REVIEW: Disney’s Villainous Board Game Lets You Be Your Favorite Villain

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

I’m not sure what your Friday nights consist of, but mine normally include two things: friends and board games. We’re living in a time where tabletop gaming—board games and card games—are making a major resurgence. Of course, Disney found this the perfect time to partner up with board game company Wonder Forge and create their new game: Villainous. The game was released for sale at Gen Con, an annual four-day gaming convention that takes place in Indianapolis. When the game was released, the line to buy a copy was comparable to Space Mountain during peak season. Disney got everyone’s attention, but was it worth it?

What is Villainous?

Villainous is a board game where each player can pick to play as one of six classic Disney villains: Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Jafar (Aladdin), Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), Prince John (Robin Hood), Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), and Captain Hook (Peter Pan). Each villain has their own personal goal to win, which is completely thematic to their own world. For example, Maleficent must cover her realm in curses or Captain Hook has to destroy Peter Pan on the Jolly Roger.

Disney Villainous
Pawn Pieces from Left to Right: Ursula, King John, Captain Hook, Jafar, Queen of Hearts and Maleficent

Game Overview

The game is recommended for ages ten and up and is for two to six players. I personally don’t recommend playing with two people, because it’s a very back-and-forth interaction between the players. I recently played the game with four people and it felt chaotic enough to be fun, but you were still able to keep track on who was close to winning. The estimated time for playing the game, start to finish, is around fifty minutes. While the game comes with a rulebook, I do recommend watching the video that Wonder Forge created, that teaches you how to play. The only thing we used the rulebook for was to reference a specific rule while playing the game.

The game itself comes with: six villain pawns, each themed to their own character; six incredibly detailed game boards; six villain decks; six villain guides, and all of the tokens you’ll need to play the game. I love the idea of the villain guides and I think they work really well for the game. They outline the winning goal for your specific character, some potential strategies to win, and certain cards that could thwart your villainous plans.

Disney Villainous
Sample cards from Disney’s Villainous

Game Play

If you’re worried that you’re going to miss your favorite character because you’re playing the villain in the story- have no fear! Through the game mechanic of “fate” (an action that can disrupt an opponent’s progress), all of your favorite heroes and items come up, just like they would in the movie. This mechanic is the main way in the game for players to interact with each other.  If you see a player getting close to finishing their personal goal before you would, you can “fate” a player. This then draws a random card from their personal “fate” deck. The card could be a hero from their story or an item. For example, if you’re playing as Ursula, you could draw Ariel, a “dinglehopper” or a “snarfblat,” among others. Each of these cards has effects that hurt you, the villain, making it impossible to win with them out in play or eliminating certain types of cards you can play. I absolutely love this mechanic, as it allows player interaction but everything is still themed to your specific story.

Final Thoughts

Villainous is being retailed at $34.99 at Target and most local game stores, and I think it’s completely worth it. I played with three other people, who are not nearly as big of Disney fans as I am, and they all had a great time. All of us were very close to winning at the end, and it led to some fun alliances with each other to try and slow each other down from winning.

Aside from the game itself being fun, I also think that all of the pawns, game boards, and cards are really nicely made. The art on the cards and game boards seem to be straight out of the movie and all of the pawns seem to be sturdy enough to last over time. I do recommend gently wiping all of the pawns off with some water when they come out of the box, as ours seemed to be dusty. There is just one small caveat, however, the holder for the tokens is very cheaply-made plastic and doesn’t look very good.

Overall, I’m excited about the future of this game. If Disney decides to, they could create multiple expansions for different villains, if they aren’t planning to do that already.

I recommend this game for board game fans and Disney fans alike. If you try it, let me know what you think about it in a comment below!

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

About the author

Alicia

Growing up a native Floridian, I've been visiting the parks since I was three months old. I love all things Winnie the Pooh, Hidden Mickey hunting, and dole whips.

Questions or comments? Email me at [email protected] or find me on Instagram @aliciaj_13

5 Comments

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Played it and I found it confusing. Others picked up on it quickly. If I played again, I’m sure I’d understand it more. Lots of twists and turns.

  • This game is really excellent and far more complex and sophisticated than I expected; my friends and I have played it several times, and it’s been very different each time with new villains in play. Thank you for the review, I hope this does well enough for them to encourage expansions — there’s so many villains that would fit really well.

  • Thanks so much for the review! I do want to point out that all the card art is actually original to the game. Six different artists (one for each villain) did all the art for the game based on screenshots.

    • Ruby is correct. The art is that good that it looks like it was out of the movie, but it is in fact original art. There is also rumors of an expansion with more villains, which is exciting. I’m an avid hobby gamer and it’s nice to see Wonder Forge get into publishing more strategic games, and not re-skins of Eye Found It.

  • We bought this game on a whim. Currently my husband and I are the only ones playing but we very much enjoy playing against each other. The game is amazing going through each villain and how each card is different. Would recommend this game to anyone

Fantasy Strollers
Lost Bros
TeePublic

Latest Videos