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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Marvel Snap, Ben Brode’s new superhero card game, hits full release in October

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Just over a month after scrapping its hugely unpopular monetization scheme, Second Dinner has announced that the free-to-play digital card battler Marvel Snap will go live on PC and mobile devices on October 8.

A trailer released today showcases all-new gameplay footage from Marvel Snap, which is currently in closed beta on Android devices. The game will include more than 150 cards with original illustrations drawn from throughout Marvel’s history at launch, and 80 distinct gameplay locations, each with “challenging, game-changing effects” aimed at helping to ensure “players will never experience the same game twice.”

“We’ve spent years making sure that Marvel Snap is the kind of game that everyone, gamer or not, can’t wait to pick up and play,” said Ben Brode, formerly the game director on Blizzard’s hit CCG Hearthstone and now the chief development officer at Second Dinner. “If you love fast-paced, strategic games and the thrill of throwing down a power move to stop your opponent at the last second to win the big game, you’re going to absolutely love Marvel Snap.”

Our own impressions of Marvel Snap were generally positive when we took it for a spin in a July preview. It’s “gorgeous to look at and simple to play,” and the small deck size and six-turn limit keeps the action flowing. Ironically, the battles themselves felt a bit flat, because defying all reasonable expectations the comic-book heroes and villains never actually throw hands, leaving it feeling a little less like a superhero game than we expected.

One thing bet players definitely did not love about Marvel Snap was its monetization scheme, and specifically the Nexus Events that were widely criticized for being overly aggressive and misrepresenting the likelihood of high-tier rewards dropping. The situation seemed particularly egregious in light of Second Dinner’s promise that players would be able to acquire every card in the game “without paying anything,” just a couple of months before slapping a mandatory price tag on a powerful new card. 

The scheme was eventually walked back and refunds issued, but it wasn’t a good look for a game approaching full release and raised questions about how the game would handle monetizing similar in-game events in the future. Second Dinner hasn’t revealed any new monetization plans at this point, so we’ll definitely be keeping our eyes open for that.

With the October 8 launch date set, players interested in getting in on the action can pre-register at marvelsnap.com.

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