Recommend
27 
 Thumb up
 Hide
50 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Sentinels of the Multiverse» Forums » Reviews

Subject: One Dimensional Hero Game - My Pros and Cons (A Negative Review) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've only recently begun doing reviews. I'm mostly targeting top 100/highly rated games that I have a strong opinion on. There are already quite a few reviews, but I'm hoping to put some more negative reviews out in hopes it will help at least one person decide whether this game is for them.

Background/disclaimers: After hearing about a superhero coop game that was actually in the BGG top 100s, I decided to get this as a gift for my friend. We played about 3-4 games when we got it and despite my friends all enjoying it, we haven't had a chance to play it in awhile so I'm mostly doing this review off memory.

For reference, here's my top 10 board games at time of writing (out of about 160 played):
#1: Mage Knight Board Game
#2: Mage Wars
#3: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
#4: Battlestar Galactica
#5: Space Alert
#6: Android: Netrunner
#7: Mansions of Madness
#8: Caverna: The Cave Farmers
#9: Le Havre
#10: Ra
I'm more on the hardcore side when it comes to gaming, and I value strong theme, strong mechanics and game's that make you think. Hopefully this list is reflective of that (notably, 7/10 games on the list take 2.5+ hours).

Pros
-Superhero theme, cooperative game
-Game is customizable and has good replayability. You can mashup different bosses and locations
-The game comes with a decent number of heroes (10), they play somewhat differently but limited by the game mechanics (see cons below)
-Each hero looks different and seems to embody a different theme so players feel unique (e.g. do I want to be that ancient egyptian fire god, the ghostly looking heroine, the giant robot, the techie?)
-Fairly easy to teach. Each turn there is only 2 (maybe a bit more) things you need to concern yourself with.
-Reasonable game length (about 1 hour or a bit more if I recall correctly)
-Decent amount of components and cards for price
-Comic style rulebook, including biographies for all characters
-Custom and nice variety of art

Cons
Minor things
-Scales fairly poorly with number of players (only some abilities refer to number of players, and usually in a very linear way)

-No deck building of any sort. No leveling up or character progression. No campaign or story mode (or heck, no achievements), just one off missions. Despite being able to customize which villain/location/heroes you use, there is still only four villains (I believe) so once you've gone through those four, the game's replayability drops fairly rapidly.

-Not really a con, but art style was not to my taste but I can see lots of people liking it

Serious things
-I found this game to be very, very one dimensional. Everything in the game focuses on damage. If the ability doesn't do damage, it gives +X damage to another effect or gives you -Y damage for a turn. There is no resource management outside of how many cards you have, no positioning/movement, no status effects (stun, poison, confused or whatever) etc. The only variable there is what type of damage it is? Fire, ice, projectile, energy etc. And when you're lucky enough to draw the right cards and match the right elements...all you get for your efforts is +X damage.

-Limited number of draws/actions given to players per turn limits your ability to do combos. As an example, one of my friends was was a robot character who changes "modes" (e.g. assault mode, guard mode). I don't recall why, but his character allowed him to draw lots of cards. At one point, he had his whole deck in his hand, but still stuck on 1 card per turn. Interestingly, even when he had his whole deck in his hand, he found he had nothing really interesting to do. He didn't even ever find a reason to change modes from the one he started with.

-Things tend to snowball in that either you're doing well and will continue to do well, or if the events were not in your favor, it was hard to catch up because you don't get to do much.

-Very little decision making. Each turn, draw one card, play one card and activate one ability. I found the choices were typically obvious; so much so that I play my turn in about 2-4 seconds and just wait for everyone else to finish. Moving around the pieces takes longer for me.

Disappointing things
-This game is like many other co-op games where since there is no human behind the game, things come out in a sequence. The game devolves into a puzzle game where you always a) check to see if you can achieve your main objective/win, if not b) deal with the highest priority threat, then c) minimize your damage/strengthen your position. Unfortunately for it, SotM is also a card game so a lot of it comes down to luck on whether you can draw the required puzzle pieces rather than are you clever enough to outplay the game.

