seven in any of the other kingdoms. Players continue, taking turns to lay consecutively lower or higher cards, gradually building up to 13 or down to one. The turns roll on until one player empties his or her hand. It is a time-tested way to play and serves well as a foundation while the rest of Kingdoms goes into whole new realms of play.

The addition of coins adds a level of points to play, both at the end of rounds and in the midst of play. Players begin with 20 coins, a number that will quickly go up or down as cards begin to fly. A player with no coins at the end of a round is eliminated. Players can stay in the game by taking loans, and the topsy-turvy nature of the cards may even mean that such a player could win at the end.

When a player runs out of cards, the round ends, and any players with cards still in hand must pay penalties for them. The player with the most coins after all penalties are paid wins, which is often not the first player to go out.

Every card in Kingdoms, aside from the green seven, comes with a cost that must be paid in coins. In return, players not only get rid of a card but also have a special action. Lower cards give penalties like extra cost while higher cards give benefits. Cards may also allow players to draw from the Prosperity deck, which supplies a wide range of actions. Some are simple, like gaining or losing money, while others are environmental effects that can change the whole game. Costs can rise, kingdoms can be blocked from playing for a round, or players may even get free loans. This wildness heightens the levity of the game, keeping players on their toes.

Kingdoms is a card game for three to five players aged 12 and up. Each round moves quickly, lasting only 10 or 15 minutes. Players can choose to play just one round, or they may continue keeping score for a campaign of play in which they add their new winnings from each round to their previous hordes. Fans of card games with solid mechanics and players who love to choose their victims for penalties will greatly enjoy the new take on a classic in Kingdoms.

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Card Game Review: ‘Capital City’ from Calliope Games https://blogcritics.org/card-game-review-capital-city-from-calliope-games/ Sat, 19 Jan 2019 14:44:09 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494915 Players build prosperity through family connections in a Wild West boomtown.

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Capital City from Calliope Games gives players the chance to live out a fanciful take on the boomtowns of the Old West. Settlers are pouring into town, making it swell with new structures and businesses hoping to profit. It is hardly a land of equality, however, since nepotism is a strong force, with families helping family.

Capital City begins with players receiving a City Founder, a free character card that will help lay a foundation for their strategy over the course of the game. Play then proceeds over four rounds, each a season of a year in the burgeoning town. Things begin with dealing cards to the Main Street of businesses, each worth victory points and inherently tied to the newcomers to town, with half of a symbol showing their profession. At the beginning of the season, players bid on Priority cards to determine who will go first, second, and so on. Going first has the obvious benefit of getting the best choices of passengers getting off the train and businesses to buy, but strategic players may hold onto their money to buy bigger businesses for more profit.

Once player order has been determined, the game continues with the arrival of a trainload of character cards. Players select their characters, placing them face down on the table. Opponents will want to keep their memories sharp to know who has what. This will prevent unpleasant surprises as players begin staffing the town. Players continue by purchasing buildings from the Main Street selection, moving them in front of their own space on the table.

The Attach and Activate phase is the meat of Capital City. Going in reverse order from the Priorities that were bid upon, the players attach their characters to their buildings. Once a business is fully staffed with all symbols matched, it generates revenue or victory points at the player’s choice. Players may wish to grab money early on for bidding and purchasing, but victory points determine the winner at the end.

The real kicker to Capital City is its mechanic for chain activation. Once one family member activates, so does the rest of the clan. If the one coyote member of Waldcott family, Harriet for example, activates at the Boarding House, every other Waldcott able to earn gets money as well, no matter whose player they are. This suit-matching provides a great opportunity for players to scoop up the majority of a clan and earn several paydays in a row. However, other players will want to get in on that bonanza and vie for members of those wealthy families, making each bidding round even more important than the last.

Capital City is a board game for three to six players aged eight and up. It is a moderately long game, lasting between 30 minutes and an hour. Its social aspects are very strong with its frequent building, but it will take keen strategy to maximize a family and rake in the victory points.

