I mean it when I say if you’re familiar with the movie you’ll know how to play these characters.
Designer: Prospero Hall
Game Type: Take That
Game Type: Hand Management
Number of Players: 3-6
Initial Year of Release: 2018
Age Range: 10+
Expected Playtime: 50 minutes
Theme and What is it?
The time is nigh. Plots are hatching across the land. You and the others have waited for this moment. It’s time to strike. Those pesky fools won’t see what’s coming. It’s time to put things right. To get what you deserve. To make things better. To help the world the only way you can. If they would have only listened and given you control of the Pride Lands, London, or the Kuzconian Empire then everyone would be happy. It’s just that those fool Mufasa, Basil of Baker Street, and Kuzco refuse to die and get out of your way. The only real question is are you ready; are you prepared?
In Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared you take on the role of a classic Disney Character. You set out to hatch your plan to set things right. You’ll use hand management and action selection to go through your deck to find the pieces you need to win the game while moving the opposition’s fate decks to put adversaries in their ways. The first to achieve the goal of their plan wins the day.
They may call you a villain, but we all know this is really your story.
Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared is an expansion for the Disney Villainous game. I’m going to give a quick overview of the base game then I’ll talk about what’s specific to this box.
The game revolves around each character and their setting board. The boards are all locations from the movies and feature locations from the films. On your turn you will move to a new location and take all the actions on that spot. Depending on which space you’ll get to draw, play, or discard cards. You can gain power tokens that can pay for effects and minions. These can change the board, place items and effects into play, and give you access to the things and forces you need to win the game.
Your board will also allow you to access another players Fate Deck. Fate decks hold the characters and obstacles from the movie that stand against your character. Typically, you’ll get to draw two cards and choose one to place into play. You will play these characters to a location and will block two of the actions on that location. Some of these characters will directly interfere with your plans. These characters stay in place until removed.
To get rid of these characters, you must send in your minions and henchmen. When using the action space you can have your minions defeat the opposition characters. If your minions strength is equal to or higher than the forces arrayed against you, then both are removed. This frees up the actions and allows you access to your full capabilities once again.
Scar’s goal is to find and defeat Mufasa. Once you defeat Mufasa, you place him in a Succession Pile and you add all other characters you defeat to the pile. If you begin your turn with a certain amount of power in the succession pile, you win the game. You fill your deck with hyenas who are weak by themselves but gain in strength when paired with other hyenas. This encourages you to group them together and gang up on your foes.
Your deck is filled with effect cards that move the hyenas around or allow you to dig through your own fate deck. This allows you to find Mufasa quickly and place him into the field so you can take the first steps of your plan. Scar is the most straight-forward of the new characters to play. The biggest hurdle is waiting for the moment when you have enough hyenas and Mufasa in play to deal the blow that begins you rise to King of the Pride Lands.
For Rattigan your goal is to build the clockwork Queen and transport her to the palace so she can abdicate her crown making you King of London. The biggest hurdle for you is the queen is expensive. She’s probably the most expensive card in the game. However, you have access to several cards that you can put into play that will make playing the Queen less costly.
Many of the cards arrayed against you are designed to remove your allies and take the Clockwork Queen out of action. If your opponents destroy the Clockwork Queen, then your goal changes to defeat Basil of Baker Street. While the second half of your objective is more straightforward, you still have to build the queen and have her destroyed. Focusing on putting cards and gadgets into play to get the Clockwork Queen in play is difficult but with a little patience planning can go pretty quickly.
Additionally Rattigan has an interesting board lay out. Two of his four spaces have only three actions as opposed to the regular four. However, those actions are all on Rattigan’s side meaning they can’t be blocked.
I would place Rattigan as the second most difficult hero to play. The balance of getting your gadgets into play while dealing with the opposing characters can be tricky. However, if you can pull it off, you’ll be crowned the rightful King of London.
As Yzma you’ll be attempting to get your minion Kronk to defeat Emperor Kuzco. This is made difficult by a couple of things. Every time you use Kronk he builds up power. When his power reaches a certain level, he switches sides and helps those forces arrayed against you. Instead of having a single fate deck you evenly divide yours amongst your four locations. You must move around and search through your own fate deck to find Kuzco.
The other players will be able to search through your deck and choose cards to play from it. Additionally, as they play cards, they can use abilities to reorder and mix up your fate decks. This can move Kuzco to previously eliminated decks forcing you to search through them again.
To help you gain the throne you’ll have access to a few cards that let you examine an entire fate deck at once, remove power from Kronk, or simply place Kronk back in your hand. Shorting you a little is that your deck only has three minions beyond Kronk. Which means you’ll end up using Kronk more than you want to.