-Characters were not well designed in my opinion. As an example, my friend was the ice character (forgive me for not knowing their names). His whole deck had abilities that did ice damage to himself and he couldn't figure out why he would want to do that. It turns out his character revolved around the ice armor which causes ice damage done to him to heal him and he was just unlucky he didn't find it until near the end of the match. Another character, Legacy (the guy on the cover of the game) looked like he would be the superman of the group. Well turns out he's just a support character that strengthens everyone else. Hopefully you put him as first player and not last so they you can make the most of abilities.

-Despite having lots of counters/components, there wasn't enough for every type of effect there was. As an example (maybe not exactly like this), there were tokens for +1 damage, +1 fire but not for +1 ice damage.

Annoying things
-SotM is fiddly and has lots of book keeping. There is a lot of text on most card and a lot of them have persistent abilities. That means you will have to remember to trigger something from about a dozen cards every X phase. Don't forget to do this for villains, locations, events, character abilities, artifacts etc. It's just tedious work. Something that comes to mind is Legacy's ability to give everyone +1 damage. My friend just did this every turn since it seemed like the best option. We eventually decided to stop moving the +1 damage tokens around and just keep them for the rest of the game. I would've been so bored as the person playing Legacy (oh looks its my turn...guess I'm doing the usual).

-I found a lot of instants where card effects interacting strangely with one another. Again since I'm doing this from memory, I cannot give you a specific example, but it went something like this: player x can ignore the first damage he takes each turn. If say he simultaneously takes damage from a villain and his own ally, which does he ignore? Does he get to choose? I could be wrong, but I don't recall finding the answer in the rulebook.

Conclusion
This game was definitely a disappointment for me. I can see it as a gateway game for some audiences but I would recommend people looking for a more complex game stay away from it. Despite my negative review, I currently have this game rated as a 5.5/10 so it's not that bad (there are a lot worse) and I would still play it if it came up (some games I would almost always refuse to play, I believe by BGG standards those are in the 3/10 range); there are just a lot more other games I'd rather play. Feel free to comment/discuss/correct/bash my review.

42 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Masoud Tabatabaei
Luxembourg
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
SoM is one of my favorite games, but I like a lot your review style. Specially how you categorize the cons (I wish you would categorize the pros in a similar way, and describe more how each pro affects the feeling of the game)
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Kayati
United States
Worthington
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
I appreciate your negative review. You're expressing clearly what you didn't like in the game. I'd have to say though almost all of these negative factors come from not being familiar with the game. For those that take the time to understand the game and the different heroes, there exists a very rich game to explore.
26 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt
United States
Alabama
flag msg tools
badge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tdyU_gW6WE
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Another fan of the game here, and I also like your review and the style of it. I certainly can't argue with the amount of upkeep dragging the gameplay along. And while I agree with the number of villains in the base game being a too small (even one more would be much better), I disagree with the complaint about "no deck building." Since you formatted the Cons so well, I can tell that didn't really bother you, but since I want consistent heroes and don't want to have to keep track of levels and progression for mix-and-match boss fight slugfests, I'd actually consider it a drawback if Sentinels did feature either of those.

I hadn't thought of the game focusing solely on damage and nothing else, probably because that's all I was really looking for, but it could use more depth to it other than number-crunching. That and the fact that several characters go against the tropes they seemingly embrace (such as Legacy having a significant focus on support, and Absolute Zero being somewhat of a masochist) making the game more difficult to jump into are points I haven't heard brought up before.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberta Yang
msg tools
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Fatesadvent wrote:
-No deck building of any sort. No leveling up or character progression. No campaign or story mode (or heck, no achievements), just one off missions.

No traitor mechanic. No competitive mode, only coop. Is not a 4X.

Fatesadvent wrote:
-Limited number of draws/actions given to players per turn limits your ability to do combos. As an example, one of my friends was was a robot character who changes "modes" (e.g. assault mode, guard mode). I don't recall why, but his character allowed him to draw lots of cards. At one point, he had his whole deck in his hand, but still stuck on 1 card per turn. Interestingly, even when he had his whole deck in his hand, he found he had nothing really interesting to do. He didn't even ever find a reason to change modes from the one he started with.

