Justice League: Axis of Villains is a game by Forrest-Pruzan Creative, published by Wonder Forge. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will be working together to defend the Watchtower from villains of every shape and size. The players will have to capture every one before they invade the satellite and destroy it thus losing the game.
To begin, each player chooses a hero and places the character marker in the center of the board. They also take the corresponding Hero pad. The satellite tiles are put together to form the satellite and all the cards are shuffled. Each player will receive 2 power cards. You will take only the villains that correspond to the heroes being played. The rest will go back in the box and not be used. 8 of the correct villain tiles will be randomly chosen and placed one in each of the outermost spaces on the board. The game can now begin.
The first player will roll both dice, the control die and the number die. The control die will determine if villains are moved 1 space, 2 spaces or extra villains are added to the board. It also allows the heroes to move. When a JL symbol is rolled, the heroes can move up to the amount shown on the number die. They can also play power cards that can help them move, team up with other heroes or give bonus rolls to combat.
The final thing the hero can do is combat. If a hero is on the same space as 1 or more of the villains, they may attack 1 of those villains. If another hero is also present they may combine their attack. During combat, the player looks at the villain they want to attack and checks it against their hero pad. The pad tells the player how many times they get to roll against a villain of that color. Power card can be used to alter the rolls. If the die roll(s) is higher, the villain is captured and removed from the board. A tie does nothing and rolling less returns the hero to the center of the board.
Each hero has special abilities that they are able to use throughout the course of the game. These abilities are able to be used when the appropriate power card is played. Another special thing is the hot spots that are located on the board. When a villain stops on one of these special spots, a villain cards is flipped over and resolved before play can continue. If a villain ever reaches the middle of the board, they damage the satellite. When all 4 of the satellite tiles are flipped over, the Watchtower is destroyed and the game is over. If however, all the villains are captured from the game board, the Heroes win. Simple.
There are lots of really nice bits with this game. The character pieces, villain tiles, Watchtower tiles and hero pads are really nice and have great comic book style artwork. All of these are really thick and sturdy cardboard that will stand up to lots of use. The board is really bright and colorful and really gives a sense of danger with the traffic light style coloring. The power cards are very nicely done and are small enough for small hands to use but not so small that us adults can’t enjoy using them as well. The dice are a really nice touch and fun to roll. All in all, very nice components.
9 out of 10
The rulebook is very well put together. It’s simple enough for younger readers to understand. There are lots of pictures and examples of how to play the game. Everything is explained perfectly. I had no problems with any of the rules. The book is colorful and is nice to look at.
9 out of 10
This game bears a lot of similarities to Castle Panic and Dead Panic but with a DC comics theme. It’s really neatly designed to get kids interested in it, as well as comic geeks like myself. It’s really fun to play and works well as a beginning co-op game. The learning curve is very low and can be played by pretty much anyone. I love the special hot spots that can really change the game dramatically. One moment it looks like you might win and the next you could be on the verge of being overwhelmed. The special powers are very thematic and it feels like you are actually the hero that you’re playing. Knowing when to use those powers can mean the difference in winning and losing. All in all, this game is a lot of fun and one that I’m sure will get lots of game time at our house.
9 out of 10
Justice League Axis of Villains is a light to medium weight co-operative game of dice rolling and grid movement. It’s lots of fun to play and those kids that like comics and super heroes will LOVE this. It plays well with adults as well as kids. At no time did i feel bored playing this one as I do many of the kid’s games that I play. If you’re looking for a game to ease the kids into something bigger like Pandemic or Robinson Crusoe, this just might be the logical first step for them. I highly recommend this one.
9 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Wonder Forge at their site.