Review by James Freeman
Designer Ben Swainbank
Publisher Game Salute, Superhuman Games
In the 'Villains and Vigilantes Card Game', players take on the roles of the super-villains trying to carry out a variety of sinister schemes or the heroes striving to bring them to justice. This game, with characters and themes drawn from the classic superhero RPG, offers the entire comic book experience. It has dastardly plans, bold escapes, secret identities, craven henchmen, brave saviors of defenseless citizens and super powers beyond imagination.
Each player controls one or more superheroes or supervillains and has a custom card deck based on the super powers their characters possess. Players play mission cards that indicate their characters' goals and win conditions. There are plot cards that establish unusual items or significant events going on in the city. Power cards are played to soar or streak from one location to the next, blast your enemies, escape from danger, or display your uncanny abilities. Players race to complete their missions, thwart their archenemies, and win the day.
If your a fan of 70's & 80's Era comic books you will love the stylizing of this game. There are tons of bits, chits and standees and cards with all sorts of great comic style art on them.
Right now i need to talk about the box. twelve sections with bags to divide it any way you choose. If you want to take all the characters and separate each deck, you can do that. Do you prefer to have your chits in separate sections? you can do that. It is also well prepared for expansions.
The game itself will take you longer to get the knack of than you might think, The 3.0 complexity rating on BGG is quite accurate. I like how the villain team starts the game as that is how almost all of the comic books of my youth started, with the villain doing something bad. Once you get a few mission cards out the pace will of the game feel more urgent. The board locations look great and made me think of the intros from the superfriends cartoon. I feel that the heroes are more powerful but i don't have an issue with that because thematically that is how it's suppose to be. The game has an immersive feel as you try to balance your day job missions along with your hero....ing? I will say that if your a magic or deck-building player i think you should just make your own decks almost right from the get go. Play once and then customize. Trust me, the game will suit you better for the style you want to play.
In a sea of games where you hear a lot of people throw around the term "pasted on theme" that can not be said about this game by any means. It's a comic book adventure in a box.
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