The character was Bunker. One of Bunker's modes lets him play two cards per turn. Complaining that he was stuck playing just one card per turn and that he had no reason to change modes is just silly.

Fatesadvent wrote:
Another character, Legacy (the guy on the cover of the game) looked like he would be the superman of the group. Well turns out he's just a support character that strengthens everyone else. Hopefully you put him as first player and not last so they you can make the most of abilities.

Legacy's just as effective no matter where he is in the turn order, so you might have been doing something wrong here. (For example, Galvanize lasts until Legacy's turn comes around again, but you might have been having it wear off in the villain turn.)
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Karrde
United States
San Diego
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Props for trying it out. It's unfortunate you didn't like it, but hey, no game is for everyone.

A couple things I want to point out:

Fatesadvent wrote:
Cons
Minor things
-No deck building of any sort. No leveling up or character progression. No campaign or story mode (or heck, no achievements), just one off missions. Despite being able to customize which villain/location/heroes you use, there is still only four villains (I believe) so once you've gone through those four, the game's replayability drops fairly rapidly.
For me, a pro is that it's not customizable. I don't want to have to worry about creating/tweaking decks, and it's easier (IMO) to introduce new players to it without having to worry about it.

Quote:
Serious things
-Limited number of draws/actions given to players per turn limits your ability to do combos. As an example, one of my friends was was a robot character who changes "modes" (e.g. assault mode, guard mode). I don't recall why, but his character allowed him to draw lots of cards. At one point, he had his whole deck in his hand, but still stuck on 1 card per turn. Interestingly, even when he had his whole deck in his hand, he found he had nothing really interesting to do. He didn't even ever find a reason to change modes from the one he started with.
Bunker (the robot dude guy) has three modes to choose from (or none if desired) and each enhances things he can do (while limiting other). Sounds like your friend used the mode that allowed him to draw an extra card. At some point he'd want to switch to the mode that allowed him to use an extra power to deal more damage.

Quote:
-Characters were not well designed in my opinion. As an example, my friend was the ice character (forgive me for not knowing their names). His whole deck had abilities that did ice damage to himself and he couldn't figure out why he would want to do that. It turns out his character revolved around the ice armor which causes ice damage done to him to heal him and he was just unlucky he didn't find it until near the end of the match. Another character, Legacy (the guy on the cover of the game) looked like he would be the superman of the group. Well turns out he's just a support character that strengthens everyone else. Hopefully you put him as first player and not last so they you can make the most of abilities.
Is this poor design? Seems more like an issue of player expectations/unfamiliarity. Also, as far as I recall, most of Legacy's abilities last until his next turn so are useful whether he goes first or last in the round.

Quote:
-I found a lot of instants where card effects interacting strangely with one another. Again since I'm doing this from memory, I cannot give you a specific example, but it went something like this: player x can ignore the first damage he takes each turn. If say he simultaneously takes damage from a villain and his own ally, which does he ignore? Does he get to choose? I could be wrong, but I don't recall finding the answer in the rulebook.
One of the golden rules in SotM is that nothing is simultaneous. If multiple things are supposed to happen at the same time, the players get to decide the order. I haven't opened the rulebook in a while, so couldn't tell you where/if it is in there.

Edit: Looks like Roberta beat me to a few of my points.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dr Who
msg tools
mb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Cons
Minor things

-No deck building of any sort


----hmmm I took that as a Pro, I have just enough deck building in other games.


"I can see it as a gateway game for families and younger audiences but I would recommend gamer's stay away from it."

That's just a pathetic statement though.

Also, define YOUNGER.

good review, and it does point to some of the glaring issues
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe
Israel
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Regarding Absolute Zero - the rulebook clearly states the difficulty level of each hero. IIRC, AZ's is 3, so you can't expect to play perfectly in your first game (both of SotM & AZ).

