A Review of Sentinels of Earth-Prime (A Stand-Alone Expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse)

Sentinels of Earth-Prime was on Kickstarter waaay back in May 2017. It just delivered to me a few days ago: about March 1st, 2022. Look closely at those numbers: it took almost 5 years (from the close of the original Kickstarter to now) to deliver. This may have been the longest I have ever waited for a Kickstarter! (Although, Legends of Sleepy Hollow, from a few weeks ago, was pretty close).

Sentinels of Earth Prime is a stand-alone expansion to Sentinels of the Multiverse.  The box says it plays 2-5 players.  Honestly, this is just another version of Sentinels of the Multiverse with heroes from the Mutants and Masterminds universe: A Super Hero Role Playing Game (see below).

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This was originally a joint project from Greater Than Games (the original publisher of Sentinels of the Multiverse) and Green Ronin (publisher of Mutants and Masterminds) to collaborate and build some content for Sentinels from the Mutants and Masterminds mythos.   

Unboxing

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Sentinels of Earth-Prime comes in a box similarly sized to the original 2nd Edition. There were 4 expansions offered in the Kickstarter (2 new heroes, 1 new Villain, and 1 new environment, which you should probably just pick up all at once when you get this) and I will be talking about those as part of this review.

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The game is mostly cards!!! See above for all the cards when you open the box!

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The base game comes with 4 Villains in 4 decks (the purple cards above, 5 with expansion): To win the game, the heroes must defeat the Villain before they defeat all Villains!

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There are 10 Heroes for the players to choose from: see above. Each Hero has his/her own deck! The Heroes are “blue” cards. (2 more heroes come in the expansions).

There are 4 Environment Decks: these are the “places” the Heroes fight the Villains: the enviroments are greenish-grey. See above.

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There are also 4 expansions: 2 Heroes, 1 Environment, and 1 Villain. Note the color-coding allows you to tell the difference : blue (hero), purple (villain), green-grey (environment).

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Each of the villains also has an “oversized” card which describes set-up and Game Play (which can be very different for each character). See above.

The game also comes with a number of tokens to notate Hit Points and conditions in the game. See above.

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The dividers are surprisingly colorful and nice! See above.

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The game essentially fits into the box (but see later discussion below).

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Overall, the game just looks so comic-booky on the table! I think it looks great! The cards aren’t linen-finished, but I expect most people will sleeve their cards.

Rulebook

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I didn’t spend too much time in the rulebook because I know the game. But it was very nice. I almost think it is a better rulebook than the base Sentinels of the Multiverse: Definitive Edition! The font choices, the graphics, the layout, the way everything is presented just flows so well.

The last page of the rulebook even summarizes the rules!

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Overall, seems like a good rulebook.

Solo Play

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Interestingly, even after all this time, Sentinels of Earth-Prime does NOT an official solo mode. (No Saunders’ Law!) We’ve discussed the solo modes quite a bit in previous posts (in our review of Sentinels of The Multiverse: Definitive Edition and our discussion of Saunders’ Law), so we’ll just jump in and play solo by controlling 3 Heroes.

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In our first solo game, we played Rocket in the first position (kind of a Quick Silver or Flash-like character: a speedster):

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We played Captain Thunder in the second position (kind of like a Superman character with lightning)

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And we played Bowman in the third position: (kind of like Green Arrow or Hawkeye):

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They all played very differently! Rocket puts out Momentum cards, which can power later effects. Captain Thunder has some healing and damage cards. Bowman is all about the trick arrows (bunches of one-shots). There’s some obvious analogues for these characters from the base Sentinels: Rocket is similar to Tachyon, but where Tachyon gets to play draw and play cards, Rocket uses momentum to power his effects … they do feel like different speedsters. Captain Thunder did feel a lot like Legacy with healing/helping/little damage. My favorite was Bowman: he felt a little different with all of his trick arrows … total Hawkeye vibe.

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In the end, this group of 3 Heroes defeated Argo pretty handily. See above for a winning game.

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This solo mode of 3 Heroes works fine, but I didn’t know any of the decks, so the game did take a while (as I had to read a lot of the cards to see what everything was doing).

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The environment (Farside City: See above) was different from any I have played before, as it brought out Gorillas with Lady Lunar? (See below) I kind of liked this environment …

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Operating 3 Heroes may be too much for the introductory player, but the only alternative is to play 2 characters twice (as a 4-Hero Game). Unfortunately, the app doesn’t (at least at this time) have Sentinels of Earth Prime content, so you can’t learn the decks that way via the app.

Overall, solo works, but be aware that the 3-Hero solo game can be daunting.

Cooperative Play

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There’s not really much else to say for cooperative play that we didn’t already say in the Review of Sentinels of the Multiverse: Definitive Edition:

  1. The game works better cooperatively once all players know their Hero decks.
  2. The only way to get to know a deck is to play it a bunch! So, you have to enjoy reading and playing a deck from scratch

You have to enjoy the process of getting to know your Hero deck to really enjoy this game, then you can enjoy the higher-level cooperation.

