Exploring a Solo Variant for Disney Villainous with Hook
Enter a familiar movie world with a point-of-view twist on a solo journey with Captain Hook from Disney Villainous.
Back to the land of more traditional solo board games for me! The horror genre certainly has its merits, yet Cthulhu was getting to be a little much. When I discovered a simple solo variant for Disney Villainous, I knew just what to do. Maybe this theme isn’t truly related to Halloween, though some of these characters were quite scary back in the day!
The premise is to take on the role of a classic villain. With a unique and thematic deck, the story unfolds in a new way with the goal of thwarting the usual heroes. Quite a neat premise! Each villain plays differently, and the artwork steps up the experience. My husband and I enjoy playing together, but hurray for an unofficial solo mode!
Simple Rules and Dice
Although there are some other ways to play solo, this appealed to me for its simplicity. The challenge is to win within 20 rounds. In effect, it turns into a sort of puzzle.
Several rules exist, but mainly just to determine when fate cards should be drawn. Giant dice to the rescue!
It isn’t that I don’t think a true solo opponent wouldn’t work. This isn’t a particularly complex game, so adding on bookkeeping didn’t appeal to me… Today, at least. Ha!
Perhaps, I’ll try out some other solo variants. In any case, I was eager to get started as Captain Hook in Never Land!
A Finale at Sea
I never played Captain Hook before, so it took a little while to figure out the best tactics. There were little laughs as I recognized scenes and remembered the movie itself.
The trick was to find Peter Pan in the fate deck and move him along. Only trouble? Captain Hook didn’t exactly know where his secret hideout was to start with.
Things took a few problematic turns when it looked like there was no way for the captain to succeed.
With a little bit of pixie dust, Peter Pan showed up ready for anything. Captain Hook retreated just a few paces…
Waltzing Into a Party
Well, well! Turns out I was fully prepared for this turn. Victory! Captain Hook stood proudly aboard the Jolly Roger as he vanquished his nemesis. At last, he could rest.
Despite there being a lot of vanquishing and defeating, the game was far from violent. The appearance of a few swords and cutlasses seemed to be about it.
I had a lot of fun! Although more of a lightweight game, there were still plenty of strategic decisions to make.
In particular, cycling through the fate deck to find Peter Pan took some luck, as did locating the Never Land map!
The Basic Joy of Nostalgia and Memories
I originally ignored this series when it came out due to the lack of a solo mode. A friend had his own copy, so we played with that from time to time. It was a nice experience, yet the focus was on winning. Silly as it sounds, I love to relive the movie scenes when the pertinent cards come out! And that takes time, so I never had the opportunity to do so.
With this solo variant, I had the chance to look back and remember the movies. Peter Pan wasn’t at the top of my list of favorites, though I have fond memories of watching it. That nostalgia is what I love to experience with games like this. It just felt… Happy. Not exactly something I expected with my October game marathon, but I welcomed it!
Alright, I really went out on a limb with this StoryWorld card! I suppose Captain Hook might have some type of special attachment for cutting through paper. Maybe?
I loved his expression in the bottom left as he questioned my thought process. Or maybe he feared that snake. Ha ha!
This was a refreshing experience after being chased around by dungeon-dwelling monsters! Potentially not exactly a scary sort of game, though I loved the theme.
Not that I sympathize with villains, yet getting the other side of the story is an interesting idea in the Disney realm.
Play Number: 1-4
Solo Mode: Unofficial Solo Variant
Required Play Space: 24″ x 20″
Setup Time: Almost None
Play Time: 10-30 Minutes per Play
Outcome: 3 Wins and 1 Loss
By the time I finished, I felt like I mastered Captain Hook. Yet with 5 other villains in the base game plus the many expansions, this is something I could play a lot of! The play time definitely sped up as I got accustomed to the possible fate cards. It was a good day for Captain Hook!
Price & Value
Challenges & Mechanics
Design & Theme
Components & Rules
Achievement & Enjoyment
Distinctness & Randomness
+ Pros (Positives)
- Play time averages around 15-20 minutes after some experience with a villain, and it’s easy to play many times.
- The artwork is recognizable yet still unique in its own way so it feels like a slightly different take on an original.
- Each villain possesses unique strengths and weaknesses, and a lot of the fun comes from making it all work.
- Downtime is very limited with a roll of a die and a change in the round number before the next choices happen.
- The rulebook seems a little lengthy at first, yet it does an excellent job of explaining all of the concepts.
- High-quality components create a unique play area with different locations and unique villain decks to explore.
– Cons (Negatives)
- The card quality is a little underwhelming for a game that relies so heavily on card mechanics, though it works.
- A fair amount of luck is needed in terms of the cards and the rolls to determine when fate cards will come out.
- Long-term enjoyment may not be present for individual villains, as it takes a short time to master the strategies.
- Familiarity with the original movies isn’t required, yet some settings or villains may be less appealing to some.
Continue the Conversation
What do you think of Disney Villainous? Who is your favorite villain to play as? I have some more experience in a multiplayer environment, though this solo mode was a lot of fun! The constant threat of having a fate card played at the wrong time added a bit of tension and simulated an opponent in a simple way. I’ll definitely be playing more villains!