Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War (USAopoly)
Players recruit heroes and assemble a team to face off against Thanos, building upon the strengths of the characters on their team, as well as other players. Winning requires critical thinking and communication to reach a common goal.
Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War, by USAopoly, is a cooperative dice and card game for 2-4 players. In the game, players will recruit heroes and assemble a team to face off against Thanos and his villainous forces in an effort to thwart him from accomplishing his master plan – collecting all six Infinity Stones to power the Infinity Gauntlet and wreak havoc on the very fabric of reality.
Players work together to recruit Heroes and defeat Villians before Thanos accomplishes his goal of collecting all six Infinity Stones and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. The game ends in a defeat if one of three things occurs: Thanos collects all six Infinity Stones, Thanos defeats ten or more Heroes, or Thanos defeats ALL Heroes on one player’s Hero team. However, if the Heroes defeat enough Villains (seven in an easier game, ten in a more difficult game) then they win!
The turn order consists of five steps. First, a player places their Team Deployment Token in one of the three sectors around Thanos. This will determine the area of recruit or attack for the Heroes, and potentially the area of attack from Thanos.
Next, they roll and resolve the Infinity Stone die and the Thanos die. The Infinity Stone die will place a counter on one of the nested Infinity Stone cards on Thanos’ gauntlet. When all five counters are on a stone at the end of the round, Thanos collects it, and the card is flipped over revealing an even stronger attack when that color is rolled again. The Thanos die determines where Thanos strikes. He will either turn to the left, to the right, or remain stationary. No matter his trajectory, he will attack. There are also facings on this die that require the player to roll the Infinity Stone die again and apply its effect, or that trigger the Villain abilities in the other sectors.
After Thanos attacks, the player recruits the power dice that they will use, then rolls and resolves them. Dice may be rerolled, but at least one die must be assigned to an Asset (recruiting a Hero or attacking a Villain) or forfeited from play beforehand. Dice can only be assigned to one Asset at a time, not split across Assets. Power dice can be used to resolve the abilities of the Heroes on their team, such as healing damage on a Hero or further attacking a Villain.
After all dice have been assigned and player abilities executed, defeated Heroes or Villains are discarded and the empty spaces in the sectors are replenished from the Asset card deck with either new Heroes or new Villains. The player collects their Team Deployment Token and play proceeds clockwise until one of the end game conditions are met.
When I discovered that this game was designed by Andrew Wolf, I was pretty sure that I was going to like it. Wolf has had involvement in the design of several of my preferred games on my shelf, including Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Munchkin Adventure Time, and Munchkin Marvel. These are overall fun games with some of my favorite IPs, the gameplay isn’t complex, and they are easy to get to the table with gamers and non-gamers alike. Thanos Rising definitely falls into that category.
The theming and component quality of this game are stellar. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and board gamers alike will be impressed. The Thanos figurine that is centralized in the game is super cool. I’ve even seen some gamers take him and give him a quality paint job and finish for an even more impressive focal point.
Most of the game pieces are printed on heavy cardboard, which will hold up to multiple plays. The Infinity Gauntlet and the Infinity Stones are very cool and look great on the table. The components as well as the mechanic that adds the stones to the gauntlet allow for an immersive game experience. There are plenty of dice with varying weights based on their type that are well made and fun to roll.
The game is a little on the expensive side for the light gameplay. The cost is more than likely a reflection of the popular IP, as well as the quality game components. There are a lot of dice (17 to be exact) which add to the cost and the physical weight of the game. I am a little bothered that the colors don’t match the starting dice pool artwork on the Team Base Cards. Why aren’t the cosmic dice purple?
There is one component that I feel lacks the quality of the others, and that is the Team Base Cards. These are on a flimsy cardstock. For a key component that will get used in every game, these are going to show wear quickly. I wish they would have printed them on a nice heavy cardstock, like that of the Team Deployment Tokens. I also wish they would have created more Teams and Team Leaders. But I guess this leaves more room for expansions and promo cards. It has been revealed that there will be promo cards released after the movie so as not to reveal any spoilers. I’m also curious if the game will play with more players and more Team Leaders.
I also felt the game was a little long. Maybe it will speed up with more players involved, and after the learning curve that new games have. It seemed that we pretty much had the game in the bag near the end, with super powerful Hero teams that were easily fending off Thanos from collecting the stones. We were taking our turns and waiting for the Villains to appear so we could consecutively attack and beat them. So the end game dragged on a bit to our eventual victory.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a major cash cow. Merchandising is plentiful, and there is no sign of it slowing. (Check out my article showcasing other exciting board games for the Marvel Cinematic Universe). It is great to see fun games that will appeal to gamers of multiple ages and skill levels. While the complexity of this game isn’t high, it is still something that my more experienced gaming friends can get on board and play.
There are gameplay difficulty variants that include adding more Villains to beat, or starting with a counter on each Infinity Stone. I will experiment with these and other variants to modify the difficulty and see if the game is more challenging while still remaining enjoyable.
The game is not groundbreaking. It doesn’t introduce any exciting new game mechanics. I usually shy away from dice games, and I would easily have overlooked this one if it wasn’t for the Marvel/Infinity War theming. But I didn’t. As a result, I have a game for a wide audience. I have a lot of Marvel fans lined up to play it. And having people excited about playing a game with you is a pretty great problem to have.
- Release Date: April 2018
- MSRP: $49.95
- Playing Time: 60-90 minutes
- Age Range: 10+
- Player Count: 2-4
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