Ravensburger is announcing the newest addition to the hit Villainous board game franchise with it’s first-ever expansion pack, featuring our favorite Symbiote. In Marvel Villainous: We Are Venom, players will be able to take on the role of Venom, the infamous villain turned anti-hero from the Spider-Man series.
As this is an expansion, you will need one of the previously-released Marvel Villainous titles (Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power or Marvel Villainous: Mischief & Malice) to play. This is the first time Ravensburger has released a single, playable character, which means that they must be planning more. If your favorite got missed in either of the two base sets, chances are high that you might still get to play as your favorite at some point.
Check out a first look at the Venom mover token from the expansion below—these pieces have always been a very fun part of the Villainous series, and this one looks very cool:
In order to dive into the expansion, io9 spoke to Cassidy Werner, Head of Games, and Mike Mulvihill, Game Development Manager at Ravensburger North America, over email to learn more. Check out the full interview below!
Linda Codega, io9: What part of Villainous was important to keep at the forefront of the game design for the Venom addition?
Cassidy Werner: We’ve talked about creating a solo expansion for a while and realized that to make it work, we needed to pick a truly iconic villain. Venom is that icon. Not only has he been appearing in comics for decades, his style and attitude resonates beyond the comic fandom. He’s also one of the most-requested villains in our write-in poll, so we know players have been eagerly awaiting his addition to the Marvel Villainous line-up.
Mike Mulvihill: One of the most important parts to creating any Villainous character is to always keep it in his-or-her most villainous state, regardless of how that character might change in their storyline. In the case of Venom, we had to make sure that we focused on his evil side, not his anti-hero side. So, we chose to focus on the Venom character from the earlier stories. Focusing on the villains’ most evil qualities – and how you play them – is essential for all Villainous characters, regardless of which part of the franchise they’re from.
io9: What parts of the Venom mythos did you focus on?
Mulvihill: We focused on the origin and monster version of Venom. Usually in any Villainous game, our villains have allies they work with to execute some of the gameplay elements, but in Venom’s case, he’s usually solo. We focused on the early part of his story, with his hatred and focus on Spider-Man, so that we could incorporate the Symbiotes. By using the Symbiotes, fans can identify where he is in his storyline and lean into his more villainous side.
io9: How do you balance new additions with the existing game?
Mulvihill: Usually when we create an expandalone game, we need to balance all characters within each game to make sure the play is balanced. In this case, we wanted to make sure Venom can match well against every Marvel Villainous character. We spent a lot of time in playtesting to make sure we had both a mechanical and timing balance. We also wanted to make sure his objective made sense and that the game mechanics worked to allow him to do whatever he needed to do within a reasonable amount of time.
io9: What parts of this addition are you most excited to talk about? or what arts are you most excited for people to play?
Werner: To play Villainous, you need to approach it from the perspective of a bad guy. Play as Venom would, as opposed to how you would. I love the objective that Mike came up with because it can be applied to different versions of Venom’s story. To win as Venom, players need to lower Spider-Man’s strength, then defeat him. This could be interpreted as combat, or it could represent a battle of wills in which the symbiote overtakes Spider-Man.
We’re also excited for players to see the Venom mover. It’s my favorite so far because it has the most teeth! To get it just right, the team went through a lot of iterations of the design. Some of the original concept sketches included angular spiders, the symbiote overtaking Eddie Brock’s face, and even one concept that balanced Venom’s head on his tongue. In the end, we decided to go for a look that is quintessentially Venom that also felt cool enough for a single-character expansion
Mulvihill: We know as fans is that Venom eventually becomes a hero. So, one other thing we’re excited about is that for this expansion, we created a singular “Hero” card. We acknowledge to fans that we’re referencing a very early storyline but also acknowledging that Venom eventually becomes a Hero. So, we’ve created a special “Hero” card that can be added to any of the fate decks, regardless of if you are playing as Venom or not. It can be added into any Marvel Villainous game. And when using this card, once it’s in play, Venom becomes very active.
Marvel Villainous: We Are Venom will go on-sale in October 2022 on Amazon and nationwide in November 2022.
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