Marvel Villainous Reveals Twisted Ambitions, Adds Three New Villains (Exclusive)

Ravensburger expands its Marvel universe with a brand new Marvel Villainous “expand only game.”
ComicBook.com can report that exclusively Marvel Villainous: Twisted Ambition adds Doctor Octopus, Titania and Kang the Conquerer to the popular Marvel theme mean game. As with others Marvel Villainous games, each character has its own goals and win conditions. Doctor Octopus must complete five schemes ranging from gathering power to defeating Spider-Man. Titania needs to get stronger to become Empowered and defeat She-Hulk. Kang uses variants to appear in other rogue games with the goal of conquering four locations in other rogue domains with robot duplicates. Pre orders for Marvel Villainous: Twisted Ambition available from February 3. The Target version comes with an exclusive “chrome” Doctor Octopus mover.

ComicBook.com had the chance to speak with Mike Mulvihill, Game Development Manager at Ravensburger North America, about the following Marvel Villainous expansion and the unique challenges that come with building a game around such iconic villains:

(Photo: The Game Bocks)

ComicBook.com: Why were these three villains selected – is there anything they have in common? Do they fit into an overarching Marvel Villainous story?

Mike Mulvihill: We always want a compelling headliner or cover character – someone who stops you in the aisle and makes you say OMG “X” is in Villainous. That means that they must not only be a very famous villain, but also have a unique silhouette.

We already wanted a cover for Doc Ock, and he was decided and approved for someone else. I love She Hulk – she’s one of my all-time favorite heroes – so I wanted to make sure her ultimate enemy, Titania, made an appearance in the game. She’s a woman who fights with total unabashed strength, which is cool to design. With two villains battling some heroes, we decided to go with a deep villain battling with the entire Marvel Universe – Kang the Conqueror, an old school Avengers villain.

Marvel offers us a 4th character, if you will, with our Common Fate deck – a set of Fate cards independent of the Villain decks. Earlier in Infinite Power, the card game was themed around the Avengers; in Mischief and Malice, the theme was SHIELD agents. In Twisted Ambitions, we realized early on that a common link between the three villains was their ties to New York, specifically Spider-Man, and settled on the New York/Spider-Verse themed Common Fate deck.

For those who love their Marvel history, check out the Targeted Event cards. They also have a unique theme between all 3 villains! Each of these villains has pushed us to create new types of mechanics and objectives that will challenge the players – each works differently from other villains yet fits perfectly into the shared Marvel Villainous universe for a unique and immersive experience.

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(Photo: The Game Bocks)

Mulvihill: What makes it more competitive? More interactive? What’s the delta between that and Disney/Star Wars?

We consider Disney Villainous to be the most accessible to new players. Playing characters whose stories are often captured in one movie, where their goal is what they failed to achieve in that one story, makes them easier, more understandable villains to play.

Star Wars Villainous is a bit more difficult. Villains can appear in multiple movies over time and their purpose can be a bit confused over time. But since the gameplay is closed (that is, only things Darth Vader encountered could be used in his story), it follows more of a Disney game pattern, but comes with some cool new features, such as Ambition and Vehicles.

Marvel is our most competitive version. In the Marvel Universe, every hero fights every villain. We couldn’t and didn’t want to limit that either – so things like the Common Fate deck and the heavy use of villains messing with each other – make Marvel Villainous much more aggressive and interactive, adding more complexity.

The addition of Doc Ock, Tatiana and Kang creates a high degree of interactivity that we consistently try to include. Kang has cards that go into other villain piles. Titania can summon and move Heroes to and from other Villains realms. Doc Ock is a mastermind – always inventing and manipulating events.

The Common Fate deck really pushes the interactivity causing mayhem with each villain created. These villains really change the game experience for players who like the old villains, they let players manipulate and change the state of the game to try and win while slowing down their opponent – like a real villain!

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(Photo: The Game Bocks)

What challenges come with designing the “shared universe” aspect of Marvel Villainous, and has that original concept expanded at all with the new expansion?

Mulvihill: The great (positive and scary!) challenge of Marvel is that there are 70 years of history – of every villain fighting every hero and millions of plots to choose from! But when choosing a villain, we try to find one plot – one set of Heroes and Allies and one “story” to tell. And we keep a huge database of cards we’ve used, so that if we have a lot of Spider-Men (in this set and in Venom), they all have different abilities and different names – just like the comics!

The evolution, or expansion of the concept as you call it, comes from creating new and cool objectives/gameplay that fit and tell the villain’s story AND make a new villain engaging with the other older villains. That process is the coolest thing about Marvel because we’re throwing away objective ideas, mechanics, plots, and Marvel history to arrive at a definitive path forward.

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(Photo: The Game Bocks)

Are there any unexpected heroes popping up in the new Fate maps?

Mulvihill: The Common Fate deck has some awesome Spider-Verse Heroes that haven’t been seen before. Titania battles some discarded She-Hulk companions. Kang has a few surprising Hero’s combos, including some first-timers that fans of Kang will get right away.

Marvel Villainous: Twisted Ambitions will be released later this year.

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(Photo: The Game Bocks)
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(Photo: The Game Bocks)
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(Photo: The Game Bocks)

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