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  • Writer's pictureJared Neal

Marvel Splendor - How Much Does A Hero Cost

Updated: May 26, 2021

Retail Price: $50

Player Count: 2-4 (best at any count)

Age Range: 10+ (5+ in our experience)

Play Time: 30 mins. (consistent with our experience)

Complexity: 3.5 out of 10 (consistent with our experience)

Mechanisms: Card Drafting, Contracts, Set Collection

Designer: Marc André

Artist: Various Comic Book Artists

Publisher: Space Cowboys

Educational Value:

  • Strategic Thinking

  • Problem Solving

  • Math: Addition

Flavor Text:

“Bring together a team of super heroes and prevent Thanos from ending the world!

The Infinity Stones are scattered throughout the Multiverse. Use their essence to recruit heroes and villains and gain Infinity Points.

Assemble the Avengers, acquire locations and when ready, claim the Infinity Gauntlet!

Pick your tokens carefully, recruit characters to gain Infinity Points and bonuses. These bonuses help you recruit more powerful heroes and acquire locations… until you gather enough characters, power, and Infinity Points to trigger the endgame!”


Marvel Splendor, which is almost identical to regular Splendor (more on that below), is a game where you are collecting chips, in order to buy cards, which then replace chips in buying more and better cards.


  • Shuffle each level of hero cards, and place 4 of each level face up into rows, starting with level 1 (indicated by the circles on the back of the card) on the bottom and progressing up.

  • Place scoring contract tiles across the top, equal to the number of players plus 1.

  • Place the Thanos winning condition tile next to the contract tiles.

  • Place across the bottom green chips equal to the number of players, 5 grey wild chips, and the following chips in the following quantities (2 players = 4, 3 players = 5, 4 players = 7)


Each turn you will take one of 4 actions:

  • Take 3 chips of different colors

  • Take 2 chips of the same color (if there are at least 4 chips of that color left in the supply)

  • Take 1 wild chip and reserve a character card

  • Purchase a character card from the chips you have accumulated

Each character card once purchased, will act as a chip of the same color, which will stay in your supply the rest of the game. There are 3 levels of cards, with the lower most level primarily just being utilized as additional chips in your supply, while the upper levels will net you victory points immediately. There are also contracts you can earn, by securing enough cards of certain colors (ie - 3 blue, 3 yellow, and 3 red). You may never have more than 10 chips in your supply, so collecting cards to act as chips is essential. Green chips are only collected when you purchase a card that indicates it rewards a green chip (on the top level only), and you may only collect one green chip per game, though you can still purchase those cards. In order to win the game, you must collect at least one card of each color, a green chip, and have at least 16 victory points.


There is some luck in this game, due to the fact that the cards you will purchase come out at random, which means at any given time you may not be able to purchase a card you need. However, all players have access to the same information, and are planning using that information, so even the luck in the game doesn’t give one player or another a significant advantage. There is generally some strategy involved in Splendor, but I would more describe it as tactical, as you are having to adjust your strategy each turn as other players take their actions and new information is introduced.


The artwork in Marvel Splendor, is going to be Marvel comic book style art. I personally found the art to be incredible, but it is going to be highly subjective based on your tastes. I would point out here, that the women portrayed in comic book style, may be a little mature for some younger players. I suspect this may be why the game got a slightly older age rating, as the mechanics certainly wouldn't seem to require 10+.


Splendor, while it technically does have a theme, is played more like an abstract game, where really any theme could be used, and Marvel Splendor is no different. They do weave the theme into the victory condition, by saying you need to collect one of each stone, but other than that it could be any theme.

Replayability/Fun Factor:

Splendor is probably one of my most played games, and as Marvel Splendor has replaced it in our collection, I hope that will remain true with this version. Just looking at how the game is played, I would think it would start to feel the same as you play it over and over, but due to the difference in the way the cards come out each game, it never gets stale for us. I would add to that, I have seen people win the game using multiple different strategies, and that balance helps keep the game feeling fresh.


This game really appeals to a very broad audience. It is so easy to jump in and play, that my 3 year old can play with us (with help in calculating his scoring options), and I have played this many times with very experienced gamers. In addition to being easy to learn, and having quick player turns, engine building is a very satisfying mechanism, because it means that your turns get bigger and bigger as the game goes on. The one caveat I will point out here, is that this game has the possibility of pretty high player interaction, in that you can use your turn to pull a card from the market. Which means if you know another player is about to buy it, you could take it and never even use it. I personally really enjoy player interaction, but my kids tend to get really frustrated with one another when that happens, so just be aware of that possibility. I would highly recommend this for kids middle school age and older, and if you aren't concerned with the comic book style depiction of women in the artwork, then I would say it's easily a game any elementary school kid could play.

+ Easy to learn and quick to play

+ Satisfying engine building

+ High replayability

+ High quality components

- Possibility of high player interaction (if that bothers you)

- Can be frustrating if you are well into a given strategic path, and then the cards you need don’t come out

Comparison to Regular Splendor:

We have been playing and enjoying regular Splendor for years, before we gave Marvel Splendor a try. The primary difference here is going to be the theme and win conditions, and the win conditions you could emulate in regular Splendor as a variant if you wanted. If you already own Splendor, and you aren’t obsessed with the Marvel theme, then you don’t need this game. If you already own Splendor, and you are obsessed with this theme, then sale/trade Splendor and get this one instead, because you definitely don’t need both.

Final Score:

Jared - 7.5

Abigail - 7

Other Games You Might Like:

Century: Golem Edition, Juicy Fruits, Space Base, Takenoko

This game was purchased from my friendly local game store, and is available here. This isn't an affiliate link, but just my way of trying to support my FLGS, who carry great games at even better prices.

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