Ian K
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I am a fan of co-operative games more than competitive games and out of the three different groups of people I play with, two of them will nearly always play a co-operative game over a competitive game if given the choice. As such I have yet to have much of a chance to play A Touch Of Evil in competitive mode; I must have completed more than 50 co-operative plays but less than 3 competitive. As such, this review will be focusing purely on the co-operative side of the game. I shall leave discussion of the competitive aspects to those better placed to do so.
If you’re interested in this game because of its co-operative nature then this review is for you. If you’re interested in this game because of its competitive nature then this review is not what you’re looking for you. If you’re interested in this game because it can be played both competitively and co-operatively then this review addresses half of that.
Are we all clear on this?
Let me stress it one last time; this review looks purely at the co-operative gameplay mode of A Touch Of Evil.

Synopsis
A Touch Of Evil is set in America just after Independence and concerns a small (fictional) town of Shadowbrook which is being menaced by a supernatural Villain. The players work together to try and marshal the equipment needed to fight back, find the Villain and then kick him repeatedly until he stops twitching.
To that end, each player takes one pre-designed Hero, starts at the centre spot on the board, and takes it in turns to explore the locations, find weapons and allies, figure out which – if any – of the town’s VIPs is working with the villain, find the villain’s lair, and kill him.
Don’t worry if all this sounds too much because the game is, in fact, rather easy.

Gameplay
The ease of the game is in fact the biggest complaint I have about it. In a competitive game the difficulty comes primarily from the opposing players but in a co-operative game the only thing opposing you is the game itself. And as such, the game needs to have strong mechanics to allow for the fact that it is opposing several players instead of just providing a framework for the players to oppose each other – unfortunately, it doesn’t.
What it does have is a very well designed game which has obviously had a lot of time spent on it making it work very well indeed however the same can’t be said for the difficulty level. Most co-operative games allow for the fact that players will be of varying skill and that once a particular group of players have beaten the game a few times they will be looking for an increased challenge. The only difference this game can offer, though, is in the choice of Villain and none of them is strong enough to be able to handle co-operative gameplay. With the exception of the first game I ever played when I was still learning how to play, I beat every Villain the first time I went up against them. The challenge they present are minimal and the additional rules provided in the manual do not compensate enough for the changes in table dynamics from competitive to co-operative.
However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing per se. Not every game has to be a hideous challenge that ruthlessly punishes the players. So while A Touch Of Evil is not hard, it is fun.
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of actions the players can take but none of them is particularly complicated. Your turn consists of rolling a die to determine your movement points, fighting any minions you move onto, using the text or drawing a card for the location you stop moving on and that’s it. There are several other optional actions you can take and they are all quite simple; healing, buying items, searching for the Villain and investigating the aforementioned town VIPs are all governed by spending the game’s currency tokens – as long as you have the tokens, you can do whatever actions you want. It’s as simple as that.
Once every player has taken their actions, you draw an “Evil” card, roll on the Co-operative Game chart (the game’s main attempt to balance the game for co-operative), then start all over again.
So simple mechanics and a low difficulty but the game has been designed well to have high replayability with a strong variety in the various decks of cards, the Villain’s various effects on the game and the pre-designed Heroes themselves. It is the variety of these components of the game that is its greatest strength – it is rare that two games will play even vaguely similarly, let alone the same. Even the changing allegiances of the town VIPs will make you play differently.
You’ll still probably win though; you’ll just have played it differently.

Presentation
Like several of Flying Frog’s games, all the art for A Touch Of Evil is photographic rather than drawings. The Heroes are all played by models and friends of the designers in period clothing, the monsters are all make-up or possibly photo-realistic CGI, and this extends to all the pictures on the events and other cards, too. This singular approach to the look of the game gives it a very distinctive and appealing look and will definitely slow down the first few games as most players take the time to admire the cards.
But I’m sure that none of the players will take extra time to admire the female Heroes in their low-cut tops, definitely not.

Summary
In co-operative mode, A Touch Of Evil will not be a challenge. It won’t take you long to learn how to play and once you’ve done that you will win every game. All that remains at that point is the joy of the game and, as previously mentioned, this game does that very well.
A Touch Of Evil is a game for those who want a nice, relaxed gaming evening with a fun game but no real difficulty.

