5-Minute Marvel Review

I’m a sucker for Marvel. Not necessarily the comic books, though the ones I have read have been pretty good. But I’m a sucker for Marvel games, movies, shows, gear, etc. I saw this on sale at my FLGS and had to have it. I finally was able to get it played on International Table Top Day 2019 and was happy with the result. It’s easy to understand, plays quickly (ahem, reference the title), and is Marvel-related. I have to LOVE it, right?

5-Minute MarvelSpinMaster Ltd.
2-5 Players5 minutes (per “game”)
Ages 8+BGG Weight – 1.20 / 5

Ok so here’s the quick rundown. Setup is almost as long as the entire game, but needs to be reset with every subsequent play. You have the individual hero decks for each player, a LARGE resource deck, and a mission deck to divvy up and shuffle each time. It’s not difficult to keep it all straight, but you are given a LOT of cards to handle. Once the decks are all setup you are ready to play. I downloaded the 5-Minute Marvel timer app to accompany my game plays, but that’s completely unnecessary (I do like it though). Start the timer, and then flip over the first card of the mission deck on the boss’s mat. Each card will have several resource icons that the heroes will need to discard from their hands to overcome the card. There are no “turns,” as all heroes are attempting to gather the necessary resources at all times. Each hero has a special ability they can use that is printed at the bottom of their play mat, and they are very powerful, so use them often! If you can get through the entire mission deck and defeat the boss within the 5 minute time limit, you win! Since the game lasts only 5 minutes you should probably play it several times in a row using different bosses of the six that come with this base box.

Components. This game is a combination of thick cardboard play mats for heroes and bosses and linen-finish cards for everything else. The quality of the cardboard and the cards are both pretty good, so I have no issues here. The art on the game is really spectacular. I have not really seen Marvel art like this and it is very refreshing. It is somewhat cartoony and not very gritty at all (which seems to be the comic book trend). Definitely a positive for me.

Do I love this game? Um, no. Maybe with more and more plays with different playmates it will grow on me, but the several times we played it we had a great time and it was very stressful to acquire the needed cards, or to decide to use your special ability, but we never once failed. I know we can increase the difficulty and use higher-ranked bosses. AND WE WILL, but the first few bosses are pretty much chumps and we had no problems dispatching them. I do believe this game would benefit from lots of expansions, but I do not know how successful the base has been for the publisher, so that may never come to fruition.

I do recommend you try out this game, as the frenzied rush to beat the clock is something I very much enjoy in games (a la FUSE, Escape: The Curse of the Temple, et al). Also: it’s Marvel. The game unfortunately does not come with Dr. Strange nor Iron Fist like I would have preferred, but it DOES come with a couple of my other favorites: Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl. They are so so fun! Purple Phoenix Games is pretty consistent with this one (even my wife agrees!) and we give this a frantic 12 / 18. Go get ’em Cap!

Seriously, cards just get thrown around when playing this game.
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