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Board Game Review: ‘Jurassic Park: Danger!’ from Ravensburger https://blogcritics.org/board-game-review-jurassic-park-danger-from-ravensburger/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 21:44:56 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494911 Asymmetrical rules allows one player to play the dinosaurs, hunting the humans who have individual abilities and goals but must cooperate to survive.

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Jurassic Park: Danger! from Ravensburger gives players the thrill of both sides of the chase. Many games have players serve cooperatively against a great threat, but Jurassic Park: Danger! uses asymmetrical rules to allow one player to be that threat. Now the dinosaurs can be as clever as the humans, who no longer find themselves at the top of the food chain.

Jurassic Park: Danger! follows the original film closely. One player takes the role of the dinosaurs, newly freed from their paddocks to hunt across the isolated island. The rest of the players take character cards: the fearless Dr. Ellie Sattler, clever Lex Murphy, or even the devious Nedry and veritable track-star lawyer Gennaro.

Each character comes with special powers, such as Ray Arnold’s ability to turn fences on and off. These powers enable some to be support characters, as when benefactor John Hammond giving bonuses to rolls or Ian Malcolm allows a player to restock his or her hand. Others are more direct, like Alan Grant and Robert Muldoon, who are able to move other characters’ pieces.

In addition to their strengths, each character has a unique goal that gives a direction. With so much distinction, players will determine their favorites to match their strategy, although the overall strategy is to cooperate to survive.

One lucky player will enjoy serving as the dinosaurs, operating three pieces on the board representing the velociraptor, dilophosaurus, and tyrannosaurus. The human characters must run around the board to restore power to the island, meet their individual goals, and escape. The dinosaurs’ goal is simpler: eat the humans.

Gameplay is straightforward. Players take turns selecting cards from their hands to determine their actions for the round. The dinosaurs go first, giving the human characters the chance to react. Whenever a dinosaur catches a human, the human must permanently discard a card. If the human runs out of cards, that character is eliminated. Human players may take up new characters to keep the game going. If the dinosaurs eat three characters, however, they rule the island as the winners.

Jurassic Park: Danger! is a board game for two to five players aged 10 and up. It is a moderate-length game, lasting about an hour depending on how fleet of foot the players are. The board uses tiles that are randomized at the beginning of each game, boosting replayability. With so many characters to choose from and the constant adaptation of fresh strategies as humans and dinosaurs face off, players will eagerly return to play again.

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Storytelling Game Review: ‘Before There Were Stars’ from Smirk & Laughter https://blogcritics.org/storytelling-game-review-before-there-were-stars/ Tue, 15 Jan 2019 01:30:57 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494908 Players create their own myths to prove there is no limit to the imagination.

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Before There Were Stars from Smirk & Laughter Games allows players to compose their own myths and legends about how the world has come together. Like many anthropological stories, the tales are inspired by nature, in this case the stars. The real components, however, will come from players’ own minds, weaving together their experiences, hopes, and dreams into rich tales never before told.

Before There Were Stars begins with a Stargazing phase in which players gather inspirational Constellation cards. The first player lays out five choices, such as the Angel, the Father, the Moon, the Shark, and the Necklace. The player then rolls dice for star clusters that will match the dice marked out on the cards. Players collect cards of their choosing, drawing new Constellations for the next player to roll over.

Once players have their Constellation cards, the real fun begins, with the Storytelling phase. Players spin their own myths, which could be of any flavor – spooky and dark like the cryptic origins of the world from night in Egyptian myth, funny like a Coyote tale from Southwestern Native American legends, hopeful and joyous like the many legends of earthly paradise. Players must use their Constellation cards in the stories, though they can stretch however they like; the Shark, for example, could being a literal character or a figurative trickster taking advantage of another character. Stories should be quick, generally only a minute or two at most.

Players then move into the Appreciation phase in which they grant each other Star points. Rather than voting as in other party games, the appreciation is shown positively. Players do not give anything to themselves, only handing out stars to the player who had the best moment in their story, the next best, and so on. This encourages maximum creativity so that ideas are rewarded directly rather than being influenced by things like performance or coherence.

