Mar 18, 2023, 12:34 pm EDT
| 5 min read
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek
Although the rules differ slightly between Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars Villainous games, the basic premise is the same. Each villain has their own unique objective to meet to win the game, and whoever meets their objective first is the winner!
I remember passing by Disney Villainous on the shelf so many times when I was shopping for a new board game. For whatever reason, the game never seemed super appealing to me. That is, until I got the chance to review Star Wars Villainous. Then, I went out and bought all of the Villainous board games.
The first Disney Villainous game released in July 2018, and came with six classic villains to play: Captain Hook, Jafar, Maleficent, Prince John, Queen of Hearts, and Ursula. As of today, there are five expansions for Disney Villainous, each with a total of three new characters. You can play the expansions by themselves, or collect all the Disney Villainous games for a total of 21 playable villains.
Then, two years later, Ravensburger released the base edition of Marvel Villainous, with five playable villains: Thanos, Hela, Ultron, Taskmaster, and Killmonger. A new three-villain expansion for the Marvel series just released a few weeks ago. This gives Marvel Villainous a total of two three-villain expansions and one single-villain expansion—all adding up to 12 playable villains.
Ravensburger seems to love launching major additions to the Villainous franchise two years apart. In 2022, Star Wars Villainous debuted with five legendary villains: Darth Vader, General Grievous, Moff Gideon, Kylo Ren, and Asajj Ventress. No expansions have been released or even announced yet for Star Wars Villainous, but there are so many awesome villains to choose from within the Star Wars universe.
Right now, I own every base game and expansion except for the two most recently released expansions for Marvel Villainous. My collection started with Star Wars Villainous. Because I loved the game so much, my husband bought me the base Disney Villainous and two expansions for my birthday last year. From there, it only took a few months for me to collect everything that was currently available.
I’ve only played the game a few times with groups of four people. Most often, I just compete in a two-player game against my husband. We’ve both worked our way through all of the playable villains, and for the most part, they’re all super unique to play.
Explaining how to play Villainous in detail is too long of a process to get into here, but you can watch the video above or check out my Star Wars Villainous review for a written explainer. But here’s the gist.
Each person chooses a villain to play, and each villain has a unique objective to meet in order to win the game. For example, Prince John has to collect 20 Power tokens to win, while Captain Hook has to defeat Peter Pan at the Jolly Roger location on his board. Other players can mess up your plans with Fate cards, so your path to winning isn’t always clear.
The rules in Marvel and Star Wars Villainous are similar, but not exactly the same. Each villain still has a unique objective to meet in order to win, but there are extra tokens, Fate cards, or rules to shake things up and separate each set of Villainous games from one another. Marvel and Star Wars Villainous are slightly more difficult to learn than Disney Villainous.
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek
I’ve enjoyed expanding my collection and trying out every playable villain (except for those new four villains in the Marvel series). I don’t really hate playing any of the villains, but I certainly have villains I love to play more than the others. This is how I’d personally rank all of the Villainous boxes I own, from most to least liked:
Disney: Perfectly Wretched (Cruella De Vil, Mother Gothel, Pete)
Star Wars: Power of the Dark Side (Asajj Ventress, Darth Vader, General Grievous, Kylo Ren, Moff Gideon)
Disney: Wicked to the Core (Dr. Facilier, Evil Queen, Hades)
Disney: Despicable Plots (Gaston, The Horned King, Lady Tremaine)
Marvel: Mischief & Malice (Loki, Madame Masque, M.O.D.O.K.)
Disney: The Worst Takes It All (Captain Hook, Ursula, Queen of Hearts, Jafar, Prince John, and Maleficent)
Marvel: Infinite Power (Thanos, Hela, Ultron, Taskmaster, Killmonger)
Disney: Bigger and Badder (Lotso, Madam Mim, Syndrome)
Disney: Evil Comes Prepared (Ratigan, Scar, Yzma)
This ranking isn’t to say that there aren’t great playable villains in some of the lower boxes. But if I were to purchase the Villainous games again, this is the order I’d do it in because I prefer certain boxes overall for the character combos.
My favorite characters to play from the Disney Villainous games include Cruella, Mother Gothel, Gaston, Lady Tremaine, Pete, The Evil Queen, and Lotso. From the Marvel games, I’m partial to Killmonger and Thanos. And 99% of the time, I’ll choose Asajj Ventress when playing Star Wars Villainous, but I also like playing as Moff Gideon.
Cruella’s objective is to capture 99 puppies, which you do by collecting tokens that either count as 11 puppies or 22 puppies. You have a pool of tokens that you draw from to first place them on your villain board, and then you use playable cards and allies to help you capture the puppies. Other players can use a Fate card against you to reverse your process and return one or two of your captured puppy tokens to the pool. Cruella is difficult to win with when it’s a two-player game, but she’s my go-to villain in large group games.
Lady Tremaine’s goal is to marry one of her daughters—Drizella or Anastasia—to The Prince. This sounds like a simple objective, but you have to find certain cards within your deck to unlock the ballroom, which is where The Prince is. Then, you’ll have two ally cards in your deck for each daugher: one with a normal dress and one with a ball gown. You have to first find the regularly dressed Drizella or Anastasia and play it before you can play their ball gown version needed to marry The Prince.
Sarah Chaney / Review Geek
I definitely have villains that I gravitate toward more often, which means other villains sometimes go a long time without being played. This is why I love to use a randomizer—like Villainous Picker—to randomly select a character from whichever boxes I want to choose from. Sometimes it’ll pair a really simple character with a more complicated character, but it just makes for an interesting game!
You can find Villainous games in person at stores like Target, Walmart, or Barnes & Noble. Or, you can always head to Amazon to likely find the best deal. The base games retail for $39.99, but you can often find them around $30. Then, three-villain expansions retail for $29.99, but I’ve seen them frequently hover around $25. I’ve also seen Villainous games at my public library in Texas and Colorado, so definitely look into your local library if you want to check out the game before buying a copy for yourself.
Ravensburger ‘Villainous’ Board Games
The original ‘Disney Villainous’ game is perhaps the best place to start building your collection, but you can play any of the expansions as a standalone game. So just pick your favorite villains and go from there!