The Disney/Ravensburger game Villainous is back with another sequel with three new baddies for you to put against each other or against any of the other villains from the prior sets.
What Is Villainous: Perfect Wretched?
Villainous: Perfectly Wretched is a game for 2-3 players, ages 10 and up, and takes about 40 minutes to play. It’s currently available just about everywhere, retailing for $24.99.
Perfectly Wretched 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
- 58 cardboard tokens
- 1 Repunzel tile
- 3 Villain Guides
- 3 Reference Cards
The components in this set are mostly identical to those in the both the base Villainous game and the prior sequels. The Power Tokens and Fate Token (to be used in 4-6 player games when you are mixing this with either of the other 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 important difference this time around, though, is the first-ever all black-and-white set in the game, thanks to the inclusion of Pete from 1928’s animated short Steamboat Willie.
As always, 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 addition to Pete, Perfectly Wretched introduces Tangled’s Mother Gothel and The 101 Dalmations’ Cruella De Vil.
Pete’s mover is a cool frosted black, matching his other black-and-white components. Gothel is represented by a pretty neat yellow mover that looks like it came out of the forest surrounding the tower in the movie. And Cruella has the first multi-tone mover in the game, a half black, half white affair resembling her trademark fur coat.
Worth taking a special note of is Pete’s deck and player board, which as I have already mentioned are all black-and-white, as was his movie. The decision to go with this really adds a nice touch to the game and helps increase its already very nice table presence.
This iteration also introduces some new mechanics to the game, which require some new components. Pete’s objectives are on cardboard tokens, as are the puppies Cruella needs to capture. And of particular interest is the Rapunzel token. Unlike every prior Villain, Gothel doesn’t get to play the game hoping that maybe she won’t have to deal with a hero. Instead, Rapunzel is always out on her board, and can only be moved around, never defeated. Because of this, she is also represented by a card-sized cardboard token.
How to Play Perfectly Wretched
The basic rules of Perfectly Wretched are the same as in the base Villainous game and the other sequels. 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 and Evil Comes Prepared, Perfectly Wretched 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, Wicked to the Core, or Evil Comes Prepared, and thus played with up to 6 players. (I should point out that at this point there are 15 Villains in the game, and if you own all four sets, you do in fact have enough pieces to play with all 15 at once. The designers, however, keep insisting that the limit is 6, and this is wise. The downtime between turns is already pushing the limit that most players would be willing to endure at 6 players. At 15, it’d become very boring very fast.)
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 the other sequels, check out my reviews of Wicked to the Core or Evil Comes Prepared.
Gothel comes closest to the traditional gameplay in this sequel. She has a fairly normal objective: “start your turn with at least 10 trust.” Trust, like the Evil Queen’s poison, is represented by Power tokens. Trust is gained by playing certain cards throughout the game.
What makes Gothel’s play unique is Rapunzel. As noted above, she’s different from every other hero in the game in that she is always present in Gothel’s realm, and is thus represented by a cardboard token instead of a card. While she can be defeated using a Vanquish action, even then she isn’t discarded, but instead simply moves back to her Tower. And, to make matters worse, at the end of each turn, the Gothel player must move Rapunzel one location towards Corona. When she reaches that location, Gothel loses one trust, so it’s a constant battle to try to keep her away. This ends up making Gothel one of the most challenging of all of the Villains throughout the Villainous franchise.
Cruella De Vil
Easily the most recognizable Villain in this set, Cruella has been one of the most-requested as well.
Cruella’s objective is the exact one she had in the movie: capture 99 puppies. These are represented by a new set of tokens. The 12 Puppy Tokens are arranged at the start of the game face-down in a pile near the Cruella player. Each token is worth either 11 or 22 puppies. Throughout the game, Cruella will have the opportunity to take these from the supply and place them in her realm, and then from there, “capture” them.
While younger generations may know Pete from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he was, in fact, the villain from Disney’s first-ever Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, from 1928. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s worth taking 7 minutes or so to watch.
Pete is unique in several ways. As I’ve already mentioned, his entire pallete is black-and-white, to match his movie. But he also has a completely unique objective. Rather than having a thing that is clearly stated from the outset, Pete comes with five goal tokens. These are mixed up at the beginning of the game, with four being randomly selected and one placed on each of the four locations in Pete’s realm. The fifth is returned to the box. Pete’s objective is then to complete all four goals.
During the game, Pete’s player can look at the objectives at any time, but they are kept face-down and hidden from the other players unless a card is played to turn them over. So this makes it a bit more difficult for the other players to really have an idea of how close Pete is to winning and what they may need to do to stop him.
There’s little question that of all of the Villains I’ve played in this game, Pete was the most fun.
Why You Should Play Perfectly Wretched
In my review of the last sequel, Evil Comes Prepared, I said this:
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.
I think that still holds true, but in some ways, even more so with Perfectly Wretched. All three of these new Villains have totally new ways to play, whether it’s Gothel’s need to manage a hero who never goes away or Cruella’s collecting a really large number of “puppies” or Pete’s need to work through a bunch of different goals, this sequel continues with the tradition of this game of putting out sequels that manage to feel like the older sets while still very nicely pushing forward with new mechanics. The designers here are doing a great job, and given Disney’s deep catalog, there’s no real reason to suspect that Villanous won’t continue to grow for years to come.
Perfectly Wretched is available in stores and online now.
And speaking of that: Ravensburger has already announced the next sequel. Marvel Villainous will be out later this summer, with five new Villains and new mechanics. This version, though, will be quite a bit different, and I’m being told will be incompatible with the Disney Villainous line. So it’ll be interesting to see what that looks like.
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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.