What Is Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared?
Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared is a game for 2-3 players, ages 10 and up, and takes about 40 minutes to play. It’s currently available exclusively at Target.
Evil Comes Prepared Components
Inside the box, you’ll find:
- 3 Villain Movers
- 3 Player Boards
- 3 Villain Decks, each with 30 cards
- 3 Fate Decks, each with 15 cards
- 3 Villain Guides
- 3 Reference Cards
- 40 Power Tokens
- 1 Fate Token
The components in this set are mostly identical to those in the both the base Villainous game and the first sequel, Wicked to the Core. The Power Tokens and Fate Token (to be used in 4-6 player games when you are mixing this with either of the prior two titles in the series) are absolutely the same as before. The Villain Decks, Fate Decks, and Villain Guides obviously have pictures and text unique to these characters, but design-wise they are the same as those included in the other sets.
One of the more visually interesting design elements throughout the Villainous franchise is the movers. Rather than going with miniatures or cardboard standees of the characters, the game’s designers came up with these really cool abstract models. Each is totally unique, and yet so well thought-out that they are obviously the character they represent.
In this game, the three villains are The Lion King’s Scar, The Emperor’s New Groove’s Yzma, and The Great Mouse Detective’s Ratigan.
Scar, without question the most (only?) recognized of these three, is a very cool flame-orange totem that nicely invokes the movie’s African setting. (See the main image at the top of this post.) Yzma is a purple flower-like creation. Having never seen The Emperor’s New Groove, I had to look up what Yzma looks like, and here again, the designers did a great job of abstracting her.
The coolest of the three, in my opinion, is Ratigan. His is a smokey grey, menacing figure, complete with rat tail and translucent, flowing cape. I mentioned above I haven’t seen Yzma’s movie, but here I’ll admit that I’ve never even heard of The Great Mouse Detective. In the past, I’ve tended to play with villains from movies I’ve seen (hence why I have yet to play Hades from Wicked to the Core), I will be breaking that trend and playing Ratigan, simply because the mover is so cool.
How to Play Evil Comes Prepared
The basic rules of Evil Comes Prepared are the same as in the base Villainous game. It’s important to note that Ravensburger wants us to refer to the game as a sequel rather than an expansion, and that’s not just marketing mumbo-jumbo, since expansion implies that the original game is required to play. Like Wicked to the Core, Evil Comes Prepared is a stand-alone game. It includes everything needed to play with just these three Villains. However, it can also be freely combined with any villains from either Villainous or Wicked to the Core, and thus played with up to 6 players.
The detailed rules of how to play were already covered in Jonathan Liu’s original review of Villainous. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, I’d recommend you pause and go read that review, as I will not be going into those details here. Instead, I’m just going to go over what is unique about the villains in this set. If you are interested in the villains included in Wicked to the Core, you can check out my review.
Scar’s objective is to find and defeat Mufasa, who is one of the heroes in his Fate deck. However, defeating Mufasa isn’t enough: once that task is complete, Scar must then defeat enough other heroes with a combined strength of 15.
Unique amongst the villains, once Scar has defeated Mufasa, he doesn’t simply discard heroes once they are defeated. Instead, Scar begins to build a Succession Pile, which is a collection of hero cards that have been defeated. This deck is begun with Mufasa, and placed face-up below the character board. Items and Prophecies (a special kind of Fate card in Scar’s deck) are still discarded as normal. And because there are a few Fate cards that can remove cards from the Succession pile, Scar only wins if he starts his turns with heroes in the pile worth at least 15 power.
Another unique element to playing Scar is his allies. Most of Scar’s allies are the Hyenas, and like the hyenas from the movie, they gain strength in numbers: the more hyenas that are played at a location, the stronger they become.
Ratigan was one of the two villains I had to Google when I got the game. The Great Mouse Detective was released in 1986 and oddly for a Disney title, it’s about that mouse.
Ratigan’s objective is to “play the Robot Queen, move it to Buckingham Palace, and start his turn with it there.” I’m quoting directly from the Reference Card there, because having not seen the movie, my only understanding of the plot of the movie is from that Wikipedia article.
Thankfully, understanding the movie isn’t a requirement for playing with Ratigan, and as I mentioned before, he definitely has the coolest-looking mover.
One issue a lot of the villains have in the game series is what happens if the card they need for their objective gets discarded. To solve this, a lot of villains have a means by which they can pull cards from the discard pile. Ratigan, though, takes a completely different approach: if the Robot Queen is discarded, he’s able to change his objective, and instead now has to defeat Basil. To reflect that, this set comes with a new component: a cardboard token showing Ratigan’s two objectives that covers the spot on the player board normally used for this purpose.
I had to Google Yzma as well, but at least I’d heard of The Emperor’s New Groove before.
Yzma’s objective is to find Kuzco in her Fate deck. Then, she needs to find Kronk in her Villain deck and play him, and use Kronk to defeat Kuzco. There’s just one problem: Kronk is unique amongst the allies in the game in that he can change sides. Every time Kronk is moved, you place a Power Token on him, and if he gains 3 such tokens, he switches sides and becomes a hero. All is not lost if this happens, as Yzma does have a few other cards that can “rescue” Kronk and return him to her side, but it makes things a lot more challenging.
Why You Should Play Evil Comes Prepared
One of the interesting things about the Villainous franchise is that they are not just adding new villains and feeling constrained by the limitations established in the game by the original set. Instead, the designers keep coming up with new tweaks and subtle rule changes. Whether by intent or by luck, they’ve created a game that can easily handle those changes. This means that every time you add new characters to the mix, you really get a new game … but one that still plays like the old one. So if you are mixing and matching the sets (something I highly recommend), you can always stick to still trying to figure out how to win with Maleficent (by far the hardest of the original villains to win with), or you can try your hand at the complexity presented with Yzma. Newer players can ease into the game with the simpler objectives needed by Scar or Prince John.
While the team pulled a couple of obscure villains this time, there are still plenty of Disney films to mine (Cinderella, anyone?). While I’m still waiting for the Dark Side edition of Villainous, they probably won’t need to leap over to the live-action catalog any time soon. But that’s OK: I’m happy to play the game with the animated villains they have given us so far, and look forward to many more sequels to come.
Evil Comes Prepared is a really great addition to a really great game, and given that Villainous is already my daughter’s favorite game, I have no doubt I’ll have plenty of opportunities to continue to play it.
To add Evil Comes Prepared to your collection, jump over to Target and get your copy.
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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.