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Rating: 4.7/5 (288 votes)
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DoraVillainousFeeling a little downtrodden? Forces of Goodness and Justice got you down? Then let Cellar Door Games give you a little push towards the dark side with their new strategy/ne'er-do-well simulator Villainous, that puts you in control of a growing army of evil forces that are out to ruin someone's day. Your rise to power might be a rocky one, and you might have to endure a little taunting from the Forces of Light in the beginning, but it's like my Grandma always says... all work and hellish behemoths makes a smoldering crater where a smug kingdom used to be!

Just think of playing Villainous as being on the other side of the table in a tower defense game. Instead of placing little turrets that spit projectiles at incoming baddies, it's your job to summon in hordes of evil beasties that will swarm along the path in each level to raid the village at the end in order to earn sweet, sweet infamy (cash!). Villainous is mouse driven, so you'll be doing a lot of clicking; first, you'll choose what troops you want to summon from your available creatures from the right side of the screen, and click them in the order you'd like them to appear. This is important, since only goblins can actually raid a village, but they're fairly weak and tend to need some muscle to get them past your enemy's defenses. Send a Mammoth Turtle out in front of them to soak some damage, for example, and they just may make it to the hapless villagers. As time passes, you'll also amass mana that can be spent on various spells with the click of a button.

Your goal is ultimately to survive as many waves as possible, which is easier said than done since things get more difficult the longer a particular stage goes on; each wave increases the damage towers deal to your units, which makes it even more important to be careful who you send, and in what order. Fortunately, even if a minion is blown to smithereens, their death isn't in vain; use your mouse to snag the coins and infamy they drop to be spent on various upgrades between stages. Not only will you be able to make weak units stronger, but you can also buy spells that will help your units on the battlefield, and even sway more powerful creatures to come to your aid. Turns out even giant monsters turtles are all about the Hamiltons. Of course, don't think your foes aren't going to be making some improvements of their own as time goes by either...

VillainousAnalysis: The presentation here is absolutely fantastic, largely due to a lot of little touches that really seal the whole package, like the Eye of Sauronish that follows your mouse movements on the battlefield. It's an incredibly detailed little game, which each unit and tower looking and sounding distinct. Trust me, that's a big one, and helps keep the game from feeling repetitive; a sinkhole other games in the genre don't always avoid. Besides, you've gotta admit; that soundtrack is great. Don't you feel like sieging something right now? Hold on, let me get my smartphone, and then I can submit a video of it after to Web Soup... no, no, it's cool, I'm sure you'll do great, I bet you're awesome at sieging! (Man, we are gonna be so famous... )

The spin on the tower defense genre is a clever one, and Villainous neatly sidesteps the confusion this might generate by including one of the best tutorials I've seen implemented in a flash game in a long time, eschewing the wall of text or typical "instructions" screen for some concise windows during gameplay that take you through the motions without bombarding you with information. (Seriously, developers; more helpful tutorials like this. Seriously.) But while Villainous will take some getting used to, it is entirely worth the effort. While it lacks the satisfaction one gets from really eradicating your foes off the map, it's an all around great strategy title whose increasing difficulty and varied units really requires you to think before you ultimately send your devoted followers to an untimely death. (What?! It was in the contract!... in the fine, fine, fine print... )

With a whole pack of upgrades and medals to earn, Villainous will keep you busy for quite some time if it manages to get its claws into you. Despite not having a tremendously large rogue's gallery of monsters to choose from, the upgrades, spells, and positioning manages to pull off a remarkable amount of strategic potential that can provide a challenge to veterans with a hankering for high scores, while still remaining accessible to Lords of Darkness who are just getting their training wheels. If you've ever thought you had what it takes to lead an army of monstrosities, now's your chance to prove it, and make a name and a fortune for yourself in the process.

Play Villainous


Aknaton June 30, 2011 1:19 AM

Nice game, but I don't quite get it. One can accumulate various non-raiding (i.e. to some extent useless) beasties, but their areas of effect are so low that it barely seems worth it. My simple strategy:

Basically, it seems like one should have turtle, raiders, turtle. Maybe an extra turtle at each end after a while.

Aknaton June 30, 2011 2:04 AM

About tortoises:

You must get the healing priests, and increase healer hit points, to increase tortoise hit points.

Aknaton June 30, 2011 4:29 AM

I've gotten bronze (not gold) on all levels now, through a slight modification of the above:

Tortoise, raider, healer, raider,
raider, healer, raider, raider,
healer, raider, raider, tortoise.

I went for maxing out the number of minions first, throwing the occasional bone to the healing side of things. The healing spell seems so weak as to not be worth it. Quake's not much good either, compared to Stun.

The main hotkeys are 1,2,3 for the spells. It would be nice to be able to cast a spell before the wave begins (once one has unlocked the mana to do so), insofar as there seems to be no pause button.

Casualty June 30, 2011 9:31 AM

My strategy is


Works really well.