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Gameplay and Thoughts

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This is Sentinels of the Multiverse, just with different characters.  This is an expansion to the game and it adds more Heroes, Villains, and Environments … just like you’d expect an expansion to do. But, it’s also stand-alone.  If you like Sentinels, you will like this.  Like everything in Sentinels, all the new rules are on the cards, so you have to look at the cards to see what they do.  There’s nothing crazy in here (like say Oblivaeon or Villains of the Multiverse), just a “good old expansion”.

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Here’s the thing: Because this game looks SO DIFFERENT from the other Sentinels products, I am not sure how often I will combine this with other Sentinels products!  I am 99% sure I will just pull this out and play it with only itself.  I mean, I really do like the art and the new characters, but the graphic design and art is so different!  It’s very cool to look at, but it just doesn’t mix well with older products. Compare the Legacy decks below from 1st, 2nd, and Definitive Edition …

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to the Captain Thunderbolt deck:

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They really look different.

The Elephant In The Room

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So, Sentinels of Earth-Prime was designed to work with the 2nd Edition of Sentinels of The Multiverse … 5 years ago.  By the time Sentinels of Earth-Prime finally delivered, Greater Than Games had put out the new Definitive Edition.  It was an ongoing joke: which will deliver first?  In the end, Sentinels of Earth-Prime showed up about a month after the new Definitive Edition!  Will it work with both?

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Update 22 from the Kickstarter (see link here) discusses this in great detail, but the most relevant lines are here:

In the end, we opted to go forward with the game we have and keep it compatible with the original version of Sentinels of the Multiverse. Both because many of you backed our game specifically to enhance and add on to your existing massive collections, and because we want our game to stand on its own.

So, what about this new “Definitive Edition” though?

A lot of folks are likely going to invest in the new game and might like to use our Mutants & Masterminds Heroes alongside the updated decks. We are considering creating something along the lines of an “update document” for how to play certain keywords and status effects, to make our decks work better with the new version of the Multiverse Core set. That option is still on the table, but for the time being, we are moving forward with making sure we get the game printed and shipped to backers as our only priority. We would like to have a “best of both worlds” option if possible, and make sure that the widest number of people can enjoy our game. Once Sentinels of Earth-Prime is fulfilled and on it’s way to you, we’ll turn our attention to the possibility of releasing a conversion guide that will let you keep playing our Heroes if you decide you want to invest in the new edition of Sentinels of the Multiverse.

Summary: Sentinels of Earth-Prime works with Sentinels of the Multiverse 2nd Edition, and Green Ronin will (hopefully) be coming out with a document later to help the conversion to the Definitive Edition.

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Game Doesn’t Fit?

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One of my biggest complaints is in packing it up. There seems to be a pedestal you can place the tokens under, but it doesn’t really open! See that black space above? That doesn’t open! I ended up trying to fit all the punchouts in the little bit of card space left over…

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… but in order to make that work, I had to UNPUNCH all of the markers.  The only markers you REALLY need are the hit points, the other markers are “nice to haves” to remind you of certain effects in the game.  

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It’s crazy to me that these tokens don’t fit back in the box. I played with that black area hoping it would “pop open” so I could put the tokens inside. Maybe it does? But when I tried, It felt like I was breaking it, so I just backed off. My friends suggested using a cutting knife to open up the black box? I think that really jarred me too much …

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Conclusion

Sentinels of Earth Prime was a pleasant surprise! I expected to like the game (because it’s more content for one of my favorite games), but I liked it more than I expected! Once I got over how late the Kickstarter was (it took almost 5 years), I could judge the game as it was! In some ways, I like Sentinels of Earth-Prime better than the newest Sentinels of the Multiverse: Definitive Edition from a few weeks ago (and I gave that game a 10/10)!

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I love the game play of Sentinels (any version), but the art of Sentinels of Earth-Prime blew me away! I love the art on this new expansion! As someone who has collected comic books for 40 years, THIS was the art I had always wanted on the original Sentinels of the Multiverse game! The art is dynamic! The colors are vibrant! The scenes are action-packed! The graphic design screams vibrant modern super hero and super villain! See above!

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Of course, the elephant in the room: can you play Sentinels of Earth-Prime with either Sentinels of the Multiverse 2nd Edition or Definitive Edition? Nope! It was original developed for 2nd Edition, but Green Ronin will hopefully come out with a conversion document for the Definitive Edition.

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How does this fit into all the things that are Sentinels of the Multiverse? If you are trying to get someone who really loves comics into Sentinels, Sentinels of Earth-Prime is a fantastic place to start. A true comic book connoisseur will see the art and fall in love with the game based solely on art! I personally think this has the best art and that this is the best looking of all the Sentinels of the Multiverse content. If I were trying to get “me from the past” into Sentinels, I would introduce “me from the past” to this version first! It has the best chance of sucking me in.

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Once someone decides they love the game and wants more content, then it’s time to embrace the base game of Sentinels Of The Multiverse! (Which one? See our review from a few weeks ago for more discussion on that).

I think that Sentinels of Earth-Prime is the best jumping-on point for new players for Sentinels of the Multiverse. As a seasoned player, I also appreciate the new takes and ideas and love the new content. The only real problem with Sentinels of Earth-Prime is that the graphic design and art is SO DIFFERENT from all the other Sentinels product, it can be visually distracting to mix this expansion in with other Sentinels content. I expect that when I play with Sentinels of Earth-Prime content, I probably won’t mix it with other products.

 

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