Marvel Snap: The card game I hate to love

I really haven’t written about Marvel Snap since it was first unveiled to the general public back in May. For someone like me, the game had a lot going against it. F2P games, though I dabble here and there, always have a certain level of suspicion because just so many (including plenty of recent ones based on Disney properties) are so badly bogged down by their pay mechanics. Card games, there are extremely rare exceptions but I generally do not like cards game, not as a side game and certainly not as the driving core mechanic of a game. Finally, also not really a fan of games where you only play against other people with no kind of single-player component. Sure, have that be the main thing but gimme a quest line or something.

And somehow, despite all those strikes against it, I really, really have enjoyed my time with Marvel Snap over the last month or so. I would definitely not say I’m addicted, I go days without even touching it, but a few times a week I’ll pick it up for an hour or so and it’s a good time and continues to be so and I don’t see getting bored of it anytime real soon.

There are several reasons for this. First is definitely presentation, this is just a game that looks and feels great to play. Card games can be either boring or even too busy and confusing to even tell what is happening, Marvel Snap manages to be visually compelling and still streamlined to the point where it’s super easy to tell what is going on at all times.

Second, the game manages to make losing not that big a deal, I mean there is a ranking system and everything and I’m not particularly high on it but that almost doesn’t matter. You have many goals that get you cards and boosters for those cards that literally have nothing to do with winning and that’s important, progress feels like it’s easy to make regardless of if you are good or not (and additionally it never feels like I just can’t win just that I was either genuinely outplayed or the locations just didn’t work out in my favor that particular time).

Finally, monetization. I am not a connoisseur of free-to-play games, but I’ve dabbled here and there enough to know the good from the bad (and getting more and more experience the longer I do this because many new Disney games are F2P ones). Obviously, bad monetization is horrendously paywalled early on with confusing currencies and little chance to advance or play much at all without shelling out money. Lots of F2P games when you give them money, it’s only for a very small temporary gain at best. Nothing permanent.

In Marvel Snap, money either goes towards merely cosmetic enhancements which you can also constantly earn just through playing, or getting specific cards (which you can still randomly earn through playing, what a concept), but it never feels like you need to spend a dime to be competitive or continue along your path of gaining more cards, it’s arguably the best monetization I’ve ever seen in a F2P game and better than a lot of games you pay money for and they still have extensive monetization systems.

Is Marvel Snap already one of the best F2P games of all time? Well, that’s hard to say based on it only being out a month and where it goes from here. But the fact that it had so much for me personally going against it as a starting point and I still was very impressed speaks volumes IMHO. I look forward to playing it a lot more and seeing where it goes from here.

That’s all for today but we’ve got a new character for Marvel’s Avengers, a whole new game in Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and a new update for Disney Dreamlight Valley right around the corner so look for musings on all those in the near future, see ya real soon!

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Main Street Electrical Arcade

All about Disney games, past present and future. Mix of reviews, opinion pieces and anything else that fits here.