Review – Marvel Snap


Ronny Hammond

The mobile gaming market is synonymous with pumping out low quality games in order to cash in on the market. Lately however we have seen a trend towards better quality mobile games with more focus on fun over profit. In comes Marvel Snap which aims to outpace its competition. Marvel Snap is a card collecting action game that uses Marvel characters and lore as its makeover. Underneath the quips and superhero action lies a surprisingly complex card game.


A match of Marvel Snap is laid out in an easy to understand way. Three locations split the map with the opposing player on each side. Each of the locations allows for players to place four cards. Each card has a certain amount of power points and each game has a number of 6 turns. To win a game of Marvel Snap a player must have the most power points on two or more locations. Sounds easy enough right? Well Marvel Snap has more than a few tricks up its sleeve to make each match interestingly complex.

The locations on the game board each has its own unique traits. These traits will influence the player’s decision to play a card there. Traits range from extending the game by a turn, reducing the amount of power points on cards, or even making each card fight the other player’s cards to the death. This constant flux of new locations each game keeps players from using the same tactic and creates a real challenge. This forces players to adapt accordingly.

Locations aren’t the only things in the game with abilities. Most cards have different abilities that players can use to synergize decks for different goals or to keep things interesting. Fans of Marvel lore will notice that most of the abilities associated with the different cards will fit the distinct powers and personalities of the Marvel characters that they represent. Each card comes with its own cost and power level. Keeping your deck diverse with many different costs and power levels will help you excel in matches. Or you could completely experiment and have only low cost cards or vice versa. The freedom that the game gives you will have you finding surprising variations that could see you dominating matches.

Lastly and most importantly is the system that the game is named after, which is snapping. Each match the player will be given the opportunity to snap. This allows you to increase the amount of cubes you gain after winning a match. This in turn allows you to rank up more quickly. However if you lose after snapping you will lose ranks just as fast. While simple, the system is effective at creating tension and is a high-risk high-reward gamble that can really pay off. If you don’t feel as though you will win a match and you don’t want to lose a large amount of cubes then you have the ability to retreat. This will lessen the blow of losing matches and using this option along with snapping can be a strategic game of cat and mouse.


A big thing that many free to play games struggle with is a player’s sense of progression outside of paying money to do so. For the most part I think that Marvel Snap manages to find a good balance that has players feeling like they are always working towards something within reach.

There are many facets to progression in Marvel Snap, which can definitely be overwhelming especially to new players. First off, all cards in the game have multiple rarities that allow you to upgrade them from common level to infinity level. You do this simply by playing the game and gaining boosters after each match. Each time you advance a cards collection level you gain a new addition to the appearance of said card. Examples of this could be gaining an animated version of the card or having the logo shine. Through this as you play with your favorite cards they gain new upgraded card faces, which although only cosmetic really fuel a certain need to get them to the highest level.

As you upgrade cards you as a player progress through collection levels. This is how you obtain new cards, boosters, credits, and gold. Everything earned here is completely free to all players. As I talked about in the gameplay section of this review the player also will progress through a rank system which depends on how often you win or lose matches, which ranges from recruit to infinite.

This I found to be a bit of a flawed system as you can sometimes get to a point where you are stuck in a loop of feeling as if you are climbing the tiers only to be knocked back down in a match or two to where you started. This isn’t helped by the fact that after each season ends you are knocked down three whole rank sections. This leaves this area of progression feeling a bit obsolete compared to the other systems that the game has in store.

The battle pass in the game is pretty standard as far as battle passes go. It costs 10 bucks to be able to get access to different cosmetic items and game currency. You progress through the battle pass by completing daily and mission challenges that unlock throughout the season. Most of the challenges you can complete just by playing the game which takes away the stress of playing the game a certain way just to complete a challenge which can distract from the fun of it.

That pretty much sums up the progression side of things which is a lot to take in even after playing the game for 15+ hours. Before we move on I wanted to mention the shop front in Marvel Snap which I feel will make or break this game’s economy going forward. Players can buy gold bars through the in game store. Although you can also earn them for free. The highest amount you can buy is 8000 bars for 100 USD. There are other paid elements like certain game bundles and card variants. Everything in the shop front is completely unnecessary to buy for the average player which is a good thing but, this may change down the road if more pay to win options are added.

Shows the variety of card faces you will see in the game.


One area that I think Marvel Snap Excels in is its usage of the Marvel identity. Fans of Marvel will find delight in seeing different characters and locations used from the Marvel cannon. The overall art style of the game is very comic book like. Each card has amazing original artwork. They also come with different variants that showcase looks from the comics and the MCU. Most cards have unique animations that play when you use them in a match that coincide with their powers and personality. It has been a long time since I have seen a game use its canon so fervently and with so much obvious passion for the source material. It’s so good that I wonder if they can do even more with it, like making the matches seem as though heroes and villains alike are actually going toe to toe on the battlefield.


The future success of Marvel Snap relies on the road ahead. Currently there is no sort of social system in the game. A severely missed omission in an online card game. Moreover, microtransactions added in the future could infringe on the games quality. Overall, I would definitely recommend Marvel Snap to fans of card games and Marvel. It’s extremely addictive, fun and free to play so there really is nothing to lose by trying it out. Marvel Snap is an excellent addition to the mobile game pool and successfully creates its own unique identity within it. Marvel Snap is free on IOS, Android, and Steam! Also check out more game reviews from Geekwave on out website!