Fans of classic guessing games will already know the Cardline series from Bombyx. Countless offshoots, from dinosaurs to globetrotters to the animal world, have already appeared. The latest version works with the prominent Marvel brand and attracts card players with loads of knowledge about the most popular superheroes and villains. But how entertaining is Cardline as a game and does the comic background offer added value for this type of card game? I answer these and other questions in the following article about the card game Marvel Cardline by Bombyx / Asmodee.
Heroes and villains instead of tanks
Most society and card players are likely to have known guessing games from their childhood. What the Trumpf card games used to be (which can still be bought) is now the Bombyx Cardline series. Instead of stylish plastic, pretty packaging protects the playing cards. And everything else looks a bit fresher and more modern. Where the speeds of racing cars, the weight of tanks or the payload of construction vehicles used to be compared, in 2015/16 valuation card players compared the values of well-known superheroes. Who has the biggest hammer - the Hulk or Spiderman? Which hero or villain is particularly clever - Iron Man or Rhino?
Each card has three combat values: strength, intelligence and combat experience. The values of the respective category naturally differ from hero to hero and are adapted to the story facts of the Marvel universe. So it makes sense that the Hulk isn't particularly smart. Instead, grass no longer grows where it goes. Fans of the comics have it much easier in this game and are able to better assess the values. Complete newbies will be a little overwhelmed with the game task, as unknown superheroes and villains can also be assessed poorly in terms of their iconic abilities - and that is the main task in a guessing game.
Simple but exciting
Marvel Cardline is not a pure duel card game, but can be played with up to 8 people. And indeed, this card game wins significant bonus points in terms of entertainment value in a big round. With every player more, the level of difficulty increases and that does Marvel Cardline a surprisingly exciting game.
At the beginning each player receives four cards, which are placed face down in the player area. The pile with the remaining cards is used for drawing. The top card of the reserve pile is placed face up in the middle and serves as a guess card for the players. In each round the players choose one of the three combat values as a comparison value. The goal is to discard all four cards. That sounds easy, but it turns out to be more difficult than initially assumed, because the combat values of superheroes and villains sometimes take on surprising values that even fans would not have expected. In addition, the range of heroes and villains is so large that you can't even know all the characters in the Marvel universe - or could you spontaneously correctly assess the value of Black Cat's combat experience?
In turn, the players arrange their hero cards in an order that puts the combat values in the right relation. If a player is correct, his cards remain laid out. If he guesses incorrectly, his card is removed and he draws a new one from the reserve pile. This game continues until the first player has placed all four cards in the correct position.
Marvel Cardline is not a tactically demanding card game, but inspires with an exciting game idea that provides a lot of aha-effects in short game rounds of approx. 10 to 15 minutes. At the same time, fans learn even more details about their favorite hero or villain. The illustrations of the cards are another highlight of Marvel Cardline, because there is a lot of attention to detail in the drawings. The heroes are beautiful and illustrated in bright colors. Even the backgrounds were tailored to the respective characters and are anything but boring. It's just fun to take a close look at previously unknown maps. Those who have not yet adapted any comics will storm into the nearest comic book store after the first round of Marvel Cardline at the latest and stock up on some exciting Marvel copies.
Number of players: 2 to 8 players
Age: from 7 years
Playing time: 15 to 20 minutes
Long-term motivation: low
Publisher: Asmodee ►
Year of publication: 2014
Author: Frédéric Henry
Cost: 18 Euro
Marvel Cardline proves that even the simplest game concepts can be great fun. Provided that the authors and draughtsmen value an appealing design of the game materials. This is exactly where Marvel Cardline gets it right and shows why the works of the US comic publisher, founded in 1939, are so popular around the world. With excellent illustrations, the cards from Marvel Cardline become a comic of their own. And I'm sure you will quickly discuss the details on the cards and the characters - because that's just part of Marvel Cardline. The acquisition costs of around 18 euros for the Marvel Cardline are moderate, but very worthwhile in terms of the price-performance ratio. Have fun!