Yzma is probably the most difficult character to use. You must balance searching for Kuzco with overusing Kronk in order to win the game. However, the nature of your fate deck and the way the other players interact with it gives them more power to sway your plans.
However, with a little luck, a bit of planning, and an ample use of Kronk’s inner rocking you’ll easily become the Empress of the Kuzconia Empire.
I already really enjoy Disney Villainous and the Emperor’s New Groove is one of my favorite Disney Movies. I also love the Great Mouse Detective and the Lion King. These things added together made me very excited to get my hands on this. It was on my Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of Gen Con list. I’m glad that excitement wasn’t misplaced.
Game Build Quality
It’s top notch. The player pieces are stunning. The boards are well made and sturdy, and the cards are excellent thickness with good durability. The game itself holds up well. It even comes with an excellent insert that’s made me shy away for getting rid of the box and putting everything in the base box.
The one ding I’d give it are the Power Tokens are a bit bland or ordinary. They’re perfectly functional and don’t detract from the game, I just wish they were nicer. I’m considering replacing mine with colored gemstone or metal coins. I haven’t yet, but it’s something I’m thinking about.
Over all, very good.
The art is fantastic. It’s all Disney art. However, it doesn’t feel like they just took screen grabs from the movies. It’s almost like they redrew them or added a bit of color and flair to the images. It’s like they took standard Disney art and elevated just a little bit higher.
This is a weird game. It’s a family friendly take-that game with a layer of strategy added on top. There is a take that element in this game that can be restrictive to some players. However, they’ve balanced it with you often needing the other players to use your fate deck to get things into the field that you can use. You will need to plan out your turns and pay attention to your goals and actions. You’ll be thinking a couple of turns ahead in order to do well. However, the game does an excellent job of tracking those things for you and making it almost second nature that you’re forward thinking.
Age Range & Weight
The box says 10+ and I think that might be pretty close. I’ve played the game with my 10-year-old niece and we’ve all had a good time. The biggest drawback to younger players is you must make sure they’re reading the cards and know what they do. If you know the movie these characters are from, then you know how to win as them so the strategy feels very decent in that regard. This means that younger kids might actually have an advantage over adults when laying this game since they’ll have a better idea how these characters function.
I really like this game. It’s a good solid game with some nice mechanics. I mean it when I say if you’re familiar with the movie you’ll know how to play these characters. You may even come away from the game with a better understanding of them. The first time I played the base game I was Jafar. The first thing you have to do to win as Jafar is find the Scarab Amulet. I spent the entire game playing and discarding cards to dig through my deck to find the amulet. It was on the bottom. I finally managed to draw it as my niece announced she would win at the start of her next turn. I instantly understood Jafar’s feelings of rage when Aladdin into the Cave of Wonders holding the lamp when it was just inches from his grasp. Playing as Yzma I figured out which of my fate decks Kuzco was in only to have my opponents shuffle them together and I understood her. You will feel like a Disney character during this game.
One other thing those stories highlight is the randomness. You have some things you can do to mitigate luck and chance but in the end a random shuffle means finding Mufasa, Kuzco, or the Clockwork Queen can be pushed back by where they fall from the shuffle. Luck will hamper you in this game.
The game has a level of take that to it. However, it’s not a level I mind. I felt like there was never a point where I was getting destroyed. In games of four or more players there’s a Fate token added to the game. When another player uses your fate deck, then you get the fate token. As long as you have the token no one can use your fate deck. As soon as someone else is hit with it then the token moves to them making you a potential target once again.
This brings me to one other thing about this game I admire. It includes power tokens and a fate token. It’s everything you need to play this game. The fate token you can’t even use in this expansion since it’s only used in four player games and this only plays three. However, if you were to buy this and the other expansion, you could go to six players and would need it. They put this together so that someone might buy it and not the base game. I appreciate that.
As I said earlier, the power tokens are the only negative in the game. Still, they’re not enough of one to make me not want to use them or ruin the experience. The only other thing that might be a dig is the insert doesn’t allow room to sleeve the cards. I don’t plan to do that but others may.
All in all, I think this is a fun experience with a ton of theme. It’s a good fun time that had us quoting the movies and laughing at all the things that happened. Every game I’ve played has reached a pitch where one player is starting to pull ahead and the other characters band together to stop them. Almost always to no avail.
As always try before you buy. I think it’s worth a grab. If you’ve played the base game and are thinking of adding this I can call it an easy add. If you’ve never played and want to give it a swing then give it a shot at your local game store or convention. I think it’s definitely worth the time.
All I need now is for them to add Delores and all of her time travel shenanigans to the game.
Until next time, be well.
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