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Subject: SOTM from a non-cooperative player rss

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Matt B
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First a disclaimer: I do not like cooperative games, I have at least 2 other friends that do not like cooperative games. We do not enjoy them we prefer the tense aspects of competitive games, the diplomacy, the conniving, the backstabbing, and overall the sheer besting another human.

We LOVE unanimously, SOTM.

From the theme, to the mechanics, to the fact that other non-competitive players like to work with us to play it. We just recently picked it up, and I now proudly own all three expansions and I'm gifting it to another friend of mine to get his crowd hooked.

That said here's the review:

Boss fight in a box, dead on. This is a game that fits in the box it comes with (including expansions, I know *gasp*, and card dividers). Its well thought out, the artwork is great, each and every hero feels unique. The villains all play differently and no two games ever feel the same.

I don't tend to find a character and 'stick' to it, which is why this game is great. I can play RA, Haka, Legacy, Visionary, and they all feel different, unique, and new to me each time.

The environments, add essentially random events to the game to help ensure extra added mechanic that you can always have a different type of game. And certain environments + villains - hero combos are definitely harder than others, but it always feels good to break this game out.

Play time ends in about 30-90 minutes depending on number of players and difficulty. (Also don't worry about your analysis paralysis friends it won't drag out much longer with them feel free to invite them back to the table. )

The villains, environments, and heroes all "feel" like they are supposed too. The mechanics reflect their "feel" really well. I often introduce a new player to the game with "What's your favorite Super Hero?" and then find a suitable match in SOTM, and they love it.

Without a doubt, one of the best titles I've ever picked up and added to my collection. While I love the core game, I would encourage picking up the expansions as the later expansions show the experience growth 'Greater than Games' has achieved with time.

A game I would say everyone should add to their collection if they enjoy Super Heroes or Boss fights of any sort.

So from a Competitive stand point, SOTM *smashes* the competition in this arena.

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Nathaniel GOUSSET
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Smaggler wrote:

(Also don't worry about your analysis paralysis friends it won't drag out much longer with them feel free to invite them back to the table. )


Good review, but I would warn you that there is some character you DONT WANT to see used by Analysis Paralysis people (Silver Adept being the main offender).
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Adam D.
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I enjoyed this game also, but I already like co-ops. My only gripe so far is that certain equipment based characters can be almost literally useless with bad early draws. I guess they were caught with their pants down. OTOH, it plays quickly enough to turn around and try again.
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Josh
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Definitely some people need to get gear more than others(unity) this is where knowing when to forgo a meh play in order to draw 2, or having a support ally whk can help you draw comes into play. Most of the equipment based heros do have search cards, which helps.
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Andrew Arenson
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Smaggler wrote:
First a disclaimer: I do not like cooperative games ... We LOVE unanimously, SOTM.



Interesting! Care to take a stab at explaining why this is for Sentinels? Not that it shouldn't be, mind you. I'm just curious what your analysis is as to why you like _this_ cooperative game but not other cooperative games.
 
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Calavera Despierta
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This is an important perspective to share - thank you for writing this review.

Like the OP I generally despise co-ops, but I really love SOTM. I would argue it's because this is more of a narrative game with a co-op mechanic. The STORY matters more to me than the game play. It's so comic booky and awesome when the team comes together and pulls off some sort of brutal combo, only to have the tables turn and get the crap pounded out of them by the environment and the villain.
 
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Matt B
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arenson9 wrote:
Smaggler wrote:
First a disclaimer: I do not like cooperative games ... We LOVE unanimously, SOTM.



Interesting! Care to take a stab at explaining why this is for Sentinels? Not that it shouldn't be, mind you. I'm just curious what your analysis is as to why you like _this_ cooperative game but not other cooperative games.


Sure! Challenge accepted.

Arkham Horror - First Example: Too long, too many boring small things happen in the game, in the end its a boss fight, or an anti-climactic win.

VP Games (Victory Point games) : Often times these fall into both categories, (i.e. Legendary (Cooperative but VP based), have these arbitrary win conditions that don't necessarily feel 'real'.

Lord of the Rings (Hobbits journey) : Too much of the same. Fun for the first couple of play throughs then its all gamed and there isn't enough competitive edge to the enemies.

Given the above examples and a few others I've played it boils down to the win conditions aren't enticing enough, the competitive play by the 'game' player isn't tough enough, or it just gets long and boring because there isn't a 'tense' factor to the game.

SOTM bypasses most of these things, very thematic, very different feel to everyone's game and they contribute accordingly. The villains are anything but the same and with the addition of the environment deck the same villain can be quite different.

The playtime is short enough to be enjoyed by all without getting long, and the 'game' when played in Advanced mode, can be extremely tough. An excellent challenge.

And having beaten a tough villain brings me back to the early days of the 'boss fights' in Video games which were a fun time.
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Matt B
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Also this.

Everything is going swimmingly only to have it all turned over by a series of card draws by the environment/villain.
 
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Matt B
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IKerensky wrote:
Smaggler wrote:

(Also don't worry about your analysis paralysis friends it won't drag out much longer with them feel free to invite them back to the table. )


Good review, but I would warn you that there is some character you DONT WANT to see used by Analysis Paralysis people (Silver Adept being the main offender).


Point taken, though I've only played him once.
 
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Matt B
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TheCollector wrote:
I enjoyed this game also, but I already like co-ops. My only gripe so far is that certain equipment based characters can be almost literally useless with bad early draws. I guess they were caught with their pants down. OTOH, it plays quickly enough to turn around and try again.


There are definite environments/villains that certain heroes struggle with, but generally speaking there's always "something" you can do to help the group.
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Andrew Arenson
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Smaggler wrote:


Sure! Challenge accepted.



Thanks. Enjoyed reading it. Seems like part of what you like about the game is what you might like about any game (thematic, length, replayability, boss fight, interesting things happen) and part is particular to coop games (Appropriate difficulty, everyone has something to do).

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Matt B
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arenson9 wrote:


Thanks. Enjoyed reading it. Seems like part of what you like about the game is what you might like about any game (thematic, length, replayability, boss fight, interesting things happen) and part is particular to coop games (Appropriate difficulty, everyone has something to do).



A bit though some things that seem "any game" I won't enjoy in a cooperative title that I would enjoy in a competitive title.

For example, length, I'll play a long strategic game against people but in a cooperative game it just makes it feel like its dragging to me.

Replayability I will again take a hit here in a competitive title as long as the human elements aren't formulaic.

Boss fight is unique to cooperative imo.

The rest yes, good for any game and any title, with the last half dead on for cooperative titles.
 
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Kelly B
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Smaggler wrote:
Boss fight in a box, dead on.


I read that and immediately thought of one thing. A similarity that had not occurred to me before.

While not in a single box, the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game Dungeon Decks are very similar to Sentinels in this regard. You have a co-op, hero driven game in which you take on a dungeon that is owned by a boss. Killing that boss (and the mid-bosses) is what it is all about. The rest of the deck (monsters and other bad things) are like the environment.

Of course, there are plenty of differences as well. One, of course, is that WOWTCG can be played competitively. Hmm...has anyone tried playing Sentinels competitively? I might have to give that a shot!

The WoW Raid decks are probably more like Sentinels in that it is ALL about the boss, but those require someone to pilot the boss(es).

Thanks for the great review.
 
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