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DC DECK-BUILDING GAME: FOREVER EVIL Review

With the December 2014 release of DC Deck-Building Game: Forever Evil, the realm of superhero deck-building games now includes supervillains — alongside zombies and schools run by Lovecratian Horrors. With Forever Evil you can take on the role of one of DC’s most infamous villains and “craft a truly demented deck [to] give those Justice League do-gooders what’s coming to them!

DC Comics has collaborated with Cryptozoic Entertainment since 2011  to create the DC Deck-Building Game and its various expansions. Other Cryptozoic titles include The Walking Dead Board GameThe Big Bang Theory Party Game and Assassin Creed: Arena. Cryptozoic’s most recent endeavor is the Kickstarter-funded project, Ghostbusters: The Board Game.

The original DC Comics Deck-building Game launched in November of 2011 and Forever Evil is the latest standalone expansion. Designed by Cryptozoic’s own Matt Hydra, Forever Evil boasts that “It’s fun to be bad.”

Gameplay

Forever Evil is a deck-building game for 2-5 players. During set up, the main deck, kick cards, weakness cards, and the superhero deck are separated. The line-up from which players will buy new cards comes directly out of the main deck. To begin the game, each player chooses a supervillain at random. Each super-villain has their own special skill than can be used during a player’s turn. The super-hero deck is shuffled and the first villain that the villains will fight is the Flash. The goal of the game is to defeat every super-hero in the deck before the main deck runs out. There are 14 super-heroes total but, to create an easier game for new players, it is possible to play with less; an easier variance includes playing with 8 super-heroes in the deck.

After set up, players are dealt a starter deck composed of punch and vulnerability cards. Punch cards have +1 power which allows players to purchase new cards for their deck or fight the supervillains. Vulnerabilities, on the other hand, act as a blank draw and neither help nor directly hinder the player. They do, however, take up space in your hand and cannot be used to buy other cards. Vulnerabilities can only be removed from the player’s deck via the abilities of other, more powerful cards.

On their turn, players draw five cards from their personal deck and play them: use their abilities, attack other players, attack superheroes, buy new cards. Cards are bought from the line-up when a player has equal power in their hand. Attacking superheroes often costs more than buying new cards. Another option players have is to buy kick cards from the kick deck, which are worth +2 power and hence more useful than punches. It sometimes happens that a player cannot do anything on their turn and play then passes to the left as per usual.

After the first superhero is defeated, the following superheroes all have “first appearance” effects that apply to all players (e.g. the new superhero’s effect could be an attack that causes each player to draw a weakness card unless they can defend). After the first appearance effect is resolved, play resumes as normal. The game ends when either every super-hero is defeated or the “main” deck is depleted; the latter way is a collective lose for the table which the first is a “win” and then player’s count their VPs to determine who is the overall victor.

Experienced players that prefer the Forever Evil‘s engine to other deck-building games may enjoy alternate play methods like the “good vs evil” variant game described in the rulebook.

Components / Rulebook

The set comes with 206/211 game cards with 36 punch cards, 16 vulnerabilities, 106/111 main deck cards, 16 kick cards, 12 superheroes (nemesis), 20 weakness cards and 7 over-sized supervillains. Included with some versions of the game are 6 frozen tokens and 1 token sheet with several VPs.

The cards include gorgeous comic-inspired artwork and some are infamous scenes and covers comic nerds will immediately recognize from the New 52.

The rulebook is laid out beautifully with clear headlines and specific card clarifications are included with pictures of the cards to help identify what you are looking for. The back of the rulebook also has a quick overview of play in 11 easy-to-follow steps. Though this should not be a surprise to anyone because Hyra, among everything else he is known for, often writes easy-to-follow rulebooks.

Overall

This game at times it feels cooperative, but the ability to attack other players reminds everyone that they are playing as supervillains and captures the spirit of a true DC Comic supervillain team-up: one second friends, the next enemies.

Players not familiar with deck-building games will find, compared to others in the genre, the overall mechanics of Forever Evil are fairly simple and easy-to-follow. Experienced deck-building players will either love it or hate it due to the overall simplicity. These veteran players, however, may prefer a game like Legendary: A Marvel Deck-building Game for its extra mechanic where villains can escape the city. 

3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cover image via

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Categories: Deck Building, Tabletop Reviews

Author:Brittany Pressley

Brittany loves tabletop games. She can be found on twitter: @brittpressley.

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  1. TL;DR Review: DC DECK-BUILDING GAME: FOREVER EVIL | Another Castle - 04/11/2015

    […] Full review […]

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