Games of the Year 2022: Marvel Snap
Marvel Snap is the best digital card game I've ever played on mobile. In general, it's one of the best digital cards games I've played in years.
Their are a few key factors here. The two biggest of which are the speed of play (fast) and the monetization (cosmetic). This isn't a trashy mobile pay to win game. If you want to spend money, you can spend it on cosmetics but you can't spend it on power. As you "upgrade" cards you're just upgrading how cool they look, you aren't upgrading how good they are against other players. Which means this game can actually be balanced and fun for everyone.
The speed of a single game is also super fast. Most of my games last 2-5 minutes and that's just about perfect. You only ever play six turns and then the game is over. It's enough time to engage your brain and feel like you actually did something mentally stimulating, but short enough that it's not a big deal to lose and you never feel like you're on tilt in a negative way. I've been able to consistently find ways to fit this game into my life because of the approachable match lengths.
Compare this to something like MTGA, which is another excellent digital card game, but the match length of a MTGA is so much longer. It requires more of a commitment and, if you lose a few in a row, it's so easy to fall into a bad headspace about it. Marvel Snap is breezy and lightweight in comparison.
There's also so much room here for interesting interactions. I bought the first battle pass not because I wanted the cosmetics but because it had interesting challenges in it. I love a good mini-challenge to work towards and Marvel Snap is constantly throwing those my way. Not to mention the new locations they are rolling out regularly which change up the gameplay without fundamentally messing with your cards or decks.
Marvel Snap is still very new in full release but it comes roaring out of launch and into my top games of the year at number five:
- Elden Ring
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3
- FFXIV Endwalker
- Citizen Sleeper
- Marvel Snap
- The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe
- Horizon Forbidden West
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge
- Pokémon Legends: Arceus
- Chrono Cross: Radical Dreamers Edition
- Cult of the Lamb
- Neon White
- Halo Infinite
- Vampire Survivors
- Gotham Knights
- Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
- Playdate Season 1
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels DLC
- Triangle Strategy
- Mario Strikers: Battle League
- Multiversus Pre-Season
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
- Nobody Saves the World
- Splatoon 3
- Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope
- Shovel Knight Dig
- Total War: Warhammer 3