Play continues through additional rounds of storytelling, adding new Constellations each time to build on the developing worlds. At the end of the last round, each player gets a Moon token. These serve as a bonus, with each player recalling their favorite moment of all and passing that token to the player who told that tale as a bonus point. The player with the most Star points at the end of the game is a winner, but really everyone is a winner for having heard a slew of new stories.

There is a great deal of flexibility from the base set of Constellation cards, allowing for many variations to the game. Players may tell an ongoing saga with multiple chapters, or they may have themes appear in four levels of myth, from creation to the rise of a hero to the end of days. They can weave tales together or retell others’ tales with a new perspective, comparing the “cultures” of their worlds. There is no wrong way to imagine.

Before There Were Stars is a storytelling game for three to six players aged 10 and up. It is a moderately lengthy game, depending on how long or short players make their stories. The creative aspects are as limitless as the players’ imaginations, making it an excellent addition to writing groups and family functions. Classrooms, too, will benefit from stretching those mental muscles, so Smirk & Laughter offers Common Core lesson plans for grades 6 through 12.

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Game Review: ‘The Brady Bunch Party Game’ from Big G Creative https://blogcritics.org/game-review-brady-bunch-party-game/ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 01:11:23 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494902 Alice is looking for the troublemaker. Will the Brady kids tattle or get away with it?

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The Brady Bunch Party Game from Big G Creative turns the tables on typical accusatory identity-deduction games. Since their first show’s release in 1969, those rowdy Brady kids have been a strong part of Americana as part of the ultimate blended family. The show’s gentle hijinks and hilarious semi-drama are perfect for the world of party games, as opposed to identity-deduction games like Mafia which can get very intense very quickly. The Brady Bunch Party Game serves as mischievous fun for everyone, caught or not.

Each player takes on a classic role. One player serves as Alice, who will be attempting to determine who the Troublemaker is. The rest of the players serve as the kids, from Greg to Cindy and even Cousin Oliver in the expanded rules for more players. Among these kids are the Tattletale, who can help Alice and win alongside her if she is able to identify the Troublemaker. The Troublemaker and rascally Sidekick win if Alice never quite figures out who the problem child is. Each kid player receives three Mischief cards, which will determine how naughty they will be.

In each round, Alice reveals Snoop Cards that allow her to question the kids about each other. After that, each kid plays face-down a Mischief card showing how bad he or she plans to be that round. Troublemakers will want to play high-value Mischief cards, fitted with pics from the show of the infamous broken lamp and broken vase. Sidekicks will want to distract with reasonably high Mischief, like setting up a flour trap over the door. Tattletales will seek to do nothing worse than leaving some toys out.

The kids identified as Snoops then look at the Mischief cards played by the kids. Alice questions them, and if she feels they’re telling the truth, she rewards them with a cookie. These cookies will influence the scores at the end of the game, so players will want to adjust their strategies to tell the truth to gain points but not too much truth in case they get caught. Alice can also play a few strategic Help Tokens featuring Mike, Carol, and Tiger to look at Mischief cards herself. Once Alice has her information, the kids draw a new Mischief card, and the next round of questioning begins.

Play continues through four rounds before Alice makes her choice. Alice places the Snoop card of the kid she believes to be the Troublemaker face-down on the table, locking in her guess. The kids then all reveal their Mischief cards adding up the points as well as any cookie bonuses. The player with the highest score is the Troublemaker, the second highest is the Sidekick, and the lowest is the Tattletale. Alice then reveals her choice: if she’s right, she and the Tattletale win. If she missed her guess, then the Troublemaker and the Sidekick are the winners.

The Brady Bunch Party Game is a role-deduction game for three to eight players aged nine and up. It is a quickly moving game once the rules are mastered, lasting perhaps half an hour for the first time played and then 15 to 20 minutes afterward. It serves as a much lighter take on identity deduction than other accusation games, having all the fun with only a little silly banter.