Anonymous June 30, 2011 2:13 PM

You can actually cast spells before the wave. When the text for the next wave shows up, there's a few sec delay before your guys come and the next wave started to get your stuns in.

Though stun is the most powerful, as costs increase per cast, using heals and quake to substitute for it will help in the long run. Quake is also good in the later levels where there are 2-3 towers grouped together + against fast towers with their tiny range (you really just have to get the first guy across if you have a healer).

Casualty's format is similar to what I use to (tghrrrrrrhgt) and its good enough that with most of the hp upgrades you can win half the game on auto.

Bog right now ignores mage 3/4 of the time. It's better to just use a healer to reduce the effect until you can stun it (and you should).
You actually use mage for something: it can nullify holy tower's attack who otherwise is really strong against your turtles. Though without reading, you probably won't realize that.
Infamy orbs should just be autocollected after the round ends. Or just have a end game button and don't end rounds auto- there's not much infamy to be gained just through raiding oddly enough (they should raise infamy gain every wave just like tower damage) and on the earlier levels it can take a long while for the towers to kill your guys (and you don't get bronze/gold until they die).
If you didn't notice, the player is the same as the black wizard in "you have 1 day". Bunch of things in the throne room indicate that.
What's with the coconuts? Some injoke I don't get?


Mind == blown

amazing game


Just finished getting a gold medal on every level, excellent game. While I'll admit a good 50% of my play time was being addicted, and aware of it, the game was still fun the other 50% of the time. There were a few minor issues with muting sounds (should be able to press m), no pause, and a few other minor ones. Overall, one of the best flash games I've seen yet, extremely polished, addictive, and fun.

Anonymous July 1, 2011 3:44 AM

for those that used their own strategies earlier, youll find as you progess through the game that if you dont use the turtles anymore, switch around the formation and substitute in golems in their place, it works MUCH better my current scheme is this(i have rainbow and circus, and fully upgraded healer and raider) A team of 8 goblins, 2 healers, 2 shieldgolems (2g,s,h,4g,s,h,2g)im sure you can figure out the letters, can raze everything.

staramalpa July 1, 2011 7:15 AM

My strategy for all gold: raibow, heal auras,golem shield and:
2xgoblin,golem,healer,4xgoblin,golem, healer,2xgoblin


One flaw in the game, I think, is the gradually revealed skill tree. I almost quit when I had bronze on 16/20 levels and it looked like the rest would be grindy and/or super hard. On a whim, I put a skill point into a skill I had no intention of using (Elemental HP) and, boom, I realized that there was tons more to unlock.

It might be better to have the entire tree visible but grayed out at first, or at least to have each skill tooltip indicate the number of new skills it will reveal.

LuckyDee July 3, 2011 3:32 PM


I jammed this one among my favourites a couple of days ago thinking "neh this might be worth playing once or twice", and when I finally get down to it, I'm baffled by its brilliance. The concept is sublime in its simplicity, and the way it's put into practice leaves little to be desired on all fronts.

Tower defense has been forever ruined for me, and I'm loving every second of it. Yay!


So, what's the right name for this (currently) mini-genre? I've heard "tower attack", but "tower offense" is definitely better, though not perfectly descriptive of the gameplay. "Creep offense" is the polar opposite of "tower defense", but isn't as punchy...


Oh, and about the game: extremely well thought-out and balanced; your immediate goals always seem within reach, just a tactical approach or an upgrade away. Even the skill tree shows great balance, with unlocks and rising cost moving apace with your progress. Appealing, easy-to-discern character/tower design and flavor art, and of course ho-ha-hah cackling-evil aesthetics usually can't miss. The interface does need work, though; this game really needs proper ffwd/pause buttons, the tooltips really need to be always available, and perhaps worst of all, the spell buttons need to be color coded. But really, those are just nitpicks on a really strong, deep, addictive, and smart game, and whatever you call the genre, it is now the gold standard.

LouBord July 5, 2011 2:27 AM

GOT DANG! That was easy! Struggling with level 30 til I read your tip



it lacks the satisfaction one gets from really eradicating your foes off the map

That kind of killed it for me, I'm afraid.

HowardTheDuck July 8, 2011 10:26 AM

I'm baffled by all the comments about the lack of pause and fast-forward buttons... clicking the menu button pauses the game... and clicking the fast-forward button increases your speed... so I'm not sure what the problem is. I guess maybe it's easier to take the time to comment than it is to take the time to understand what's available?

Great game, by the way. I've been playing it at work for a few days now. Just 3 gold stars away from completion.

Matthew July 9, 2011 7:00 AM

The achievement for beating level 20 refers to 'your most powerful spell, the Spirit Swap.' Has anyone found this spell and used it?

