Beyond the Box Cover Table Top

Beyond The Box Cover: Marvel United

So this was one of those giant Kickstarters that I was really excited for. In fact in yesterdays list, I talked about it as my #2 Kickstarter that I was most pleased that I backed in 2020, and I finally took the time to play the base game yesterday, so let’s talk about the game. This won’t be a full review because I’ve only played it once, two player, with Ant-Man and Wasp.

Game Play

In this game, you are trying to defeat some villain, in our case it was Red Skull. They have their plan, Red Skull is trying to create havoc and get Hydra to take over, and they have placed threats all around the city. As the heroes you are going around, fighting his minions and thugs, doing heroic actions to thwart his plans and rescue bystanders all so you can get to the point where you can punch Red Skull and take him out.

To do this, you are playing cards out on your turn that do one to two actions. These cards either have you moving, punching, a heroic action, or maybe a combination of some of those. There are also cards with wilds on them. Now that doesn’t seem like much, but you also get to use the symbols on the cards of the person before you. So in our game, if Ant-Man did two heroic actions, and the Wasp played a wild, she’d get to do two heroic actions and then an action of her choice.

Every third player turn, the villain goes. The villain actually starts off the game as well, they will move, possibly, around the board and then do several different things. There are bam effects that they do, this might be doing damage, or advancing their threat. If they ever complete their goal, they win, if they don’t have any more scheme cards to draw, they win, if a hero has no cards in their hand or to draw, they win.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

Initial Thoughts

This is a very light weight cooperative game, and that’s not really a negative, it’s just a fact. Marvel United is meant to be a game that’s played by families or with people who aren’t as much gamers, but the Marvel theme appeals to them. This is what I was expecting from the base game, and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. I already can tell that I’d definitely recommend this game to families with younger children as well, because most of the cards don’t have text on them, and the board even has a limited amount of text that kids will probably learn after a few plays of it.

There is also a good amount in the box. You get 3 villains and 7 heroes in the base box, so you have a lot of different combinations that you can play. We picked Ant-Man and Wasp because they are a team-up group, obviously, and also because their minis are great with Wasp taking off from or alighting upon a die, and Ant-Man getting ready to leap off of a quarter. But all of the minis are great in the game, Red Skull is a little boring, but in all fairness, he isn’t the most dynamic looking character. And in the base box, you have a lot of great heroes, Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and Black Widow round out the rest of them, so you have a great variety to play from.

I also like that each hero has a normal selection of cards ranging from heroic actions to punches, to maybe a move and a punch, but they also have three unique cards to them. These cards do have a bit of text on them, but are really the cards that give them flavor. Ant-Man, for example had a card that is called Quantum Realm that has no symbols on it, but it allows him to go back through the cards that he’s played and swap that card with any of them. Or he has a card where he shrinks which means that he can’t take damage for a turn, or grows so he can punch one villain really really hard.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

As a negative, I think base box only, it has enough game play for a family game, but for hobby gamers, you’ll miss not having at least an expansion for the game. This is meant to really be that retail version that you can pull off of the shelf at Wal-Mart or Target because you see it there, and it won’t be too much to play. The expansions, according to what I’ve heard, are supposed to add in more interesting game play and challenges that might be a bit tougher and more gamer.

Final Thoughts

This is a fun game that for me is going to need more. However, I have more of this game coming. And even without more, I had a fun time playing it, and I think it’ll be a game that’s good for a ton of people. If you have kids who are interested in Marvel movies, cartoons, comics, whatever it might be, this is a great option of a game to get them, I should have said that pre-Christmas. If you know someone who isn’t a gamer who likes Marvel, they might like this game as well. It really should be an evergreen recommendation for a family weight game, and then the expansions, when they come to retail, people can pick and choose if they want more. Overall, though, a good experience playing Marvel United and a game that I want to play again and play with more.

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