With so many games in our collection, we are always on the lookout for something new, or different. With Evil Corp I think we might have found that again. I must say we were pretty surprised when the box came in, since it’s shaped very different then most board games, which already makes it stand out. But when we wanted to place it with our other board games in the closet, we run into some trouble of finding the perfect fit. But so far we have found a perfect spot for every single board game we have received until now, and Evil Corp fitted right in when we were done reorganizing. Now let’s see what evil we can create in this game.
How to Play.
To begin with the set up, assemble the board and centerpiece as shown on the rulebook. Shuffle and place the opportunities deck and the world event deck in the centerpiece, then place the billion dollar bills in the center piece so that they stand up. Place the world die and bankrupt tokens nearby. Each player can then choose a CEO to play with and place the matching tokens and secret base pieces in front of you. Then choose three cities in three different continents and place a cube there to start a business in that city. Place the ground level of your base on the continent that is your home. Also take a CEO power card, this will give you a one time benefit, like avoiding bankruptcy for example. Lastly, take five billion dollars to start with and three opportunity cards. Now you are ready to build your Evil Corp and secretly try and conquer the world.
You begin your turn with collecting money from your businesses (skip this in the first round) and collecting free opportunity cards up to your hand limit from the secret base. Your secret base will provide you two billion dollars each turn and every business you own will give you one billion dollar extra. If there are any world events taking place in continents where you own businesses, your income from your owned businesses might change. If you don’t take the right amount of money, or make a mistake in any other way. Your opponent can call an audit. If your opponent can prove you have made a mistake, you will have to pay him two billion dollar. If your opponent can’t prove you have made a mistake, they have to pay you.
On your turn, you can perform any actions on your opportunity cards, until you run out of cards or money. Note that some cards might be smarter to keep for later turns. Most opportunity cards are phase cards that has a color and the name of a city on the top of the card, and in the bottom you will find nasty business activities. In order to activate your endgame so you can win the game, you need to collect three phase cards in the color of the CEO you have chosen. If you chose the purple CEO for example, you have to collect phase one, two and three in a purple color. The number of each phase can be found in the top left corner of a phase card. In order to play a phase card, you have to pay the cost indicated on the top right corner of the card. You also have to play the phases in sequence. You can’t play a phase two card, if you don’t have a phase one card in play. You can always play any colored phase card, but to activate your endgame, you will need to gather the phases of your own color. If you want to play another phase card with the same number, simply discard the phase card you have in play to place the new phase card. For each phase you play, you gain a new business on the location stated on the phase card. Place on of your cubes to track what business you own.
You can also play a nasty business action, often found on the bottom of a phase card. To do this, simply take the action described on the card, then discard your card to the waisted opportunities pile. Players can always cancel your nasty business actions with nasty business counters. Another action to take is to perform a hostile takeover. If you see that your opponent play a phase card from your color, you can simply buy it from them if you pay the cost to your opponent indicated on the card. If you have an agent card in your possession, you can also just seize it for free like the card states. Agent cards have multiple actions described on the card, like raiding the waisted opportunities pile to gain one card for example, or to attack or defend the endgame. Once an agent card is used and discarded to the waisted opportunities, shuffle every card in the waisted opportunities back into the opportunities deck. If you don’t have enough cards, you can also buy cards for three billion dollars each. Just remember not to take more cards then your hand limit.
Your secret base once you start the game, will only have the bottom foundation build. But for every phase you play, you can build another piece of your secret base which also increases your hand limit. You start with a hand limit of three. But once your base is fully build (meaning you have played three phases), you can hold up to six cards. When you have played all the actions you wanted to play on your turn, draw a world event. Roll the world die to see where the event will take place, it will stay there until it’s replaced with a new world event card. If you draw a disaster philanthropy world event card, roll the world die to see where it will land. Then all effected CEO’s of that continent must pay the five billion dollar clean up costs for the disaster that occurred. Unlike other world event cards, the disaster philanthropy is discarded after the consequences are faced. If you at any point can’t pay for the costs that need to be paid, you are bankrupt. Take a bankrupt token. When it’s your turn, skip the collect phase and flip your token to the rebranding side. The next turn your businesses have been rebranded and everything will return to normal. If you activate the endgame, you are immune to bankruptcy.
Once you have collected and played all the three phases of your CEO color, you can activate your endgame. To do this, you need to pay nine billion dollar for the funding. Then you can reveal the evil plan on the back of you CEO card. Your opponents now have one chance to stop you by using the agent attack endgame card. If you can counter these attack with the agent defend action cards, your endgame succeeds and you are the winner of the game. If you fail, you flip over your CEO card and you have to try again at the next opportunity.
Playthrough of the game.
Since Tomasz made the big mistake to play a phase three card in my CEO’s color during his turn, I was able to collect it by performing a hostile takeover. Now I had all the phases in my color that I needed and was ready to perform my brilliant endgame to take over the world. Ending the worlds suffering by creating genetic medicine was only a cover, as my real plan was to produce medicine who would take away the free will. Soon, the whole world would be my slave. I checked to see if Tomasz had many cards left for possible attacks, but he had only one card in his hand. I had no defending cards myself, but it was a small risk to take. By paying the nine billion dollar for funding, I was ready to execute my plan. Little did I know, Tomasz had planned this all along and he had collected the three phases in his previous turn as well. The one card in his hand was in fact an agent card, stopping me from my endgame and forcing me to back down. Instead, he won the game that next turn since I couldn’t stop him with my cards. This game is definitely not always fair, just like the real business world.
This game surprised us in a very good way. The interaction between the players is very high since there are many nasty business cards that let you interfere with your opponents. If you play this game with more people, we found it’s even better since there will be more business to temper with, more world events and more cards played meaning more interaction. However, with two people this is also a good game. It’s easy to learn and to teach, and because of the small box, you can take it to any party or game night. The way the board is constructed works also very well and it’s easy and quick to set up. We always hate it when components are lying around everywhere, but since you stack most cards in the middle of the board, this problem is solved.
Evil Corp is a fun strategy card managing game where your good looking business might be hiding some nasty business. We had a lot of fun in this game, mainly because you not only try to expand your own business, but you also try to stop your opponents by performing nasty business actions. There is constant interaction. This game really shines when played with more people since you can interfere everyone’s plans or they can interfere with yours. But with two people, we also have a lot of fun playing this game. The stories and art behind every character is also well thought of and fits the modern theme of the game. The game box is also not to big to travel with, which makes it easy to bring it to a game night. We are happy to have added this game to our collection!