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Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power

It's two years since we featured Disney Villainous and its expansions on Board's Eye View. Marvel Villainous is similarly designed by Prospero Hall and published by Ravensburger. Is it just more of the same?

There's no doubt that this is a Marvel universe version of the Disney game. Like the Disney version, you're playing an iconic villain rather than a hero, and the villains are represented by similarly stylised models. Gameplay too will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has played the Disney game: asymmetric objectives where you are moving your villain to select actions open to you at particular locations on your individual board; a 'Fate' deck that lets you make 'take that' attacks on other players; for example, playing a Marvel hero to their board. You'll be using the Fate cards to limit other villains' actions (hero cards cover up the top action slots on the locations at which they are placed) and to sabotage their progress. There are differences between the Marvel and Disney games, however. This game is designed for 2-4 players, not the 2-6 offered as an option - tho' not recommended - for the Disney game. You'll particularly notice differences too in the way the Fate deck operates: just enough that you need to treat Marvel Villainous as a separate but similar game rather than as a reskin or one that can be readily integrated with Disney Villainous. That said, it wouldn't take much ingenuity to devise your own house rules to facilitate your own Marvel/Disney crossovers.

Fans of the Marvel movies and comics will get a kick out of playing the five very different villains in Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power: Thanos, Ultron, Hela, Taskmaster and Killmonger. Each requires a different strategy to optimise play, and the game incorporates a short guide for each villain that offers some basic strategy tips, but, like the Disney Villainous games, there's quite a high luck factor in players' dependence on fortuitous card draws. Tho' it would be hard to imagine the five villains in Infinite Power as equals in terms of their Marvel universe capabilities, the designers have done a great job in balancing their asymmetric powers and objectives for the purposes of game play.

Playing with Thanos, in particular, makes for the most 'take that' experience because Thanos' victory objective of collecting Infinity Stones puts him in very direct conflict with the other players. When you play with Thanos, the Infinity Stones only come into play when Fate cards put them out as items on other villains' boards. Thanos can only get them by prising them from an opponent's grasp. When you play with Thanos as one of the villains, it changes up the dynamics so much so that it gives the game quite a different feel: so with Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power you're almost getting two games in one!

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