Hey, You Got a Second?: A Series of Random Chats – Marvel Snap’n the time away

Hey there and happy Wednesday to ya! How’re ya now? Time has been whizzin’ by for me and it’s a bit of a surprise that we’re already midweek. I hope you’ve been alright so far and that you have something to look forward to this weekend. There’s only a few days left before we’re there, how will you spend your time till then? Well, if you’re looking for something, let me tell ya about a fun and easy to pick up card game I started playing a couple of days ago. It’ll be a brief and over in a snap, so if you have a second let me tell ya about Marvel Snap.

What is Marvel Snap?

So I find the best way to describe Marvel Snap is as a card game, but not in the traditional sense. I say this because the goal isn’t to drain your enemies life points to zero, but instead to control two out of three zones using the cards in your deck. Speaking of your deck, you’re only allowed twelve unique cards with no duplicates, and there’s no limit to the cost of a deck. For example, the highest cost a card can be as of now is six energy, so you CAN make a deck with only cards that cost that much. I’m not sure why anyone would do that, but the option is there! How do you unlock more cards? To my understanding the way to unlock more cards is by upgrading what you already own, which unlocks new visual effects for them (no gameplay is effected), which then increases your ‘Collection Level’ (CL). There’s also missions to complete which allow you to earn rewards to do more upgrading, which then raises your CL and then the cycle continues; this is the game loop. I did learn very recently that all of the playable cards in the game are currently divided into three pools that are gated depending on your CL. What this tells me is that the game is meant to be played over the course of months, which for a mobile game with matches that last a maximum of three minutes, is acceptable. You might be thinking to yourself now, “what can you even do in a game that last three minutes?” A lot more than you’d think, let me show ya:

For those who are veterans of Online TCGs (Trading Card Game) you likely, hopefully, recognized the Chief Development Officer for Second Dinner Studios, Inc. as Ben Brode. I don’t know about you but it’s been a few years since I’ve thought about this man. If I close my eyes and think his name, I can hear his famous laugh. This man has a laugh on par with Geoff Ramsey from Rooster Teeth. They both have the kind of hearty laugh that you can’t help but smile at. Anyway, for those who don’t know who Ben Brode is, let me tell ya how I know of him.

Gosh, I haven’t played Hearthstone since…2018? I don’t even remember, wow. I stumbled into this game during my senior year of high school and remember how much it captivated some of my friends. I had a familiarity with TCGs because of my time with Yu-Gi-Oh! when I was in elementary school and had sparingly played games within the genre. It was just so expensive to keep up with it in the ways I wanted so I didn’t bother, which was a bummer for younger me. When I caught wind that there was a TCG that was ‘free to play’, online, AND I could play on my phone; I was sold. I had a lot of good memories playing Hearthstone both online and offline, it’s one of the few video games that a select few friends of mine dabbled in whatever eLeague they were able to interact with. Wild times for sure. Anyhow, Hearthstone was my gateway to the Online TCG genre and since leaving the game behind, I’ve tried to maintain growing a collection of cards in other games within the genre most months during any given year. My most recent one prior to Marvel Snap was Legends of Runeterra by Riot Games. I haven’t abandoned Runeterra like Hearthstone, just taking an extended leave. I still keep up with the changes and updates to the game and for the most part have liked what’s been added. The card art for that game will still be the best in the genre and I will die on that hill.

Ya know, I haven’t stopped to think about why I’ve continued to enjoy TCGs even though I don’t seek to play them as often as I would other genres of games. I think it’s because of two simple things: collecting cards and activating ‘Big Brain Mode’. There’s definitely dopamine that releases when I obtain a card(s) that I didn’t have before or even have been patiently waiting to acquire. As for ‘Big Brain Mode’, I mean c’mon, who doesn’t like completely outsmarting their opponent? Some of the biggest rushes I’ve felt within video games have come from turns I’ve had within an Online TCG. I’ve also felt the crushing disappointment of losing due to a misplay or purely lacking the ‘bigger brain’ because there’s balance in all things.

Let me wrap up my thoughts so we can get outta here and I can go back to playing more Marvel Snap. Overall I’ve been really taken back by how simple the game is to not only understand, but also perform in. The random nature that’s inherent to card games, mixed with the random effects any three of the locations can spawn with, helps to create a pretty level playing field for most players and most decks. I say most because another thing that’s inherent to card games is a thing called the ‘meta’, which is what the community for a game refers to as the frequent habits of its player base, which includes the cards that are used most often in tandem with one another. A ‘meta’ is bound to be established no matter what and being honest, if you’re aiming to play casually like myself, it won’t really matter in the long run. Another thing that I really enjoy about this game, which is likely a given, is that it uses characters and locations from the Marvel universe. A lot of characters will be unfamiliar to most players and that’s really cool if ya ask me. Being the big nerd I am, I’m just excited to collect them all! The last and biggest reason I’ve enjoyed this game and recommend it is that the matches last THREE MINUTES MAX. Matches whiz by and so will your time, I can guarantee it!

What’d ya think?

What’re your thoughts on Marvel Snap? Let me know in the comments to this post and/or on our socials! I won’t lie, a big reason why I didn’t have a post this past Monday was because I lost track of time playing over the weekend and didn’t leave myself with much time to create one. My apologies for the delay, but I hope you enjoyed learning about what’s been occupying my time. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go snap more of my time away. Until next week, be well and be safe, I’ll talk at ya soon.

from the album, SEYCHELLES (1976)

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