Overlords of Infamy - Obscure Reference Games
Game title: Overlords of Infamy
Game description: In Overlords of Infamy, you play the role of an evil mastermind who sends out their minions into the realm to collect resources to bring about their evil schemes! But beware the adventurer. He (and your opponents) will stop at nothing to thwart your rise to infamy.
Overlords of Infamy is a worker placement game that turns the usual trope of being the hero on its head. Rise to infamy as the premiere evil villain by completing the most evil schemes while simultaneously assuring that your opponents do not. It’s an interesting new take on worker placement games that brings something new and interesting to the genre.
Modular board makes each game different
Different player characters inform unique play styles
More player interaction than typical worker placement
The competitive player interactions can overshadow the worker placement feel of the game
Luck can play a major factor in success
Full Overlords of Infamy Review
Board games where you’re playing the hero fighting against the forces of evil to rid the world of misery are a dime a dozen. Overlords of Infamy aims to address that issue by putting you in the evil overlord’s chair in order to direct your minions to carry out your evil schemes!
Overlords of Infamy is a worker placement game for up to five players with a few twists. Like most worker placement games, your aim is to collect the resources with your minions in order to complete the set (in this case carry out your scheme for victory points). Where Overlords begins to deviate from the expected norm of the genre, is the board is blank at the beginning of the game, and you must explore and develop hex tiles, placing them and creating the spaces for your minions by drawing two tiles and choosing one to place. Overlords does have a major point of interest here– you will not be vying for worker spaces with your opponents, you will only be putting workers in your own area (with small exceptions). However, you are in some ways bound by luck in getting the tiles you need for resources. It’s not impossible to mitigate the luck factor, but without a variety of resources in your area, it becomes a bit of an uphill battle.
As you collect resources and your infamy score increases, you also have access to more advanced schemes that may have some lasting effects, are worth considerably more points, and are much more difficult to achieve. Your infamy score also opens you to using espionage in a number of ways to mess with your opponents– from learning what their secret active plot is all the way through assassinating one of their workers and replacing it with your own! This player interaction can, in some ways, pull the game away a little from worker placement purists, but I found it to be a really fun mechanic that added player interaction in a genre where I tend to find that really lacking.
In addition to the plots and schemes, the overlords must content with world events which will either help or hinder the players in a variety of ways, and a wandering adventurer who is looking to take down the evil doers! At designated points, players are given the opportunity to move the adventurer meeple and potentially destroy tiles, workers, and pillage resources that can be stolen back from the adventurer’s stronghold.
Overall, I found Overlords of Infamy to be an exciting and fun game in a genre that in infamously difficult for me to enjoy, which I think speaks to how well thought the mechanics are and how it is something new and exciting to take a look at in the world of worker placement games.
Oh, and Waffles the corgi is adorable, but I swear that had no bearing on the review.
A copy of Overlords of Infamy was provided free for review by Obscure Reference Games
Mike is creative arts therapist and tabletop enthusiast from the Seattle area. While he loves all forms of tabletop games, his particular interests are in roleplaying games, story based games, as well as discussing diversity and visibility in the gaming community.