In 2018, Hearthstone game director Ben Brode abruptly left Blizzard, saying that he was moving on to start a new company. Later that year, Brode revealed his new endeavor as Second Dinner (opens in new tab), saying he was "looking forward to designing, programming, and actually creating things again." And today, Second Dinner's first big project was finally revealed as Marvel Snap, "a revolutionary game experience" for mobile devices and PC.
"We grew up obsessively playing CCGs and have spent decades designing them," Brode said. "We want the entire world to fall in love with card battlers just like we have.
"Marvel Snap is unlike any card battler ever made. We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that the game is super deep for hardcore players, while remaining very approachable so everyone can jump in and have a blast. We’re stoked to partner with Nuverse so that we can reach millions of players with our first game."
What promises to make Marvel Snap different from other games in the CCG genre is speed: Second Dinner's chief production officer said the studio "stripped out all of the stuff that gets in the way of fun," which includes turns: Both players play simultaneously, so matches only last for about three minutes.
Deck building is also simplified. "Once upon a time, card games had 60-card decks, you could play four copies of any card, which is actually just 15 unique cards," Brode explained. "So with Marvel Snap we thought, 'Hey, what if we just did 15 unique cards?' And actually, the games are so fast, we can go down to 12 cards, which is still about the same amount of strategic depth, but it's so much easier to build the deck.
Here's a look at some of the cards and variants that will be available at launch:
More than 150 cards will be available in Marvel Snap at launch, each with multiple variations, drawn from across the Marvel multiverse and illustrated with both classic and brand-new art. More cards will be released on a regular basis after launch, and "you can get every card in the game over time, without paying anything," senior director of production Julia Humphreys said.
Of course, that's not atypical of free-to-play games: You can technically get all the cards in Hearthstone by grinding for them, too. The real question is, how much grind is required to get the cards you want, and that we'll have to wait to find out.
Marvel Snap is being developed as a "mobile-first game," although Humphreys said Second Dinner is "working towards having an early access version available on PC at the time that we launch globally." The first closed beta will be available on Android devices—you can sign up to take part now at marvelsnap.com (opens in new tab).