Other than that, a good review (but it seems expectations were a big issue here).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Birzer
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
salty53 wrote:
Fatesadvent wrote:
-No deck building of any sort. No leveling up or character progression. No campaign or story mode (or heck, no achievements), just one off missions.

No traitor mechanic. No competitive mode, only coop. Is not a 4X.


That's probably my main criticism of this review, that he starts listing a lot of things that this game isn't. I think that's only valid if it claims to be something it is not. No, not all card games are deck builders, nor should they be.

I guess I understand his desire for more complexity to the game, but I do think the simple mechanics can and does lead to more complex behavior, as some of the custom heroes go on to prove.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael F
United States
Albany
OR
flag msg tools
My job is not the day shift or the night shift, it's the always shift!
badge
I will chop your head off!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
I'm enjoying your reviews. They're short and to the point. If you do a negative review on Twilight Struggle though, you'll have criticized my top 3 games (AH and SotM being the other two).

A lot of your negatives are completely understandable, but a lot of those things...player scaling, more decisions to be made, opportunities to draw more cards at a time and do combos...are remedied with expansions. Unfortunately the fidliness doesn't go down, but like I tell other people who don't care for the game, the more you play, the easier it is to keep track of everything at work. The replay value goes through the roof though with all the added villains, heroes, and environments.

I also wish there was more deck building to be done with this game, but it's nice to have a game you can just pick up and play at any time. It makes it more approachable to non-gamers, too, which, if you have someone overseeing the modifiers, actually makes this a good game for those who aren't as experienced with modern board games, as you point out. I'd consider myself a pretty big gamer though, and I LOVE this game.

With Sentinels, I like to imagine it's a boss fight akin to something like Final Fantasy. It's turn-based, and you can usually only do one or two quick moves before it moves to the next person. The enemy is (usually) much more difficult than the characters you use, and it's interesting to see the environment constantly changing around you. I know it doesn't translate into card game form that well for a lot of people, but I really enjoy it.

Keep up the good work!
13 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
DrWhoWho wrote:
Cons
Minor things

-No deck building of any sort


----hmmm I took that as a Pro, I have just enough deck building in other games.


"I can see it as a gateway game for families and younger audiences but I would recommend gamer's stay away from it."

That's just a pathetic statement though.

Also, define YOUNGER.

good review, and it does point to some of the glaring issues


Thanks for the feedback, I reworded my review to better state what I mean.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Noble
United States
El Dorado Hills
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Agree with just about everything in the review. It's a terrible game and I'm astonished why people like it so much. But to each their own.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
I feel you were expecting Sentinels to be something it wasn't. Complaining about a lack of deckbuilding in SoTM seems akin to complaining about a lack of dice in chess. It wasn't built that way.

Another issue is you seem to project personal preference and misunderstandings onto the game. Playing heroes wrong is nkt a fault ofthe game. If you feel the barrier for understanding heroes is too high, that could be a reasonable value statement, but this late in a game's life cycle declaring them broken/wrong/useless is pretty silly in the context of the games commercial success, devoted following, and lack of significant eratta.

I understand your formatting and what you are trying to do, I think a bit more self-reflection and distinct lines between emotional and rational judgements in the writing(having both is fine!) would help considerably.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris
United States
Folsom
California
flag msg tools
badge
Someone on the internet is wrong!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
I have always felt like I'm missing out when I hear people review this positively. Like everyone else drinking coolaid and I didn't get mine.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam vanLangenberg
Australia
Cheltenham
Victoria
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
I also think that the lack of deck building is a pro. I hate deck building with a passion and won't touch a game that requires it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Evan Duly
Canada
Langley
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
newkillerstar27 wrote:
a lot of those things...player scaling, more decisions to be made, opportunities to draw more cards at a time and do combos...are remedied with expansions.


Could you expand on this statement? I own this game with all the expansions (except Vengeance) and I am feeling exactly how the OP feels about the game. I haven't played it a whole bunch so could you give some examples from the expansions that illustrate how you feel they add scalability, more decision making, more combos etc.

