- Category: Comicology
- Created on Sunday, 01 June 2014 14:12
- Written by Mark Navarro
- Hits: 3166
Who would’ve guessed that, arguably, the greatest superhero card game of all time would not be a DC or Marvel product? You read correctly, folks. Sentinels of the Multiverse, created by Greater than Games, is the definitive superhero tabletop gaming experience and will leave you wanting more after every game night.
This cooperative, fixed-deck card game is so simple that non-gamers and non-cape enthusiasts will find it very easy to pick up the game and get it right after one round. To understand how the game works, you need to know what’s in the box.
The base game contains:
8 hero character decks of 41 cards each
4 villain character decks of 27 cards each
4 environment decks of 15 cards each
1 crapload of tokens to keep track of game effects and damage dealt
A group of 3 to 5 players choose one hero each to play, one villain for them to fight against, and one environment where the battle will take place. Each round starts with the villain attacking random heroes, and then each player takes their turn doing as much as they can to launch a coordinated attack, and ends with the environment either helping or hindering the heroes’ progress. If the heroes can stay alive and bring the villain to 0 hit points, then the group wins!
The villain and environment decks can play themselves just fine and their rules and effects are simple enough for even the Hulk to play through. Additionally, the range of strategies that each villain employs is so diverse that a “F**k sh** up!” game plan will not fare well at the higher difficulty settings. Difficulty scales up depending on the number of players so playing with the maximum 5 players.
Villains also have distinct conditions that make them "flip" to their super-powered mode. If you're an imaginative kind of gamer, then this mechanic combined with the environment events gives the game a different story every time you play.
Furthermore, each hero deck plays a different way. This forces players to change their mindset every game. During their turns, players:
Step 1: Play a Card
Step 2: Use a power action
Step 3: Draw a card
And if they choose to skip steps 2 and 3, they can draw 2 cards at the end of the turn. It's simple stuff, really.
Playing as a Sentinel of the Multiverse and teaming up with other sentinels is what makes the game so addicting. Each hero deck is built around the powers of a specific hero. Heroes spend their turns playing cards that take effect immediately, or playing equipment or ongoing cards that buff the hero or give the team a passive boost. For example, Tachyon, the speedster of the team, focuses more on playing more cards from her hand and cycling through the top cards of her deck into her trash pile to make her powers stronger. Visionary is the Jean Grey/ Professor X of the Sentinels and she allows players to draw cards and deals psychic damage to foes.
For hardcore gamers, villains also have an advanced difficulty setting (developers can’t guarantee the game balance on this mode). This combined with the fixed-deck style of play gives Sentinels of the Multiverse massive replay value for the core set alone. Several expansions are already out in the market that adds even more longevity to the game with the addition of new villain, hero, and environment decks. I’ve gone out and purchased all 4 expansions and after dozens of game sessions, my playgroup still find ourselves playing the game for hours on end.
For some gamers though, the satisfaction of card games comes from building a deck and then using it to whip the other players into submission. Sentinels of the Multiverse takes both of that away and offers a reward system that is entirely different. Think long and hard whether that's something you and your playgroup would be open to as this is no small investment. The core game goes for Php 1,800 - Php 2,200 depending on where you buy it. And don't forget the four expansions that go for about Php 4,000.
If you’re looking for a game with a comic book flavor, or are after a fresh gaming experience, then you can’t pass on Sentinels of the Multiverse. Copies are still being sold at Hobbes and Landes and Neutral Grounds(NG) although you may have to do a bit of hunting for the expansions. Although I'm sure NG can hook you up with every set after you give them a phone call. The base game and the four expansions can fit neatly inside two boxes, even with card sleeves. Dividers with cool, deck-specific artwork is included.
With a fanbase that grows even more as expansions are released, a strategy game in the works, and a delightfully entertaining web comic, expect this to be the start of a great multiverse.
TABLE IT - If you have a steady group of 3 to 5 people who are into comic books and want an accessible tabletop gaming experience
PASS IT - If you already like the challenge of deck-building and/or are a competitive gamer.