Marvel Battleworld: Mystery of the Thanostones Tabletop Game Rapid Review
A Marvel Battleworld Mega Pack was provided for free for review purposes.
Marvel Battleworld: Mystery of the Thanostones combines the collectables we have come to expect from Funko with a tabletop game. I took a look at the starter Megapack and – as a fan of marvel, Funko and tabletop games – was incredibly excited to review this but does Battleworld play well? Find out in this Rapid Review.
How To Play
The gameplay of Battleworld is luck-based and works in three basic stages. First, you choose your heroes (the number of which changes depending on the player count). Like other hero-based tabletop games, each character has unique abilities which impact die rolling and damage. Once the chosen character has been selected, a “battle” is added which connects to the hexagonal based hero token.
It may sound complicated in writing, but this means that by the end of the game, your table will be covered by connected hexagons forming the Battleworld. Battles consist of an enemy from across the Marvel comics.
Each battle hexagon has an orange danger track and a blue danger track. Without going into too much detail, depending on your dice roll you either progress on the blue danger track (which is good) or a danger token is placed on the orange track (which is bad).
Once a track is filled up, you either win or lose that overall battle. Dependent on the number of players, a certain number of battles must be won to succeed in the game. However, no matter the player count, if three battles are lost its game over.
At the end of the turn, a day/night token is flipped which gives a 50/50 chance of the orange track on the battle token advancing.
There’s one more feature which is unique to this game: “Thanostones” but I’ll explain them later in the review.
It is always hard to express game rules in writing, but Battleworld is quite simple. The instructions clearly explain the three steps and the only confusion I had is what to do with the hero after a battle is defeated/won. In our game, we decided to advance to another hexagon, but it would benefit from some clarifying.
Avengers (and friends) Assemble!
What struck me about Marvel Battleworld was the diverse array of characters on offer. I was, of course, expecting the Avengers to feature and Iron Man, Spiderman, Thor and more are included. What impressed me was the other characters that are available to be collected.
Alongside the prominent members of Marvel, there are characters such as Throg (a hybrid of Thor and a frog) and Croctor Strange (yes, that is Dr Strange as a crocodile). Even Howard the Duck is present! The mega pack which I reviewed featured 6 heroes. In my case, I had negative Spiderman, Ultimate Thor, Valkyrie Gamora, Loki, Throg and Infinity Captain Marvel.
Each character has both a hexagonal card and a small figurine. The figures themselves feature a similar level of design to that of Funko Pop Vinyl!, although at a much smaller scale. The figures themselves are very good and will be sitting on my desk when not in play.
Previously mentioned in the review, the titular Thanostones play a key part in this game. Some battle zones feature a Thanostone. Once victory over a Thanostone battle has occurred, you get to use a brand new hero. On the first playthrough, this is a very special and unique experience.
In the battle pack, there are two sealed black pouches for the heroes as well as a duo of polystyrene Thanostones. Once instructed, the polystyrene can be destroyed, and the character hexagon can be opened, unearthing the new heroes. I loved this feature of which adds some surprising anticipation to the game.
A Complete Package?
For my review, I got hands-on with the Megapack and was impressed by the overall completeness of the package. Sure, it is possible to buy “Battle Balls” which add two extra characters, some additional tokens, die, and battle cards to the mix but the £17.99 mega pack provides enough heroes for a full game experience. This was surprising as collectable games of this type are often plagued by a lack of completeness and a requirement to buy more.
In terms of winning/losing, I played a few games and won all of them. However, its RNG-based gameplay means that the games played slightly differently even though I won. I am not the young target audience but still had fun. Although I haven’t been able to return to the board game group of which I am a part of, I can see us playing this as some light relief in between the longer, more tactics-based games we often play.
I was most impressed by the figurines and mystery Thanostone mechanic. The gameplay is basic, but for an experience tailored for the younger audience, it works well. My one major problem is a lack of portability. If you couldn’t tell, I’ll be taking Marvel Battleworld with me when visiting family or going to the board game group in the future.
Unfortunately, disposable plastic packaging means that the cards and figures can not be easily transported. It’s a small issue in the grand schemes of things, but a fabric pouch would’ve been most appreciated.
Nevertheless, Marvel Battleworld’s megapack impressed me, and the £17.99 price tag is good value for six Funko figures and an easy to understand game.
Rapid Reviews Rating
The Marvel Battleworld Megapack is available for purchase here: https://www.funko.com/shop/details/funko-games-marvel-battleworld-mega-pack-series-1.