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Geeky Parent Guide: Board Games with Your Kids: ‘Marvel Champions’

Playing board games is a fun way to connect with your kids. There are cooperative and competitive games. Games can revolve around laying tiles on the board, collecting resources, and many other mechanics where the ultimate goal is to become victorious. There are even themes where islands are sinking or evil is lurking around the corner, and each person selects a character with a specific set of skills to help win the game. There are even games, like Marvel Champions (MC) from Fantasy Flight Games, where your kid wants nothing more than to play it every single day.

Marvel Champions is a collaborative deck-building game where 1 to 4 players battle against evil villains who are plotting to take over the world! Fortunately, there are superheroes available for you or your kids to control to try and defeat those evildoers. My son Marshall LOVES this game, and his excitement to play makes it that much easier to dive into it with him. There is a bit of a learning curve as you learn how to play, but Marshall (age 8) has taken it all in very well.

Note: With that learning curve, the length of playtime might potentially be longer during those first few games, meaning a couple of hours; however, once you learn the rules, it’s easier to get into a rhythm and the game flows much more smoothly and quickly.

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What Your Kids Might Love About Marvel Champions

Marshall becomes quite animated during Marvel Champions. There can be some intense sequences when the villain is close to winning, so Marshall will often stand up and keep moving to help with that nervous energy. He also shouts when one of us has a successful turn or pretends to smash the enemy with the corner of his hero card. Plus, there are some very cool character abilities, allies, and other action cards where he’s ecstatic to see turn up in his hand of cards.

There are already a large number of heroes available. There are five heroes that come with the original game: Black Panther, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man. There are also individual hero packs and expansion boxes with many others set to release in September, including the X-Men. The variety of characters is exciting, but it doesn’t end there.

Each character comes with a standard pre-built deck which makes playing that much easier. Grab the cards listed for the character, set up the villain, and then you’re off to the races. On top of that, my son is thrilled with the prospect of building his own deck. That’s right; you can build your own custom deck. There are some rules to how you can build your own deck, but this is an incredible aspect to an already very entertaining game.

Note: Marvel Champions might be seen as an investment. First, the original boxed set can be expensive, so I recommend hitting up your local comic book or game store to find it at a reduced cost. I was able to purchase MC for $29.99 at my comic shop compared to $69.99 online. Additionally, MC is considered a “Living Card Game” which means new heroes and villains continually release, making it possible to have countless variety between all of the characters.

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How Does Marvel Champions Compare to Other Collaborative Games?

This is the one game my son has wanted to play more of than any other board game. It’s been an instant hit, and I do not see that changing any time soon. We haven’t played too many collaborative games over the years. We’ve played Outfoxed and Forbidden Island from Gamewright, Pandemic: Iberia from Z-Man Games, and Scooby-Doo! Betrayal at Mystery Mansion from Avalon Hill, but those have been enjoyed in shorter bursts compared to MC.

I do have Elder Sign, which is another product from Fantasy Flight Games, but I’ve yet to introduce them to the supernatural horror they’ll face. They are excited to play it, because they tend to gravitate towards spooky shows or movies. Amongst the cooperative experiences, Marshall has vastly preferred Marvel Champions. He really enjoys the others games a lot, too, but he does seem more invested in MC and the characters he gets to play.

Note: If you or your kids aren’t into board games all that much, Forbidden Island might be a safer bet, because not everyone is into the superhero theme. Forbidden Island is also easier to learn, plays quicker, and has a softer price point around $20 (depending on where you can buy it).

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Overall Impressions and Will We Continue Playing Marvel Champions?

Marshall loves superheroes, and this game has amplified those feelings. If your kids love any kind of superheroes, they will find at least one character to lean into and continue to ask to play. Plus, we’ve already bought two new hero packs, so that should tell you all you need to know. Marshall wanted Captain America, so I had to make sure I picked up a new character to play alongside him. Right?

In our last game, Marshall played as Captain America, I was Quicksilver, we battled against Klaw, and it did not go well. But, in a good way. This game is challenging. There are villains who are tough, and the luck of which cards are drawn can really impact whether you have a successful outing. In this case, we could not overcome the villain and were defeated. But, again, it does not deter my son from wanting to come back again.

The replay value of this game has made the investment of Marvel Champions absolutely worth it. Marshall and I have spent countless hours playing this game, and I hope that continues and translates to spending more time together as he gets older. Playing board games is a great avenue to sharing the same space with the ones we love, so just having that connection is meaningful.

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Note: If you, your kids, or your nieces and nephews love superheroes, there’s a good chance they will love this game. This game does list an age rating of 14+, but I would approach this game similarly to if your kids like comic books. Peruse online through available images of the cards to see if any of the animated sequences would be too intense for your little ones.

What do you think of Marvel Champions? Are you already a fan? If so, what are you or your kid’s favorite characters? Share them in the comments below! If you like this content and want to see more, make sure to like and share this article with all your geeky friends. And, if you’re looking for an amazing board game community, make sure to check out All You Can Board.

Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.

S.T. Lakata, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor



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