Review: Munchkin Marvel

Review: Munchkin Marvel

When you see Munchkin Marvel on the store shelf, it’s hard not to say “I need you in my life”. The Munchkin games have been released in tons of different ways since it’s first iteration in the early 2000’s. The game is fun and competitive, and a game that families can enjoy. Since our son is a hardcore Marvel fanatic, we had to give this one a try!

A Great Marriage

Munchkin Marvel is developed by USAopoly, and they did a great job of translating the Marvel Universe into the Munchkin formula. Players take on the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent and each are working to reach level 10 before the other players. You’ll find familiar weapons like Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s shield, and lots of armor. You team up with allies like Black Panther, Iron Man, Hulk and Falcon.

Each turn, players kick open doors (flip over a card) and see what enemy waits them on the other side. You’ll fight enemies like the Red Skull, Loki, Hydra Agents, Dr. Octopus and tons of others. Defeating them leads to more treasure that will give you upgrades you can add to your character. You can get bonuses by being affiliated with the Spider-Friends, Avengers or the InHumans.

All of this sounds so amazing for a Marvel fan like my son. Every time a card was flipped it was cool to see his eyes light up. He knew every background story of every character we ran into. It was really awesome to see how much he enjoyed it. That’s probably why this review is so hard to write.

Far From Perfect

The game clearly uses artwork from previous comics for the card art. There are inconsistencies with the styles, but over all the cards are bright and fun. My problems with the game came from a crazy amount of text filling some of the cards as well as the over powered bonuses and combos.

During one of our games, my friend was able to chain cards together and put himself in a place to easily take out every card that popped up. If this was a one time occurrence, that would be fine. But this happened in multiple games.

Munchkin Marvel player setup

The game feels like Munchkin and all the mechanics are there. The combination of Marvel and Munchkin make a lot of sense. My issue is that Munchkin Marvel is not even one of the top 5 versions of the Munchkin license. I honestly feel like this game is only for the most hardcore Marvel fans. This is definitely not the game that I would introduce to a new player. While my son had fun with it, my younger daughter (8) really struggled because of the overwhelming amount of text on the cards.

There are real balance issues with some of the cards and I’m not sure that it can be fixed. Munchkin itself has never been the most strategic and balanced game in the world, but this one seems really out of wack.

I had a lot of hope in this game being a perfect fit for me and my son to really dig into. He’s 11 years old and had fun with the game, but didn’t see all the issues that I saw in the game play. In some ways, I’m glad he didn’t see the flaws. He was so happy to see some of his favorite superheroes and villains filling the dining room table.

I can’t suggest Munchkin Marvel as a must buy for your family game shelf. However, if you are crazy about the Marvel Universe, this might just be a fun game that hits the table from time to time. For the Marvel fanatics out there, check your local game shop or pick up a copy through Amazon today.

HIGHS

  • Marvel elements come together very well
  • Some card illustrations are really nice

LOWS

  • Some cards make the game really unbalanced
  • Too much text on about 1/6 of the cards
  • Better versions of Munchkin are available