Players: 1-5 Run Time: 20-45 minutes Publisher: Board & Dice
A few months ago I was preparing for the UK Games Expo. I was looking at various games that were debuting at the show and one that caught my eye was Multiuniversum from Board & Dice. The box art is what caught my attention, this little alien stood in the corner with the beautiful back drop of the city behind.
However one should not judge a game by its cover, does the game play live up to the art? Carry on reading to find out.
I’m a sucker for a Science Fiction theme; I’ve been reading the comic Black Science (Rick Remender), which is about Scientists creating a device allowing them to cross into different dimensions. Of course something goes wrong and adventure ensues. How is this relevant to this game? Well the basic premise for Multiversum is that, scientists discover a way to open portals to other dimensions. New worlds are open for us to explore but also for the creatures of these dimensions to come to our world. Players are competing to close the most portals and to get the most knowledge from these other dimensions.
This all sounds very exciting but how do we actually close these portals? Well this is fundamentally a card game. There are 80 cards in this game. The cards provide the play area for the game and player areas, actions we can take and the tools we use to close the portals. At the beginning of the game each player is given a lab card. This is where you will be putting the tools you need to close the portals and the samples collected from the portals (the portal cards). Cards are used to represent the different machine modules that have opened these portals. The portals themselves are cards with different icons in the corner and you are trying to collect different sets of these icons for scoring at the end.
Each round players will have 3 cards with a list of 6 actions. The actions are as follows:
- draw 2 cards
- prepare a tool
- move to any machine module
- close portal
- use module ability
- choose a card from the discard pile
However it would be too simple to just have access to every action every turn, you are limited by the colour of Meeple you are and the colour of module you are on. The only actions that you can use have to match the colour of meeple or the module you are on. This means you have to think carefully about the cards you are using each turn. You need to discard cards in order to use the tool icon on them, however you want to make sure that you still have the actions available to you in order to get to the right module and then close the portal.
You keep using these tools to close the portals until 3 portal stacks (2 in a 2 player game) have been depleted.
As I said I’m a big science buff, and the opening scenes of the Half Life 2 game with monsters coming through a portal, always stuck with me. So as I’ve said this theme was always going to strike a chord.
The theme is carried by the art of this game. The different dimensions are all portrayed excellently by the art provided by Piotr Uzdowski. Moving from module to module closing the different portals and trying to get the right tools to do so is a great puzzle.
The iconography can be confusing and an addition of a player aid could have been a big help with this, but after your first couple of plays you do become familiar with them.
All in all for a small box game this offers a good challenge with a fun theme and the addition of a new expansion can only help with adding more replayability.
The Cthulu expansion adds new portal cards and an insanity mechanic that I can’t wait to try. This will be a game I will pull off my shelf time and time again.
The expansion for Multiuniversum is on Kickstarter now