I love the theme of the game but my initial impression of the mechanics is very poor, so I'm hoping to find something to love about the game!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Allen
United States
Madison
Alabama
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Quote:
Cons
Minor things

-No deck building of any sort


----hmmm I took that as a Pro, I have just enough deck building in other games.


I think lack of deck building is a plus. I am tired of deck-building. It was a great, fun thing, but at this point I don't feel like fooling with one ever again - just tired of it.

Other than that, I agree with a lot of the criticisms.

This game is too fiddly by far with too much to keep track of and too much math. I started out liking it, but after 4 or 5 plays decided that it was too annoying and traded off every bit of it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dean
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
glookose wrote:
This game is too fiddly by far with too much to keep track of and too much math. I started out liking it, but after 4 or 5 plays decided that it was too annoying and traded off every bit of it.

My nine year old daughter can handle the math and her deck's upkeep just fine, so I'm always surprised by such comments.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael F
United States
Albany
OR
flag msg tools
My job is not the day shift or the night shift, it's the always shift!
badge
I will chop your head off!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
EvanDevan wrote:
newkillerstar27 wrote:
a lot of those things...player scaling, more decisions to be made, opportunities to draw more cards at a time and do combos...are remedied with expansions.


Could you expand on this statement? I own this game with all the expansions (except Vengeance) and I am feeling exactly how the OP feels about the game. I haven't played it a whole bunch so could you give some examples from the expansions that illustrate how you feel they add scalability, more decision making, more combos etc.

I love the theme of the game but my initial impression of the mechanics is very poor, so I'm hoping to find something to love about the game!


Well, Vengeance makes it so you can play with one or two heroes pretty well supposedly (I haven't tried it yet, though I do own the expansion). A hero from that set, Knyfe, allows some interesting combo moves to do damage. Also the Chrono-Ranger from Shattered Timelines has some neat damage-dealing combos. Omnitron-X allows people to get cards on the table faster.

There's other examples, but if you don't like the game after playing with all those expansions, I'm not sure you're ever going to. This is a game that rewards repeated play so that you can familiarize yourself with the heroes more. Some of them are more one-dimensional than others, but mastering them all is part of the fun.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dylan Thurston
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Re: Deck-building, there's a group on the Greater than Games forum that has been doing a sequence of deck-building games: Both the hero and villain decks are built from multiple decks. It's fun in an over-powered and not-at-all-balanced way. The heroes haven't lost yet, but last game was pretty close.

If you like lots of combos, I recommend trying the heroes Argent Adept, Nightmist, and Omnitron-X.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek VDG
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
I think your review was well-written. However, I think the issues that you had with the game stem from unfamiliarity with it and with the heroes themselves.

Fatesadvent wrote:
Everything in the game focuses on damage.


This is only partially true. Yes, to beat the villians you almost always depend on doing damage to knock his HP to 0 in order to ultimately win. However, there are quite a few heroes whose decks do not revolve around damage. Heroes like Visionary, for example, support the other Heroes with their cards and Powers. Letting other draw more cards, manipulating either the Villain or Environment decks, etc.

Fatesadvent wrote:
Limited number of draws/actions given to players per turn limits your ability to do combos.


Yes and no. There are quite a few heroes that have ways to draw more cards or use more Powers. You simply need to be familiar enough with a hero's deck to know which cards to play. Tachyon is a great example. When played properly (my wife plays her a lot), she can play 5 or 6 cards in a single turn.

Fatesadvent wrote:
...he found he had nothing really interesting to do. He didn't even ever find a reason to change modes from the one he started with.


It sounds like your friend didn't know how to play that hero. There are almost always reasons to change. One advantage for that Hero, Bunker, is that he has a very power card, called the Omni-Cannon. Bunker can discard cards from his hand to charge up the cannon each turn. Then, when he wants to use it, he deals damage equal to the number of cards he discarded for the Cannon x 2. So, if Bunker discarded 4 cards, he deals 8 damage, if he discards 10 cards, he deals 20 damage. And so on. Therefore, drawing a large number of cards during that period when he wants to power the Omni-cannon is one possible combo.

