Released by Ravensburger in 2018, Disney Villainous lets you get in touch with your dark side and take control of the bad guys from your favourite kids’ films. Fun for children and adults alike, the base game with six villains was a hit, which has resulted in an eye-boggling number of expansions. Here we’ll fill you in on what’s inside every single Disney Villainous expansion, as well as how complex, fun, and beginner friendly they are.
Since you’re here, you may be in the market for the best Disney board games. Or if you want to extend your reach beyond the house of mouse, check out the greatest family board games or kids’ board games.
How many Disney Villainous expansions are there?
There are currently five Disney villainous expansions, each one adding three new villains to the game. It seems unlikely Ravensburger will stop at five, and there are plenty of rumours about an upcoming sixth Disney Villainous expansion – but since none of them agree with each other, you can take these with a pinch of salt. What’s interesting is that Ravensburger rarely sticks to the obvious characters for its expansions. You’ll usually find a big bad from the Disney Renaissance featured right alongside relative unknowns.
There are also two spinoff Villainous games – Marvel Villainous and Star Wars Villainous – which cash in on Disney’s other big properties. We won’t be covering those here, but they pretty much follow the same basic formula – if you’re a superhero or scifi fan then Marvel board games or Star Wars board games could be a better bet.
Do you need the base Disney Villainous Game?
Nope! Every Disney Villainous expansion can be played on its own, and they’re also all compatible with each other. You can take any Disney Villainous game in your collection and mix and muddle it up with any other expansion, and still have a grand old time.
That said, the base Disney Villainous game touts an impressive six heroes, compared to the three found in expansions. Purely in terms of bang for your buck, you may be well served by picking up the bigger, original box.
Disney Villainous: Wicked to the Core
The first Disney Villainous expansion, Wicked to the Core, has Hades, Snow White’s Evil Queen, and Dr Facilier from The Princess and the Frog. It has an eclectic mix of mechanics and difficulty levels. Hades is all about movement, and must bring the titans over to ransack Olympus, while Evil Queen acts alone as a one woman killing machine, vanquishing heroes by brewing nasty potions.
Dr Facilier meanwhile, turns the game into a deckbuilding board game with his complex mechanics, which involve putting cards in a separate ‘Fortune’ deck. He’s tough to get a handle on, so while this was the first Disney Villainous Expansion ever released, and has some of the most fun heroes, it’s a little wonky in both balance and complexity, and might not be the one to start with.
Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared
Only at Villainous expansion #2, and they’re already breaking out Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective, who features here alongside fan-favourite Scar, and Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove. This is probably the best Disney Villainous expansion for beginner board gamers. Yzma has to search for Kuzco in four different Fate decks, Scar’s just gotta beat up a load of heroes, and Ratigan has a fun gimmick in that his first objective can be thwarted, in which case he has to defeat the main hero as a backup plot. All unique takes on the game, but nothing too crazy.
Disney Villainous: Perfectly Wretched
Villainous Expansion 3 features Cruella De Vil, Mother Gothel, and Pete from Steamboat Willie (the first Mickey Mouse cartoon). Each Disney Villainous: Perfectly Wretched character has its own unique playstyle, but none are overly complex, making this another good get for beginners to the series or younger boardgamers.
Pete’s game board and cards are all in black and white, adding a nice bit of style – plus his game plan is always different. You randomly choose four out of five goals each game, keeping your objectives hidden from the other players. Mother Gothel has a nice risk/reward game where your aim is to build up Rapunzel’s trust, and Cruella just wants to hoover up a ton of puppy tokens.
Disney Villainous: Despicable Plots
Villainous Expansion 4 features Gaston, and then two oddballs, The Horned King from Black Cauldron and the Wicked Stepmother (actual name Lady Tremaine) from Cinderella. As well as having less star power than many of the other Villainous expansions, Despicable Plots has some fiddly mechanics that may prove frustrating. It’s by no means bad, and each villain has something interesting going on, if you can pull it off, but in our view – not the place to start.
Disney Villainous: Bigger and Badder
Despite the ‘bigger’ in its name, there’s still only three characters in Villainous Expansion 5. This time we’re breaking into Pixar land with Syndrome from the Incredibles and Lotso from Toy Story 3, alongside the witchy Madame Mim from the Sword in the Stone.
A very colourful expansion, Mim is the surprise standout here, requiring you to defeat Merlin in a more complex version of Rock Paper Scissors that represents the film’s transformation battle (the only part of the movie most people remember).