Theme and What is it?
Calling all supervillains! The City is ripe for the taking and all that stands in your way are a few superheroes and, well, you’re fellow supervillains. Build your powers, defeat your foes, and be the evil you know you can be.
Defeat heroes, acquire Minions, and hold off the other supervillains to gain the most Infamy Points and bragging rights as the most villainous villain in The City!
Hand out play reference cards. Separate the Villain personae deck, Power deck, and Hero deck. Shuffle the Villain persona cards and decide how you want to choose your Villain (random, pick from deck, pick from a few, etc.). Shuffle the Power deck and deal five cards to each player. Shuffle the Hero deck and draw cards until three Superheroes are in The City area.
Each turn a player draws a card from the Power Deck and then performs any or all of the following actions: Play an Evil Deed, Attack a Hero, and Use Villain Power.
Use your Villain Power to screw over the other players, gather Minions to your cause, protect yourself from others, etc.
Play an Evil Deed to screw over your fellow villains, increase your power, or weaken the superheroes. Be careful not to be Thwarted by another player.
Attack a Hero is how you defeat them and gain Infamy Points. Watch out for other players to Block or Thwart your devious machinations.
End your turn by drawing another card from the Power Deck.
Defeating a superhero grants you the Patrol Marker. If you have the Patrol Marker and your turn ends without defeating a superhero, then the rightmost superhero and associated cards are shuffled back into the Hero deck and cards are drawn until a new superhero is revealed in The City.
I love the supers genre and couldn’t pass up the chance to be the villain. Once the group waded through the rules, the villainy got under way. As usual our game took longer than proposed (usually double the time indicated when we start a new game) but the claws (and laser beams, atomic weapons, simple pickpocketing) came out.
Game Build Quality
The components of the game are simple: cards and a marker. The cards are a good quality playing card but without a stiff core, making it easier to shuffle the large Power Deck. The marker is a decent cardboard cut-out with plastic base, nothing fancy is required as it isn’t used much.
The art is great: villains, heroes, and disasters in between. Realistic but a little cartoony to get the right vibe for the game. The names (tongue-in-cheek) will remind you of some of comics’ greatest characters, both good and bad.
We all had a blast playing the game. All of the elements: taking down the good guy, getting in the way of your frenemies, and watching the fruits of your dastardly deeds come to light will bring out the MUAHAHAHA!
Age Range & Weight
Age range says 8+ and that’s about right. Getting through the rules was a bit of a chore but kids, young and old, would have a field day with this game. Once you understand the rules, there isn’t much strategy to it, but you need to be mindful of a few aspects like ongoing effects from superheroes, not using your Villain Power, and don’t forget to take advantage of Powering Up.
The game in review is Thwarted! and its two supplements: Power Pack and Drain the Heroes. We mixed in all the cards even though the suggestion was to only add a few of the Hero Buff cards in at a time. The Power Pack, which added the Villain personae and Hero Buff cards, really help flesh out the game.
We all really liked the theme and how the game fed off of it. There was much cackling and deep-throated chortling as one Thwarted another’s master plan.
What we didn’t like much was that though there were some elements that lent themselves to some types of strategy, any long-term strategy was difficult to maintain given the random nature of constantly drawing cards. Maybe that’s the designer’s intent. Regardless, I certainly plan to return to The City to cause havoc and put those do-gooders in their place.