Sentinels of the Multiverse – Greater Than Games LLC – Review

"Go put on your super hero tights and beat up some bad guys. Oh, and don't forget how awesome it is that this game is cooperative….hmmm….are you getting an image of your friends in tights?"

Theme and What is it?

Test your superhero skills against powerful villains in harsh environments in this comic book style card game.  Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative game for up to 5 players.  Not only are there bad guys making life difficult but the environment is going to try to beat you down as well.

Gameplay Mechanics

Each hero, villain, and environment have their own card deck.  These form the draw piles.  Each villain has a card explaining any start of game actions which must be done before playing.  At the beginning of the game, each hero draws 4 cards from their deck to form their hand.  Once the game starts, the villain takes the first turn by drawing a card and completing any instructions.  Next, each hero takes a turn.  This includes playing a card, using a superpower, and drawing a card.  They may skip playing a card and using a power to gain another card from their draw pile.

Play continues clockwise until all heroes have had a turn.  Then the dreaded environment affects the players.  A card is drawn from the environment deck and any actions on the card are taken at that time.  Sometimes they quite devastating and take up time and effort which would have been used to attack the villain.  Once the environment actions are complete the turns start back with the villain and the whole process is repeated again and again until either the heroes or the villain wins.  If a hero dies, they are not completely out of the game.  They will flip their character card over to reveal actions they may take in place of a regular turn.

Damage and status effects are kept track of with the use of tokens and reminder pieces.  For instance, sometimes a player may be immune to damage or take more damage because of a certain effect.  There can be quite a few statuses to keep track of but there are plenty of reminder tokens.

Initial Impressions

It was exciting to open the box to a plethora of colorful cards.  Maybe it is the collector in me, but it is satisfying just to hover over them enjoy the variety and heft of all the decks.  There are 10 heroes, 4 villains, and 4 environment decks in the base game.  If you fight 1 villain, 1 environment, and a minimum of 3 heroes per game there is a lot of variety.  It made me eager to jump right in and try everything.

Game Build Quality

There are a few comic books worth of artwork in Sentinels of the Multiverse.  The cards are sturdy and seem capable of standing up to long term wear.  The tokens and status reminders are firm cardboard.  The box is ok but I’ve found the middle divider to be weak.  It is made of thin folded cardstock and has bowed under the weight of the cards.  Or, maybe I have not treated the box as gently as needed?  I still think a plastic insert would be better.  If you buy expansions and add them to the box, the flimsy middle divider would not be a factor.

Artistic Direction

The art is comic book style.  The font fits the theme as well.  I think it is what gives it such charm.  There is a LOT of art in the box.  There is not much card repetition in a deck which generates a lot of art variety per character.  However, the quality can vary.  Some cards have great art.  Some don’t capture me.

Fun Factor

What I like most about Sentinels of the Multiverse is how much there is to explore.  Lots of mystery makes me want to return to a game over and over again.  I want to know what it would be like to fight with different heroes in different environments against different villains.  Each of the decks and powers requires different strategies. 

Some might say that the randomness of drawing from the deck restricts strategy.  I look at this as more of a challenge.  You don’t know what is going to happen so you have to approach each battle with what you have.  Don’t have your best weapons right away?  Make lemonade out of lemons and work on a different approach.

Age Range & Weight

Sentinels of the Multiverse is for ages 14 and up.  It is not that the rules are difficult but that there is a maturity needed in the way of having patience and persistence.  You need to read many cards and consider how they interact with each other.

The game instructions are misleadingly simple.  First, the villain draws and plays a card.  Next, each player plays a card, uses a power, and draws a card.  Finally, the environment draws and plays a card.  In between these moves, it takes concentration to remember all that is going on.  As more cards are on the playing field and more enemies are cropping up, things can get messy.  I’d say the game is very easy to learn but a fair amount of work to keep up with.  Even with the reminder tokens, we would forget things as we played.

Conclusions

Sentinels of the Multiverse is an easy to learn game but something that requires a good memory to keep up with details.  You will need to find like-minded people to play with.  My husband does not like games that require a lot of memory items to track between moves.  At first, he did not care much for playing.  However, after a couple of games, he became more familiar with how the characters operated.  Then, he was more open to playing.  So, it is possible to introduce new players if they are willing to give it a few goes.  Fortunately, the villains, environments, and heroes are rated on a scale of 1 to 3 for how complex they are to play.  Start newbies on the least complex decks.

I LOVE superheroes, the movies, and all the paraphernalia that goes with them.  However, the artwork is something I both like and dislike.  I like the colors, variety and comic book feel but don’t always enjoy the compositions.  Even so, the overall art experience gives the game its personality.  For that, I am pleased.

Sentinels of the Multiverse has both good and bad aspects…like any game actually.  Personally, the level of work tracking status was more than I would like.  That’s not to say I want to give up my copy of the game!  It just means I need to be in the right frame of mind.

If you enjoy fighting baddies with superheroes, keeping track of details, and doting over a big box of cards this game will float your boat.  If you are up for the challenge, by all means, get your feet wet!  Go put on your superhero tights and beat up some bad guys.  Oh, and don’t forget how awesome it is that this game is cooperative….hmmm….are you getting an image of your friends in tights?