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A Touch of Evil board game

Tis the dawn of the 19th century; an age of science, superstition, and witchcraft. Howling fills the night as a full moon rises over the small, secluded village of Shadowbrook. Gruesome murders have become a daily occurrence and terror haunts the streets at night. An evil creature has taken up residence here and the countryside is engulfed by a tide of darkness. But all is not lost...not yet.

A Touch of Evil board game character

A small group of heroic individuals, with the courage and strength to fight, have arrived in town. Some just passing through while others have come with a purpose; but all will be put to the test as they race to save this cursed town from falling into darkness. It will take a cunning mind and strength of spirit to determine who is friend and who is solve the mysteries and hunt the beast to its lair.

But the secrets of Shadowbrook run deep. Gossip and rumors run rampant and these few Heroes may soon discover that they are outsiders here and this town is already so rotten from within there is little left to save.

Game Overview
A Touch of Evil, The Supernatural Game is a fast-paced game of fiendish creatures, dashing Heroes, and high-adventure. Each player takes on the role of a unique monster-hunting Hero, racing against time to stop the forces of darkness from claiming another foothold in the world of man. Only by investigating the town and building your Hero s strength can you hope to hunt down the Supernatural Villain to his Lair and defeat him in an epic Showdown. Players can race Competitively to be the first to defeat the Villain and save the town, or they can work together Cooperatively to defeat a much stronger Villain.

A Touch of Evil board game layout
image © Flying Frog Productions

Featuring a gameboard map of Shadowbrook and its surrounding countryside, eight Heroes to choose from, and four different Supernatural Villains to hunt; each with its own host of unique Minions and powers to drastically change the game. A Touch of Evil is designed to create an adventurous cinematic feel as the story and game unfolds. So grab up your Wooden Stake, stuff some shot in that Musket, and hold onto your Tri-corn Hat; no one is safe from the creatures of the night and no one can be trusted...for inside everyone lies A Touch of Evil.

User Reviews (10)

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Intermediate Reviewer
Gamer - Level 3
321 of 337 gamers found this helpful
“A Game of Colonial Gothic Action Investigation”

A Touch of Evil is a great game with an unfortunate name, as some will miss this gem of colonial gothic action investigation as your hero rescues the town of Shadowbrook from a menace. The game is highly thematic, even to the degree that if players opt not to read the flavor text on the cards the experience will be diminished. The game is more strategic than tactical as resolving conflicts usually involve rolling dice and counting 5s and 6s, and players spend most of their time moving around the board and having encounters in hopes of gaining clues, allies, or equipment to aid them in ridding the town of the Touch of Evil that is plaguing it.

During setup a villain will be chosen. Each villain has its own set of minions and special abilities which alter some aspect of the game. Each villain has a basic and advanced version of its stats allowing the players to decide how hard of a game they want to have. Additionally the players can decide to play with the co-op rules, the team rules, or the competitive rules. Players also get to choose which hero they are, each hero having different stats and different special abilities. During setup the players will shuffle a deck of secrets and the deck of Town Elders. Each Town Elder is dealt a secret, which is kept secret from the players until they spend their hard won clues to discover an Elder’s secret. The secrets range from being helpful in fighting the villain, harmful in the fight, to actually being in league with the villain.

Each round all of the players will get a turn, after which a mystery phase occurs in which the villain heals, KO’s heroes revive, a card from the Mystery deck is drawn and is resolved, usually to the detriment of the players, and the first player marker moves. Each turn a player will roll a die to see how many spaces he can move on the board. Should a player move into a space with one of the villain’s minions in it he will stop and fight. Finally players will take actions, in any order they wish, and as many as desired. Actions include encountering the current space, which usually means drawing a card from one of several decks, healing, pay to look at an Elder’s secret, uncover where the villain’s lair is, and start a showdown with the villain.

Individual turns resolve quickly, resulting in a game with little down time once players are familiar with the rules. Considering each player and each villain adjusts the rules, and that many of the cards in the game will impact how players will decide to play, the first few plays will take time; however, once slight learning curve is mastered the game flows smoothly. Thematically it feels as if players are in the world of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow; indeed the game even has a headless “Spectral Horseman.” Players are essentially building up an arsenal to take down the villain and become the hero of Shadowbrook. The game is not a high strategy game, rather it is a game that will allow you and your fellow players to tell the story of how the town of Shadowbrook was rescued from A Touch of Evil.

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Rated 25 Games
It's All About Me
103 of 110 gamers found this helpful
“Solo Gaming Excellence”

I’ve had this game for awhile, and while it turned out to be a bit clunky in my experience with other players, I recently gave it a shot playing solo. Let me tell you that I was pleasantly surprised at the results!