7 out of 10. Lots of fun but no great challenge.


Note 1: I have learned from bitter experience with this site that I need to stress that all reviews – including this one – are entirely matters of opinion. I am not claiming that anything I have said in this review is fact, it is all entirely my opinion and I am sure that many others have different opinions. If you wish to reply with yours, I welcome it. I enjoy discussion but will not respond kindly to aggressive replies.
Note 2: The difficulty of A Touch Of Evil changes a lot with the expansions. Further Villains are brought out and a new more difficult co-op chart is provided for use. And of course, you can always make house rules to alter the difficulty as you like. However this review looks purely at the base game with all the components in the box and nothing else. I feel to do differently would be unfair on readers of the review who don’t know the game.
Note 3: This review only looks at the co-operative side of this game! Maybe the competitive side is completely different; I bow to the judgement of those more experienced with that part of the game to tell us.

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Caleb
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Quote:
This singular approach to the look of the game gives it a very distinctive and appealing appalling look and will definitely slow down the first few games as most players take the time to admire the cards


ftfy

I played a 7-player game of this once, and it was categorically the worst gaming experience I ever had. I will never, ever play this or any other product by this company again, as long as I live.

But, and I say this sincerely, I'm glad you like it - there's room for all types of games in the world, evidently.
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Trent Garner
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cannoneer wrote:
Quote:
This singular approach to the look of the game gives it a very distinctive and appealing appalling look and will definitely slow down the first few games as most players take the time to admire the cards


ftfy

I played a 7-player game of this once, and it was categorically the worst gaming experience I ever had. I will never, ever play this or any other product by this company again, as long as I live.

But, and I say this sincerely, I'm glad you like it - there's room for all types of games in the world, evidently.


I have to agree with cannoneer, this is probably the least fun boardgaming experience I can recall in recent memory. The game did not flow well at all. It just seemed like most of what I tried to do accomplished nothing of any significance, whatsoever. My gaming group had pertty much the same overall reaction. We gave it several tries, but each time was less fun than the last.

I'm glad I did not buy this one for my collection. Even so, I must say the review is well written, and I too am glad the OP enjoys the game.
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Ian K
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Cantatta wrote:
this is probably the least fun boardgaming experience I can recall in recent memory


Check out this other review of mine. ;-)
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/771243/1-out-of-10-the-worst...
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Fred Cromer
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devil

Very interesting. Thank the gaming GODS that there are others who truly love this game. Jason has done a fantastic job with this game and the expansions. Its all about theme baby. If you love Sleepy Hollow and Johnny Depp the ATOE is for you. ATOE is a fantastic game when played with the right attitude and understanding of the game mechanics. The advanced rules really make this a great game.

Freebird out
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Ian Allen
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I enjoy ATOE but Arkham Horror usually gets played instead. More universally liked by the group I guess.
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Andrea
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Freebird1956 wrote:
devil

Very interesting. Thank the gaming GODS that there are others who truly love this game. Jason has done a fantastic job with this game and the expansions. Its all about theme baby. If you love Sleepy Hollow and Johnny Depp the ATOE is for you. ATOE is a fantastic game when played with the right attitude and understanding of the game mechanics. The advanced rules really make this a great game.

Freebird out


I agree 100%. This is a very enjoyable game if you take the time to understand how it works.
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Tristan Hall
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Great review of a fantastic game. thumbsup
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Captain Falcon
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Thanks for your review, I enjoy the game and picked it up today.
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Jason
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this is a great game. fun times. picked it up and the expansions at gencon this year.
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Thomas
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Are you using the advanced mystery chart or the basic one because we rarely win with and and the game kicks our butt.
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Steve Shockley
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I just finished my first co-op game. 2 players vs. the werewolf.

It's possible we played badly, but it seemed pretty tough to us. Between a nasty mystery card that moved the track every mystery phase and the track flying towards doom due to town elders getting wasted, we ended up losing without even starting up the showdown. Even if we had that opportunity I think we'd have gotten our 18th century asses handed to us, as the werewolf had 15 hit points and would've thrown 11 dice in combat (hitting on 4+ to boot!) I am looking forward to trying the game again though, as I'm sure we'll optimize our turns better next time. Is the werewolf one of the tougher villains? I suppose I'm just surprised so many folks find the game easy.
 
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