I truly love the story behind Sentinels of the Multiverse.
The designer loved board games and couldn’t find a style of game that he wanted to play. He wanted a comic book superhero game in which everyone teamed up to beat on the bad guys… but he couldn’t find one.
All of the games on the market at the time didn’t offer the cooperative superhero bro team that he was looking for. So he did what any sane person would do. He made his own. And apparently, there were a whole lot of people who agreed with him.
The designer of the game, Christopher Badell, may have gone a little overboard. He not only created a game but he also created an entire universe of alternate-reality comic books. He didn’t have access to big-time franchise licensing from Marvel or DC, so he made up his own.
Brief Overview of Sentinels of the Multiverse
Each superhero and villain in the game is from their own set of comic books from the fictional publishing company, Sentinel Comics.
The makers of Sentinels of the Multiverse created a fictional universe in which all of the comic book heroes and villains mentioned in the game actually refer back to a whole world of comics that were never written and don’t exist. It’s a spoof of not just comics but the entire comic book industry.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is not an innovative game. Everything in the box you’ll find in other games and in different genres.
So what sets this one apart?
It’s fun, it has an amazing story behind the game, and it’s very pretty.
There are certain games that are obviously a labor of love and true dedication to an idea. This enthusiasm can’t help but be translated into the final product.
Sentinels of the Multiverse doesn’t innovate, but what it does is give the players an amazing experience and a very fun game.
Let’s take a look and the meat of the game and maybe you’ll see why I’ve been gushing like a schoolgirl.
Versions & Expansions
Sentinels of the Multiverse: Rook City & Infernal Relics
These 2 expansions were some of the first to come out and now it’s a little difficult to find them separately. Luckily for us, however, they’ve been re-released as a bundle so you’ll get the 2-for-1 combo.
Rook City offers new settings and some updated mechanics. You’ll also get access to 2 new heroes:
- Mr. Fixer: a local martial artist that was killed and then resurrected (yikes).
- Ex-Patriette: A mashup of Batman and the Punisher (ouch).
Infernal Relics adds more arcane-themed villains and supes into your game. Here, you’ll get two new heroes, four new villains, and two new environments to fight through.
- This contains two expansions to Sentinels of the Multiverse
- Not a standalone game
- Adds depth and complexity
Sentinels of the Multiverse: Shattered Timelines & Wrath of the Cosmos
It’s at about this point in a comic book’s lifetime that the writers start to get creative with storylines… and Sentinels of the Multiverse follows the same playbook.
Shattered Timelines runs through the comic book trope of time travel and introduces alternate timelines, new heroes, and mechanics that allow you to repair the timeline before the world implodes on itself.
The Wrath of the Cosmos expansion introduces otherworldly threats. Our heroes are now forced to “guard the galaxy” from intergalactic threats but luckily, new characters will join forces to help stop a universal catastrophe.
Shattered Timelines and Wrath of the Cosmos expansions are now also bundled together now and pretty tough to find separately. But if you love this game as much as we do, bundles are a good thing.
- For 2-5 Players
- 60 minute playing time
- Double-Expansion to Sentinels of the Multiverse
Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance
In this mega expansion, you get a complete team of 5 heroes: the Freedom Five, plus two new environments to explore. This expansion is all about the villains, however. The Vengeful Five are out to destroy the heroes once and for all! In Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance, your team of heroes now gets to battle a team of villains who buff each other and coordinate their attacks. Good freaking luck.
- This is an expansion to Sentinels of the Multiverse
- Not a standalone game
- Adds depth and complexity
Sentinels of The Multiverse: Villains of The Multiverse
The Villians of the Multiverse expansion delivers 10 super-powered villains and 4 new environments for more exciting combat in the Multiverse. In the same vein as the Vengeance expansion, the villains are teaming up, putting their own goals aside in order to defeat the heroes. Assemble an epic superhero team to combat these bad guys before they conquer all the worlds.
- For 3-5 Players
- 60 minute playing time
- Adds depth and complexity
Sentinels of the Multiverse: OblivAeon
This expansion is the equivalent of Thanos coming out of the woodwork and attempting to *snap* our heroes out of existence.
This expansion introduces a really Big Bad Evil Guy that can’t be contained in just a card. He comes with his very own cardboard standee.
The fight plays out in two rounds that are essentially two different games of Sentinels. Each time the BBEG is pushed back, he gets a little stronger. If you’re looking for a higher difficulty and a bigger boss to test your strength, Oblivaeon is the perfect challenge.
- For 1-5 Players
- 30-60 minute playing time
- Several villain decks that work together in different ways to...
Unboxing Sentinels of the Multiverse
Here I’m going to talk about the second edition. There are some major differences in quality between the first and second editions, so TL;DR, get the second edition. It’s better.
When you unbox Sentinels of the Multiverse, the first thing you’ll see is the rulebook. It’s actually kinda cute. It’s in the shape of a mini-comic book, and the second edition has been updated to clarify rules from the original. There are also some very handy charts that you’ll want nearby on your first playthrough.
Next, come a whole host of tokens. In the first edition, you had to keep track of everything by yourself, but now you’ll have tokens that keep track of everything for you. There simply designed and thick cardboard quality.
The cards are vastly improved over the first edition too. The color quality is better and the card stock is much thicker.
The only thing that gets me is the card dividers… or lack thereof. I’m a total freak when it comes to board game storage. The box is divided in half and it’s just two big sleeve holders for the cards. There are absolutely no dividers at all, so you’ll either have to sort through cards before every game or make your own cardboard dividers.
