A Touch of Evil is a Gothic Horror American-style Adventure Board Game set in the post-American Revolution town of Shadowbrook, where terror haunts the streets at night as gruesome murders become a daily occurrence thanks to an evil creature that has taken up residence. It's up to a small group of heroic individuals who have recently arrived in town to confront this menace. They will have to investigate the town and surrounding countryside, fight monsters, gather equipment and allies, and determine which prominent townsfolk can be trusted to join them when they storm the villain's lair.
Sometimes described as an Arkham Horror clone, and it's not hard to see why. Both games involve players exploring the environs of a town under siege by supernatural forces and aiming to defeat them before the doom meter hits critical, with gameplay driven by skill rolls and card-based encounters. The biggest difference is that the gameplay in A Touch of Evil is competitive (though there is also a cooperative variant), with players attempting to be the first to locate the lair and defeat the Villain. It also avoids emulating the legendary soul-crushing difficulty of AH (though playing in Advanced mode can be a challenge).
There are six physical Expansion Packs. Something Wicked introduces the Echo Lake board, along with four new Heroes and four new Villains. The Coast adds a board with the cursed fishing village of Tidewater and the surrounding coastal area, along with three new Town Elders, four new Heroes, and four new Villains. The two Hero Packs each add four new Heroes and one new Villain. Finally, The Allies and The Madness are card-only expansions which can only be purchased from the Flying Frog web store. The Flying Frog web site also features free PDFs for new Villains, along with their associated Minion Charts and Minion counters.
Not to be confused with the Orson Welles movie with a near identical title, to which it bears no resemblance.
A Touch of Evil contains examples of:
- Ascended Extra: The Scarlett Shadow, Lucy Hanbrook, and Abigail Sturn were introduced in the game as Allies, but later became playable characters in their own right.
- Badass Bookworm: Anne Marie is literally one, as each book she equips increases her Combat skill.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Being defeated in combat results in the hero being sent to the Town Hall space, losing a die roll of Investigation tokens, Allies, and/or Items in any combination. During the Mystery Phase, the hero in question is healed of all wounds. Some monsters can permanently kill PCs however, such as the Gargoyle turning them to stone.
- Dirty Coward: If you select a Town Elder with the Coward Secret to join your Hunting Party, there's a very real risk of that Elder abandoning you in the middle of the fight.
- Distracted by the Sexy: The Succubus minion gets an extra Fight Die against male Heroes, presumably as her "assets" keep their attention.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Unspeakable Horror from Something Wicked a a tentacle sporting Elder God entity.
- Face–Heel Turn: Whenever you select a Town Elder who has an Evil Secret for your Hunting Party, as they turn out to be in league with the monster.
- Headless Horseman: The Spectral Horseman is basically a Whole-Plot Reference to Sleepy Hollow (1999)
- Inventory Management Puzzle: Heroes are restricted to one Item or Ally card per Location deck, plus three Items and/or Allies from non-Location deck sources. However, some Event cards allow restricted expansions to how much you can have, and a few Items explicitly state that they don't count against your carrying limit.
- Kill It with Fire: Against the Scarecrow in the Advanced Game, you can discard items with the Fire keyword to gain extra Fight dice for one round during the Final Battle.
- Looks Like Orlok: The Vampire is sporting this look, with a bald head, pointy ears and jagged teeth.
- Swarm of Rats: The Rat's Nest minion can be a really nasty challenge, as a conga line of rats grows every round. However, the reward for beating it is worthwhile.
- Three-Stat System: Of the Body/Mind/Soul variant, with Combat, Cunning, and Spirit respectively.
- Zombie Apocalypse: You get one of these when using the Necromancer in the Advanced Game. The game starts with three Walking Dead minions on the board, and a new one crops up at the beginning of each Mystery Phase.