After watching Tragic the Blathering’s intensely informative, and very entertaining play-through on YouTube, I was sufficiently prepared to give this one a solo play on my own.

To break down this review into bite-sized chunks, let me proceed with the following random categories:

I love the way they used photography, rather than hand-drawn art on the components to convey the theme of gothic horror, combined with B-movie cheese to pull you into the game world. As a result, I find myself reading component flavor text in this game much more than others.

RULES: Fiddly.
That being said, as with Arkham Horror, the rewards for digging in and learning the rules of the game are well worth the effort, as your solo gaming experience will be rewarded in full. Incidentally, I post handy compact 2-Sided Reference Sheets for this, and many other games on BoardGameGeek, should you wish to save yourself some pain.

CHALLENGE: Test You, This Will!
I am about six hours into this game, and the battle has for the first time become personal. My three investigators went up against the Scarecrow a bit too soon, had him down to 4 wounds, and the last investigator decided upon escape as the better part of wisdom. Playing with the ‘Endurance of Evil’ option has now caused the Scarecrow to gain 4 permanent additional wounds, which will make the next encounter even more difficult. Worse yet, my investigators poured every last resource into taking this brute down, and so must painstakingly build back up to re-engage! Fortunately the ShadowTrack is still less than halfway progressed, so I think there is still hope for me to prevail, despite my previous debacle. There is no putting this thing away now!

As good, if not better than FFG. I have no idea how an underdog like Flying Frog pulled this off without blowing their budget. As other game companies become inspired to follow suit, I really believe this wonderful hobby of ours will continue to grow and gather the attention of onlookers, who become drawn to the art and class of such worthy intellectual pastimes as these. *Adjusts his spectacles*

After watching Tragic’s play-through, and experiencing my own, I think the best solo experience is to use the base game with one expansion. One expansion adds enough to make things interesting, while keeping the extra rules somewhat manageable. One expansion also makes for a decent-sized map, which is not so expansive as to hinder your ability to cover the board, and, you hopefully won’t need a separate table to hold all of the location decks!

FINAL ANALYSIS: Arkham-Clunky Coop, Arkham-Stellar Solo.
I cite Arkham Horror merely to give you some perspective regarding my own personal biases concerning Cooperative, versus Solo gaming experiences. I was amazed to see this game come alive on my table, and consume me for so many enjoyable evenings! In fact, the only reason I am writing this review is to get a break from the action, and take a deep breath before plunging on into the final rounds!

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I'm Completely Obsessed
Book Lover
Advanced Reviewer
81 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“Supernatural Horror and Sinister Secrets”

Touch of Evil is a very popular game with my game group and myself. With an assortment of classic (and a few not-so-classic) villains to confront the heroes, it’s a different game every time. The expansions are well thought out–elements of the basic game and early expansions show that the designers had at least a conceptual vision of what they intended to add to the game.

Component Quality: As with most Flying Frog Games, the game components are of excellent quality. The board looks like a map of a colonial era village (and the subsequent boards in Something Wicked and The Coast blend seamlessly together with it). The cards are on good stock and plastic coated, and the game pieces (which are many) are on sturdy cardboard and also coated. The heroes themselves are nicely detailed plastic, and could be painted if you’re so inclined (I’m no painter, so I left mine as they were and they still look awesome). The artwork is fantastic, with photographs of actors in costume to depict the characters and events on the cards. Lastly comes the soundtrack CD, which includes mood music to fit the game combined with pieces of dialogue by the character actors.

Game play: The game defaults to competitive play, but personally I prefer the cooperative rules (which include team options for large groups). Competitive play doesn’t make as much sense to me, since it means that you and the other heroes are messing with each other to ensure that you and only you get to be the hero who defeats the villain. Though if you prefer competitive play, there are rationales for it: one way to justify it is that the cards you play against the other players aren’t you messing with them directly, but rather introducing story complications; the other option is that, with so many secrets and so many people under the influence of the villain and other supernatural forces, that the heroes simply can’t bring themselves to trust one another.
Each villain has its own minions and abilities, as well as a Mystery deck which is used to introduce the villains other actions during the game (the most central being “Murder!” in which the villain claims another victim–each villain has a unique ability that triggers in response to “Murder!” as well as the regular effects of the card.)
The village Elders may be of help to you, including joining your Hunting Party against the Villain, but be wary. Shadowbrook is a village of secrets, and each Elder has some. Some secrets are harmless and merely add a bit of flavour and story to the game, but others are more serious, including the possibility that one or more of the Elders is secretly in league with the Villain.
Overall: All in all, this is one of the favorite games at our game night (alongside Eldritch Horror and Betrayal at House on the Hill). If you like classic horror along the lines of Dracula, Sleepy Hollow, etc. than this game might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a lot of fun, has a high replay value (every game is unique with a different mix of heroes, villain, events, and mysteries), and the quality is top notch.
So grab your sabre or your musket, start your investigation, and watch your back. There’s a Touch of Evil everywhere…

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Cooperative Game Explorer
Amateur Advisor
Gamer - Level 6
256 of 285 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“A simpler time, a sinister threat...”

