Sinister Six Card Game Review: Supervillains Unite (or Not)!

"Every villain is a hero of his or her own story." - Christopher Vogler, "The Writer’s Journey"
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From Spin Master, comes Sinister Six, a card game named after the infamous group of super villains from Spider-Man's rogues' gallery that first united together against Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (Jan. 1964). At their inception, the sextet included Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven, Mysterio, Sandman, and Vulture. In addition, players (three to six) are also able to choose from Lizard, Rhino, Venom, and Green Goblin.

Designed by Daryl Andrews & Adrian Adamescu, the object of the game is for players to work together on four heists and then defeat Spider-Man while working individually to gain the most loot. At each heist, players need to match their villain's action card's skills to the task at hand. There are seven skills, such as Muscle, Gear, and Firepower, and an eighth, Mastermind, which serves as a wild card that can be used for any skill. Each round, turn order is determined by blindly selecting numbered hexes.

Loot tokens are secured when the task is completed. There are four types of them: Cash, Intel, Resource, and Tech. Each token has one of three different values. For example, Cash tokens are worth either three, five, or eight points. Tech tokens are worth one, seven, or ten, offering greater reward but also greater risk. Black Market cards and Special Action cards offer individuals advantages in obtaining loot. After completing the Heist card, Spider cards, featuring either Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen or Miles Morales, are played in a similar manner.

sinister six cards.jpgOnce the four heists are completed, the final battle with Spider-Man commences. Four Spider cards are flipped over all at once, and unlike the previous rounds, players must fill the skills on the cards in order. This portion of the game requires more strategy in deciding what Action cards to use because if unable to play or discard, the player is eliminated and given a score of zero for the game. Players who complete the final battle add up the points on their tokens, with most points being the winner. If there's a tie, the player with least amount of tokens wins.

Sinister Six doesn't require knowledge of the characters' histories to play. The game is at its most interesting when a player has to determine whether to play for oneself or the team. Decide too early and the others may turn against you. Decide too late and someone else could become the winner. The game pieces are of the villains' hands and they are so well crafted, it's a shame that the rest of the character isn't included.

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