Villainous game was created by Cellar Door Games and released in June 2011. It is a point and click-based strategy game that actually allows you to be on the other side of a tower defense game for once. In Villainous, instead of building towers to kill evil armies, you control the evil armies instead as you guide them through a maze of towers. The game promises to be very enjoyable thanks to this quirky and clever way of playing around with the tower defense genre. Here are some of the main features of this new game:
A nice storyline always goes well with a quirky game, and Villainous' storyline doesn't disappoint in that respect. You're a wizard who wants to establish his control over the land, and what better way to do that than to use your army to lay siege to and raid all the towns and villages in the land? Sadly though, you don't have an army yet. But raiding villages gets you Infamy, and there's nothing better than Infamy to draw all the evil creatures towards you and hence build an army. You start off on a map (which is shaped and designed much like Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings) and raid a couple of villages with nothing but arrow towers before you move on to the big guns like bogs and crater towers and so on.
As mentioned above, you play Villainous game as the person who has to guide his evil armies through a maze with towers alongside instead of building a maze to prevent those same armies from going through. You might think that that makes the game easier, but thankfully it doesn't because there are a number of restrictions placed on the type and quantity of forces that you can send through and the towers always seem to be stronger than anything you might have built in any tower defense game prior to this.
You have six different kinds of forces that you can send out, but only one of them can raid a village: the Goblins. They are also the weakest units that you possess, which means that they need to be protected or you'll never get your raiding done. To do this, you have everything from a Mammoth Turtle, which draws fire away from the other units, to Healers, which heal every member of your army within the radius of its aura and units in between like Elementals, which generate magic as they move and the Cleanse Warlock, which removes bogs from your path. The towers that have been set up are mostly the typical towers that you expect from any tower defense game. The most prominent of these are the arrow, cannon and crater towers which fire arrows, shoot artillery and cause area damage respectively. Bog towers and the Cleanse Warlock go together because while the Bog Tower releases a poisonous gas that slowly saps the health of your army; however, anyone within the radius of the Cleanse Warlock's aura stays perfectly fine. You take control of an area when you gain a bronze medal or, in other words, raid the town at least the minimum times that you needed to. A Goblin reaching one town is considered a raid.
You gain a gold medal and a hell of a lot of Infamy if you manage to reach the Gold medal raid targets, but they are usually really tough.
You also gain Infamy by putting your cursor over one of the gold globs that appear on the ground when any one of your army dies. There's also similarly situated globs of mana which you can use to add to your mana levels. Mana in this game can be used to cast a variety of spells. You start off with the Stun Spell, which stops a tower from using its attack for an entire wave and can then add a couple more spells like the Healing Spell to that to help your armies out. Buying and unlocking all of these upgrades is where Infamy comes in. You use your Infamy to buy spells and upgrades for your units (and unlock some new units too) and each time you buy an upgrade a part of your castle gets upgraded (because after all every dark wizard needs an intimidating monument to suppress his folk and "rule"). The game allows for resource farming, so even if you fail to lay siege to a town the Infamy that you gain from that level will still be there so that you can upgrade further. Plus, each time you use a spell its value rises, so you need to think carefully each time you use a spell.
As was noted above, there are some restrictions that makes this game really challenging. Firstly, you can only send a limited number of enemies and each type you select consists of only one of those types. You begin with a unit cap of 1 unit, which means you can only send one of your army. You can use Infamy to raise this limit to 12, but that's as high as it goes. Each time one of your army reaches the village, they get added to the queue as part of a new wave. Going for the next wave is harder though, because towers cause 15% more damage to the units on the second wave. That rises to 30% for the third wave and so on. And no, the units do not get healed when they are released as part of a new wave.
Despite the above restrictions, Villainous game isn't very complicated. It is heavily routed in strategy though, and you will need to work on developing one for each new town as you go through the game. There is yet another way though, although it requires a lot more grinding and is considerably less fun. Basically, just spend a lot of time on the earlier levels farming Infamy and raising the cap on the number of units that you start with in the first wave. Then, use the following order of units: Turtle, Golem, Healer, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Healer, Golem, Turtle for every level, and you should be able to go to wave 10 on most of them.
