Originally Posted at http://gameswithtwo.blogspot.com/2012/10/comic-books-card-ga...
If you haven't noticed super heroes, especially those found in comic books, are pretty popular right now. Some of the top grossing movies this year were super hero movies. If you go down the toy aisle at the local big box store, it's filled with row-upon-row of super hero merchandise. They have pretty much taken over the world of entertainment over the last 10 years. The only area that they haven't really gotten deep into is table-top gaming. Sure, there are super hero versions of the popular games, but none of them really scratch that itch of being a super hero. None of them make you feel like you are part of the X-Men, Avengers, or Justice League of America. That is until GenCon 2011, and a small company called Greater Than Games brought a little gem called Sentinels of the Multiverse.
Overview and Game Play
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a 2-5 player card game that takes 60-120 minutes to play, and was designed by Christopher Badell, Paul Bender, and Adam Rebottaro. Sentinels is a cooperative game where each player selects a different super hero character. You then select a villain and location and you work together to try to defeat the villain. Each hero, villain, and environment has their own deck of cards and have their own abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. The goal of the game is to defeat the villain before all the heroes are defeated. The game play is straightforward: Villain Turn, Heroes Turns, Environment Turn. Each turn is fairly similar you do any actions on the card that say "At the start of the turn," then you play a card, and do anything that says, "Do at the end of the turn." The Hero phase has a couple more steps where you get to use a Power! and Draw! another card into your hand. After everyone has their turns, you repeat the process all over again. Play continues until the villains hit points are down to zero, or all the heroes hit points are down to zero.
Let's first talk about the components. You get over 570 cards in the game, dividers to divide out the different decks, and over 120 card board counters. The box is also large enough to fit several expansions, and they give you these nice foam blocks to keep the cards straight in the box. Please note that this is the new "Enhanced Version" of the game. In the first edition, you could hardly fit everything in the box, so the new version is a vast improvement. So much so that they were selling just the box and dividers to people who had purchased the original game. The value of the game is great; I believe it retails for around $40, and you get more than enough in this box and the game play to cover the cost.
The artwork for this game is amazing. It fits the theme perfectly. The rule book looks like a comic book. All the character cards look like comic book covers or part of a comic strip. It really enhances the theme and brings the theme of the game out. Mrs. Games with Two was going on and on about how much she loved the artwork for this game, and I couldn't agree with her more. Great artwork just make a game so much better.
The game play for this game is good. The actual game mechanics are easy to understand and give the feel of a team with different skills and abilities fighting a villain. There is also the ability to do some awesome combos as you play more cards. Each characters' unique abilities really come through, and each player has to play differently based on their character and the villain you are fighting. I love that you feel like you are fighting a villain and having to work as a team to do it.
I can't say too much bad about this game. The only problem that we found was that the game can tend to drag the first couple times you play it. That is mostly because each of the cards has a lot of text, and each of the characters plays differently. Meaning there is a bit of learning curve the first couple of games. This can especially be the case if you have a several new players. However, if you can get over that, you are in for a good time. I would say that the game is great for gamers who like comics, but not necessarily for people who love comics, but are only casually into games.
How is it with Two?
Personally, I didn't care for this one with two. You really have to have both players play two characters to make it work, and then it can get difficult to keep track of all the cards you have in play. So really, you are playing a four player game with just two people. If you want a challenge, you can try to play with two, but it just didn't work for us. So, this is going to have to be one that we pull out when we are having game nights, rather than more frequent nights of just the two of breaking out games.
If you are looking for a great comic book style game, Sentinels of the Multiverse is probably the best one on the market right now. It embraces it's theme and plays well. It isn't my favorite cooperative game, but I would put it up there, especially since it plays so different than most cooperative games. So, if you want to fill that Avengers niche in a table top game, SentinelsOTM is your best bet.
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