Disney Villainous: Perfectly Wretched Expansion Review

Age: 10+
Players: 2-3 out of box, up to 6 with other sets
Time: 40-60 min (my experience was different)
MSRP: $24.99
Available March 2020

Disney Villainous expansions are some of the best expansions to play because you don’t need the base game to play them! The Perfectly Wretched expansion plays up to 3, which makes a great-length game for the type that it is. Any longer and I would rather play a heavier game. From what I’ve been seeing, this game has more challenging objectives to complete compared to some characters from the base game.

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Nate won playing Pete. He doesn’t get to play a lot of boardgames, so it was fun having him join!

This game comes with three different villains: Pete, who is one of the original Disney characters and first appeared in a 1925 cartoon and later in the 1928 Steamboat Willie. He is the first black-and-white set for the Villainous series.
Did you know? Pete is actually the longest-running character in Disney, beating Mickey Mouse by three years! (link).
Goal for Pete: Complete the four selected goals placed on each location of your board.

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Heidi and I played at Starbucks for about two weeks every day on our lunch break. We still have yet to finish a whole game. That’s how I know the game takes way longer to play!

Next is Mother Gothel, a character loosely based on Brother Grimm’s fairy tale who first made her appearance in Disney’s 2010 film, Tangled. She is Rapunzel’s foster mom who is an old selfish B, relying on her wit and charm to get whatever she wants.
Did you know? Gothel’s character is partially inspired by things that actual moms say. The Tangled directors interviewed a bunch of women from the studio one day to hear what things their moms have said to them in the past. It turned into a therapy session, and the directors realized it all came from a place of “mother always knows best!” (link).
Goal for Mother Gothel: Start your turn with at least 10 Trust.

The third, and the most exciting, is Cruella de Vil from Disney’s 1961 animation 101 Dalmatians, an adaptation of a novel by Dodie Smith. Cruella is one of my favorite villains, and ties with Disney’s Robin Hood for my favorite classic Disney films.

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Brandon (@iffywizardry) played with me and my friend at Outlaw Moon Games & Toys in Austin, TX.

Did you know? The name “Cruella de Vil” might have been an inspiration from a car that Dodie Smith purchased for herself in 1939, a Rolls-Royce 25/30 Sedanca de Ville. Smith and her dog, Pongo, would drive around in it. If you look the vehicle up, it looks very similar to the one that Cruella drives in the movie.
Goal for Cruella de Vil: Start your turn with at least 99 captured puppies.

For those of you who’ve played any Villainous game before:

  • Pete is considered the most fun because he has four different strategies he has to go through to win. Card management is super important. 
  • Mother Gothel was totally going to win when I played as her. I had the game in my pocket. But she only wins by accomplishing her goal before her next turn starts–so even though I had ten Trust, Pete finished his goals right before it was my turn and won. 
  • Cruella de Vil can be really hard depending on the hero combination played against her. The main reason is because she only has two allies and has to go through two steps to get puppies into her realm.
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    Daniel tries out Mother Gothel for the first time.

    For those of you who have never played a Villainous game before:

  • Read the main directions first, then scan the guide for your character. While you’re playing, you’ll start to understand what the guide means. If you only go off the guide in the beginning, you’ll probably not understand what is going on and miss out on early strategy. Also don’t forget to “Fate” other players during your turn. This means picking from their white deck and playing characters against them. If you only focus on yourself, they will probably beat you. 
  • For Pete, card management is really important. You need to figure out what cards you have and which order to achieve your goals. Some are easier to do in the beginning, but if you use those cards and no one “Fates” you and makes you discard cards already put down on your board, it will take longer for you to achieve some goals. 
  • For Mother Gothel, I found that being quick and merciless is key. I had an easy time playing with her, and throwing others off of their strategy by playing “Fate” on them. I almost won, but Gothel only wins if she has ten “Trust” at the beginning of her turn. Pete went one turn before me and achieved his last goal–winning immediately. 
  • Cruella de Vil has two steps to getting puppies to her realm. First, she has to get them from the pile to each location on her board. Then, she needs to get them from the board to her realm to count as part of her 99 puppies. This can be difficult because there are only TWO allies in her entire deck! The other difficult thing is that Heros can remove puppies from her realm, so she isn’t entirely safe once she captures puppies.

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    Missy and Jeremy focus during Sunday brunch.

My Pros:

  • Equally weighted characters–I’ve heard that these characters are much more challenging then most characters from the base game.
  • Beautiful card art, cool looking box
  • Nice boards
  • Good quality puppy tokens
  • Easy to read instructions
  • Can play by itself even though it’s an expansion
  • Blends easily with other expansions
  • Nostalgic. It’s fun picking out characters to play as
  • Doesn’t have to be much of “take that” and more of strategic blocking. 
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Heather plays Mother Gothel during her work break.

My Cons:

  • There are two black and white pieces: one for Cruella, and one for Pete. I found this odd when a selling point for this expansion is that Pete is the first black and white character in the entire game. I wish Cruella’s piece was different. Perhaps add some red. 
  • Cruella’s piece looks odd to me. 
  • My main complaint is that there were no special tokens for Trust. For Mother Gothel, you just have to use the power tokens, aka money tokens, and say that now they are “Trust” even though it looks the exact same. It can be confusing how much money vs. Trust a person has. We had to designate a certain spot for each just so everyone could keep track. How come there’s no trust tokens but there are puppy tokens?? I think it would have been easy to have at least 15 or so “Trust tokens” made. 

Overview:

When we played, there were a few things experienced board gamers and new gamers noticed. First, is that Pete is difficult but fun to play. In fact, I’ve played the full game twice now and Pete has won both times–the first time with someone who has never played board games before. At Dice Tower West this year, everyone who played Pete ended up winning. Second, Cruella is pretty hard. But I’m sure the victory is sweet once you win with her. She is just freaking awesome. For Mother Gothel, really you can go either way. She is a good middle-ground character to play. Rapunzel makes it challenging, but there’s so many cards in your deck to help you gain Trust that it ends up being okay. 

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Another thing I noticed was that this game is definitely longer than what the box says, which is 40-60 minutes. I’m pretty sure you are not going to finish below 90. Maybe if you are playing with only two players and both never get distracted and want to burn through as quickly as possible. But what’s the fun with that? However, if I had the option of playing with more than 3p, I would be hesitant. It would be way too long in my opinion. There are too many good euro-strategic games out there that play around 90 minutes or more, and since this is a lighter game I think it should be played in less. But if I have the option of a 3p game with the chance to vanquish Heros and be a badass villain, I’ll happily hop on, with Jasper and Horace as my henchmen following my every command. ~

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