Fatesadvent wrote:
Very little decision making. Each turn, draw one card, play one card and activate one ability.


Hmm, I have rarely found this to be true for most heroes. Most have many options on what card to play. Do you play a card that deals damage at the start of each turn, or one that gives you a power to use immediately? Do you play your self-damage reduction or beat up a minion? Which minion do you attack, or do you just go for the Villain? We've always had a number of choices, and its almost always discussed with the group.

Fatesadvent wrote:
Characters were not well designed in my opinion. As an example, my friend was the ice character (forgive me for not knowing their names). His whole deck had abilities that did ice damage to himself and he couldn't figure out why he would want to do that. It turns out his character revolved around the ice armor which causes ice damage done to him to heal him and he was just unlucky he didn't find it until near the end of the match.


He also has some cards that lets him search for his "signature" cards in his deck and play them, like most heroes do. Absolute Zero is one of the more difficult heroes to play (see the complexity chart that the game comes with). Your friend just did not know the deck, nor the combos it has, so of course it got frustrating. That is not the fault of the game.

Fatesadvent wrote:
Another character, Legacy (the guy on the cover of the game) looked like he would be the superman of the group. Well turns out he's just a support character that strengthens everyone else.


Legacy certainly supports the other heroes. However, he has a LOT of other things going for him. He can heal all the heroes. When he gets set up right, he can deal significant damage by himself. He can take damage from other heroes. Etc. Don't forget this is a co-op game. Heroes are designed to be played as a group, and to support and/or be supported by others. They aren't needed to do everything by themselves.

SUMMARY:
Unfortunately, you (and your friend) just did not:
a) Choose your first heroes from amongst the lower-complexity heroes
b) Look through your hero decks and see what cards and what combo's the hero uses
c) Get familiar with a hero and how a hero plays

All of the negative points you said above simply come down to a lack of familiarity with the various decks of the game, most especially the hero decks.
I recommend playing with some less complex heroes a few times and really get the feel for the heroes. Legacy is relatively straightforward. So are Tempest, Wraith, and Ra. They have a few minor 'combos', but nothing too complex or tricky. Haka is a good next step for a hero to try. He's a relatively straight-forward brawler/damage dealing hero, but he has several combo cards (where he discards cards to power up certain actions).

Now, I also agree that it *is* a really good gateway game. However, every experienced gamer that we've introduced the game to has also greatly enjoyed playing it.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Kratz
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
*Gasp*... someone has an opinion I disagree with? On the internet?! This cannot be allowed to stand!

No, but seriously, you do have some valid criticisms of SotM. It can devolve into a puzzle, and can be extremely fiddly (Honestly, I don't even bother with tokens anymore - too much work for too little reward). Also, I agree it really doesn't scale awesomely - 5 players is usually way too easy, and yes, things can have a tendency to snowball.

That being said, there are a couple of point you make that I disagree strongly with. Besides the comments that Roberta and J have already made...

Fatesadvent wrote:

-I found this game to be very, very one dimensional. Everything in the game focuses on damage. If the ability doesn't do damage, it gives +X damage to another effect or gives you -Y damage for a turn.


I don't feel like I really understand this comment. I could as well say that any Stefan Feld game is one dimensional because it is all about victory points. Yes, the point is to win the game, which you do by defeating the villain (in most cases). It also isn't true. Many heroes have powers or cards that allow them to manipulate decks.

Fatesadvent wrote:

-Very little decision making. Each turn, draw one card, play one card and activate one ability. I found the choices were typically obvious; so much so that I play my turn in about 2-4 seconds and just wait for everyone else to finish. Moving around the pieces takes longer for me.

Ahh.. but which card to play? Honestly, I think this is informed by your games having a tendency to snowball. With a big win or big loss, this is true, it is often obvious which card to play or power to use. However, it is when the games are close that decisions really matter. It does help to know the decks and know what might happen.

Fatesadvent wrote:

-Characters were not well designed in my opinion.


