Upper Deck Entertainment’s Legendary: A Marvel Deck-Building Game (DBG) is now out and available here in Malaysia, and yours truly was lucky enough to score a review copy courtesy of Meeples!

Deck-building games are the new force de rigueur these days, competing for gamer attention alongside boardgames, living card games (LCGs) and trading card games (TCGs).


Deck-building games are arguably most suited for casual gamers, as they do not require players to buy additional cards to buff up the decks, which is what LCGs and TCGs are all about really. They’re also usually entirely driven by uniformly-sized cards, unlike most boardgames which have non-uniform components (cards or otherwise).


The Marvel one came at a time when yours truly happened to find out about a slew of different DBGs. There’s a DC Comics one by Cryptozoic Entertainment, makers of the World of Warcraft TCG. Cryptozoic is also making a Lord of the Rings one based on the 2001 movie trilogy.


I was massively looking forward to the Marvel DBG, having read some of the comics way back in the 1980s and early 1990s. I mean X-Men was always my thing, so any game that features them, was going to always get my curiosity going!


Unboxing Legendary Marvel though, felt a little deflating, as honestly, I was expecting a lot more from the artwork (caveat: I’d seen how awesome the DC cards look like, prior). The layout of the imagery with the text also felt forced and messy. And, while this sounds like a minor gripe, sleeving and prepping over 550 cards for play proved to be tiresome, even with four friends helping out.


Gameplay was solid though – this game is definitely an interesting introductory-level type of card game, with some obvious synergies and strategies to be found, once your decks start accumulating enough key cards.


In a nutshell, you pick up stuff and heroes, with villains being drawn as you go along. Villains can “escape” if you don’t kill them. The Marvel game has co-operative and solo modes as well, making it accessible for one to five players.


Overall, the Marvel DBG is a decent enough game if you’re looking for a simple one, for the comic fans that aren’t hardcore gamers. To be completely honest though, I would recommend this as a must-buy, if not for the disappointing artwork (which was specially commissioned for the game by the way).


I mean, did I expect too much for the artwork to come straight from some of Marvel’s most memorable comic book issues of yore? OK there’s copyrights and all, but I’d pay more for the game, for some of the finest Iron Man and X-Men art! THAT would have made this a perfect game, seriously!


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