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Sentinels of the Multiverse Card Game Review

Sentinels of the Multiverse Card Game

Despite a few drawbacks, “Sentinels of the Multiverse” is an intensely fun card game.

When it comes to comic book or superhero themed board/card games, there aren’t many titles in this genre that gamers would consider good to great games. In fact, until rather recently, there weren’t many titles at all. Along with recently released popular card games like “DC Comics Deck Building Game” and “Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game,” “Sentinels of the Multiverse” definitely fills that void in the board/card gaming world.

If you’re wondering what comic book “Sentinels of the Multiverse” is based on, you should know that it’s not based on one. ‘Multiverse’ is an original comic book themed property with unique characters that are obviously homages to comic icons like the Hulk or Captain America. In the enhanced edition base set that I am reviewing, the box contains 10 heroes (Bunker, Absolute Zero, Haka, Fanatic, Wraith, The Visionary, Tempest, Ra, Legacy and Tachyon), 4 environments (AKA locations) and 4 villains (Omnitron, Baron Blade, Grand Warlord Voss and Citizen Dawn) each of which has their own pre-constructed decks. In total, the set contains a whopping 162 tokens (to keep track of hit points, statuses, and damage points), 578 cards, and 36 divider cards for heroes, villains, and environments (including ones for expansion characters). On the subject of expansions, ‘Multiverse’ currently has 3 expansions (“Rook City,” “Shattered Timelines,”  “Infernal Relics,” and more to come) that provide more hero, environment, and villain decks to further enhance your gaming sessions.

Now, you’re probably wondering to yourself, what does all this mean? If you’re familiar with fighting card games like “Magic The Gathering” or “Smash Up,” ‘Multiverse’ definitely has similarities to those, but the gameplay mechanics are much, much different here. While many cards games are 1 on 1, ‘Multiverse’ differs in that it’s a cooperative game in which you and a friend (or 4 friends) work together to face off against a single villain deck and one environment deck. Players have the option of taking on 1 or more hero decks in order to combat the villain and the environment obstacles. This may seem like overkill, but trust me; you’ll need several heroes in order to win.

Each hero deck comes with 40 cards that contain different powers and abilities in the form of 4 different card types- ongoing, one-shot, equipment and limited. On each turn, you will be able to play one card from your hand and in some cases more depending on the cards ability. You will also play 1 power each turn that can either deal damage to a villain (or one of the nasty minions in his or her deck) or benefit you and your heroes (such as regaining power). Meanwhile, you and your pal will also control the villain deck (comprised of 25 cards) and the environment deck (made up of 15 cards) that dish out all sorts of damage and problems to the heroes. To be fair though, the environment deck can deal out helpful cards and or damge the villain as well, but it’s mostly a pain in the neck. The game ends when either all of the heroes have perished or when the villain is destroyed.

So, with all of that said, how does the game fare? Well, that will likely depend on what you want out of a card game. If you’re expecting a fast paced deck building game like “Dominion” or a speedy CCG game, you might be disappointed to know that ‘Multiverse’ is a much more involved and time consuming game. This is mostly due in part to the amount of cards that can be played in a single game. To say the game can be cluttered is an understatement and the game only becomes busier when there are more heroes in play. With the large amount of cards on the battlefield, you can expect a lot of tokens and math to disrupt the flow of play. For example, let’s say Legacy, Tempest, and Tachyon are taking on Omnitron in the Ruins of Atlantis environment. Between Omnitron’s own abilities, his ongoing effects, and the amount of drones and components in his deck, he has a tendency to deal a lot of damage to the heroes. As a result, players will be scrambling to adjust the power levels (with tokens) of their heroes while also playing damage dealt and or damage type tokens. As you can imagine, this can certainly bog down the pacing of the game (especially if you are just starting out). Additionally, with so many aspects to keep track of, you’re going to make mistakes. Granted, you will learn from them in the future, but even for veteran players, it can be overwhelming and downright exhausting to keep track of every card in play.

Now, I’m not saying the game is boring or slow because it’s not at all. ‘Multiverse’ is extremely intense, challenging, fun, and, best of all, unpredictable. Just when you think things are going your way, the villain (or environment) plops a crippling card in front of you that could leave your heroes dead. It’s this type of scenario that will have gamers wanting to replay it over and over in order to devise new strategies that can dismantle the baddie and lead them to victory. Add in the fact that competitive gamers can work on effective hero combinations and or increase the level of difficulty with the advance portion of the game and you’ll find that this game will greatly appeal to card game lovers.

Another deeply enjoyable aspect of ‘Multiverse’ is the overall presentation. Thanks to Christopher Badell’s writing and Adam Rebottaro’s artwork, ‘Multiverse’ is a fully fleshed out creation. Between the beautiful card art and the comic book shaped rule book, gamers will get bios and images of all of the heroes and villains. What really struck me about all of this is that it’s clear a lot of time, effort, and artistry went into this game. This doesn’t feel like a rushed prepackaged game. It’s a big special box that will delight anyone who appreciates comic books and or superheroes. It’s refreshing to see that “Sentinels of the Multiverse” has essentially become its own franchise because it deserves to be one.

Summary: While aggravating at times to be sure, the flaws of “Sentinels of the Multiverse” should not prevent one from picking up this impressive card game. With a bargain price of less than $40, this game is both cheaper and more replayable than your average modern video game. Check it out.

“Sentinels of the Multiverse” retails for $39.95 on the Greater Than Games site here: http://greaterthangames.com/store/category/games

‘Sentinels’ and its expansions are also available to purchase on Amazon. You can check with your local game store to see if they have copies available as well.

July 7, 2013 - Posted by | Game Review | , , , , , , , , ,

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