Marvel SnapThe Battle Mode update is now live and my biggest problem right now is that no one wants to play. Is it because my handful of Marvel Snap friends and colleagues fear the awesome power of my decks? Maybe. Is it because it’s 2:30 PM ET on a business day? Also very possible. But I’ve been waiting for this update since the developers told me about it months ago, and after the little taste I’ve gotten so far, I’ve hungry for more.
For starters, don’t do what I’m doing and try to conscript you Marvel Snap agnostic boss or partner to play against you. snap does not allow you to play in Battle Mode unless you have completed the game’s tutorial and reached rank 10. But once you meet that minimum criterion, it’s blissfully easy to jump into a competition. In snap‘s Game Mode menu – the little joystick icon next to the main button – you can generate a code to give to friends to connect with your match or enter a code that will be shared with you, and you’re in.
The first thing you notice in the battle arena is that the cubes are an angry red and there is a life bar under your player avatar. I’ve already covered the details of the battle mode, but to put it simply, wagered cubes become damage dealt to their opponent by the winner. Deal 10 damage and win the match. This results in games that go beyond the typical one-time stream of mainstream Marvel Snap matches and can trip people who are unaware. In a match against my colleagues and The edge editor-in-chief Kevin Nguyen, he thought the game was over and put his phone down since I won the first round. Depending on how aggressive you get with your snapping, matches can last anywhere from two to four rounds. If both of you are conservative snappers, the game starts in round five with two cube bets to raise the stakes.
One of the last games I played before forcing myself to put down my phone and write this down was against Kenneth Seward Jr, a friend and colleague. This was a knock-down, drag-out fight – the kind of match that would be excellent to watch when Marvel Snap tournaments are in full swing. We traded rounds with modest wins early on, but as the game went on I got cocky and snapped when I shouldn’t have, resulting in a huge loss of health. Another lost round would have knocked me out. I managed to work my way back until we were both healthy three times. We then both snapped to make sure that no matter what, the seventh round would be the last of the game. I won by single digits, but it was so exciting to have such a back-and-forth battle for cover that just can’t happen in a normal snap agreement.
l love this mode so much. I need to think a little more about the card game I’m playing and who I’m playing against, and that kind of cerebral involvement is something I unabashedly love about collectible card games. Ever since snap decks are so small that after one or two rounds I know what the other person is working with, and I have to figure out how to bob and weave between their combos and traps. And sometimes I just can’t. My first match was against my friend and former Kotaku co-worker Zack Zwieseand he embarrassed me because his Dracula always sacrificed the right card to completely ruin the leads I had on him. And it’s always a nice added layer of interactivity when you can message your opponent afterwards to congratulate them on a sick combo or a well-executed game.
Overall, I love this new addition snap. 10 out of 10. Small notes. (A friends list would be a nice addition now that Battle Mode is live.) I feel like a kid on the playground with a new toy she wants to share with everyone. Please come and play.