One of my favorite games is Villainous. I am a huge Disney fan and I typically play the game every other week. Most of the time, I play as Ursula because she’s one of my dream Broadway roles, but with the release of the latest expansion, I most recently played as Mother Gothel. In Villainous, each player plays as one of many notable Disney villains. You can pick from classics like the Evil Queen, notable newcomers like Doctor Facilier, or hideaway oldies like Ratigan. If you have all of the expansions, all players should be able to find at least 2 villains they enjoy. Each villain has their own end goal and deck of cards, but the game is played relatively the same between all players. There are some unique differences between certain villains (ie Ursula cannot access all of her locations at once and Mother Gothel always has Rapunzel on her board), but they are not designed to make the game harder for those villains. Each player has their own board and cannot place their own figure or use their own set of cards on another player’s board, but they may use an action to draw a card from a player’s Fate deck in an attempt to thwart their efforts. For the most part, players need to draw certain cards from their own deck that allow them to advance in their goals. For some players, they need to defeat certain heros to win, others need to get certain items, and the rest may need to get a certain amount of power (what the game uses as a currency). Gameplay is fairly simple. A player moves to a location on their board and may do the actions listed on their space. These actions may involve gaining power, playing a card, fating another player or defeating a hero. A normal game lasts about 30-45 minutes, depending on the villain each person plays as.
I enjoy playing Villainous and would probably play anytime anyone asked me to. However, I’ve noticed that sometimes the expansion villains aren’t necessarily balanced against other expansion villains or those from the base pack. In a game with Mother Gothel, Cruella De Vil and Scar, Scar won relatively quickly against the other two. Both Mother Gothel and Cruella are from the same expansion pack, and the two seemed to be relatively at the same spot at the time the game ended. Another game with different villains (of which I cannot remember) had nearly the same problem. This makes me think that the villains in the expansion packs are well balanced against the other villains in that expansion, but perhaps were not tested for balance against the rest of the villains in the game. Technically, you can play a game with just 3 players (the number of how many villains come in each expansion), but you can also play with up to 6 players with the average being 4 or 5. You can still have fun playing as any of the villains regardless of the other villains people are playing as, but it can be a bit annoying to see that somebody wins when you were nowhere near winning, even though you were following the exact steps you needed to take to win. Technically, you can continue to fate players you may feel are moving a lot quicker than you, but aggravating a player tends to get you fated as well. Although the game develops cannot really fix the villains they have already released, I think that they should start making sure the new villains are balanced against villains currently in play. I think too that people have more fun when a game is closer rather than knowing at a certain point that you will win or lose.