Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Publisher: Spin Master Ltd.
Designer: Connor Reid
Artist: Alex Diochon
Player Count: 2-5
Age Appropriateness: 8+
Playtime: 5 Minutes
OH SNAP! Alright, anything Marvel related has a big head start in the theme department for me, but that will not skew my results for this review. However, I am a very avid Marvel fan and love to collect anything with the Marvel logo on it. So designers use this IP to the fullest! This Marvel version of the chaotically fast-paced cooperative card game 5-Minute Dungeon allows you to control a group of Marvel heroes and battle through villains from the Marvel realm. Then your group must face one final boss, which must all be done in less than 5 minutes! Fast and frantic cooperative gameplay gets everyone involved and engaged.
The game commences with players choosing a role of one of the ten superheroes, and each hero has their own special cards and abilities. Once the Jarvis-hosted five-minute timer app starts, the race is on to defeat all the villains in the mission. In order to defeat an enemy, players must match symbols from their hand with ones on the villain's card while also dealing with crisis cards dispersed randomly between enemy door cards that will throw wrenches in your mission. Some hero abilities can automatically defeat certain enemies, so it is important to make your group aware of your hero’s ability to plan for certain enemy types. To reach the powerful final boss, a variety of enemies must be defeated such as the lowly Minions up to the difficult Masterminds. After the first super villain is defeated, the campaign continues to the second super villain. The villain deck is reshuffled and increased in number according to the next super villain who will get progressively harder until players reach the final super villain, Thanos. AKA Mr. Snap Everything Away.
What We Think
Gameplay & Rules 5-Minute Marvel doesn’t disappoint, even if it is aimed a younger audience . While there’s far less complicated strategy or social deduction, entertainment is still accomplished through teamwork by throwing cards down and shouting at your group for strategic purposes of course. When you’re trying to match symbols, draw cards, and coordinate with your friends while a 5-minute timer is counting down, the game becomes much harder than some believe. The biggest flaw for me comes down to organization of laying down the cards for each enemy encounter. It becomes hard to quickly remember what resources are left that are needed to defeat each enemy, especially when the resource pile quickly grows after each victory, and you end up spending valuable time arguing what was put down. Maybe adding a small playmat with each resource around the border could resolve this issue. So, whenever you lay the required resources for the enemy at the location around the border of the playmat, the group would then also swipe the resources away from the playmat after defeating the current enemy. I understand the chaos is a part of the ploy of the game, but a little organized chaos can be attained here as well for the more strategic gamers. I like the fact in this version of 5-Minute the hero can become injured to defeat a monster. Becoming injured takes away your hero’s main ability, which are quite vital, especially for the more difficult bosses.
Components & Art
All of the cards are made of good quality, as we noticed through several playthroughs that we had no damage to the cards even if some were blasted off the table. The game didn’t need much of an insert really with the components being mainly cards besides the final bosses, but it still works of course. If it were up to me, I would have tackled the layout for the heroes slots just slightly differently by making them more of a tight fit. My hero cards move around and get misplaced and shuffled into other hero decks after handling the box. Partially my fault since I’m currently storing my board games vertically. Hero selection in this game has a good variety with a nice mixture; including Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, Inhumans, and the most powerful hero ever, Squirrel Girl! If I had to choose a hero to remove, I would switch out Spider-Gwen just because of the limited number of heros and already having the iconic spiderman. Hopefully, there will be future expansions with more heroes to choose from such as X-men! I would love to play with Wolverine or Jean Grey, and then bring in Thor to take down his adopted misfit brother. The artwork has a nice comic book feel that warms my heart and the flavor text on the cards are flipping hilarious. I have spent time going through the decks just to read them since they are defeated (hopefully) so fast during game play. Other players tend to get antsy when you are admiring the art and flavor text instead of obliterating the opponents. Also, majority of people have access to a smart phone and I love this Jarvis themed app, but I think it would better to add a Marvel themed physical timer of some sort to the game for those who do not have a smart phone or just choose not to use the app.
Here at Green Akers Games we love games. It sometimes can be difficult to be a reviewer since almost every game has at least something to love about it! So what we like to do is simply let our readers/viewers know if we think this game is a game we’d choose to pay for, play, and recommend to others without hesitation. A 3 out of 3 is a perfect score while anything less means the game has missed the mark somewhere in our eyes! We chose to do this in addition to our star system above because a game should not be deemed “bad” just because better games exist! Please keep in mind, our perception of or feelings about any game should not trump your feelings about that game. We believe that if a game interests you then you should at least give it a shot! Utilize your local FLGS or local gaming group to test out games before you decide to go all in!
5-Minute Marvel gets a 3/3 from us as it is a game we will happily pay for given the price point and what you get for your money. I have recently found it on sale as well, so keep an eye out for great deals! We would absolutely have no problem putting this in the game bag regularly to have as a play option since it fits many player types and age ranges, especially if you are a Marvel fan. Lastly, we would recommend this game without hesitation. It’s high thematic value, variability, and speed of play make this an easy game to swing into game night at any time. This does not mean YOU will love this game as not every game is for everyone, but here at GAG we think 5-Minute Marvel lives up to it’s name in producing a marvelous fast paced game for a wide range of ages. The youngsters will have a ball thundering and hurling cards at the table, while the more mild mannered will still find enjoyment in strategically placing correct resource cards down in a quickly but thought out fashion. I am a big kid at heart so usually find myself in a mixture of both playstyles. This is a great game to bring to the table for a long or short session that can mold to many player types. This game works quite well in our group as a light game in between the heavier games. It helps the group get their frustrations out and sprawl them at each other!
Below are links to the Spin Master Website for other great items, and a link to BGG to see more reviews and such for 5-Minute Marvel. We’d also love for you to join us in the comments section with your thoughts! Create a member profile and let us know what you think!