We all are all a bit enamoured with some super hero or another. I have heard a lot of people say they don’t like comic books, but never heard anyone say they don’t like super heroes. And I don’t think it’s the spandex. I’ve tried it. Not good, I can tell you!
Thus is not surprising that we like games that help us put ourselves in the shoes of a super hero or heroine. And this is what Sentinels of the Multiverse does precisely!
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative card game for up to 5 players in which the players take on the role of a hero or heroine and combats some arch villain hell bent on either destroying the world or subjugating it. Needless to say those are not options!
Very simple. 578 cards in the simplest of boxes. The quality of the cards is pretty decent. It’s not the thickest of them all, but they hold very nicely in the hand and the vivid colours of the illustrations are excellent.
The artwork might not be to everyone’s taste, but it is very appropriate. The artist, Adam Rebottaro, has done an incredible work. Creating over 500 illustrations with characters and complements to the adventures they’ll embark upon.
The rules manual is probably the weakest point. With a comic book-ish style, the rules are not all the clear to understand right away. If you are like me, a player who starts to play and gets acquainted with the rules as the game progresses, you’ll be fine. If you are like my friend and need to understand that rules before you start to play, then you’ll have it a bit slower to start with. Our game was a three players game and one of my friends is one of those who needs to understand everything, not just the rules, before gaming, and also plan a strategy in advance rather than improvise.
Yep… wincing is appropriate!
The point of this is not to have a rant about the rules, though. Although they could be a bit more neatly laid out, more clearly and more game-play examples with clearer instructions wouldn’t have gone amiss. However, they are actually quite fun to read and introduce the game very nicely. It’s also full of good ideas, like having a glossary at the back of the booklet.
The game setup is fairly straight forward. Once you separate the cards by decks, just choose your heroes, your villain and the environment where you’ll fight. This is one thing I wish they had explained in the rules. Although separating the decks was easy, having illustrations of the back of the cards to identify what deck is what, and some sort of description or overview of what sort of content they have would help a lot the first few times you play.
Playing the game
Playing is very easy. There are three turns and every turn a few phases you follow sequentially. Of course this is easier said than done. As soon as you start to draw cards you start to get more instructions of things to do and the fun can begin. As per many other card games out there, this follows the principle of “few rules, many exceptions”.
The interesting thing about this game is that, as the game progresses, you can see the deck for each hero has been carefully customised to reflect the nature of the hero’s powers. Yet, they can work very nicely with each other in a cooperative way and, most importantly, they can always do something against the villain, no matter who the villain is.
Gameplay is fairly quick, though the 30-60 minutes the box indicates for a game can be a bit optimistic. If you stop a bit to plan what to do, or are unfamiliar with the powers and the game in general, it can take a great deal longer. Our first game took nearly three hours.
This was with a player who suffers from over-analysis paralysis, though!
I love it. Once you get over the rules, you are having an adventure as much as you’re playing a game. This game plays and you can tell the story as you go along. In fact, when you have finished the game, whether you win or lose, you will find yourself telling the story of how that happened.
Because of the random nature of the drawing of the cards mechanics, there are little possibilities of long term strategy, but that gets nicely compensated by the cooperative nature of the game. Discussing how to use the hero powers to aid a fellow heroine do something in their turn or the turn after is just as fun.
With myriad combination thanks to the amazing amount of cards and expansions coming out, this game has a fantastic potential for replayability. Even if the box is very basic, the price tag is very fair, especially considering that this game is cheaper than other games with similar number of cards but it’s made by a very small company.
I am more than confident in this game to give this game 4 stars.
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