Personally, I have a lot of cardboard backings from comic book sleeves so when I run into this problem I cut them down to make dividers for my games. They just happen to be thematically on-point for a board game about comic books.
- 10 Hero Character Cards
- 400 Hero Cards
- 8 Villain Character Cards
- 100 Villian Cards
- 60 Environment Cards
- 36 Divider Cards
- 120 Round Tokens
- 42 Rectangular Tokens
- 1 Rulebook
How to Play Sentinels of the Multiverse
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a very simple card game.
Each superhero in the game comes with its own custom deck of cards. Each deck is tailored to its superhero. Some heroes are better at buffing their fellow teammates, others are a bit more punchy, and some have weird mashups of superhero powers and abilities. You’ll have to experiment with all of them… which is half of the fun.
There are 3 main parts to every game:
- The Villain
- The Heroes
- The Environment (Location)
These can all be mixed-and-matched to change things up, which adds a ton of replayability and longevity to the game.
Villains go first.
I mean, it does make sense if you think about it. Heroes don’t crash through somebody’s house and start beating on them while they’re having their morning Cheerios. They’re reactionary. They only show up after somebody has robbed a bank or tried to turn the entire population into newts or something.
At the start of every round, the baddies are going to do something. You’ll have to draw a card from the villain deck and play it. Some cards have instant effects and others have permanent effects that remain in play from round to round.
After the drawn card is played, you need to resolve any other cards they have in play. Then the heroes are on-deck.
Then the Heroes show up.
Players then take turns performing actions. During a player’s turn, they can play a card from their hand, use a power from their hero or another card, and then draw a card.
If you don’t play a card or use a power, you can draw an additional card.
The final stage of the round deals with any environmental challenges. It works basically like every other round.
Players take a look at any environment cards in play and resolve them. Then they’ll draw another card from the environment deck and put it into play. Easy peasy.
After playing abilities and cards, you may find yourself in combat with some henchmen or even the big bad evil guy himself.
Combat is pretty easy and self-explanatory. Read the cards being used and they’ll explain the amount of damage each attack does and what type of damage it causes.
There are 11 different types of damage:
Depending on the type of damage and who you’re hitting, you can potentially do more or less damage to a target. Some characters will be more susceptible to certain attacks or more resistant, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the type of damage.
When the Villain is reduced to zero (0) hit points, the Heroes win the game.
When a Hero is reduced to zero (0) hit points, they are incapacitated. They flip their character card and are reduced to only performing the actions on the incapacitated side of the card. These actions usually buff any remaining heroes in play. This simulates a hero who fights even harder as their team begins to fall around them, which I think it’s a cool concept.
Your First Game of Sentinels of the Multiverse
The first thing to do when starting a game is to pick which cards you want to play with.
- Which Villain do you want to fight?
- Which Heroes are you going to use?
- Where are you going to fight?
The answers to each of those questions require a different deck of cards.
Each Hero, Villain, and Environment has a separate deck.
As far as villains go, Baron Blade is a decent place to start for beginners. For beginner heroes, having Legacy on the team is a really good start. His abilities revolve around healing and buffs and it’ll help to have him on the team while you learn the rules.
Pros & Cons
- Amazing artwork
- Incredible theme
- Easy rules
I simply love everything about the concept here. Someone wanted to see a game so they made it. They came up with rules for something they were interested in and passionate about and really made it their own. The theme works amazingly well, the game is simple to learn, and it’s easy to jump into.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is an example of board game purity in my opinion. There isn’t anything particularly innovative but it doesn’t need it. It’s still just a fun cooperative game with beautiful artwork. There are some games out there, especially on Kickstarter, that add all kinds of bells and whistles to prop up the game. Thematic elements and components can be fun, but at its core, it still needs to be fun and make you want to pull it off the shelf.
The artwork is amazing, and they did a great job bringing their fictional Sentinel Comics characters to life. Overall, I’m just very impressed with what they were able to create.
- Some fights can be unbalanced
The only thing I can nitpick about Sentinels is some of the fight setups. This is bound to happen in a game that allows you to mix-and-match characters and villains. Some of the fights at certain player numbers can be a breeze, while others are almost impossible. That’s part of the fun, in my opinion, is seeing the different combinations that are created. But it’s worth noting that some matchups can be extremely unbalanced.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is a simple cooperative card game.
Each player chooses a character to play from the fictional world of Sentinel Comics and fights a Villain from that world.
Each location, hero, and villain has a separate deck of cards that are associated with it.
This is not a card-drafting game or deck-builder. The decks are presets based on the character.
Players take turns playing and drawing cards from their deck to defeat the villain. As players become incapacitated through damage, they’ll buff the remaining heroes.
The game is won when the villain is defeated.
I really like this game. The fictional world of Sentinel Comics is actually pretty fascinating. The creators keep a running tally of all the heroes, villains, and how they interact with each other. The heroes and villains are all variations of the classic comic book heroes, but with a twist. Just the random flavor text on the cards is worth getting into the game.
The idea of looking at board games and deciding that what you want to play hasn’t been made yet and making it yourself just tickles my fancy. It gives me hope that one day I’ll take my massive folder of game design notes and actually turn it into something.
Sentinels of the Multiverse has created a fun quirky universe to get lost in. They’ve even expanded from the board game with an online Steam version and even a tabletop RPG in which players can create their own superheroes and villains.
I can’t wait to see how they grow this world.
Have you tried Sentinels of the Multiverse or any of its expansions? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d also love to know about the board game you created when you couldn’t find one you liked… we all do that, right?