Some games are just silly and fun.
5 Minute Marvel is pretty much exactly as it sounds – players take the role of various Marvel superheroes attempting to defeat a super villain in 5 minutes or less.
Each player will have a deck of cards that feature colorful icons representing, tech, strength, defense, hand-to-hand fighting, speed, energy, and squirrels.
Okay, the squirrels thing is… totally true, if you play as Squirrel Girl.
When the timer starts, you have to blow your way through the villain’s deck. Each card can represent a challenge or crisis. The challenges feature the same icons as the player cards, and to pass a challenge players must cooperatively play matching icons from their hands. Once a card touches the table it stays down, so your team has to be careful to not over-play. You certainly can run out of cards.
The challenges also have keywords on them, which is important because each superhero has a special deck of cards to add to the mix granting unique powers. Iron Man can blast away minions or masterminds, for example. Captain America is really good at defending and healing other heroes, for example. Squirrel Girl has squirrels. Groot can adapt himself to the situation (wild cards!). Most heroes have some ability that allows other players to draw cards.
You play through every single challenge card until you reach the villain himself, which tends to feature a lot more icons. If you can defeat the villain before time runs out, you win!
This certainly is not a game with a lot of depth, and even from my first taste I wasn’t sure how balanced the different superheroes were. But it’s fast-paced, frenetic, silly, and great for kids of all ages (maybe even as young as 6 or 7, depending on the kid?)
And for whatever depth it lacked, I ended up laying this game 6 times in a row with my friends, going up against different villains and trying out different superheroes. It’s a game where sheer energy factor outweighs any imprecise game design.