This comment actually really bothered me. While Bunker can be kind of 'meh' to play, each deck is actually really well put together. Absolute Zero is difficult to play, but he also has cards that allow him to dig into his deck and pull out his modules (that heal him when he does ice damage). A first time player wouldn't know that, but it doesn't mean AZ is poorly designed. Your comment about Legacy also puzzled me. The fact that he is more like Captain America and less like Superman doesn't seem like an artifact of poor design, it seems more like a choice on the part of the designers.

Based on your post, I think that you were expecting something completely different - something where the characters grow with experience, a more long-term strategic game. SotM is entirely tactical - I just think it isn't the game for you. Doesn't make it a bad game, or even a non-complex game (try playing Argent Adept from the Infernal Relics expansion)
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chris leko
United States
Brooksville
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
What's so great about it?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Stryker1979 wrote:
(try playing Argent Adept from the Infernal Relics expansion)


This is the first hero I thought of when reading his complaints. Argent Adept is all about comboing cards, and making the decision that's best for the team at any given time. He's one of the coolest designed characters. I also love Setback from the latest expansion.

I know the heroes in the core set might not be the best or most interesting (though I still really love playing Tachyon and Absolute Zero), but that's only because the design of the game got better (from the already good core) as it went on.

What I think makes the game shine is that the rules are simple, but there's a lot going on with the cards, and they way they interact with each other.

It's ok to not like a game, and I value your thoughts (all too many reviews are glowingly positive here), I just happen to disagree with some of them. Also, there might only be 4 villains in the core set but there are something like 15-20 total (I forget, and am too lazy to count them), adding in the number of locations, and there's a lot of game with the core and the expansions. Even with the 4 villains, there's still a good number of combinations with different hero teams at different locations.

The only complaint I felt was invalid was that deckbuilding wasn't part of the game. It was never advertised as a game where the decks changed, or your were able to build a new deck for a hero, so complaining about that is like complaining that Agricola doesn't have dice combat in it, or that Merchants and Marauders doesn't have tactical combat on a separate battle map. It might be cool if it were included (the latter more than the former), but it was never advertised as part of the game.

I also don't feel it was marketed as a "complex" game, but I'm not in the crowd that thinks simple means something is boring or bad. Sometimes a simple game can keep me and my group entertained (or heck, just me if I'm playing solitaire). Just because a game has fewer moving parts to it, doesn't make it inferior to something with more.

I do, however, agree that the game can be pretty fiddly with all the modifiers, and can often devolve into a puzzle-type game. It can also be pretty swingy sometimes depending on the makeup of your team, the location, and the villain.

The one thing I did find interesting is that you rate Mage Wars very highly, yet complained about the amount of text in Sentinels of the Multiverse. I found there to be similar amounts of information on cards from each game, but I felt the way the Mage Wars cards were designed to be very busy, and counterintuitive (I know I'm in the minority here). but I really think the amount of text on each card is because the game is designed to have a simple ruleset (play card, use power, draw card) that drastically changes with each hero (they all play completely differently) and can get complex the better you know the deck, and the more you play the game.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
EvanDevan wrote:
newkillerstar27 wrote:
a lot of those things...player scaling, more decisions to be made, opportunities to draw more cards at a time and do combos...are remedied with expansions.


Could you expand on this statement? I own this game with all the expansions (except Vengeance) and I am feeling exactly how the OP feels about the game. I haven't played it a whole bunch so could you give some examples from the expansions that illustrate how you feel they add scalability, more decision making, more combos etc.

I love the theme of the game but my initial impression of the mechanics is very poor, so I'm hoping to find something to love about the game!


Could you give examples of the rules you find poor? It would help to know to address your concerns..


Also one thing to love about the SoTM community; you have to admit this is the nicest most polite 'angry mob' you have run across in a while
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Deignan
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: One dimensional hero game - My Pros and Cons
Just out of curiosity, you say "Scales fairly poorly with number of players (only some abilities refer to number of players, and usually in a very linear way)" which has not been my experience.

Out of curiosity, did you play with the enhanced edition or the original edition? The quote makes me think you were playing the old version which, if I understand correctly, didn't make as much use of the number of heroes to balance the game properly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.