When it comes to horror scenarios, I think that Flying Frog Productions really has their finger on what makes powerful scenarios. It’s easy to imagine a zombie apocalypse thanks to movies like Night of the Living Dead and shows like The Walking Dead, but styling a zombie game after a cheesy B-Movie setting really lends the idea that not everyone is going to get out alive, and in that respect, Last Night on Earth really stands out. By the same token, we have A Touch of Evil, a horror game set in colonial times, where all the benefits of modern civilization do not exist and the mysterious evil pervades all of the surrounding town of Shadowbrook, marring the difference between friend and foe.

Every horror story needs to have a villain, and A Touch of Evil provides four distinct villains to choose from, each with their own abilities and strengths; The Werewolf, the Scarecrow, The Vampire, and the Spectral Horseman. Each villain has a minion event chart that is unique to each of them, and can present some interesting challenges for the heroes when a result is rolled on that event chart. For instance, the Spectral Horseman could have ghost soldiers appear on the board on certain locations, or he just might decide to fight a hero on their space, and ride back to the center of town, fighting anyone he encounters along the way.

To combat the villains are the heroes, a select number of 8 specific characters that have their own individual statistics, health, and special abilities. All heroes have a starting value of Honor, Spirit, Cunning, and Combat for their statistics. Honor reflects the amount of respect or notoriety a certain character has, and is most often used in training up Spirit and Cunning in town. Spirit reflects the amount of grit and willpower an individual has, and is mostly used in combatting certain ghostly figures and gaining investigation from eerie encounters. Cunning is a reflection of how savvy and smart an individual is, and is most often used in investigating mundane events or thwarting plots. Combat is a measure of how much damage an individual can deal out in a fight, and is usually augmented by weapons and items that are either found or purchased around town. Each hero can also take a certain number of wounds before being KOed (no one actually dies in A Touch of Evil, with the exception of Town Elders), but they can also increase their overall health value with certain items and event cards. Special abilities change the way each hero encounters certain conditions; for example, Inspector Cooke will gain one extra investigation token from encounters where he gains investigation, and Katarina the Outlaw inflicts wounds on a roll of 4, 5, or 6 in combat, where any other hero will only deal out wounds on a roll of 5 or 6.

The heroes begin the game knowing that something is seriously wrong in the down of Shadowbrook, and their duty is to investigate and deal with the looming problem. To that end, heroes will explore around the town and its outskirts, looking for items and investigation tokens that can be used for currency to get the items and training that they need. There are a number of locations around down such as the The Windmill, The Manor, The Olde Woods, and the Abandoned Keep. Heroes may go to those locations and draw encounter cards from specialized decks to search for items or to have events that can lead to making attribute tests to gather investigation. In addition, there are some other locations around down that can offer opportunities to draw event cards (which are beneficial to the heroes) or on a bad roll, can force a hero to draw a Mystery card (which are almost always universally bad). At the end of every action phase, the first player draws a Mystery card automatically to reflect the goings on around town, as strange events happen and sinister minions appear.

The goal of the game is to defeat the Villain of the game once and for all in a final showdown that results from confronting the Villain in its hidden lair. The heroes may encounter the Villain at any time during the game, but those fights are always skirmishes and don’t count for the final showdown; in effect, it’s like the Villain always manages to escape, or finds some reason to leave the hero(es) alive after beating them down. If the Villain manages to KO the hero(es), however, it does not mean they get off scot free; every time a hero gets KOed, the player must roll a D6 and lose that many points of investigation, items, or allies, in any combination they wish. To end it once and for all, heroes need to spend investigation tokens to purchase Lair cards that are the possible sight of a final showdown. In the beginning, purchasing Lair cards requires an extreme amount of investigation points, but as the darkness track fills up (a sort of timer that shows the Villain gaining in strength as time goes on), Lair cards become cheaper and more available. However, the longer the heroes wait to begin the showdown, the more powerful the Villain becomes, and if the darkness track ever maxes out, the heroes lose the game automatically.

