Marvel United took the crowdfunding world by storm when it was announced last February on Kickstarter. From CMON and Spin Master Games, the Marvel Universe becomes an exciting game with well-designed figures and colorful worlds. This first release fits within the world of the Avengers, but future expansions will include other fan-favorite properties and characters.
Keeping on trend with other recent board game hits, there’s not really a board to speak of. Instead, a mission guide keeps track of your progress with location cards arranged adjacent to one another that players move through. Actions are also decided by cards rather than dice rolls and tokens keep everything clear. When you first start, it can feel a little overwhelming. There are so many different types of tokens to punch out, but after you follow the well-laid-out setup instructions, it becomes a lot easier.
Playable from between 1 and 4 players, as the title suggests, heroes unite against a villain. This is a game of teamwork and the entire team wins or loses together. The game includes 3 villains and 7, clearly visible by blue or red figures. Each figure is highly detailed and stylized. Ant-Man, for example, is posed on a Quarter where both sides have fun details.
Somewhat like Disney Villainous (or Marvel Villainous even), gameplay changes depending on which villain you’re battling. The instructions advise players to start with Red Skull, who uses a small tesseract to track his progress. The other two villains, Ultron and Taskmaster, have different objectives they’re trying to achieve to win the game before the united heroes can stop them. Gameplay is designed to not take longer than around 40-minutes to complete and villains strike every three moves.
Heroes take actions by playing cards from their deck, which allow them to do things like move to another location, attack henchmen, sidekicks and villains (something they can do at a certain point but not right away), and rescue civilians. There are missions they have to work together to achieve that will allow them to ultimately take down the big bad guy. But there are also multiple ways to lose the game for the entire team, including running out of cards to play from one of the hero’s deck of cards.
In this introductory game, players can be Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Hulk, Wasp and Ant-Man. Future expansion games will also add characters from Asgard, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Spider-Verse to the game. And the lucky ones who pledged their support on Kickstarter (no longer available) also get access to additional exclusive characters and worlds for the game. After playing it and seeing how fun it is, I’m jealous of anyone that backed the project. It’s a lot of fun.
Recommended for ages 14 and up, Marvel United is perfect for friends and families with teenagers. The age rating isn’t for anything graphic vulgar, but more about skill level so you may find the rating to be a bit flexible. It’s really a game of strategy and teamwork, which means nobody is going to leave the table mad at their playmates. Best of all, you can play the game solo or with a group. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Marvel United.
Enjoy more detailed photos of figures from the game below.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.