The strategy quotient of this game is absolutely immense (provided you choose not to go with the above strategy). You will have to think deep and hard about every level and how to get through it and maybe even have some failed tries before you do actually get through it. And then you have to work out how to get to the elusive gold medals next. There isn't a lot of variety in terms of the towers you have to face or the choice of units that you have at your disposal, but the number of levels and the sheer involvement of strategy more than make up for any issues due to that. I must confess though, being an evil wizard in a game can give you a thrill that being good can never hope to match, so the game gets full points for taking on that angle as well.
Graphics and Audio
The graphics for Villainous game are quite good as well. The textures seem to be pretty basic, especially for the grass and the paths, but otherwise both your units as well as the towers seem to be really well detailed and distinguished from the background, and while you're thinking hard about the game you won't most likely notice the graphics that much. They could certainly use a bit of streamlining and polish though, but it's not a major issue. The Sauron's Eye logo in the top right of the screen that follows your cursor as you move it across the map is one aspect that I particularly enjoyed. It's a small thing, but it's the little details like that that make this game so pleasing.
The audio goes quite well with the theme of the game and will really get your battle fever on if you play the game for any length of time. That said, I would have preferred something that was slightly more ominous and evil-sounding and less of the chivalrous kind that the game currently has. For a game with such serious attention to detail you would have hoped that the developers got this one spot on, but they seem to be ever so slightly off. Again, it's just a minor issue based on a personal opinion, so it just depends on your taste and whether you like an "Evil Overload" as much as some other people might.
Villainous should probably come with a disclaimer letting people know that they'll need some heavy brain work to get through this game and end up being the ultimate Master of Evil. However, the brain work is definitely strategic in nature and there's no confusion anywhere (mostly because of the excellent tutorial), so as long as you like using your brain a bit you'll love this unique take on tower defense games.
Villainois - Collectibles: The Throne Room
The throne room view allows you to check how many rewards you have earned in the game –and there are several to earn. Villainous’ developers have also been nice enough to place information in the throne room itself regarding the requirements for unlocking these awards. But if you need a few tips on how to actually achieve the tasks that have been brought before you, we made a quick guide for each.
Curtains – are located behind the throne, and are unlocked by opening all available upgrade flags in the castle view. To get this done, simply invest infamy in the various flags that appear. Most flags will open other flags, so buy them in an outward direction starting from the center. There are 36 flags all in all, so unlocking them should not take much time.
Wall Displays – on the left and right sides of the wall behind the throne. Unlocked when you have earned a cumulative total of 10,000 infamy (you can spend any infamy you earn, you simply need to earn 10,000). To get this, simply keep playing. Depending on whether or not you farm stages (and we suggest that you do), you will earn the wall displays a little earlier than others.
Pedestal – this is the platform that the throne and the torches are standing on. To open this up, simply earn a gold rank in any stage. Now this is very easy, as getting a gold rank in the first two stages is actually quite a breeze right from the start. Chances are, by the time you get at least halfway through the game, you will already have several gold ranked stages (these are identifiable by the yellow color of their lands, green colored lands are bronze ranked and purple lands have yet to be conquered).
Throne – the throne itself unlocks when you have finished all stages in any rank. This is actually pretty simple, and since your main goal is to finish the game, getting this award is a no-brainer.
Torches – left and right side of the throne, on the pedestal. These appear when you send in a wave that has a Goblin Raider, a Healing Priest, a Mammoth Turtle, a Cleanse Warlock, a Shield Golem and an Elemental. Naturally, you will need to have unlocked all the flags for these units and have purchased enough summon upgrades to boost your troop size to at least six.
Gold Pile – appears on the right side of the throne room. To unlock these, you must find one of the two hidden rooms (the Cellar Door or the Kongregate Room) –this means that you must first open the upgrade flags for the Elemental and the Cleanse Warlock, just keep opening the flags towards the lower left and right sides of the castle view and you will find them.
Carpet – this is in the very center walkway of the throne room. Unlocking the carpet will require you to get all the upgrades available in the game. This will take a while to earn since there are plenty of upgrades to buy, but once you get this, then the most elusive one is only a short, but difficult stage away.
Left Pillar Trophy – this is mounted on the back pillar on the left. This timepiece will appear after you have played the game for at least one hour so just keep playing and it will appear on its own.
