VILLAINS title rules

OBJECTIVE:  Build a strong team of villains, avoid the heroes, and have the most points by the end of the game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 3 – 6 players

MATERIALS:  120 card deck, instruction manual

TYPE OF GAME: Card game


VILLAINS overview


Villains is a Disney themed hand shedding game from Ravensburger.  In this game, players are trying to get as many villain cards as possible into their own discard pile.  If you choose to play a card that matches the color or number of an adjacent opponent’s top card, you must add it to that pile instead.  Also, each villain has their own special power cards that will crank up the chaos. 


VILLAINS contents

The Villains deck is composed of 120 cards which are broken down into six smaller character themed decks: Maleficent, Jafar, Captain Hook, Scar, Ursula, and Cruella de Vil.  Each character deck contains 20 cards ranking 1 – 6.  There are three of each numbered card as well as two special power cards in each character deck.  The special power cards are unique for each character.  The backside of all the cards is the corresponding hero for that villain.



Each player selects a villain and takes that specific character deck.  They shuffle their deck and put the pile villain side down in front of them to form their own personal draw pile.  The heroes should be facing up.

Each player begins their own personal discard pile by flipping up the top card from their personal draw deck.  That card should be facing villain side up.  Then each player draws four cards from their draw pile to form their hand.  Do not let your opponents see your hand.


The player with the most villainous laugh goes first, and play continues clockwise.

On your turn, you will play a card from your hand to a discard pile – either your own, or an adjacent opponent.  To do so, the card must match the color or number of the top card on the discard pile.  If the card you play matches the color or number of an adjacent opponent’s pile, you must play that card there.  If the card matches both adjacent opponents, you decide which one to play on.

You must always play a card on your turn.  You will earn points for the cards in your own personal discard pile at the end of the game, so try to get as many in that pile as possible. Your opponent will earn points for any card you played on their discard pile, so try to avoid putting your cards there if you can. If you are playing a game with more than three players, the discard pile of any non-adjacent opponent does not affect you.  

If you do not have a matching card that can be played on a discard pile OR you do not wish to play a card on your turn, you may instead play a card with the hero side up on your own discard pile.  On your next turn, you can play any villain card from your hand on that hero card (unless it matches an adjacent opponent’s card – it must be played there as normal).  You are allowed to place a hero card on top of a hero card on your discard pile.  You cannot play a villain card on top of a neighbor’s hero card.

At the end of your turn, draw back up to a four card hand.  Play passes on.


Each villain has their own special power cards.  For a simpler game, remove them from the decks.  Your discard pile cannot begin with a special power card.  If you turn one up to start the game, shuffle it back into the deck.

Special cards can be played rather than a villain card during the game.  When played, place the special card face up in the center of the table.  This is a special discard pile for special power cards only.

Maleficent’s Powerful Curse immediately removes the card with the highest number showing on any discard pile from the game.  If more than one copy of the same number is showing, remove all of them from the game.

Jafar’s Hynotize allows the player to force one opponent to give them the top card from their discard pile.  That card can be played on any future turn following the standard rules.

Captain Hook’s Meddling forces all other players to flip over their top card on their discard pile.  Villains become heroes and heroes become villains.

Cruella de Vil’s Swipe allows the player to exchange their top card from their discard pile with an opponent’s.  If the player who played Swipe does not have any cards in their discard pile, they simply do not exchange.

Scar’s No Escape allows the player to draw one card from each player’s hand and place it villain side up near that player.  That player must then play that card on their next turn.

Ursula’s Whirlpool forces all players to pass their top card from their discard pile one player to the left or right depending on which is chosen.  All players pass in the same direction.  If a player’s discard pile is empty, they do not pass a card.


Once a player’s draw pile is empty, they do not draw back up to four cards at the end of their turn.  Once a player’s draw pile AND hand are empty, they are finished for the game.  Play continues until every player has played every card from their draw pile and hand.  


After every card has been played, each player separates the villain cards from the hero cards in their discard pile.  Each player counts up how many hero cards they have.  That number determines which villain cards have no value.  If a player has more than six hero cards, they subtract six from the number of hero cards they have.  6’s will have no value as well as cards that match the difference.

For example, if you have four hero cards, all 4’s in your discard pile have no value.  If you have eight hero cards, subtract six from eight (which is two).  All 6’s and 2’s have no value.

The player then earns points for the remaining villain cards in their deck.  Each card is worth the number on the card.  Whoever has the most points wins the game.  Ties are left unbroken.

Mark Ball
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