Mini Review: Sentinels of the Multiverse – Enhanced Edition
It’s been a year (already?) since I reviewed Sentinels of the Multiverse. What started as a largely unknown game that made some waves at GenCon 2011 has quickly grown a rabid fan base (myself included) and spawned two expansions. But, if there was one downside of the game, it was the components. The cards were on the thin side, there was no way to keep track of hit points, and there could be a lot of effects and accounting to remember. Plus, once you opened the box, it didn’t all fit back in very nicely.
Well, the Enhanced Edition promised to end all of that. And I’m pleased to say that it largely did. Bigger box, card dividers, thicker cards, and HP trackers all ensure a smoother, more self contained game. It also includes an updated manual that lists all of the heroes and their complexity, along with all of the villains and their difficulty. This can be quite handy when teaching a new player.
From an accounting perspective, the HP trackers are an absolutely fabulous addition to the game. While it was perfectly playable by adding in ten sided dice (which I did), fiddling with the dice isn’t fun. Shooting villains in the face. That’s fun.
Plus, when different effects occurred that prevented the use of power or cards, that rendered targets immune to damage, or that changed damage type, there was really nothing to do but remember. Luckily, I’ve got a pretty decent memory, so my groups tended to just rely on me. But now, I don’t have to worry about it. There are tons of markers that keep track of almost every situation. This lets the game flow more smoothly and keeps the enjoyment from getting bogged down in repeated arithmetic.
The Enhanced Edition doesn’t just throw in a few counters and call it a day. Instead, the team went back through the collected Errata on the first printing and made some changes. Most often, they are small grammatical changes that make the intent of the card clearer. But in some cases, as with Fanatic’s End of Days card, substantive changes are made. Here, it ensures the total destruction it was meant to, but now preserves Relics. Fanatic has Relics that can be preserved in this way. Of course, her nemesis does as well….
But it isn’t just text that got an overhaul. Adam Rebottaro, the artist behind all the cards went back through and updated much of the art. Most of the time, he enhanced the art by providing additional detail. A lot of things glow now. Other times – most often with the Hero and Villain cards themselves – the art is entirely redone. One example is the Haka of Shielding. Original art on the left, new art on the right.
On the left, it shows Haka engaging in his dance to protect a small child. On the right, I’m guessing this is after he has already accomplished this feat and is off to get a burger. Bad move Ambuscade.
I also think the new box is great. It’s now set up like a deck builder with the cards in two rows and art-filled dividers separating each of the decks. It makes it very easy to pick out the Villains and Heroes for play.
The one negative, though, is that the box isn’t quite big enough if you choose to sleeve your cards. Of course, I used penny sleeves rather than perfect fits – and with over 1100 cards I stand by the decision. But the card channels are just wide enough for the cards. They have to be slightly angled with sleeves. And, with the added thickness, I had to remove the environments and store them separately.
Of course, with everything unsleeved it should all fit. And with the added card thickness, I don’t think sleeves are really that necessary. Still, I want to preserve this game and it gets a lot of play at my house. So if you are a compulsive sleever, it’s best to keep your first edition box or one of the expansion boxes.
Components: 4.5. With the exception of accommodating sleeves, I could not be more happy with the updated and enhanced edition. If you’ve been waiting to grab Sentinels, then this is the one to get.