Tabletop Game Review – Marvel United

Marvel United by CMON Global Limited and Spin Master Games
Price: ~$40.00
1 to 4
~30 minutes
Perfect for:
Families and groups who love working together within the world of Marvel Comics to defeat common enemies.

Marvel United is a game where the iconic heroes of comics, movies, television and more band together to thwart powerful villains. Players take on the mantle of Iron Man, Captain Marvel, The Wasp, and more as they assemble—combining their powers and abilities in an epic team-up. Only through careful cooperation and planning will the squad be able to save the city from imminent disaster.

To begin Marvel United, one to four players select their superhero along with a corresponding card deck. Individuals will use their character cards to perform actions such as movie, attack, or some other specific location-enabled ability. In addition, the team will create a cityscape, using location cards and tokens to represent various places. These spots will often be home to goons and bystanders waiting to be defeated and rescued respectively. Finally, a primary villain is chosen who throughout the game will bounce around the city attempting to complete their master plan (which obviously needs be stopped at all costs).

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Gameplay in Marvel United is circular in nature. During a round, a card will be drawn from the villain deck indicating the foe’s actions, such as movement around the city and/or progress towards their nefarious scheme. Heroes will use cards to clean up the town, defeat low-level enemies, and eventually take swipes at the mastermind. When playing these cards, they form a sort of on-going trail (more on that below). Doing damage to the head honcho can only occur if the team first achieves certain objectives (typically saving a certain number of people, or logging enough victories from battle). This cycle goes round and round in a race against time, but if the players can outsmart the villain before their decks run out, or the evil plan concludes, they win.

What works in Marvel United is its family-friendly cooperative nature wrapped in the familiar blanket of Marvel superheroes. This title could easily be classified as a gateway game for players of all ages seeking something fun where they share an objective. There’s also a great mechanic where the last card played by one person is an action the next player can take on their subsequent turn. Conversation often occurs where someone will negotiate with teammates about which cards to choose, enabling future activity. The complexity level is light, making Marvel United easy to play but with some nice scalability for those who enjoy the mechanics but are seeking a harder challenge. Finally, the artwork is bright and colorful, fitting in well with the Marvel universe on display.

Players who prefer direct competition in their games may not enjoy Marvel United as much as others. Gameplay is meant to be highly cooperative (unless you’re playing the equally enjoyable solo mode, of course), in a manner that encourages dialogue and collaboration. Success is far more likely when the group is working as a team on the best way to proceed. To that end, Marvel United has a low-level of complexity with only a handful of basic actions. This is not to the game’s detriment by any means as this clearly intention, but players seeking something heavier may gravitate toward other titles.

Marvel United is a cute game that provides great team-building opportunities. For Marvel families and groups (especially with younger players), this comes highly recommended.

Recommended if you like: Marvel Legendary, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War, Horrified

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Fox Troilo

Fox serves as an entertainment journalist in the Washington, D.C. When not covering cinematic news for LRM, he critiques films as a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Fox also has a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Strategy from Indiana University Bloomington.

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