Before we get into Battlelines, I want to mention that this is not Marvel’s first time creating a collectible card game. In 1995, Marvel’s Overpower card game was released. Originally produced by Fleer, who also made sports trading cards as well as other card games such as Star Trek trading card game in that time frame, Overpower was made during the time when Wizard of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering was already gaining traction in the same genre and needless to say, would produce some competition. To play Overpower you and another player would have a deck of fifty one cards, four hero or villain cards with one of these cards being in reserve. There were also many different card types including power cards, event cards, tactic cards, location cards, special cards, mission cards and universe cards. Players would draw eight cards and discard unusable and duplicate cards. Where it started to get confusing is that duplicate cards are not only considered the same exact two cards, but for example, two power cards are considered duplicates if they have the same number, even without the same type, whereas two special cards are only duplicates if they are exactly the same special. To win, you had to either knock out your opponents team, or complete the seven mission cards that you had dealt or complete your opponents mission cards.
in 1998 Fleer ceased production of the Overpower cards in order to concentrate on other projects, and Marvel Interactive picked up where Fleer left off. Unfortunately, Marvel Interactive only produced two sets of cards with one being the X-Men. In 1999 the game play rights of Overpower were sold to Magic: The Gathering’s creators, Wizards of the Coast. A few years later, Wizards of the Coast released the X-Men Trading Card game. The X-Men Trading Card game did not do well and the rights were eventually sold to Upper Deck, which was a company like Fleer. In January of 2009 Upper Deck said that they were pulling out of the VS card games and card game play. Today, it’s currently unknown if the rights of Overpower are still owned by Upper Deck.
Marvel Battlelines is a fun game on both iOS and Android. It’s quick and easy to pick up and play and because the game is presented in a vertical aspect, you can play with one hand on smaller devices like your phone. Many of the Marvel characters that you’ve come to know and love are featured in here plus many that you may not recognize if you’ve only followed the movies. It’s enjoyable whether you read the comics or not.
Each match takes place on a 4×3 game grid, where “leaders” that are either a hero or villian of the Marvel Universe try to outlast the other while they are attacked by the opposing leader’s team. The teams or decks as they’re termmed, consist of twelve cards that include character and action cards. To attack the leaders, you will need to create a “Battleline” which is a straight line of character cards on the grid as using action cards will only attack the characters on the grid. These lines can be made going vertical, horizontal, or diagonal, plus you can mix lines and create a larger attack. The first team that eliminates the opposing leader, wins the match.
Battlelines offers many cards for you to collect and upgrade as each character or action card are different and can execute different results during each battle. Some of the characters you will see include Spider-Man, Thor, Antman, Blade, Punisher, Thanos, Red Skull, Deadpool, and Spider Gwen. Though many cards cost cosmic fragments to play, these fragments are obtained through each match depending on card placement on the game grid, but spend them wisely as you will need to conserve more to unleash more powerful cards.
Battlelines offers many different types of game modes including a campaign mode.
In the campaign mode, the gameplay sets you a battle for the cosmic cube with the story being portrayed as if you’re reading a comic book. There are different objectives that you have to complete to beat each level and proceed to the next. The more you play, the more rewards of diamonds and gold you receive to put towards cards and card packs. This also goes for the other game modes as well, including the player vs player online arena mode.
Battlelines is a great competitor in the electronic card collecting/battle genre against the likes of Hearthstone (Blizzard Ent.) and Magic the Gathering (Wizards of the Coast). There have been steady updates including a card expansion, and you don’t have to invest money into the game to get new cards and build great decks. You just need to play. The more you play, the more rewards you will receive!
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