Overview: Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative fixed deck card game in which comic book heroes work together to defeat a villain. Players choose their hero deck before play as well as the villain deck and environment deck. The game starts with the villain phase where drones, minions, or powers are revealed. Play continues with the players’ hero turns where they may play a card, activate a power, then draw a card. These hero cards can be one-shots, ongoing, or special equipment that gives the hero and his teammates an extra boost in battle. The round ends with the environment deck which usually reeks havoc on the heroes, although some can have positive affects. Game ends when all heroes are destroyed or villain is destroyed (winning condition).
Sentinels of the Multiverse is rich in its comic book theme with awesome artwork and vibrant colors that makes it seem like you are in the comic book world. Players can choose from 10 different heroes, each of which have their own fixed deck, hit points (HP), and powers. It’s important to read each hero deck and get a feel for what type of character they are, whether it be a powerhouse or a support character. Players should work together picking their heroes and try to find ones that will work together well. The villains and environments also have different difficulties and often make the villain even more powerful. Sentinels of the Multiverse can be a very challenging game, which is important in a cooperative game. Sentinels balances itself out in difficulty because players can choose the difficulty before playing as they become familiar with the heroes, villains, and environments.
In terms of gameplay, Sentinels feels simple at the start, but increases complexity as cards are revealed giving extra damage to players or villains, damage immunity, extra powers, etc. Players must constantly keep track of who has the highest/lowest HP as certain environments or villain cards target one or the other. The damage tokens and condition tokens (i.e. +1 damage dealt, immune to toxic) help keep track as the game unfolds. Your heroes become more powerful as the game continues, with ongoing affects and powers making for huge damage or protection from villains. However, the villain or environment deck may reveal cards that trash all hero cards of a type or cause huge damage to players who have tons of equipment cards out, for example. This makes victory not as assured, which keeps the game interesting and challenging. Sentinels has great replay value because of the different combination of heroes, villains, and environments to choose from. Add expansions to the mix, and the game just keeps on giving. Sentinels of the Multiverse is a formidable cooperative game with a rich theme that even those who aren’t comic fans will enjoy.
2 Player Experience
Two player in Sentinels of the Multiverse is actually a three player game in a sense, since one player controls two heroes. Sentinels is more challenging with 2-3 players since there are only 3 hero turns in between villain and environment phases instead of 4 or 5. There are some cards that deal damage based on the number of players, which does balance out the difficulty somewhat. Even with the harder game, Sentinels plays really well with 2 players. Controlling two heroes was very fun, especially being able to combine a support character with a powerhouse character. If players find only having three heroes too challenging, they may decide to control two heroes each. In this way, the 2 and 4 player experience aren’t too different.
4 Player Experience
Four players with Sentinels of the Multiverse is a little less difficult than two player, but this can be balanced with choosing a harder villain or environment. Each player controls one hero and the downtime between turns isn’t an issue, as each hero consults their teammates on what to do during their turn. Players have a better chance of their heroes working together as there are four heroes instead of three, but it’s still important to make sure to have a hero or two who can help heal the team. The cool thing about four player is to see all the heroes working together in different ways and being able to see more heroes in action. Otherwise the gameplay is still quite similar to two player and is still extremely fun.