Publisher Ravensburger seems to have hit a bit of a gold mine with their Villainous game. Not only do they have access to one of the most beloved IPs out there, but they’ve created a game that is wide open for expansions. Which is probably why we are gathering today to talk about Villainous: Perfectly Wretched. I’ve previously reviewed the Villainous core game and also the Evil Comes Prepared expansion (and enjoyed them both), so check those out if you want to get up to speed. Perfectly Wretched comes with three new villains for you to enjoy: Cruella De Vil, Mother Gothel, and Pete. So let’s crack open the box and see what these three brings to the table.
Much like Evil Comes Prepared, Perfectly Wretched is a standalone expansion, so you don’t need the base game if you only have eyes for these three villains. The star of the show is, of course, Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians. She’s trying, as you might expect, to capture 99 puppies for her fur coat. Joining her is Mother Gothel from the movie Tangled. She wants to keep Rapunzel in her tower and gain her trust. Finally, there is Pete in all his black and white goodness. He is actually from Steamboat Willie, the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon (not to be confused with Steamboat Itchy, the funny parody from The Simpsons). If you’ve never seen the original Mickey Mouse cartoon, you can actually watch all 7 minutes of it online. Pete wants to achieve 4 of his 5 secret objectives.
Game Experience with the Expansion:
The gameplay in the Villainous expansion is largely unchanged from the core game. So pop back over to the core game review if you want the basics. But let’s take a look at each Villain, in turn, to see what they add.
Cruella De Vil
Cruella’s task is fairly straightforward. Capture puppies from locations around her realm. Her cards will let her play puppy tokens from a face down pool to different locations in her realm. Each token is either 11 or 22 puppies, so thankful you don’t have to actually count out 99 tokens. Once they are in her realm, she has cards and allies that will let her capture them.
I found Mother Gothel to not only be pretty interesting, but also one of the most difficult of the expansion characters to play. Her goal is to gain 10 trust tokens. Rapunzel is represented by a unique hero that starts in her tower and, at the end of each round, moves one space towards Corona. If she gets there, Mother Gothel loses a trust. You have plenty of ways to send her back to her tower, via both cards and allies, but she is basically a permanent hero in your realm. Even if you defeat her, she just gets shunted back to her tower. So you will always have the top of one of your locations covered by a hero. Even though she feels a bit like wack-a-mole, I thought this was a pretty clever part of the expansion and actually requires some strategic planning each round.
I loved the idea of Pete from Steamboat Willie. Not only because they stuck true to the source material and used all greyscale components, but it was also an unexpected surprise. But Pete’s goal is to achieve four of his objectives. He actually has five in total, but one is secretly removed at the start of the game. The objectives are face down and while Pete can look at them, other players cannot. So when an opponent plays a fate card on him, they won’t always know what you are trying to do and might even inadvertently help you! Pete was by far and away my favorite villain of this expansion.
What I love most about the villainous expansions is that they are not just reskinning villains and throwing a new coat of paint on them. These feel wholly unique and also thematically tied to the source material. And even though they are different, the core mechanics of the game are unchanged, so learning to play them is really more of a “what are the wrinkles in your gameplay” and “what’s my best strategy to win” kind of an affair.
If you love Villainous, Perfectly Wretched is an easy add and probably my favorite expansion to date. If you didn’t really care for the gameplay of the core game then there isn’t anything here that will change your mind. But for those of us who love the Disney theme and enjoy a little bit of “take that” on our tabletops, Perfectly Wretched is another great addition to an already fun game.
• If you like Villainous’s gameplay, then none