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Card Game Review: ‘Wintergrim’ from Nattsmyg https://blogcritics.org/card-game-review-wintergrim-from-nattsmyg/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 03:27:34 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494729 Build and battle in the rough living of the mystical northlands

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Wintergrim from Nattsmyg invites players to forge victory from the hardships of the land. It is steeped in a dark Nordic theme of hard life in the medieval northlands. Cards are labeled with historic terms like vard, thrall, and jarl while adding in mystical flair. The dark is heightened with the vibrant art by Michelle Helen Tolo and Johan Aronson, inviting players to join the struggle for survival as the weather takes drastic turns.

Wintergrim pits two players against one another to see who can master the wild lands. Players first establish their headquarters, whether cabins in the woods or villages built on the tundra. They then work to expand by taking on human units, workers and others more powerful warriors. Creatures from folklore such as gnomes and trolls also join in. These units in turn allow more construction, growing each players’ powers by adding worldly expansions like harbors and farms as well as mystical constructs like Spirit Trees to affect the weather.

The key to Wintergrim is maintaining the food supply. Each unit comes with a food requirement, which much be supported by the land. Whenever food runs short, units are taken out of play. This mechanic shifts players’ attention from building up a horde of workers and warriors. Instead, players will try to build the best possible collection of units using the food available.

Unlike many card games that do direct battle with anything on the table, Wintergrim offers a clever spatial mechanic where cards are moved around the table. Units may stay at home in the player’s own village, or they may move out into the open paths from land cards played in the middle of the table. They can go even further, invading the opponent’s land to capture or destroy enemy units.

The weather also serves as a major component to Wintergrim. While units are restricted by food sources, players may readily change the weather to give their available units an upper hand. The Asheim deck attacks with bitter cold, freezing up food supplies or stopping movement with Heavy Snowfall. The Vanheim counters with warmer weather, affecting battle with rainfall or halting travel with fog. Players will perfect their own styles of play mixing direct battle, sneaky attacks through the weather, or building a massive realm. Play continues until one player is able to destroy the other’s headquarters and claim all land for their own.

Wintergrim is a card game for two players aged twelve and up. It is a suitably long game for winter, diving deep into the theme. Players who thrive on thorough development and building to their game worlds through strong economic mechanics will return to Wintergrim again and again.

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Party Game Review: ‘MacGyver: The Escape Room Game’ from Pressman https://blogcritics.org/party-game-review-macgyver-the-escape-room-game-from-pressman/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 03:25:40 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494720 Live the adventures of TV's quickest inventor

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MacGyver: The Escape Room Game from Pressman is the ultimate in home puzzle-solving. Macgyver is, of course, the greatest mind ever to quick-invent on television. The original series debuted in 1985 with seven seasons of busting bad guys with a deep knowledge of the chemistry and engineering in our everyday lives. The reboot in 2016 is bringing another spin on MacGyver, while the term itself has become a verb working its way into dictionaries for clever solutions. With the popularity of escape rooms, MacGyver is a clear patron, lending strong storytelling while players work out a string of problems.

Escape rooms offer a chance to live out adventure, but they can often be a hassle of scheduling. They also may make some players nervous by the idea of being locked inside, spurring a touch of claustrophobia. MacGyver: The Escape Room Game brings all the fun of the scenarios of escape rooms into one’s own home without the issue of actually facing a lock. Instead, players follow the story of a MacGyver adventure with all the thrilling danger and ingenious homemade answers of the show.

MacGyver: The Escape Room Game comes with five packets, each its own adventure. Play goes through stages of puzzles, many referring back to stunts in earlier parts just as one would expect from the show. In the first mission, MacGyver must journey into an underground lab where an explosion has released acidic chemicals. He must find his way across acid-covered floors then repair air filters so he can breathe, giving him time to patch the leak. And why not take a snack break for a bit of chocolate along the way? Players will see why later. The same excitement follows through an endangered plane threatening to crash, busting terrorists, and more.