The evil of the Villain isn’t the only thing that the heroes have to deal with, however. In town, there are six Town Elders that are pledged to protect the town, but each of these elders has a secret. These secrets can range from being beneficial (a town elder is secretly heroic and adds extra combat dice), to being a potential handicap (a town elder could be cowardly and has the potential to run away during a final showdown), to being inconsequential (a town elder is secretly a voyeur, but is otherwise normal), to finally being that the town elder is actually in league with the Villain. If the Town Elder is ever revealed to be allied with the Villain, during the final combat they actively join the Villain and act against the heroes in battle. On a personal note, it’s a nice touch that Flying Frog included an ‘evil’ side to the Town Elder cards; all you need to do is flip them over to reveal their sinister side.

During the showdown, heroes can take up to two town elders with them into the final conflict. But how do the heroes know which elders are trustworthy and which ones seek to put a knife in their back? At any time during a hero’s action phase, they can pay investigation tokens to take a peek at one of the town elder’s secrets. By this method, they can identify which town elders are trustworthy. However, during the game, other secrets can be added to town elders or existing secrets can be removed through various events. So if a player looks early at a town elder, there’s no guarantee that the town elder will remain the same by the time the showdown begins.

I highly enjoy playing A Touch of Evil any chance I get, because there are a lot of thematic elements to the game that really lend a nice atmosphere to things. Flying Frog Productions always has very nice quality to their artwork and card stock, and all of the components that come with the game are durable and easily recognizable. The instruction booklet does a good job in explaining the core elements of the game, though there are a couple instances that are confusing or that could have been better worded. There are also a lot of tokens in the game that can and will be used, so it pays to have some sort of organization so that pieces can be picked out quickly; otherwise a good portion of the game will consist of searching through the multitude of tokens for the one you need. This game really shines in a cooperative light, although it can be played competitively among players. Give it a shot sometime, and don’t be afraid to immerse yourself in the atmosphere.

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Went to Gen Con 2012
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
308 of 351 gamers found this helpful
“Shadowbrook needs your help! Go investigate the new villain in town.”

In the game “A Touch of Evil” you get to select your Hero, and start discovering the town of Shadowbrook. Shadowbrook, the game board, is under attack from some supernatural villain. The game contains several villains, such as a werewolf or a rampaging horseman. Each villain has a unique set of minions and special events that they use to attack the heroes.
There are eight heroes to choose from, and each of them has their own special abilities. Their job is to investigate various areas of the game and collect information. This information is collected in the form of investigation tokens which is the “money” for the game. There are several major and minor areas of the board for a hero to investigate. Included in the major areas is the town center, a manor, a windmill, the olde woods, and an abandoned keep. Once your hero arrives at one of the location they will select a card and read it aloud.
The card can have something good like an item or an ally or it could be a fight or an event that happens to your character. While your hero is investigating various areas of the board, a Shadow Track keeps record of how much control the villain has. As the villain take over the town you will find it easier to find lair.
You are not alone in your search, this game can be played co-op style so that all players are assisting, but even if you decided to go every man for himself the town’s people of Shadowbrook can lend some assistance to the final battle. Most new players do not see the importance of viewing a townspeople clue, but it can be helpful to know who can be counted on in the final battle.
People who play this game for the first time are often confused by what they should do. Where should they go? There is not a right or wrong answer; they are just setting off to investigate. I usually suggest that they leave town center, pick a spot and pull a card. Combat occurs with six-sided dice being rolled. You can however help you chances of succeeding by collecting items that will allow you to role more dice. Still some people are not fans of games where luck plays a part in combat success.
Once you have the required amount of information you can then attempt to defeat the villain. If you are playing co-op everyone attends the final battle. If you are playing alone you need to be sure to bring some townspeople with you to assist.
The game can be completed in about 1 ½ hour , and there are some wonderful expansions that add to the fun. At GenCon an expansion entitled The Coast was added.
The game says it plays up to eight, we played with that many people at GenCon but I had no idea what everyone was doing. We ended it with three groups of people all doing their own thing. (There are also team rules with the game.) The perfect number for me to play with is four. Everyone can see the board, and can be engaged in decision making. So grab some friends and go help out the town to Shadowbrook, I hear that there is a vampire that moved in once the headless horseman was defeated. Just be careful of its bite.

