The advent of digital collectible card games has led to an explosion of different approaches to the genre. Mostly, though, new games have adapted the fundamentals of physical CCGs. With Marvel Snap, Hearthstone veteran studio Second Dinner has reduced the collectible card game to its most essential pieces and reimagined them, creating a combination of systems that are elegantly simple without ever feeling simplistic.
Like many other modern card games, Marvel Snap automates its equivalent of mana or energy, adding one unit per turn. But then it streamlines the genre even further: Each game lasts only six turns, and there is no direct combat between characters or choosing whether to deal damage to enemy scrubs or “go face” for direct player damage. Instead, your goal is to accumulate the most power across three locations. At the end of six turns, whoever controls two of the three locations wins the match, and ties are determined by total power across all three.
Those three locations are randomly selected from a massive pool, each introducing their own intricacies and elements, and the areas range from the straightforward to the silly. The symbiote planet Klyntar will depower every card played on it, while NYC’s Central Park adds a 1-power squirrel to each other location. The locations are revealed from left to right over the first three turns. The random nature means you can be halfway through a match when a surprise third location completely shakes up your strategy, and sometimes you’ll need to gamble by blindly playing a hero into an unrevealed location.
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