There is no denying that Marvel has turned super hero media into an unforgettable part of the last decade’s legacy. I don’t know if I will ever get as excited about a movie again like I did for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: End Game. The hype and excitement leading up to the movies releases were second to none. I for one can’t wait to see how they follow up such an amazing job. And while DC hasn’t quite shown they can compete with Marvel, this doesn’t diminish any of the love fans have f0r Batman, Superman, and other iconic heroes.
What is it about super heroes that have us all so obsessed with them. Could it be that they represent a form of reality that we wish were real? Or maybe it is just so easy to gravitate towards a favorite hero, one whose life and ideals most align with our own. Whatever the reason, it’s definitely gotten a hold of the majority of us and it doesn’t look to be letting go anytime soon. So what do can we do? Embrace it!
While board gaming isn’t as popular of a form of media as television and movies, it has still seen it’s fair share of super hero infused games. Surely if a game has enough super strength packed into its cardboard box, it has to be great, right? Wrong. Unfortunately many publishers are eager to take advantage of popular intellectual properties for their own gain, with little concern for actually putting out a decent game. (No one is more guilty of this than Monopoly…) But have no fear, great board game advice is here. Let’s go ahead and look at some of the more popular Super themed games in the industry so you can make sure you’ve got one in your collection.
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game
If you want content, lots of it, look no further. There are expansions that will allow you to fight with any Marvel hero created against any villain imaginable. This is a true blue deck builder that rewards clever combos and perfect timing. What the game lacks though unfortunately is thematic accuracy. Each player will contain a deck filled with cards belonging to numerous heroes, leading to a fight in which players collectively and simultaneously control the actions of the chosen heroes. And then to top it all off, players are competing to do the most good as they fight the evil mastermind. Despite it’s flaws though, this is probably the most popular super hero themed game in the market right now.
Sentinels of the Multiverse
If nothing else, this game has proven that gamers don’t need a sense of familiarity with the characters and setting in order to get in touch with inner hero.The game isn’t based on any IP but is set in it’s own super powered universe. Each player takes an unique hero deck to use to fight a unique villain deck wile dealing with a unique environment deck. The game is full of hard hitting combos as players plan out a unified effort of attack. The negatives include somewhat fiddly gameplay in the adding and subtracting of damage tokens and the constantly changing damage multipliers. This too has enough existing content to keep you busy for a good number of years to come.
This is a hard one to put on the list because I’m not sure if this actually can be counted as a board game. Players will get to assembly a small band of heroes and villains with whom they will battle in a head to head skirmish. Each figure has a rotating base that will display the various stats and abilities available to the characters depending on their current health. In theory, this would be a smashing success, thematic and tactile. But the heavy rules overhead, collective aspect, and lack of overall production quality has left the game more forgotten than it probably deserves.
Dice Masters (DC and Marvel)
Despite this one being by far the most abstract game on the list, it has held quite the following at times. Players build a team of heroes and items from which they will collect dice in game to roll in an effort to both attack their opponent and defend themselves. The game is also collectible and so there is some frustration and excitement as players try to collect the most impressive options from which to build their forces. The dice are high quality and the game play straight forward enough. The hardest part may be finding someone with which you can play competitively.
I have not had the opportunity to play this since it is being officially released this week, but I do have a preorder in for when it is available. This game appears to be a mixture of Sentinels of the Multiverse and Legendary: Marvel. Players get their own hero deck that they will use to fight of a villain and their evil scheme. Players will have the option to deck build prior to playing to create the type of combos and play style they favor most. The game is by Fantasy Flight and is the latest in their Learning Card Game line and thus will not be lacking content anytime soon.
Hour of Need
Take everything I say here with a grain of salt, seeing to how this game is at least 12 months away from release. This upcoming week Blacklist Games is launching their fourth title in their MDS (multiple deck system) and it’s a super hero themed game. Their flagship title Street Masters players quite similar to Sentinels of the multiverse except with a central board and dice centered combat. Hour of Need will feature unique heroes in a unique world. Blacklist Games previous Kickstarters have done quite well and in turn the amount of stretch goal content has been very generous. I currently own Street Masters and have a pledge in for Alter Quest, their upcoming dungeon crawl featuring their same system.
There are a number of smaller, less grandiose games out there that I would encourage you to check out. Some of those include Hail Hydra, 5 Minute Marvel, One Night Ultimate Super Villains, and DC Deck Builder. Regardless, if you’ve been bitten by the super bug there is definitely a game out there to help satisfy your need for super powered adventure until that next Marvel film gets released.