Multiuniversum is a card game for 1 to 5 players designed by Manuel Correia and published by Board&Dice. In this game you take on the role of a scientist at CERN. Through some great research you were able to open up portals to different dimensions. This scientific breakthrough came with a cost however, monsters from the different dimensions are trying to escape through the opened portals. Now it is your job to overload the transformers and close the portals. The player who learns the most discovery points while closing the portals will win the game.
During setup you will place the five different transformers in the middle of the table in a virtual circle. The portal stacks are created by shuffling one basic portal (one tool), two medium portals (two tools) and one advanced portal (three tools) and placing one stack with the top card face-up beneath each transformer. Each player chooses a color and takes the matching scientist and lab card. The scientists are placed on the matching transformer and the lab card is placed in front of yourself. Shuffle all the action cards and deal out three cards to each player, place the rest of the deck in the middle of the virtual circle and draw five cards to be placed in the discard pile. Choose a start player by any means necessary and you are ready to start closing some gates…
During your turn you can do up to three actions. You are able to resolve an action from a card by playing it in your play area, prepare a tool or discard a card. You may do the same action multiple times as long as you do not exceed the three actions per turn. When you have done the actions you wished to perform you move all the cards from your play area to the common discard pile and refill your hand up to three cards.
Each card has all five different actions depicted on them but you are restricted because the action you can resolve from a card is the one with the same color as the transformer you are currently on. One of the actions is a Search which means that you can draw 2 cards from the top of the action deck and add them to your hand. A second action to choose from is the move which lets you move to any other transformer. A third possible action is the recycle that allows you to take any one card from the discard pile and add it to your hand. A fourth action is the Seal Portal action. This lets you close the top portal of the stack at the transformer you are on by discarding the required tools. The closed portal is placed to the left of your lab card for final scoring. The fifth action you can perform is the transformer ability you are on. Each transformer has its own ability. It lets you change the order of any portal stack, draw three cards and discard two, switch places of two portals, place each face-up portal to the bottom thus revealing new portals or keep one card from your play area as a tool.
Now that we went over the card actions it is time to go over the other actions. Preparing a tool is no more than placing the card to the right of your lab card so that you can use it in the future to close portals. The other action is discarding an action card to draw a new action card. We highly recommend using the discarding an action card for moving to an adjacent transformer. This ability is introduced in the expansion and is very useful.
This continues until three stacks of portals are empty (two in a two-player game). Now it is time to do the scoring. Every player gets discovery points for their sealed portals and loses one for each unused tool. Finally each player gets points for sets of their dimension icons. You have the option to create omni-sets which have five different dimension icons. These are worth nine points for each set you can create. The specialization sets are comprised of the same icons. For two identical icons you get four points and for three icons a whopping nine points. The player with the most discovery points wins the game. The ties are broken first by the least unused tools, then the most sealed portals, most cards in his hand or the oldest player.
Some samples of the beautiful artwork.
First things first, the artwork immediately pops out. The portal cards are beautifully illustrated and portrait some weird things like a gummy bear holding a blooded knife. I really don’t want to live in that universe. The action cards are well laid out and functional. The game relies heavy on symbology and I would love to have a little reference sheet to explain all the different actions and transformer abilities. The game itself plays like a charm and really fast. Turns go by pretty smooth although you have to put in some thought as to what you are going to do. Each turn is like a little puzzle to see what you can do with the cards and options at hand. Are you going to try and close the portal you are on, do you have the proper tools for it, do you have the card that lets you close the portal? Maybe it’s better to go to another transformer and try and to close it before another player does. All these questions are going off in your mind when you are trying to figure it out but when you find a certain solution to do a great thing with these cards it gives a great fulfillment. Sometimes you might be a bit restricted because of the cards you get but you can always change it in your favor. Like I already said in the explanation we highly recommend playing with the rule that you can discard a card to move to an adjacent transformer. Beforehand we felt like you could be stuck at a location because you didn’t get an action card to move or pick a move from the discard pile. They have already released a great expansion called Project Cthulhu that changes things up a bit to give you another way to play the game but this will be for another time. Personally I love this game, its puzzly nature and its ease of play.
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