Marvel Snap's card game design.
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Recently, the relatively new game studio Second Dinner’s debut game “Marvel Snap” has been taking the world by storm – we’ve all seen the ads, we’ve seen the game pop up more and more on every platform and we’ve all seen the praises. So what exactly is “Marvel Snap” and what makes it different from all other games?

“Marvel Snap” can best be described as a card battler set in the Marvel Universe – it is definitely a card game (as you use collectable cards to play the game), but unlike its competitors, it is surprisingly simplistic in its mechanics and incredibly battle-focused. The game takes away a lot of the card game design mechanics we’re used to seeing in the industry. One such example is the total exclusion of the “mulligan” mechanic in “Marvel Snap”.

This means that players must play their starting hand no matter what. While most players might find this design choice rather strange, it actually forces your creative side to shine through, as you will have to find creative ways to make your handwork, and given the game’s success, it also goes to show that playing “on a curve” doesn’t necessarily mean fun.

“Marvel Snap” developer Ben Brode, known for his work on Blizzard’s esteemed card game “Hearthstone”, has backed this concept via Twitter in the following post:

“There’s no “tempo” in Snap. You don’t “lose board control” by not playing a card early. It might not be the best, but you’re certainly not doomed. But this feedback about having nothing to play on turn 1 was so frequent, we knew it would be an issue.”

“Marvel Snap” developer Ben Brode

An Engaging and Fun Graphic Design Worthy of Superheroes

“Marvel Snap”’s success also has to do with its design choice. The Marvel Universe is full of superheroes and supervillains who love to do battle with each other. Second Dinner has done an amazing job putting this concept in “Marvel Snap” – the game is colorful, flashy and amazing to watch. As a player, you truly get the feeling that each card is important, impactful and powerful, regardless of its actual power level. This makes the game extremely satisfying to both play and watch, which in turn makes it extremely easy to get into and stream.

For instance, one of the most popular card game streamers, MegaMogwai, has praised “Marvel Snap”, stating that the game helped him find his passion for streaming, and potential plans to switch to the game permanently. Many other streamers have also shared praise for the game, which already shows its huge potential.

“Marvel Snap”’s success can also be attributed to its simplistic, but extremely effective levelling system, which gets you hooked almost immediately. While the game removes many complex rules associated with other card games, it doesn’t necessarily mean the game itself isn’t complex. This is shown through its levelling system, placing players against hour-long campaigns against AI opponents, introducing its complexity in bite-sized chinks, so that the player is never overwhelmed with information.

The overall premise is very simple, players have to win two out of three locations. This is done by using your deck of heroes (or villains) – If you play cards at a location and your overall attack numbers are higher than those of your opponent, you win that location. If a card has an effect, it is listed on its bottom side, and players are encouraged to use them to their advantage to win locations easier.

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.