What can one do when the multiverse is destroyed by an omnipotent being with a series of powerful heralds at his side? The only option is to amass a series of heroes, anti-heroes, and even villains to do what they can to save their world, and all the other infinite earths out there. The final expansion of Sentinels of the Multiverse intends to do just that. It’s called OblivAeon, named after the threat that has been hinted at since the beginning. It brings in 5 new hero decks, 5 new environments, and a whole new way to play the game. OblivAeon is the final and most ambitious expansion to the Sentinel of the Multiverse game, and it adapts the physical game perfectly.
Sentinels of the Multiverse started off as a tabletop card game, and it is a love letter to the superhero genre. There are homages to DC, Marvel, and even indie comic book publishers. It’s easy to see that the creators, Greater Than Games, have been fans of superheroes for a long time. They even have created an in-depth lore that has no impact on the game, except to give it more life. The key component that makes this game different is the co-operative nature, which isn’t found as much in many tabletop board games.
The card game is solely cooperative, and players must work together to fend off a villain in a dynamic environment. Every player selects a hero, a villain and an environment deck, the latter two are played automatically. Their cards will damage the hero’s health, or affect their hand or cards in play. When it’s the hero’s turn, they play a card, use a power, and then draw a card. At the end of all the heroes’ turns, the environment comes into play, which can either be detrimental to the heroes or the villains. There are decks that show no love to the players, while others are a little more supportive.
The heroes win when the villain’s HP reaches 0. In some cases it’s a race against time, as the heroes can lose even at full health. In one game, a mad scientist is bringing down the moon, in another an alien invader can over overrun your team with minions, conquering the earth. Every villain also has a “flip side”, which changes the gameplay. It really emulates a comic book feel. The villain is never simply defeated, sometimes they get god-like power only for a second, and the heroes must survive long enough for an opening to show up. The players will need to prioritize at times, should they focus on the cultists (one who’s author allowed his likeness to be used in the art), or the villain.
The video game adaptation is perfect. Not only does it have cross compatibility between PC, mobile, and tablets. It helps clarify the rules, and keeps track of all the fiddly bits to remember. Some games can get too complicated. Letting the computer handle it not only speeds the game up, it takes off unneeded stress. This is especially helpful with the newest expansion: OblivAeon.
Unlike the classic game mode, OblivAeon is played with 5 environment decks, using two of them at once. To make things even harder, this mode has two extra villain decks, a mission deck, and brings in mini-bosses called Scions. Missions are probably the coolest part of the expansion. Remember Infinity War when Captain America was defending Wakanda against the Black Order, and Iron Man was fighting Thanos? Thor was on his own mission to get Stormbringer, a god-killing artifact. It feels like that. While the main team is fighting the boss, other heroes can take some time to retrieve an ally or weapon that will be needed to win the game. With 25 different options, these cards really bring in the cool factor, especially when one of them is a massive robotic T-Rex.
OblivAeon is not meant for the fainthearted. It is designed to be the hardest expansion, and makes every decision important. In the normal mode, one bad move won’t necessarily change the outcome of the game. But with OblivAeon, he brings out everything in his arsenal. He has three different phases, and has the ability to wipe out an environment from existence. When one environment is destroyed, the players must choose from their 3 remaining decks. The moment he destroys them all, the multiverse is obliterated, and OblivAeon wins. The creators designed the game this way to make it feel like it is the end. They don’t want to make saving the multiverse feel like a walk in the park. They want heroes to die, worlds to be destroyed, and the entire multiverse to be at stake.
OblivAeon has three phases, and getting through every one is euphoric, it means that you are one step closer to victory, but as OblivAeon gets closer to defeat, he gets stronger and faster. Losing to him when the players needed one more turn is heartbreaking, but nothing beats the moment that the last strike is delivered, and the heroes win. The victory music starts to roll over the credits, and the weight of the world is no longer literally on your shoulders.
Sentinels of the Multiverse is perfect for a video game adaptation. Simplifying the automatic steps keeps the game rolling, shaving off up to half an hour. This new expansion is no different. It adds a number of newer steps, and for the untrained player, it can get overwhelming. Handelbra’s hard work and devotion to automate everything helps make OblivAeon mode a lot more fun. It adds animations, thematic music, and lets players focus on their next step, rather than figuring out what should happen when a villain card is played. OblivAeon is a great and final farewell expansion to an already great cooperative game.