The simplicity of Marvel SNAP is what’s going to keep players hooked. Sure, the cards looks incredible and there’re both popular and slightly obscure heroes and villains on offer, but if the mechanics aren’t good enough, players are likely to fall off the wagon fast. Created by former Hearthstone developers, Second Dinner know how to make an addictive deck-builder, and their talents are on full display. Like a lot of mobile games, real money will need to spent to see a significant improvement to the various styles and variants of your cards, but there’s still lots to love.
Each game consists of six rounds. On each field of play, three locations (with the likes of Wakanda, Attilan, and Asgard on offer) present themselves, and you’ll need to play a card on one of them. Not all of them are available straight away, instead opening up at different turns. One location might give the next card you play there an additional three power, or it might not allow you to play another card there from a certain turn. Each card has an energy and power statistic. Power lets you know how much damage it’ll do, and the energy shows you how much it’ll cost to drop it onto the board. Each turn increases the energy, starting from one and ending in six.
Those are the basics of play, but it’s how Second Dinner has made sure each card feels unique, making battles go a hundred of different ways. Factoring in the locations, what cards to play, and how certain cards’ special abilities make for a fast-paced and enjoyable gameplay loop. You’re never waiting around for a game (or at least, I wasn’t during the review period), and when you do, the joy of seeing your small yet impactful deck come out victorious is as pleasing as it gets.
Favourite heroes like Iron Man, Hulk, and Cyclops all play a role in Marvel SNAP, but not all have special abilities. Placing The Punisher down at a location provides one additional power to you for each opposing card; if you play Medusa down at the middle location, you’ll gain an additional two power; and playing Mister Fantastic will give adjacent locations two additional power. It’s fun seeing what abilities do what and how they’ll impact all three locations. To win, you just need to have a higher power number than the opposing player on two of the three locations.
You can upgrade cards by using credits, which make them rarer, along with giving them more definition. Cards can also be turned ‘3D,’ through upgrading, making them look pretty damn fantastic while also increasing their collection level. There’s an obvious grind, and this will put off players who want to build their collection with the best looking cards, but as far as I can tell, your money is solely used for cosmetically improving your deck. Spending real money on gold will improve rarity as well as grabbing some cool comic book-based variants (like a Thing ‘Fear Itself’ variant or some pixel-style designs), but there aren’t new character cards with stronger stats for purchase.
Playing games and completing daily missions and weekly challenges is the best way to get new character cards throughout the season pass, along with other rewards. Improving your collection level will also unlock new character cards like Wolfsbane, Odin, and Nightcrawler. There’s a definite grind, but real money doesn’t help you become a better player with better cards, playing matches and being victorious does. Marvel SNAP is a great game, with simple mechanics forming great action on the playing field, and as long as you’re willing to grind for new deck additions, there’s a lot to love about it. Visually, it’s one of the best out there, and having such vibrant cards and battles make this one of the coolest games to play on the go.
Gorgeous card designs
Simple yet satisfying gameplay
Plenty of combinations
Variant designs come with grinding
May be too simple for some