After Years of Waiting it Finally Came!
Sentinels of the Multiverse, or SoTM, is one of my favorite board games that I own. That’s why when the last expansion went up on Kicstarter years ago, along with the BIG box to hold it all, I jumped on it immediately. Well it took its sweet time but it finally came! Today I review the game, its digital version, and of course, the BIG box!
What exactly is Sentinels of the Multiverse? It’s a superhero themed cooperative card game where players play as one of several unique heroes as they fight a dastardly villain in various locations like the city or on Mars. The way SoTM plays is pretty simple. Draw a card, play a card, and then use a power. This repeats for each hero and then the villain takes a turn by playing the next card of his deck and triggering any effects in play. You do this until either the villain is thwarted or each hero has fallen in battle.
It was right before superhero movies became the next hottest thing that Sentinels of the Multiverse saw its debut. Featuring a cast of original superheros and villains loosely inspired by famous counterparts. You have Legacy, your Superman type hero, with his dreaded nemesis Baron Blade, a mix between a mad scientist and Lex Luthor. Not only this, but a big appeal of the game was that the rule books doubled as actual comic books set in the universe of the game.
Eventually SoTM would see multiple expansions ranging from big box additions to smaller single deck expansions. Each new thing would build on the world’s lore and was something that a lot of folks who were into the game, like me for example, avidly followed. The comics were fun, each expansion brought a lot of flavor to the game, and all this was done while mostly keeping the core concept simple even as it added more complexity.
As time when on the game innovated. One of the things fans wanted was the ability to fight a league of villains, not just a single villain at a time. This upped the complexity while still keeping the general rules of play pretty straight forward. At one point things even branched out into a miniatures game, which I have, but that lacked the charm that the SoTM card game provided. Unfortunately, the mini’s game was tossed to the wayside for better or for worse.
With each new installment with the franchise came wildly popular Kickstarters that always exceeded expectations. If you were lucky enough to catch them and jump on board you got a TON of extras that made the game all the more amazing. This leads us to today’s main topic of discussion, the BIG box!
I ordered the BIG box and final expansion a long time ago, several years ago in fact. Things from that Kickstarter trickled in slowly, like the sweet foil hero cards in the collector’s edition box, but the main feature of the final expansion and box to store everything for the game in kept getting delayed. It turns out designing a box to hold roughly 40LBS of game is a Herculean task!
Finally, it came though. Oh man, was excited because it even came early! Here is everything that came in the 20LBS box in all its glory:
Pretty cool right? Ok, maybe this picture doesn’t do it justice but believe me when I say that this was a BIG deal. I carefully opened all of this, got out my 3 other boxes of meticulously organized SoTM stuff (consolidated from 8 boxes), and then proceeded to spend well over three hours porting everything over to the BIG box.
I actually took a picture of me doing this at one point but it came out really badly. I’ll include it but just wanted to give you guys a fair warning. My hands are pretty shaky usually and my camera/the lighting in my room sucks. Any way, here’s the process like 25% of the way through:
Then I took a picture when I was finished.
Lastly, here’s this baby on the shelf!
You might be thinking, “jeez… that’s too much game and I’m not sure I want to get involved with that.” Well no worries! The physical game definitely takes up a lot of space BUT there is a digital version on Steam and it is really good. In fact, you can try it out risk free with a demo that teaches you how to play the game which you can find here.
The digital version, which is available on mobile or PC, has several advantages over the physical version beyond just space saving. For the first big plus, the game keeps track of damage modifiers and distribution for you automatically. When you play this in person it can be easy to make mistakes if you aren’t paying attention, these don’t usually ruin the play experience, but not having to worry about it is a nice feature.
In addition to this, the digital version is very atmospheric as everything feels like you are playing a, “living” comic book issue. This helps bring the game even more to life. You can also play the game pass’n’play style/hotseat or online with friends. Lastly, you can get a lot of the expansions as dlc for the game which I highly recommend (especially on sale).
The game ranges from stupidly easy to, “we don’t have a prayer of winning” so SoTM is something you can enjoy with just about anybody of any age. I recommend grabbing 3-5 friends and trying the various combinations of heroes, villains, and environments out.
Now there are some downsides to the digital version. While the card interactions are really well handled and atmosphere is on point, it does lack some visual polish that you may expect. Still, the game has to handle some complex interactions and I’d take the core game playing well over some visual polish.
I recommend the physical edition, it just feels great to bust open the cards and read the comics, but I understand that with all the expansions it gets a bit unwieldy. If you can’t afford the space or cost is a problem, then the digital edition is an ideal alternative. You can pick that up here for Steam for $9.99.
Seriously, I love this game and I hope that you’ll check it out. This is one of the best coop games that I own because of its theme, accessibility, and overall feeling. While other games have come and done the superhero thing, some even a bit better than this one, SoTM still remains the original and one well worth your time.
Have you played Sentinels of the Multiverse or want to check it out? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you like the stuff I’m doing here than please consider pushing the button below to donate a few bucks to me. As always, thank you for reading and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!