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I Am What I Am
Reporter Intern
251 of 301 gamers found this helpful
“An Enjoyable Horror Mystery Game”

This is an enjoyable horror mystery game that can be played solo or cooperatively.
The object of the game is to find out where a certain villain is located and defeat it before time runs out. The longer it takes to find and destroy the villain the stronger the villain gets, so there is not much time for sight seeing.
There are many villains to choose from such as the Vampire, the Werewolf or Scarecrow and all play differently.
The game can be played with 1 to 8 players, but too many players can slow the game down and add too much downtime between player turns.
The game ends when the villain is defeated, time runs out or all the heroes are knocked out (heroes don’t actually die in this game, they are simply knocked out) at the same time.
The game has many components such as town elders, militia and minions which all play a part in this horror mystery game. The town elders have secrets that can be revealed and although some of them can help you against the villain, others have turned to evil.
The game is not too difficult to learn (depending on the villain), but you can find a “Rules Summary Sheet” online which will explain how to play the game much easier than scrolling endlessly through the rule book.
I’ve played this game with all the expansions and although the expansions add new locations and other goodies to the game, I have yet to explore all the boards during a game. The reason for this is that time is short and you need to collect clues as fast as possible before the game ends. Time waits for nobody and especially in the town of Shadowbrook where supernatural forces are a daily occurrence.
So grab your pitchfork and light those torches because there is a town to save!

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Canada Beta 2.0 Tester
261 of 320 gamers found this helpful
“Sleepy Hollow on your table”

AToE has the theme nailed but be warned that the rules are a mess and at first go the rules are bleak at best. This one will command some time and attention as well as a few play throughs before you get the mechanics down. The first time this hit my table I had to shake out the table cloth from dead skin due to all the head scratching. That being said, when you get this one down it nails the Sleepy Hallow theme perfectly and the feeling of adventure and mystery can be huge.

This game is all about investigating. Locations are the heart of the game and every corner location has you draw a card specific to the location. Drawing cards at locations can either be a reward, a test or something evil. Random locations also give you the opportunity to draw event cards or roll a random test which can increase your characters stats which will be valuable when facing the The Evil Villain in a showdown. Town Elders pump a little blood as well. They hold secrets which you will want to uncover before the showdown so you can pick them to join you in your final battle against whichever monster you will be facing. Be warned that the Town Elders can also join the villain and strengthen his abilities as well!

There are so many intricacies to this game, far too many to go into here but all the mechanics come together to provide a horror movie like showdown with one of the 4 villains provided in the core set.

With a full expansion and a hero expansion already available, not to mention “The Coast” upcoming expansion, AToE is sure to be around for some time to come. Hits my table 2-3 times a month!

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I play blue
68 of 97 gamers found this helpful
“Great theme, fiddly mechanics.”

– Flying Frog does theme really, really well. This game is no exception.
– The components are absolutely top notch.

– All Flying Frog games have vague/fiddly rules. This one, however, is probably the worst offender.

Overall Impression:
All Flying Frog games suffer from vague/fiddly mechanics, but this one suffers from it especially bad. It’s nigh impossible to track all of the effects in play at any given time. My group is experienced with the game and with complex games in general, and we can’t play with the Advanced rules because it is just too much.

With that out of the way, though, I love this game for the same reason I love all of Flying Frog’s games: the theme is amazing. It takes some SERIOUS effort to get into this one, but if you can tough it out, you can get an awesome gaming experience out of it.

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250 of 382 gamers found this helpful
“Classic American Horror”

This is an Arkham-Horror-esque style board game that is heavy on story, scary, and pieces. Game can be played co-operatively or competitively. Setting is American Colonial, which is nice and fresh.

The board itself is fairly minimalist on decoration and the un-painted minis make it difficult to identify characters. However, otherwise, Flying Frog is a small company that makes quality games. We love the great cardstock they use. The costumed actors that pose for the scenes in the game play cards are often repeated throughout their various board games. Also, there are themes, characters, and organizations which are repeated in their games (such as the Order of the Crimson Hand).

The rules are many and intense but solid and balanced. This is not the game you pull out for your co-worker who is a casual Uno player.

Check out their other games too: Last Night on Earth and Fortune and Glory, Invasion from Outer Space.

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PC Game Fan
161 of 311 gamers found this helpful
“Clumsy fun”

It’s a pretty complex game and the rules are not well written, it’s not bad for a starter game of this sort but when it’s compared to the likes of Arkum Horror, which is essentially the same game, it doesn’t stack up.

However, it is a good £30 cheaper than Arkum and is a more generic theme and so is easier for novice gamers, or those who arn’t Lovecraft adepts to pick up and play. I imagine that a re-write of the rules would help in tighening up play and making it easier to understand.


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