Deus123 July 9, 2011 7:16 PM

I have gold on all of em and max everything (max everything was little harder - grinded for 10 mins) my set up. Turtle, shield,goblin,medic,gob,gob,gob,gob,gob,gob,medic,gob (you need radius of 3 for aura and prefferably inclusive) this set up works for all - use stun on smog things and use stun quake and heal to maximse ure efficency - i dint use magic peeps or anti smog peeps as not worth it - trust

Chunk Daddy July 10, 2011 2:45 PM

What works very well for me is

turtle, golem, healer, goblin, goblin....

Fill with goblins after this. Drop in a healer in between to make sure all units are covered

Make sure you have enough summons so that you can summon enough goblins to get gold in 4 waves. It's almost impossible to survive the 5th wave.

The turtle+golem+healer combo is powerful. The turtle takes most of the damage, and the combination of golem and healer on it ensures that the turtle can survive atleast 4 waves


My Combination is Turtle, Golem, Healer, 6xGoblin, Healer, Golem, Turtle

Turtles at beginning and end take all damage, Golem reduces the Damage and The healer heals them(rly? O.o).

Use Stuns at beginning on mostly Bog Towers and holy Towers, heal from time to time and you can do all Levels with Gold easily..

@Chunk Daddy: I made it till wave 14 with my combo ;)

Lucidreality July 12, 2011 3:50 AM

I use the same as JIguest and staramalpa but with an elemental on the end instead of a raider. Then use one stun in the first round and 2 every round after, on the towers that do the most damage each round. Throw in heals on corners when you need them but obviously only when you need them.



Thanks for the tip worked great for me after stuck missing 2 gold levels. I'll share my loot with you... not :-)

Anonymous July 18, 2011 8:26 PM

ha, 113 raiders into 1 city (#2), i think that the city should be a little more than "razed" also, shouldn't there be an achievement for getting 100 raiders in or something? Anyway...5 out of 5 really addicting :)...one more thing. Level 13 is way easier than level 12 which really pissed me off >:(... give yourself a pat on the back if you played villainous on Kongregate. And if you do the levels in order than level 18 is revealled before level 17..? and another thing the quote under the kingdom of bacon says "hope you like coconuts"..? another thing, why is level 19 so freiken easy when 16, 17 and 18 are really hard >:( even level 20 is easier than them.


my strategy was to go through and keep trying every level until i got gold, all the while collecting the various upgrades. i have 4 areas left, and i have all the upgrades.

all you have to do for the first 17 levels is send all goblins, btw, as long as you upgrade your unit count, and goblin health sufficiently

Deathmark August 2, 2011 11:02 PM

Best game I have played in a long time. A lot of people here say that the quake and heal spell are useless. I disagree. At first it doesn't seem like much but when fully upgraded both towers are more useful than the stun spell. Because of these spells I have gotten gold on all levels and even have surpassed 100 raids on several different towns.

Volttikoira August 3, 2011 4:34 AM

So, does getting the Spirit Swap achievement do anything? It kind of implies you get to use some awesome spell, but I'm not seeing anything.


how does a throne look like? i am curious.


The Spirit Swap is a reference to another game, as is the Dragon Water you earn once you beat every level on gold. If you do happen to beat every level on gold, you will notice that you can click on the Dragon Water, and in doing so, it takes you to the game it references to, "I Have 1 Day", in which you are transformed by an evil wizard and need to turn back into your real self, another game which is fun, though hard to beat without help.


And by the way, my method to get gold on level 17 and 20 (the last two I had left) was to use 5 goblins, 2 elementals, then another 5 goblins. Take out the most dangerous tower with the stun spell, then use quake and heal whenever necessary on the remaining towers. I only did this on level 17 and 20, though I suspect it would work great on the rest of the levels. Just be sure to have your elemental's aura power up, and have your mana cap up as well. I had already bought everything before I did this, so it was made easier. Good luck, all.


If you get all the achievements there is a little "modification" to the title screen.


The starting tutorial for the game was one of the best I've ever seen.

Anonymous October 12, 2011 5:41 AM

I hate how you have enormous turtles and giant golems, but only the tiny little goblins can pillage. Really stinks when your goblins die off and all that's left is junk units.


God, dude, I know, it's like they expect you to strategize in order to avoid that very outcome. Life is harrrrrd.

Mr T (no relation) February 3, 2012 11:32 AM

I liked this game, being a TD fan myself. This was fun, playable, easy to learn and cute.

However, I soon found that some units are quite unnecessary, and I would have liked it better if the levels were designed in a way that would make you use the different units more, after playing a few levels I realised that the same strategy basically worked on every level, and if you upgrade in the right order you could actually play through all the levels without loosing once. You kind of loose the point of strategy when you don't have to modify your strategy in the different levels. I also think you earn to much replaying the levels you have already compleated, you can basically "play it safe" to get all the upgrades.

My basic strategy is Turtle, Goblin, shield ogre, healer, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, healer, shield ogre, turtle. I use the healing spells during the first waves, and the quake spell at the late waves.


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