Right Pillar Trophy – this is mounted on the back pillar on the right. The scroll will appear on this pillar after you finish map 20 with either a bronze or gold rank. Basically, this trophy and the throne will appear at the same time.
Dial – found on the left side of the throne room. This is the last and most difficult throne room unlockable; to earn it, you must get the gold rank in all the stages. This is a lot more difficult than it seems, but with a good balance of troops and support spells this is actually quite doable.
There are several enemy towers that defend the towns you are targeting. In order to successfully raid a village, you must not only know your troops and your own abilities, but you must also know the dangers that await your army. Here is a quick overview of the different towers that you will need to deal with.
Archer Tower – this is the most basic tower in the game. They are easily identified by their large yellow straw roofs and have the ability to fire arrows at your troops. Archer towers are the least of your worries in terms of overall damage, but that does not mean that you can ignore them completely. Those arrows may not mean much for the first few waves, but as the damage rates go up, these arrows can prove to be very damaging. In terms of attack speed, an archer tower is moderately fast. This means that when there is a cluster of them in a single bend in the path, your troops will in for a load of hurt. Be sure to make use of the quake spell to keep archer towers at bay.
Rapid Tower – these are archer towers with auto-fire arrows. In terms of medieval technology, these towers appear to be armed with rapid-fire bolts. But that is not your real concern. As the most vile wizard in the world, your concern is that these towers are able to shoot out 5 bolts in a single second. Sure, the bolts are significantly weaker than a single arrow, but cumulatively, the damage that the attacks deal is far deadlier. Also, most rapid towers are located in corners and major turns –which means that they have been optimized for dealing massive amounts of damage. You can easily recognize rapid towers thanks to their wooden constructs.
Cannon Tower – these are the big and slow-attacking towers. With that said, slow is simply a matter of comparison to the archer towers, in the actual gameplay cannon towers still shoot a little more often than any self-respecting goblin would want. The ammunition used by cannon towers are giant gray cannon balls that explode upon impact. This means that despite the slightly slower attack speed, the cannon tower is able to affect multiple targets with a single shot. In a u-turn where your troops are passing each other, this splash damage effect can prove to be very dangerous. Depending on the map (particularly in the earlier ones), it is advisable to use your stun spell for these towers. To spot a cannon tower, simply look for a large gray, dome-like structure with a cannon on top.
Bog Tower – these are extremely dangerous towers, spewing out a deadly and poisonous bog into the air, a single bog tower in a map is more than enough to bring down even the most well upgraded army. You can easily spot a bog tower because of the smoke effects it has on top. Anyway, the bog emitted acts like a poison that continuously reduces the health of your troops by a set percentage. This damage grows stronger with each successive wave. While the quake spell will affect a bog tower, it is most recommended that players stick to using the stun spell to render this defense tower out of order.
Crater Tower – while the crater tower lacks range, its attack ability is something that makes it truly scary for any invading troops: an area of effect attack that affects the entire area surrounding the tower itself. And as one would expect, maps that employ the crate tower always place this structure in a part of the path where your troops will have to practically circle the darn thing –which means that they will keep taking damage for the entire time. Much like the bog tower, crater towers are also a priority for your stun spell, but they come in second. To see if a crater tower is waiting for you on the stage, look at the thumbnail for a large red tower.
Holy Tower – this is a seemingly simple tower, but it is dangerous, and if you can afford to do so, stun or quake these when you are at your fourth and further stages. The reason for fearing these “holy towers” is the way it calculates damage. Instead of a set amount that increases slowly each wave, the Holy Tower takes out a huge percentage of your troop’s hit points –and that starting value comes out at 10%. This means that in the first wave, a unit hit by a holy attack five times is immediately brought down to half their HP –which is never a good thing for your shield golems and mammoth turtles. The good thing here, is that cleanse warlocks will prevent the effects of holy towers just like bog towers. To spot a Holy Tower easily, simply look for those large white towers that seem like two round pods on top of each other.
