Board Game Review: “Thanos Rising”

By Ashleigh Hvinden

In case you are not a pop culture fan, for the last twelve years, Stan Lee’s Marvel (yes, that Marvel) has been creating movies about beloved (or sometimes obscure) comic book characters and releasing them to worldwide theater-going audiences to many, many accolades. I could go on and on, but don’t worry – this is not a post about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its awesome impact on cinema (obviously, I am a fan).  However, the biggest blockbuster of the summer, Avengers: Endgame, releases on Friday, April 26. To tie-in with the release of Avengers: Endgame (which promises to be a fantastic film) I did want to tell you about Thanos Rising, a dice-roller and card board game published in 2018 by USAopoly (now known as the THE OP).


Photo Credit: “Thanos Rising”, USAopoly, 2018

Thanos Rising is a co-operative game for 2 to 4 players, for ages 10 and up. BGG (Board Game Geek) clocks playtime anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes. I personally have played this game a fair amount over the last year and I have had the same experience. Players can choose to be Gamora, Dr. Strange, Captain America or Black Panther (T’Challa). Players use a large pool of dice to work together to recruit heroes and attack Thanos’ henchmen before Thanos gains all the stones for his Infinity Gauntlet. Sounds simple to you? Au contraire, my friends! If all Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet stones are revealed, or 10 heroes (good guys) are defeated, players lose automatically.  Every round, players roll two dice: One that controls Thanos’ movements and one that forces players to place a gem on the infinity stone tile (once 5 gems are placed on each infinity stone tile, the tile is turned over and that power is activated every turn). Once Thanos has moved, attacked heroes, or activated villains in that sector, players will roll separate dice according to their player card and try to recruit heroes to their team. Both the dice and heroes are color coordinated and each have a special ability.

Photo Credit: “Thanos Rising,” “Board Game Geek”

This board game is a perfect stepping stone for teens, Marvel fans, brand-new board gamers and board game groups.  Yes, there is a little bit of a learning curve, but this is a great tool to bring new audiences in. I chose this game for my first ever board game event for teens at my library and it was the most popular event we had. Once you have played a few rounds and understand the mechanics, the gameplay is smooth and enjoyable. The game is rather challenging (not compared to games like Root or various other complicated Euro games), but I have owned this game for a year and have yet to beat it.

If you want to know more about this game, check out these links:

Are you a Marvel fan? Have you played this game or other Marvel games? Are you going to see or have you seen Avengers: Endgame in movie theaters? Share in the comments below (no spoilers, please!) Happy playing!

Ashleigh Hvinden is a Reference and Teen Services Librarian with the Carlsbad City Library in California. Ashleigh loves IP board games and started developing a collection in 2016. In college, Ashleigh was the one who had all the board games and would make her friends play Disney Scene-It so much so that they would refuse to play. Her favorites include Chess, Monopoly, Splendor, Lords of Waterdeep, Thanos Rising, Ticket to Ride, and Farkle. Ashleigh is always looking for a brand-new game to play and listens to way too many board game podcasts.

One comment

  1. I haven’t played this one yet, but it has been really popular at Sapphire City board game parlor. It sounds like a fun game, and I like that it is cooperative. My family prefers to play cooperative games though occasionally I can get them to play competitive games.

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