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Marvel Snap taps into nostalgia, not your wallet

After a few days with Wonderful Nap, the question I keep asking myself is: “Where is the hook?” I’m not sure this is the game’s fault; If anything, this feels like it’s a victim of the free mobile ecosystem. When I fired up the game to try it out, I felt hyper-vigilant, constantly on the lookout for The Hook: the part of a free-to-play mobile title where I say, “Ah, East It’s where they come for your wallet.”

The version that exists now in app stores of all kinds feels mercifully free from heavy-handed monetization, but apparently, this wasn’t always the case during the game’s beta period. The resulting change feels good, really; I have played a couple of Japanese mobile porridge for years and marvel addon is a (Tony?) stark contrast to what happens in that particular corner of the game design.

Without delving into the basic rules of the game play-by-play (feel free to refer to Polygon’s primer on the subject), Second Dinner did well by creating an understandable and easy-to-play card game that’s simple but not too simple. . The game’s aesthetic, with its high-impact oblique font and aggressive use of every shade of purple imaginable, has Marvel written all over it, for better or worse. I still can’t decide if I love or hate the persistent, raucous “BWOMP! loop BWOMPA-BWOMPA BWOMP BWOMP”. It really could go either way.

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A game in progress in Marvel Snap, showing the player from the point of view using the Mister Fantastic card

Image: Second Dinner Studios/Nuverse via Polygon

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A menu in the Marvel Snap showing some of the tiers in the season pass that can be unlocked to earn rewards, such as a Spider-Man variant card depicting Miles Morales.

Image: Second Dinner Studios/Nuverse via Polygon

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The card art is well chosen though, and I especially love the return of the art of superhero names from the 1980s and 1990s, straight from the covers of the relevant comics, or, you know, that page. expository. in an X-Men book where we are told that Scott Summers can never take off his visor so as not to destroy a building with his eye beams, which makes him the weird CYCLOPS™.

I’m not a die-hard, but in my many years on this unforgiving Earth I’ve played my share of TCGs and CCGs, and marvel addon has left me a bit confused on a big axis. One of the joys of a game like this, for many, is collecting cards of your favorite characters, putting them together in decks and trying them out. Perhaps overcorrecting the whole “Nexus Event” situation in the beta, Second Dinner has made it so that you get new cards by winning games (you earn one card per game won or progress through a ladder/game style level). season pass). progression). As far as design paths you can take that don’t turn your free mobile game into an emotional manipulation factory, I think this works.

From the perspective of someone who really just wants to get their favorite characters and use them, which definitely feels like it fits the profile of Marvel fans as a consumer base, it could end up being more problematic. I understand that the commercial release of the game is in its infancy, so who knows what direction the developers will take from here, but I have to wonder if Second Dinner will accidentally fight the biggest crossover battle of all: having a game. which can appeal to that collector’s nature without resorting to heavy-handed monetization or, worse, the mobile game’s death knell of being labeled “pay to win.”

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A Marvel Snap menu screen showing the system

Image: Second Dinner Studios/Nuverse via Polygon

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An in-game store menu screen for Marvel Snap that invites the player to purchase booster packs.

Image: Second Dinner Studios/Nuverse via Polygon

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That’s the future, though. Here and now, marvel addon is a bite-sized card game morsel with a tight design that’s after comic book nostalgia and brand recognition more than your wallet. It’s extremely easy to grab your phone, play a six-turn game, and be done for the day. Sure, there’s a battle pass and ladders and ranks and Reddit posts with detailed tactical breakdowns of when you should “click” to try and get more rank rewards. none of that is necessarythough.

My great hope is that Second Dinner can continue to thread this particular needle: to have a game that doesn’t get out of control with new mechanics (a surefire way to sell card packs!), but that does it allow players to take some real control over their deck building and harvesting in a way other than “real money”, “blind luck” or some combination of the above. I’ve been in that boat for a while now. marvel addon It was a nice vacation from that, and I hope, for its own sake, that it can stay that way.

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