Marvel SNAP is the latest mobile card-based game that’s sweeping the world! Leveraging the IP of your favorite Marvel superheroes, Marvel SNAP lets you play with all of the familiar faces that you’ve grown to love in Marvel comic book history.
The game plays like a mash-up of Hearthstone and Gwent, two other card games that I have absolutely invested too much time in over the years. Players earn energy each turn, using that energy to pay for cards featuring Marvel characters. These cards are played to one of three Locations, each with a random game-changing ability that ensures no two games will be exactly the same.
After the sixth turn, whoever has a higher Power value in two locations is declared the winner! If there’s a tie, the tiebreaker is based on whoever played the most Power overall. There’s also an interesting SNAP mechanic, where players can essentially dictate how confident they are in winning. Once someone SNAPs – and each player can SNAP once per match – the stakes increase! The winner will gain the number of wagered cubes, raising their rank, while the user will lose that many cubes, getting demoted.
It’s an awesome game and you can still get in on the ground floor while it’s shiny and new! Here are my top 7 reasons to love Marvel SNAP!
1. Unlocking Cards
Instead of relying on the RNG of booster packs, players actually unlock cards by powering up their existing cards. Each card can be increased in rarity, which adds pizzazz and flair to the card in the form of breaking the card border, making the card 3D, animating the card, applying a shiny effect to the card name, and adding a shiny frame.
In this way, you can unlock cards just by playing the game, and you can visually see which thresholds you’ll be unlocking them at. Now, you can’t tell WHICH cards you’ll be unlocking, but there are certain pools of cards that you can pull from depending on your collection rank.
2. Uniform Energy Generation
As far as gameplay is concerned, Marvel SNAP goes the way of Hearthstone and eliminates ‘mana screw’ by having each player generate one energy each turn. This energy does not carry over, so you have to use it or else you’ll lose it, prompting players to have a nice energy curve of cards in their consolidated deck.
You always know exactly whether or not you’ll be able to play certain cards in your hand, and at what point. Sure, the Locations can alter card costs or put cards into play for you, but eliminating a random mana mechanic keeps decks small and allows players to focus on playing to the strategy of their deck.
3. SNAP Mechanic
Ah, I just love the SNAP mechanic in the game! The maximum number of cubes that you can play for is 8, if the game goes all the way to the end of Turn 6 and both players have snapped. It takes 10 cubes to go up in rank, so you can never completely go up a rank in a single match.
Aggressively using the SNAP mechanic has its benefits. For example, if you SNAP right away at the beginning of the match, I’ve found that opponents will either concede – giving you a free cube – or they will also double-down and SNAP as well. The stakes are higher, but overall you’re going to get more fluctuation in your rank. So, if you want to rise quickly, get those Thanos fingers ready!
4. No Separate Ranked Mode
It’s also refreshing that Marvel SNAP doesn’t have a separate ranked mode. A lot of these games have a casual and ranked mode, which separates the player base.
The Ranked aspect is actually fairly genius, because it’s all based on the SNAP mechanic detailed above. If you don’t want to risk a bunch of cubes, you certainly don’t have to. Just concede before the next round and you’ll only lose one or two.
By keeping the entire game in a single mode, I don’t really have any of that ranked-ladder anxiety that comes along with playing ranked. Every match is a zero-sum game where the wagered cubes are coming out of the other player’s reserves, and people around your same level will be roughly around the same point in their collection. It just feels like everything sort of balances itself out in that way.
5. Fast Gameplay
If you’re looking for a game that you can hammer out multiple matches in a matter of minutes, then Marvel SNAP is that bite-sized dopamine drip that will end your search. Most games can be completed in about five minutes, which is vastly different than Magic: the Gathering matches and even shorter than Hearthstone as well. With such a little time investment, you can make tangible progress in the game as you complete your daily and weekly challenges.
6. Vertical Play
Maybe something that isn’t really taken into consideration is that Marvel SNAP plays entirely vertically. Back in my Hearthstone days, I lamented the fact that it was difficult to play the game on mobile with just a single hand. Unless you have incredibly long thumbs, it’s just not happening easily. But this is a whole new card game, and I can play mostly with one hand comfortably.
The nature of the game lends itself well to the layout because you’re playing four cards to one of three locations. If there were any more than three then you’d definitely need to go horizontally. It’s really interesting that even in this way, a strategy of ‘going-wide’ is still viable. That would be something like a token strategy of MtG where you’re playing lower cost cards or cards that generate 1 power tokens and then buffing them up. At the same time, you can play tall and succeed by stacking a single location if you’re able to impact at least one of the other locations simultaneously.
7. Steady Stream of Challenges
My last point of praise for Marvel SNAP is that daily challenges are released every 8 hours, and you can hold up to six at a time. If you do the math, that means you would only have to play for one session a day if you wanted to knock out all of your challenges.
This is also different than other games. Last time I played, Hearthstone had three slots for daily challenges and you received one each day. Magic Arena also has a couple slots and you only get one per day there as well. Now, the rewards probably all even out between the games, but at least it seems like you’re able to easily check off boxes like ‘Win 2 games with a SNAP’ or ‘Play 5-Cost cards’. Even if it’s just an illusion of progress, it works!
Marvel SNAP: It’s a…SNAP!
As I mentioned before, I’ve really been enjoying Marvel SNAP. I never know which cards I’m going to unlock next, and the game let’s you know when you encounter a card that you’ve never seen before. Despite having played for a few weeks, I’m still seeing new cards like Doc Ock and Vulture. Sinister Six represent!
Check out Marvel SNAP, and play with your favorite comic book characters!