Captivating. Unhealthy. Concerning. These are some of the words to describe my relationship with Marvel Snap. When it was teased back in May of this year, the general public were unsure of what to expect. But there were many people in the comments hoping that this wasn’t another card game. Which is just what they got.
Marvel Snap is a new fast-paced collectable card game featuring characters from the Marvel Universe. But in my eyes, this isn’t just another card game. Marvel Snap is quickly becoming the evolution of what a collectable-card game can be. As well as becoming my latest obsession.
I must admit, I literally couldn’t stop playing the first day I was able to download it in Australia. And since then, I’ve been flipping open my phone and playing whenever I can.
So what makes this so special? What’s the secret sauce behind “yet another” card game like Marvel Snap?
For starters, there are so many “same same but different” card games out there. You have your Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon: TCG, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc. As well as Legends of Runeterra, MTG Arena and Hearthstone for those digital sorts. (AKA me.) Most of the mentioned follow the same gameplay structure, require money to build your deck and sometimes aren’t time friendly.
And then you have Marvel Snap, which has broken all of these traditions for the better.
Marvel Snap takes a different approach on the battlefield. And while the same concepts apply, such as energy points, card cost and card power, the rest of it is pretty unique.
The goal is to take control of three randomly selected locations, all containing different rules. Which can either make or break your strategy/build. The winner is the player who controls the most locations. Kind of like a best out of three matches of “Scissors, Papper, Rock”.
While it’s a different take on what’s expected from most collectible card games, it’s not what’s giving this sauce its unique flavour. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong. But it’s more so in how they’ve executed Marvel Snap as a whole.
One key difference is that there are NO card packs. None. Unbelievable, right? You instead collect cards through an almost infinite progression system, season ranks and the Season Pass.
Like other collectible cards, most cards in Marvel Snap come with their own abilities/keywords. So it’s pretty easy to build a few decks with similar acting cards. And I’ve been having fun swapping cards in and out and changing decks every so often, depending on what I’m in the mood for.
But I just wish there were faction bonuses. Like gathering up the X-Men or Avengers to pull off cool group abilities. But, unfortunately, each card acts way too differently for that scenario to happen. The only “faction” team that works in a good game are Thor, Jane Foster Mighty Thor and Odin.
There were also missed opportunities by not giving some cards no abilities at all, in my opinion. Cyclops and Hulk, for example, are pretty popular characters. There are mulitple card abilities I can think of for them.
Cards aren’t able to be bought with real money either. Well, kind of. Apart from the Season Pass, at a whopping $14.99 AUD, the only thing real money can be exchanged for is gold. Which is used to buy card variations. Meaning you’re not buying the card itself, but more so a different outfit for it. It also means Marvel Snap is happily not sitting at the “pay-to-win” table in the cafeteria.
Collecting all of the different card art for your favourite cards is a fun aspect that gives it more of that casual feel. And it adds a little bit of personality to your decks. Different card backs are also available to collect, however they’re mainly rewarded through the Season Pass.
But the most obvious, and dangerous, trait is its fast-paced gameplay. Instead of taking turns, both players put their cards down at the same time, with six turns per round. Meaning you’re able to smash your opponents in minutes.
As I’ve already mentioned, I play Marvel Snap whenever I can. It’s almost taken over every spare moment of my time. Whether I’m in bed, waiting for a meal order, in the bathroom or just walking around town. It’s been scary addictive and has left me wondering what my partner thinks of my habit.
However, its fast-paced gameplay is just the beginning of its dangerously addictive nature.
The overall feel for Marvel Snap is also pretty casual. You jump in for a few quick games, complete some dailies, and gain rewards. The term “rank” is also thrown around, however it doesn’t actually feel competitive. So far, it definitely hasn’t made me want rage quit or feel “salty” in any way.
But how fast you go up and down in rank also gives Marvel Snap it’s “oomf”. When a player “Snaps” during a match, the amount of rank points rewarded increases.
The added gamble of “Snap” adds an added layer of strategy and levelling. But I suggest not Snapping willy nilly from Round 1.Take my advice: Snap only when necessary and quickly Retreat from the game when things are looking grim.
So as much as I enjoy a long, strategic match of Hearthstone or MTG Arena, Marvel Snap has stolen my heart for now. But we’ll see how long it lasts. While It has my heart, I don’t want to call it “love” just yet. Maybe lust. It’ll also depend on what else they’re going to do to keep the game fresh. But for now, my lust and desire for Marvel Snap is fairly strong.