Designers: Matthew Dunstan, Brett J. Gilbert
Publisher: Funforge, Passport Game Studios
Play Time: 30-45 Min
Rules Available Online: Yes
BGG: Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time
Professor Evil has traveled through time stealing all sorts of historical treasures and locking them up inside his castle. Each treasure is guarded by deadly traps and will, eventually, be locked in Professor Evil’s vault and lost to the world forever. It’s up to the players to sneak through the castle, unlocking doors and disarming traps to rescue these treasures before time runs out. Be warned. Professor Evil is about, relocking doors, rearming traps, and throwing any trespassers he finds out the door!
Professor Evil and the Citadel of time takes a little bit of setup before play can start. Players need to choose their Characters and take their Character Decks. All the Door Tokens need to be placed on the board and there’s a process for the placement of all the Switch Tokens and initial Treasures so you know what rooms they’re put in and which Treasures correspond to Color Tokens placed on the board’s central clock. Professor Evil starts in the Laboratory, while the players start off the board.
Each player gets 3 actions per turn, as well as a choice to use 1 of 2 drawn cards from their Character Deck. The main actions available are:
- Move 1 Space – Move through an open door to an adjacent room.
- Open a Locked Door – Remove an adjacent door token from the board.
- Flip a Switch – Turn an Activated Switch in the room you’re in to its Deactivated side.
- Rescue a Treasure – If all require Switches have been disarmed you may place a Treasure from the room you’re in into the Saved Treasures pile.
After each player’s turn, time passes and Professor Evil gets to take an action. This is decided by a roll of the dice. Time can move by either 5 or 10 minutes, while the Professor may move 1-3 spaces, directly to a colored Treasure, or a Treasure’s time may count down faster. Whenever the Professor moves he’ll lock doors behind him, flip Switches back to their Activated side, and kick players he encounters out of the castle. If at any point, the Clock token passes a Treasure Token during the game the corresponding Treasure moves to the Lost Treasures space and a new one takes its place.
If the Clock Token reaches or moves past 3:00 or 9:00 one player may “Have an Idea”, allowing them to flip their Character over so its Special Ability becomes available. Players decide as a group who’s Character will flip.
The game ends in victory if the players can successfully rescue 4 Treasures, while it ends in defeat if Professor Evil can lock away 4 Treasures.
For more details on the game’s setup, play, and end, check the full rules.
Everything from the wooden plank Door Tokens to the Treasures in Citadel of Time is wonderfully produced. The artwork on not only the Characters Cards but also the board and various other pieces is outstanding and full of the game’s thematic flavor. Even the iconography on the dice, Switches, and Treasure follows through on the entire look and feel and provide important information at a quick glance.
Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time is a wonderful cooperative game that plays more like a big puzzle than anything else. The game’s time mechanism constantly has players weighing their moves, trying to maximize what they can accomplish while often having to sacrifice more immediate gains. The constant foil of the Professor is also a nice tough, as players need to be mindful of doors he may relock and Switches he may reactivate.
As with most cooperative games, Citadel of Time also has a scalable difficulty level. Each Treasure has a number of minutes on it ranging from 30 – 50. How you mix these into the game determines how fast or slow Treasures are locked away by the Professory. The standard difficulty of the game provides ample challenge for your first few plays, but younger players may have an easier time knocking the difficulty down while more experienced players may enjoy the challenge of a faster game that forces tighter strategy.
No matter how you look at it Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time is more than worth the $30 MSRP for such a well executed cooperative game.
A copy of Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time was provided free for review by Passport Game Studios