Posted by: gschloesser | August 26, 2011

Sentinels of the Multiverse

By:  Kevin Bender

Thursday night, three of us took on the guise of superheroes protecting the world in the card game Sentinels of the Multiverse.

This is a card game for 2 to 5 players consisting of over 600 cards that represent superheroes, villains and the environments that they confront each other in.  To begin, each player will select a superhero to play.  The mechanics of each hero deck are thematically driven by their superpowers, so each hero plays very differently.

Then one of the four villains will be selected as the adversary for the game, and one of the four environments will be chosen for the battle to take place in. The players will then join together to defeat the villain to win the game.

The only other component is the rulebook, which could have been a bit better as there are a couple rules questions that are going to require a FAQ. Fortunately the rulebook is full of great superhero comic flavor:  colorful fonts, good colorful art, and a stapled binding with a slick full color cover which make it feel like you are holding a comic book. The art on the cards, while not up to the standards of the top comic book artists, is good and does a great job evoking the superhero comics that inspired the game.

For this session, our heroes where tasked with saving the world from conquest by the alien invader Grand Warlord Voss. The Grand Warlord was marshaling his forces in the dangerous, primordial Insula Primalis (the environment for our game).

The hero team consisted of Legacy (Kevin), the leader who boosts all the other heroes on the team, Absolute Zero (Michael Ennis), an elemantal hero who can use cold damage to heal and can turn fire damage  back on his opponents, and Visionary (Rhonda Bender), a psychic heroine who can draw lots of cards. The Sentinels had a tough fight ahead of them and the slugfest was quite epic as they fended off both the Grand Warlord’s ever spawning minions and machines as well as the prehistoric dinosaurs and geologic disasters present in the swamps and forests of the Insula Primalis.

The gameplay is very straightforward, almost simplistic,  as each round there is a Villian turn, a turn for each hero, and then the Environment turn. Each villian has a villian deck which is the game machine that the players are working against, and special text on the villian card determines which hero (or heroes) the villian is attacking each turn. After the villain turn, each hero, in clockwise order, plays a card, uses one of his or her heroes powers, and then draws a card back to their hand. Cards played can be one-shot (one time effect then discard), ongoing (card has a permanent effect for the heroes), or a new power that the hero can choose from when selecting which power to use this turn.

Finally, after all heroes have taken their turns then a card is flipped over from the environment deck to see what unexpected danger is causing additional havoc (fortunately these environment cards can hurt, or help, the villian as well as the heroes).

Play continues in this fashion until the Villian is defeated or all the heroes are incapacitated.

In the end the Grand Warlord was barely defeated in time and his army destroyed. The world celebrated our valiant heroes triumph over evil.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is the best superhero card game I’ve ever played. It really captures the feel of a superhero comic book and the variety of the villians, environments, heroes and relatively short (about an hour) playing time make for a very replayable game.

While it is possible that some of the hero, villian, and environment combinations are not completely balanced, the game is just so much fun it is hard to fault it for this until such time as we have played enough to judge the balance question.


  1. I need to play this game more to really evaluate it, but I certainly did enjoy my first playing of it, and I felt that it really captured a superhero comic feel nicely. The art and overall presentation really ties in well with the theme.

    I know a lot of ETGers aren’t fond of games with a lot of different cards with effects and text, but the individual hero decks are made up of a core of cards with several duplicates, and there usually aren’t too many villain and environment cards out at once.

  2. I am a big superhero fan, so I’m looking forward to playing this one.

  3. After reading your session report, this game sounds somewhat similar to the Lord of the Rings card game from Fantasy Flight. Each player has a unique deck, and the players cooperate to defeat the “evil deck.” I look forward to trying SotM since I am a big comics fan.

  4. I played Sentinels twice on Thursday, and I really enjoyed it. I rated it 8. The variety of super heroes is great. The two heroes I played were drastically different, requiring different strategies. The artwork is good, but it is more cartoonish than most modern comics. It reminds me of the current Cartoon Network versions of the Marvel comic heroes. I also liked that there are different environment decks to add variety to the villain encounters. This game is somewhat similar to the Lord of the Rings LCG, though I think Rings is a better game with better art, mechanics, and customization. Advantage of Sentinels is that it plays four players in the core game. I can’t wait to play Sentinels again soon.

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