In the game of Thanos Rising, 2-4 players take on the role of The Avengers, attempting to stop the great Thanos from obtaining all of the Infinity Stones and completing his master plan. The game uses the setting of the movies with many of the familiar faces appearing as their iconic Marvel characters.
As a team you will set about taking out at least seven of the villains of Thanos. If Thanos collects all of the Infinity stones or 10 of the heroes are killed then the Avengers have failed and Thanos wreaks havoc on the universe.
Thanos Rising Gameplay
Each player will choose a starting hero of either Captain America, Gamora, Black Panther or Doctor Strange. Each team represents the elements you will use to attempt to defeat Thanos and each team leans towards one of Battle, Technology, Mystic and Cosmic. Each of the elements are represented by a different colour of dice with each dice showing all of the elements but having more of its favoured element on each side.
You will then set-up the boards, which comprise of the Infinity Gauntlet surrounded by the stones Thanos is searching for, another board representing the galaxy and where heroes are available to be recruited or enemies attacked. In the middle stands a six inch Thanos figure, proudly brandishing the gauntlet surrounded by three sections (he will be facing one of them) each with three cards branching from it. These are either recruitable heroes or villains of Thanos.
One player will then choose which zone they are going to enter and place their team symbol within it. Then they roll two big black dice, which are the Infinity Stone, and the Thanos Dice. The Infinity Stone Dice will cause you to place a counter on the stone of the colour showing, representing Thanos’s efforts to obtain the stone. The Thanos dice will will cause Thanos to turn clockwise or anti-clockwise to face the next sector and damage any heroes within that sector, which would include your team should it be the sector you choose.
You add a damage counter to each hero as necessary. Once a hero has received its last damage token it is removed from the game and if it was in a sector a new card is drawn. Also, Thanos will trigger the ability of any of the villains that are in the sector he is facing. It may cause the Infinity Stone dice to be rolled a second time or it can trigger the abilities of all the villains not in Thanos’s current sector.
Once you have resolved this, the player will then roll their pool of dice, this may be a mixture of the colours. Once rolled, the player must then allocate at least one dice to either a hero or villain within the sector. Placing a dice with the corresponding element as shown on the card. Then once at least one or more dice have been allocated the player may re-roll the remaining dice and again must allocate at least one of those dice, repeating this till all dice have been allocated or have no corresponding element to be paired with on a card.
If a player manages to match the die faces with the element of a hero’s card then they recruit that hero to their team and now have their special abilities to call upon during their turn. If they can do the same with a villain card then they will cause a damage counter to be placed on the villain and, as with the heroes, once the last damage is placed on a villain they are removed from the game and you are one step closer to victory. Play then passes to the next player who follows the process.
During Thanos Rising, counters will be collected on each Infinity Stone and once a stone has all its spaces filled you take the stone, add it to the gauntlet and flip over the corresponding disc. Now Thanos has this stone and will wield it without mercy. If you were to have to placed a counter on this stone as you would have previously it instead activates that stone and Thanos uses it against the Avengers.
Each stone has a different ability and each of them spells doom for the Avengers. Once Thanos starts to obtain stones (and he will) your already difficult task really ramps up and you need to make sure you get the most out of each turn to start to swing the tide back into your favour.
If Thanos obtains all the stones he wins, if the Avengers can team up and take down his minions the Avengers save the day. Do you think you have what it takes to stop Thanos in his quest to balance the universe?
USAopoly did a really nice job with Thanos Rising, producing a game that people won’t be able to walk past whilst its being played without stopping to have a closer look. The Thanos figure is a very nice sculpt and has an acceptable paint job on it. I would imagine that the miniature painters out there could turn this very nice miniature it to a really stunning centrepiece with the right skills.
The large Infinity Gauntlet looks fantastic as you add the nice chunky gems to their spot as Thanos obtains them, you want to pick them up and touch them as they are very tactile pieces. The card quality is above average but I would imagine many people will sleeve these cards as with a good amount of plays and shuffles they’re the level of quality that will start to having foxing around the edges. The dice are really good quality and have a nice weight to them with bright colours and clear engraving.
The artwork on the Thanos Rising cards is very nice. It is not straight images from the movies and although you can clearly see the actors that portray the characters it has a nice hand drawn style whilst still being very detailed. The centre boards are very nice and give you this inky darkness of deep space allowing all the components to really pop and set the table ablaze with colour and shapes.
Final Thoughts on Thanos Rising
This is a fun, family weight co-operative game. If you enjoy rolling dice and taking on a challenge that has plenty of luck thrown into the mix then this is for you. The components are fantastic and a big selling point to the game. The gameplay is very simple and once you have seen each player take a round then you will fully understand what you need to do. Also, it is very easy to teach by being able to run an example round or two without having to set anything back up.
If you do not like luck in games and find dice too frustrating then you may not enjoy Thanos Rising. There are ways to mitigate the luck from dice by getting the right characters and other bonuses but there will always be luck in a game that centres around drawing cards from a deck and then rolling lots of dice.
Also, some people may find Thanos Rising too hard. It is no cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination and it will punish you for making mistakes or not getting the most out of your turn. This, added to the luck factor of the game, can certainly be frustrating but if you go into it knowing that you may well get the snot beaten out of you by Thanos and can accept that then you will have fun taking on the challenge, whether you win or lose.
Most of the time, even when you’re clearly losing, you will still feel that with a few good dice rolls you can all pull it back and edge towards an epic victory clutched from the jaws of defeat.