Everywhere you turn, there are superheroes. Marvel and DC dominate the multiplexes with giant studio pictures, while shows like The Tick are popular on streaming services. Let’s face it: society loves superheroes. And honestly, it makes sense. I mean, who doesn’t love being able to save the day every now and then? With Sentinels of the Multiverse, now you can be the hero the multiverse needs.
Origin Story: Getting Started
Is your ideal hero a heavy-hitter or a healer? Someone who uses lots of cards to build attacks or lots of one-shots? You decide! Each unique Hero comes with their own custom deck with powers and surprises specifically for them. The base game comes with 10 Heroes: Absolute Zero, Bunker, Fanatic, Haka, Legacy, Ra, Tachyon, Tempest, The Visionary, and The Wraith. Each character has different strengths and play styles. While I enjoy each Hero for different reasons, I have a special soft spot for Tempest.
Once everyone has picked out a Hero, you need to decide upon your foe. Has Grand Warlord Voss come to take over the planet or do you need to stop Baron Blade from creating the next doomsday device? There are four Villains to choose from in the base game.
The last part of setup is figuring out where this showdown will happen. There are four environment choices. Most of the time, the environment will make the fight much harder for the heroes, but nature can be cruel to everyone.
And now you are ready to start! The game begins with the Villain turn. Follow all start-of-turn instructions on the Villain card, if there are any, then draw and play a card for the Villain. Once you have figured out what the Villain is doing, it’s time for the Hero turn. Each Hero plays a card (optional) then uses a power. Once all Heroes have taken a turn, flip over the top card of the Environment deck and resolve it. The game continues in this way until either the Villain’s health reaches zero and all Heroes win, or all Heroes have been eliminated and evil reigns!.
Battle of the Century
As you chip away at the Villain’s health, anything can happen. More of their minions could join the fight, you could lose a particularly important piece of equipment or how the Villain takes damage might completely change. In Sentinels, the cards rule supreme. What I find to be one of the best elements of the game is how each hero deck is thematically tailored to the Hero. For example, a big hitter like Haka has lots of strong, one-shot cards that will inflict a lot of damage. Absolute Zero’s deck is all about controlling and equipping his suit. It means that each Hero has a different play style, so your strategy will change. And even though you might battle Citizen Dawn as Tempest a hundred times over, the fight will never go the same way twice, making Sentinels an incredibly replayable game.
The Extra Mile
On top of being a well-made game, what makes Sentinels even better for me is the lore of the multiverse. Game creators Christopher Badell, Paul Bender, and Adam Rebottaro have an extensive backlog of information about each character, which is not necessary to actual game mechanics, but does deeply enrich game play. There’s a documented history between characters, but the idea is that each game you play becomes part of the comic canon. If you find yourself really enjoying this game, I highly recommend checking out Badell and Rebottaro’s podcast The Letters Page . It will tell you everything from tragic hero backstories to how a character was received in the “multiverse” of Sentinel Comics.
Above and Beyond
Need more heroic world-saving? Luckily this beloved game is available across multiple platforms. There’s the tabletop option with a plethora of card expansions, as well as an RPG version, a video game version available for your phone, tablet or PC, and a new story-driven, turn-based RPG video game called Sentinels of Freedom which was recently released on Steam.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is one of my favorite go-to games when my fiancé and I are wanting to play something quick. Once you get familiar with the heroes, you can take full advantage of their skill sets and games become fast-paced brawls. Plus, as befitting a multiverse, this world is huge. I recommend taking full advantage of everything the world of Sentinel Comics has to offer.