Atomic Tower – ah, the most dangerous one of them all, this is the mother of all towers in the game. Well, if the “atomic” in the name did not tip you off, here is the more applicable name for this tower: missile turret. Yep, despite Villainous being set in a medieval setting, that did not stop the developers from coming out with an end all tower that fires a super long range, high attack, splash damage and homing missile at your troops. The base damage this tower starts out with is a massive 100 points. That may be a little lower than a holy tower’s attack on a mammoth turtle, but considering that this has splash damage, consider the rest of your troops to be in major trouble. Stun and quake these towers as much as you can especially when you are already three waves deep into the stage. If you have trouble identifying these towers, simply look around the map for a tall blue structure that looks similar to the crater tower.
Gold Rank Tips
Beating a stage in Villainous means being able to send in enough goblin raiders to earn a bronze ranking; this number varies from stage to stage an it can be seen by highlighting the stage on the map view and on right tool panel of the battle screen. While getting bronze in all the 20 stages is more than enough to “finish” the game, what really counts is the gold rating bonus.
Getting a gold rating is always a matter of being able to send in more goblin raiders than what is needed for bronze –this number can be anywhere from a little to double the bronze requirement. And with each successive wave increasing the stats of the defense towers, earning a gold ranking is certainly a difficult task. Naturally, completionists will want to earn this special rank for every stage so we have compile a short list of useful tips and tactics for getting that elusive rating.
Farm and upgrade – now this is a no brainer tip. Considering that you will need your troops to be at tip top shape, then you will most certainly want to use your infamy wisely. Stick to the units and abilities that you actually use in battle and leave the higher end spell upgrades for the last part. Use your infamy to get the Carnival upgrade and also for maxing out the number of troops you can send. If you have to, stick to the second stage (concentrate your stun spell on the lower central tower and the one on the middle right), and try to save up a good deal of infamy. The raid upgrades are also worth investing in at the start of the game.
Spells take time, leave them for last– as we mentioned, those powerful spells are best saved for last. This is because of the cost of Spell Mastery, increasing MP regeneration, fully upgrading elementals and increasing your mana pool capacity. You will not get to do any of these early in the game, and investing in these too early will mean sacrificing crucial infamy points that you could have allocated to more critical upgrades such as increasing troop HP and abilities.
Your first party – should be composed of a variety of troops. Have healers, shield golems and at least one turtle in the group (we often have two turtles). Fill in the gaps with goblins and make sure that the shield and heal auras are fully maximized for effectivity (keep the casters in the center of the group. Once you have maxed out to twelve slots for your army, you can create two groups of six, with the second six units mimicking the setup for the first half. This setup should be good for handling most maps, though do be careful of maps that utilize the bog and holy towers, in those maps, you should make sure to add cleansing warlocks in the mix. Do not expect to earn the gold rating so easily at this point. The key here is to keep beating stages to keep making infamy points and unlocking more upgrade flags –once you get the rainbow and several other upgrades, things will start getting easier.
Nearing the end – as you get further into the game, you will find that you will have enough infamy to fully upgrade all your spell related abilities (MP capacity and regeneration increase, lowered casting costs, upgraded spell radius and effectiveness), and also, fully max out your elemental as well (generate 10 mana per second and full HP capacity). Also, by this point, your goblins should have already been maxed out (getting full ALL HP + is also crucial). And the only things you should be saving for at this point is the Wave Mastery (leave MP+ and Mag Rad + behind and only get those once you have bought everything else).
The gold rank party – the fastest and easiest way to get the gold rank is to create a huge army of goblins accompanied by a few elementals and maybe a healer or two (and that is a stage-specific maybe). The concept of this team is simple: make as much raid points as you can before the towers start getting nasty with their damage ratings. To keep your troops alive for the first couple of waves, you will need to have fully upgraded the HP of the goblins and the elementals (and as we mentioned above, maxed the ALL HP + ability). Also, use your spells for healing any major damage that your troops take and use the quake spell for stunning large groups of towers at a time. Reserve your stun spell for the third and successive waves (and also for bog towers, even during the first wave). If you have maxed out the lowered casting cost ability, all spells start out at the 200 MP range. And with your basic MP regen stats plus the effect of having elementals, you should be generating more than enough MP to keep casting any of your spells one after the other. With this group, you should be able to make enough successful raids to earn a gold rank well within 4 to 6 waves; this also means keeping enemy tower damage upgrades down to a minimum, which in turn, ensures that your army lives a whole lot longer.Article by Alfred Lee