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Marvel Snap's Success Proves Mobile Gaming Shouldn't be Left Behind

GameRant 2/2/2023 Cameron Swan
© Provided by GameRant

Mobile gaming can trace its roots back all the way to 1994, with a knockoff version of Tetris being available on the Hagenuk MT-2000. Soon after, Nokia would pre-install Snake on the vast majority of its mobile devices, essentially kickstarting the mobile gaming industry, albeit a very different one from today. Nowadays, mobile users have millions of gaming options right at their fingertips, with just one scroll through the app store yielding thousands of results. But the mobile gaming market is going through a bit of a rough patch right now, and it needs a game like Marvel Snap to remind everyone why it shouldn't be an industry that's easily forgotten about.

While the mobile gaming market really hit its stride in the 2010s with games like Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds, the monumental success of those titles gave way to a formula that was too easily repeated, leading to a great deal of oversaturation in the mobile gaming market. Big gaming companies have been reluctant to create fully-fledged experiences for mobile devices, and the mobile market has stagnated because of that. But if there's one game that can prove why mobile gaming is still worth it, it's Marvel Snap.

RELATED: What to Expect From Marvel Snap in 2023

Marvel Snap Could Be The Resurgence Mobile Gaming Needs

Releasing back in October 2022, Marvel Snap has quickly become one of the most popular mobile games on the market, and for good reason. Marvel Snap's core gameplay loop is pretty simple; players get a deck of cards, each one representing an iconic Marvel character, and they face off against another player. There are three locations on a board, each of these is also ripped out of the pages of Marvel comics, and each has its own unique ability such as adding +1 power to cards placed there. The goal is to win at least two locations by having the most power at each one.

The simplicity at Marvel Snap's core is what makes it such an addictive hit. Players will never find themselves overwhelmed in Marvel Snap, and that's due to the game's excellent tutorial, which eases players into the core gameplay loop by introducing each mechanic slowly and naturally, through the gameplay itself. This simplicity is what draws players in, and then the hidden complexity of Marvel Snap's mechanics is what keeps them playing for the long haul. Beneath the surface, Marvel Snap is actually quite a mechanically-rich game, with players being able to combine different cards to create some truly creative strategies, all of which reward the player for thinking outside the box.

On top of its core design being excellent, Marvel Snap's approach to the free-to-play model is also a breath of fresh air. Mobile games are often mocked relentlessly for their greedy business practices, often forcing players to drop real-world cash on microtransactions just so they can keep playing. Marvel Snap goes against the grain here, allowing players to play for as long as they want, and unlock all the game's content completely for free. Now, Marvel Snap hasn't nailed this completely, with the latest Season Pass offering some overpowered cards a little early, but the model as a whole works very well, and its natural progression systems do a great job of consistently rewarding the player for their time.

The mobile gaming market has seen better days. Only yesterday did EA announce that Apex Legends Mobile would be closing down its servers and getting delisted in a few months, and its Battlefield mobile game is getting canceled mid-development. Big publishers still don't see the value of the mobile gaming market, but Marvel Snap proves that the right kind of game can still cause waves.

Marvel Snap is available now for PC and mobile devices.

MORE: Marvel Snap: Complete Guide (Best Decks, Best Cards, Tips, & Tricks)

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