Ages: 12+ / Players: 2-4 / Playing Time: 20 min. per player
Buy it at Target here.
Ravensburger has put out another great game called Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power. It is similar to Disney Villainous but not an expansion to it; rather it is the first of its kind, with five different Marvel villains to choose from: Thanos, Hela, Killmonger, Ultron, and Taskmaster.
Each player moves their character to a spot on their player board, performs as many actions as they can pay for or do on that spot, and then draws back up to four cards in their hand to end their turn. The actions on the spots can give them power, defeat Heroes, attach cards on their own board such as items or allies, and also play Fate cards on other player’s boards.
Fate cards cover up one to two actions on one spot on a player’s board of your choice. This is considered the “take that” mechanism of the game–an action that directly attacks your opponent to block them from achieving their goals. They then have to use allies to Vanquish a Hero, which is another option to take on your turn.
Items can add additional power to an ally. The first person to complete their own objective (each Villain has their own goal) wins the game! I like how this game has a different end goal than the usual “the person with the most victory points wins.”
How is Marvel VIllainous different from other Disney Villainous games?
There is an additional aspect to Marvel Villainous, and that is the Event cards that are played in the center of the table for everyone to work on together.
These cards place circumstances that restrict actions from happening. Global Events are placed in the middle and affect everybody. They apply to everyone and have a high strength count on them. For example, the Global Event “Protected Vibranium” forces all players to pay one additional Power when buying a card. It takes eight strength in order to defeat it.
On each player’s turn, they have the option to play Allies on the global event instead of their own player board. Whoever pitches in to defeat the global event will share the reward afterwards. For the “Protected Vibranium” card, once you defeat it you can find any item from your deck or discard pile and place it in your hand for free.
There can only be one global event at a time, but there are personal events that each player has to deal with on their own. All event cards are mixed in with the white Fate cards, so make sure to mix your personal event cards in the deck before starting the game.
Note: Event cards are an option, and the instructions recommend taking them out for the first time you play the game. I chose to keep them in, and I’m glad i did–it is not hard to pick up, and I suggest always leaving them in even if it’s a person’s first time playing.
What if you don’t like/know Marvel?
If you aren’t a fan of the Marvel Universe, this game still uses the same game-play concept of other Disney Villainous games. You do not have to know who the characters and their stories are to play the game and even grab a win.
If you do not know anything about the characters, here’s a quick recap of the ones that come in this box:
Thanos is a member of Eternal, a race of superhumans. He was born on one of Saturn’s moons, Titan. He is one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe.
In my opinion, Thanos is too OP for two players. There is a reason the whole Marvel team had to band together to take down Thanos and defeat him! I do not believe that Thanos can be beat unless the person playing Thanos messes up several times and/or there are multiple players and they all gang up on him.
Hela is an Asgardian Goddess of Death and is based on the Norse goddess Hel. Hela is a foe of Thor, the Asgardian God of Thunder.
Hela was really fun to play, as you have additional tokens that Hela has to collect along with her allies in order to win. One challenge playing with Hela is that she cannot win if there is a Hero in Odin’s Vault, one of the locations at her board. Other players know this, and are constantly trying to block Hela from clearing that spot on her board.
Killmonger – Eric Killmonger is an enemy of Black Panther. Killmonger was born in Wakanda, but ended up in Harlem, New York. He planned on avenging his father’s death and taking over Wakanda.
When playing with Killmonger, you can only win by completing a number of tasks in the correct order. This is where the player guide comes in handy, because no one else has to know what the steps are. You can throw them off and slyly focus on your own steps, then swooping in for the win by taking control of the mines and relocating two explosives to another player’s domain.
Ultron is a self-aware and highly intelligent robot who basically wants to destroy humanity. Because of this, he has a lot of encounters with the Avengers.
In my opinion, Ultron is one of the weaker characters to play. Perhaps play this one if you’ve mastered the rest and want more of a challenge. When I played against him, my opponent ran out of time and I took the win.
Note: Ultron made his first real debut in The Avengers #55 (August 1968). He appeared as a cameo in the issue right before.
Taskmaster, a.k.a. Tony Masters, is a rather interesting character, and is not always a villain. He is a human with the ability to copy every move someone makes.
For example, one day as a kid he was watching cowboys on TV. He immediately knew how to do the intricate rope throws. He also could watch a pro-football game and immediately know how to play–and win. He used his skills to start fighting academies around the United States and train criminals. He fought numerous Avengers, but also helped train some, such as Spider Woman. He could often get away from his opponents. The one who beat him in a fight? Deadpool.
Taskmaster was a fun villain to play. You have to have four allies on your domain with each five or more strength and each at a different location. After all, you need to train your students all over the nation!
Is this game considered a “take-that” type of game?
In my opinion, not really. Sure, you use cards to block other players. But in this variant of Villainous, Fate cards are often used to your advantage (Thanos, Hela) and sometimes must be played on other boards in order for you to achieve your OWN goals. Most of the time you’re focusing on your own domain and progress.
The “take that” aspect is not heavily used in this game to spite others–I’ve played a few take-that games that make me rage and hate all games for a quick second. This one is more of, “oh hey look, a challenge that’s blocking a move or two” that most strategic games have a similar limitation to (someone took the card you wanted, someone blocked your spot, etc).
My rating on Marvel Villainous:
7/10 Stars. My style of games are euro-strategy and therefore is not my first game of choice. However, this game was fun to play and has a higher replay value due to the fact that you can play a different character every time and win in different ways.
I like how I learned more about Marvel villains and that the game didn’t just copy the movies. Usually thematic games tend to be cheesy and aim for lower age groups or lighter games. Even though this is on the lighter side of gaming, there’s still enough of a challenge and focuses on gameplay rather than what happens for each villain’s storyline. I can see them making expansions for Marvel Villainous soon, since there are a lot of bad guys to choose from! I am happy to own this in my collection, and look forward to winning again! MWAHAHAHA!