This Sentinels of the Multiverse review was made after playing the game about 10 times.
What is Sentinels of the Multiverse?
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a superhero card game that is similar to many of the most famous comic book franchises, but with its own unique characters and backstories. The game, which allows solo or cooperative play for up to five players, has everyone controlling different heroes against a supervillain.
All of these characters (and environments) can be mixed up in various ways to create a large number of different scenarios. As a result, each game is going to be a bit different, which allows for immense replay value.
Sentinels of the Multiverse Gameplay
The Sentinels of the Multiverse rules are pretty straightforward. I’m only going to go over the basics here, but that should be enough to give you a feel for how to play the game.
Each hero has 40 cards and a character card that shows their initial hit (health) points. Each player shuffles his or her deck, draws four cards, and then you’re ready to go!
On a player’s turn, they must play a card, draw a card, and use a power provided by their activated cards. Then the environment and the villain take their actions.
Players work together to defeat the villain, but if a hero has their hit points fall to 0, they will not be able to use any cards or powers and will effectively become an incapacitated hero. They can use certain abilities at this point to help the other players, though.
If the villain has his hit points reduced to 0, the players win. If all the players are incapacitated, then the villain wins.
- The superhero theme comes through very well through the beautiful artwork on the cards, the actions you can take, and the flavor text on just about everything in the game, including the rulebook. Even people who aren’t into comic books will probably get a kick out of the theme in Sentinels of the Multiverse.
- Sentinels of the Multiverse is not a very complex game, but there’s enough going on to keep everyone’s interest levels high. You have to keep your eye on how the villain, his minions, and the environment affects you each round, which gives the game a good amount of tension.
- There have been many instances where my group has gotten so immersed in the game that we started speaking to each other as if we were our characters. That’s something that I’m always hoping for, but it doesn’t happen that often. The designers did a great job of character and world building here.
- Sentinels of the Universe requires a lot of teamwork if you want to succeed. All of the heroes have their strengths and weaknesses, so you have to figure out good team strategies to take on the different enemies. You simply cannot win this game without working together.
- There is a lot of replay value here. You can mix and match the villains and environments, and you can try to beat them with different groups of heroes. Plus, you can add in even more content with the expansions.
- My one somewhat major issue with Sentinels has to do with the HP counters. It can be very tough to track the hit points for every character in the game, especially if you are a newcomer. If someone doesn’t track the hit points correctly, it can make the game grind to a halt and can be pretty frustrating trying to correct any mistakes you’ve made. I think just about everyone gets sick of those counters after a couple of games.
- I wish that they had included some type of mini campaign that used the included villains and environments. That would have been really cool.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is seen by many as being one of the best tabletop games of 2011, and I can see why. All of the heroes are unique and interesting to play with and most of our games have gone down to the wire. The HP counters can be annoying, but they haven’t ruined the experience for anyone in my group. Anyone who enjoys cooperative card games and/or superheroes will probably love Sentinels of the Multiverse.
If you end up liking the base game, I definitely recommend checking out these Sentinels of the Multiverse expansions:
- Sentinels of the Multiverse: Rook City & Infernal Relics
- Sentinels of the Multiverse: Villains of the Multiverse
- Sentinels of the Multiverse: Wrath of the Cosmos
Update in 2019: I still love this game, but the app version is just flat-out better because it takes all of the fiddliness away. Everyone in my main group plays the game on the app, so we haven’t gotten the physical version to the table in a while. That’s why Sentinels was removed from our Top 40 Co-op Games list.