I finally had the chance to sit down with my gaming group and play "Sentinels of the Multiverse" from Greater Than Games, one of the games that I purchased at Gen Con. As you may know, the group that I play D&D with alternates role-playing one week with board games and card games the next. This gives us the opportunity to play a wide variety of games, as well as expose each other to our new or favorite games.
This is different than many other card games in that it is cooperative; the players work together to defeat a villain that is trying to kill them while surviving in a hostile environment. I had the pleasure of playing in two sessions of "Sentinels of the Multiverse" at GenCon, but these were quick versions of the game (the villain started at half of its life) and the designers were there to answer questions. I wanted to see how the game played without having people who already knew the game front and back leading it. To this end, we played two games of the standard rules (not using the optional Advanced rules).
One of first things that my fellow gamers commented on was that the rule book was extremely thin (14 pages including the front). Also, the back cover has almost everything a group needs to know about the game other than the initial setup. This makes it quick to jump in and start playing. However, in a few cases, the rules could use a bit of elaboration. For instance, the rule book says to "always follow the wording of the cards fully", but the wording of two cards contradicted eachother making it impossible to follow them fully. Specifically, one card said that the character could not draw cards while another instructed the character to draw a card. It was also under debate whether the first card meant to skip the draw phase or skip all drawing of cards. The general consensus was to not draw any cards even if another card says to.
Another problem that we ran into was some cards say to pick a second target. The majority vote was that this had to be a different target than the first, but there were a couple of dissenters. Finally, stack resolution caused an issue in a couple of instances. For instance, if a card says to pick a target, then pick a second and third target. Does the first target take damage before the second target is picked or after all targets have been picked. This can have an effect on game play since some minions can pump other ones. I do not remember which way we decided on.
These are not serious problems, but it would be nice to have clarification in future printings of the rules and errata on the site. As with most games though, there are always a couple of things that get missed – especially in early versions of a game. House rules work just as well as printed rules in the majority of cases as long as the group can agree and sticks to them consistently.
Overall, "Sentinels of the Multiverse" went over well and the group decided that we should add it to our rotation of games. I guess you could say that it does play in Peoria.