In each adventure of MacGyver: The Escape Room Game, players must solve a series of puzzles to progress. The solutions are judged by going to a website that provides additional details and allows players to test their answers without spoiling the solution as looking in the back of a book may do. It also keeps a running timer to ensure players are on their toes. Players may set their own difficulty level, giving more or less time depending how dangerous they are feeling.

The puzzles in MacGyver: The Escape Room Game come in a wide range. Some are deciphering puzzles, sorting through a veritable haystack of lines for a password. Others are geometrical puzzles that require finding the right orientation for blocks to fit a shaped grid. Still others may be math problems or determining codes. After each solution, players triumphantly break the tape seal in the game portfolio to reveal the next stage.

MacGyver: The Escape Room Game is a puzzle-solving game for one to four players aged twelve and up. Each adventure lasts about an hour with savvy puzzle-masters looking to minimize that time as much as possible. It is ideal for small groups, especially as many of the pieces can be small and players will need to get close for a good look. As soon as the first seal breaks, players will leap into excited puzzle-solving until the last answer stops the clock.

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Board Game Review: Disney ‘Villainous’ from Wonder Forge https://blogcritics.org/board-game-review-disney-villainous-from-wonder-forge/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 02:22:23 +0000 https://blogcritics.org/?p=5494843 The game where it's good to be bad.

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Disney Villainous from Wonder Forge pits the most famous evil-doers from animated film against one another to see who is the best at being bad. Usually board games inspire players to take on the roles of heroes, but Villainous takes a different direction. Instead of vanquishing evil-doers, players do the evil, as well as a little good to frustrate their malevolent rivals.

 

To begin, players choose from the six of the wickedest, most fearsome enemies in the Disney universe. The choices stretch from the early days of Disney with the dark fairy Maleficent and the murderous Captain Hook. Players may also choose from the classically selfish Prince John and Queen of Hearts. Younger Disney fans might find their favorites in sea-witch Ursula or the plotting Jafar.

 

Each choice in Villainous comes with its own strengths and unique gameplay. Rather than the aesthetic being a simple skin over the same base characters, these villains have their own decks of cards that determine individual methods of play. For example, Maleficent focuses on brute power with straightforward cards in her own actions as well as her underlings. The Queen of Hearts, meanwhile, uses roundabout attacks that weaken and power-ups that strengthen. Jafar, on the other hand, is connivingly complicated with cards that interact with other ones, a perfect choice for players who love to strategize.

 

Once players have chosen their villains, gameplay in Villainous begins with each player unfolding their character’s board of locations. Relating to the famous stories, these locations serve as battlefields for villains to gather their strength. Players move their villains between the locations to perform actions printed upon them. In a wide range of actions, players might play cards to gain powers or sabotage their opponents, move cards already in play, or defeat a hero standing against them.

 

Rather than all villains racing toward a single goal, Villainous gives each player an individual goal. Some goals are collecting, such as Ursula gathering Triton’s trident and crown or Maleficent spreading curses to each location. Others are more instance-based, like Captain Hook defeating Peter Pan. Players will not only have to keep after their own goals, they will also need to be aware of their opponents’ progress and work to block them by playing Fate cards.

 

Along with the villain cards, Villainous gives each player a deck of Fate cards that work against them. Other players use actions to draw from these, playing them to hinder each other’s fiendish plots. Many Fate cards are heroes, who block the villain’s path toward their goal, like Aladdin stealing an item from Jafar. Others frustrate villains’ plans, such as Robin Hood wearing a Clever Disguise and being unable to be defeated by Prince John until the disguise is removed. Fate must be dealt with by removing the cards before the villain can move forward to meet their goal.

 

Disney Villainous is a board game for two to six people aged ten and up. With each villain having their own decks with heroes to defeat and schemes to carry out, the story component is very strong. Yet the stories are never quite the same, giving Villainous high replay-ability even with the same character. Games last only about an hour depending on the number of villains, so players will eagerly return to their iniquitous ways time and again.

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