Now that the board game's August release date is drawing closer, we're thrilled to exclusively announce the next Marvel Villainous character - Taskmaster.
Having first appeared in 1980 during The Avengers #195 (and more recently in Spider-Man PS4 (opens in new tab)), the character is about to break onto the silver screen via the upcoming Black Widow (opens in new tab) movie with the ability to mimic any move he sees. As such, it makes sense that he'd join Thanos, Hela, and Ultron for Ravensburger's Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power board game. Because he's due to pop up in Marvel's Avengers (opens in new tab) as well, the super villain is in for a busy few months.
In terms of what he brings to the tabletop, Taskmaster revolves around training and his photographic memory (which is only fair, considering the character's background as an instructor for supervillains). Indeed, he can permanently increase the Strength score of his allies via certain cards and is able to take Effects from opponents to use himself. Because his goal is to have an ally with a Strength of 5 or more at each location, which makes him a formidable opponent.
Not that he's invincible, of course; he can be tied up by fighting Black Widow and handling government contracts, a nod to his work for the highest bidder. What's more, his Achille's Heel is 'Butterball': a well-meaning but hopeless washout from his training program. Butterball is invulnerable to attack and cannot be removed from the board by conventional means, forcing Taskmaster to use up power and allies to get rid of him. This is a fun reference to Butterball being a never-ending source of exasperation for Taskmaster in the comics.
This gives us hope that the rest of the game will be just as original. Following in the megalomaniacal footsteps of the original Disney Villainous board game (opens in new tab) - which earned high marks in our list of the best board games (opens in new tab) - Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power lets players take on the role of five villains from across the Marvel universe. As we mentioned above, their ranks include Thanos, Hela, and Ultron. The remaining character will be announced at a later date.
Looking for some duet-friendly games? Check out our guide to the best board games for 2 players (opens in new tab).
We deeply hope that the remaining villain is MODOK because, A) he's MODOK, and, B) we need to see Villainous' beautifully minimalist game piece design applied to a giant floating head with tiny arms and legs. The Disney Villainous expansions (opens in new tab) proved the formula is ideal for adding on new challengers, so that's always an option if he doesn't make the first cut.
Marvel Villainous is not itself another expansion for the Disney game, but rather a freestanding product of its own. Still, its mechanics will be familiar for folks who have already played the Disney version, with each player progressing along their own board and working toward unique victory conditions as they deal out difficulties to slow their rivals. Each villain will have their own special powers; for instance, we know that Hela will get to use Soul Mark tokens. What do they do? We dunno, but it sounds bad.
Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power is being designed by Prospero Hall and published by Ravensburger, the same team behind Disney Villainous, so it's already off to a strong start. You'll be able to pre-order as of July 6 2020, and can pick up a copy for $34.99 from July 26 2020. The base game will support two to four players from ages 12 and up.
Find even more to play in our list of the best card games for adults (opens in new tab).