Nefarious the mad scientist game

Game Overview: In Nefarious, you are a mad scientist trying to take over the world by using  evil inventions. In order to build said inventions, you of course have to pay for them. You can earn money in various ways, such as working and researching. You can also plant spies to "spy" on other people and gain money each time a certain action card is played.

Box Contents: The box consists of the board, 30 wooden spies in 6 colors (5 per player), 30 Twist cards, 64 invention cards, 24 action cards in 6 colors (4 per player), 90 coins of various value (1's, 5's, and 10's) and a rulebook.  The box has a compartment for each of the cards along with a spot to keep the coins and spies.

Clarity of Rules: The rulebook is compact, colored, and thoroughly gets the job of explaining how to play the game done. It is descriptive and a bit humorous at times but still will tell you exactly what to do.

Game Play:  Setting up the game includes placing the board in the middle of the table, shuffling the invention and Twist decks, then drawing two of the Twist cards. Twist cards are fairly large in size and describe how the aspect of the game changes. The Twist cards may change any part of the rules such as starting amount of cards or money.  Some even relate to things that actions and inventions do and even the conditions of winning. Next each player chooses a color and gets the spies and action cards that respectively match their color. Finally everyone gets 10 dollars and draws 3 invention cards. Most of the invention cards are witty and sometimes even have special rewards or consequences for making the inventions. The rewards could affect you or other players. Some of the rewards include extra cards, money, or spies, while some of the consequences include losing money, spies, and cards. They have the amount of victory points they are worth, and the cost to make them on the card. To start every turn, each player chooses an action. There are 4 actions that can be taken, the first action is Espionage. Espionage lets you place a spy on the board in one of the 4 action categories. Whenever someone plays a card of that action card, you gain one dollar for each spy on that category (not including your own). The second action you can take is invent. When you invent a card you must pay that much money and do the effects on the card (if there are any). The third action you can take is to research. When you research you gain two dollars and draw the top card of the invention deck. The fourth and final action to take is work, which allows you to gain four dollars. Players continue to choose one of the action cards each turn until someone has earned the the number of victory points needed to win, which is typically 20 points.

Replay Ability: The game is very replayable. Since there are 36 twist cards, the possibilities are almost endless.

Appropriate Audience: Although the box says 13 years of age or older we disagree with that. The game is easy to understand and we believe someone as young as 8-9 should be able to understand although there should be caution for the small pieces.

What We Liked/Didn't Like: We like the strategies of placing the spies and maximizing efficiency of gaining money. We also like how the Twists can really change up the game. Although the cards are cool and sometimes humorous, they are very flimsy compared to other cards.

Add-ons/Other Releases:  n/a

          **A review copy was provided to us.