One year later, Marvel Snap is my all-time favorite mobile game

One year later, Marvel Snap is my all-time favorite mobile game 1

One year ago today, I gained access to the closed beta for an intriguing mobile collectible card game called Marvel Snap. I’d flirted with collectible card games (CCGs) like it before, but had dropped off titles like Hearthstone and Legends of Runeterra due to problems with their structure, monetization, and complexity. Within a few matches of Marvel SnapI saw how disruptive it was into the CCG genre, circumventing many of my problems with it. I’ve been hooked ever since.

In the year since I first played Marvel Snaprarely does a day go by where I don’t log in. On the first anniversary of its beta, I’m confident enough in the game to declare that it has become not only my preferred CCG to play, but my favorite mobile game of all time.

Why Marvel Snap stands out

Marvel Snap has been praised a lot, especially after it saw a wider release in October 2022, and everything said about it is true. It’s much faster-paced than most card games, as it’s only six turns and both people in a match play cards at the same time. This makes rounds enthralling across all six turns and quick enough that I never play only one battle when I boot Marvel Snap up. Couple that with all the potential deck builds that can be played and possible locations that can spawn during a game, and each Marvel Snap match feels very different from one another. They can be fun, frustrating, and even funny.

Marvel Snap onslaught combo
Courtesy Bryant Francis

That’s even the case if you’re using the same deck for a while. For quite a long time, I was using a Patriot and Mystique deck that powered up cards with no abilities. As developer Second Dinner continued to introduce new cards, I started to experiment with different types of decks, like a Morbius/M.O.D.O.K. discard-focused deck, a Collector/Devil Dinosaur one where the goal is to get as many cards into my hand as possible, and most recently, a High Evolutionary/Hazmat setup that unlocks the secret abilities of some cards and greatly debuffs the enemy.

After a while in Hearthstone and Legends of RuneterraI’d feel limited in the decks I could build and the viable enough strategies I could use. Neither are issues for me in Marvel Snap. Even when certain decks dominate the high-level metagame, that doesn’t mean other types of decks aren’t viable. Additionally, the number of recognizable characters turned in the cards encourages me to experiment with and use them.

There’s also the fact that I have an inherent familiarity with the cards I use. While I casually enjoy the worlds franchises like Warcraft and League of Legends occupy, I am less familiar with them than the Marvel Universe, and thus less excited when I pull a creature that I know nothing about. As a die-hard comics fan, though, I get excited each time I earn a new character in Marvel Snap. This game also allows me to play with weirder, obscure characters — like Hell Cow, Orka, Aero, Darkhawk, or The Infinaut — that are extremely unlikely to ever appear in a more traditional video game.

Good cards also aren’t usually locked behind paywalls, but that’s not to say Marvel Snap’s microtransactions are perfect. The $100 offers in the store are eye-raising, but I don’t feel punished for not spending.

And unlike many mobile games, Marvel Snap’s progression is fair and engaging. Daily and seasonal challenges exist to keep players coming back and they refresh often enough that it’s usually worth booting up Marvel Snap a couple of times a day whenever I have a break. The objectives are all achievable enough for those with good knowledge of the game’s systems and they reward ample credits so you typically can upgrade a card or move up a tier in the battle pass within a day.

Marvel Snap card list.
Second Dinner

The slow drip-feed of obtaining cards in Marvel Snap has been a contentious point for the game through the year I’ve played it, but it’s honestly not been much of an issue for me. I’d rather earn cards at a slower pace for free than be required to spend real money for a random chance to get a card I want. I’ve also played enough where it’s only the high-end Series 4 and 5 cards I’m still obtaining. Recent Token Shop reworks have also made getting new cards easier than ever. Plus, Marvel Snap‘s near-weekly updates and the addition of new modes keep giving me more reasons to come back.

It’s no secret that Marvel Snap is a good game, but for me, it’s one of the first mobile games I’ve genuinely fallen in love with. It fully takes advantage of a great IP to create a CCG with a sense of familiarity as soon as you boot it up. It’s consistently fun to play, and it has all of the proper progression systems to keep me playing for a year and not feeling like I’m getting bored grinding. Even if you don’t typically play CCGs or mobile games, it’s a must-play that’s only gotten better in the year since its closed beta began.

Marvel Snap is available now for Android, iOS, and PC.

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