Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse
Manufacturer: Greater Than Games
Designer: Christopher Badell, Paul Bender, Adam Rebottaro
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a 1-5 player cooperative card game in which you control one of a group of heroes fighting to save the world from one of a series of supervillains. The game has a strong focus on replay-ability with a selection of 10 heroes to choose from, 4 villains to fight and 4 locations to fight them in.
Each hero, villain and environment has their own deck of cards which gives them unique play-styles and the combinations are nearly endless. However the main change to the game comes from the villains, still that provides 4 very different games with the different environments and heroes being a bit of spice on top. Each villain deck consists of a double sided face card with the villains picture and health on it, a rule card which tells you how to play them and how to flip them, all villains can flip to the other side to change their powers, some change every turn while others change once in a game and only if you mess up. Finally they have a deck of cards which are typically a combination of minions with their own health and attacks, powerful one-shot cards and ongoing cards that have a lasting effect. Typically the villain turn will have an action at the start, then play a card from the deck, then any ongoing/minion cards tend to act at the end, though there are often cards that don’t follow these trends.
|Baron Blade is a mad scientist villain who wants to pull the moon into the earth because... well it's more of a threat to get money I imagine. Even the separator cards have great artwork on them|
As each hero has an entirely new deck they all play very differently and have unique gimmicks, some are very reliant on chains on equipment while others simply have powerful one shots and one even has a very confusing power of hurting himself (it makes sense when you see his equipment cards). Each hero is a take on a popular copyrighted hero, so you’ll have your fake Batman, a Captain America, the Flash etcetera, honestly this probably helps the game as it gives an expectation when you pick your first hero. The villains are a little more unique, but still pretty cliché, the locations include a mars base, a city and the distant past, all pretty comic bookesque.
|The enhanced edition comes with plenty of storage for the base game and an expansion or two. there are also tokens for managing status effects and health.|
The theme is really where Sentinels of the Multiverse comes into its strength, the cards all have beautiful art and then a little caption at the bottom giving a quote from the imaginary comic books that the game is based on. There is a story to Sentinels, but it’s hidden in the rulebook and card texts, which means you don’t have to worry about it if you don’t care, but it’s there if you do. The game might actually be lacking a little bit in difficulty, though each villain has an advanced mode which makes them a little more powerful. The difficulty does balance itself based on the number of players, but in general a bigger hero party is more powerful with more and more powerful combos becoming the norm. The manual does helpfully give complexity ratings to the heroes and villains which does somewhat tell you the difficulty to expect.
A great strength of Sentinels is the expandability, there are lots of expansions out there if you enjoy the game, from large packs that contain the same amount of content as the main game to small 1 hero mini expansions if you want to grab someone who resembles your favourite comic book hero. On the down side the game could easily put you off if you pick a character who isn’t to your style or is simply being weaker that other players. Some combos can be ridiculously powerful to the point of breaking the game (Legacy for example can easily give +2 damage to the whole party while wraith can easily get a power that does 1 damage to 3 enemies, 9 damage a turn is a *lot* for 1 power). Despite all this I find the game very enjoyable, it may not require the most brainpower and strategy, but sometimes that's just right and what it does provide is a unique experience every time you sit down.