Tabletop Games

Kickstarter Quick Picks: ‘Marvel United: X-Men’

Marvel United is back, true believers! But this time, it’s the Merry Marvel Mutants’ turn in the spotlight. Unsheathe those adamantium claws and fire off some optic beams as you fight the master of magnetism, Magneto, and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

What Are Kickstarter Quick Picks?

Kickstarter Quick Picks are short looks at projects currently on Kickstarter that are of interest to me, and by extension, many of our GeekDad readers. A Quick Pick is not an endorsement of the Kickstarter campaign, nor have I (as yet) received any product copies to review. If you like what you see here, go check out the campaign and decide for yourself if you’d like to back it, or wait until GeekDad has had a chance to go hands-on. As always, caveat emptor—let the buyer beware.

New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.

What Is Marvel United: X-Men?

Last year, CMON Games and Spin Master Games teamed up to bring Marvel United to Kickstarter. It delivered to backers and retail stores last Fall, and is a cooperative game using beautifully sculpted Chibi-style miniatures of Marvel Comics heroes and villains. I reviewed the base game, and found it to be a wonderful family-friendly game of not just beating up the bad guy, but defeating the villain’s master plan. It was so enjoyable that it earned the GeekDad Approved label, and was one of the top GeekDad games of 2020.

Horsemen of Apocalypse expansion. Image by CMON.

Now CMON and Spin Master are back with a sequel, focusing on the X-Men and their many heroes and villains. There are two pledges available. The most basic is the Mutant pledge, which includes the base game, an exclusive villain team of Toad, Pyro, and Blob, as well as all stretch goals, for $65. Or for $100, you can opt for the Apocalypse Pledge, which includes everything from the Mutant pledge, as well as The Horsemen of Apocalypse expansion and a Kickstarter-exclusive Storm with mohawk.

Storm, from her edgier days in Japan. Image by CMON.

Marvel United: X-Men brings many new characters and locations to the world of Marvel United, but also some changes. You can now play with up to five people in a new game mode where one player can play as the villain, facing off against the other players who control the heroes. Heroes now each have at least four Special Effect cards, making each character feel more unique. And befitting the source material, Marvel United: X-Men introduces anti-heroes: purple characters that can be played as either heroes or villains. The base game includes two of these anti-heroes: Magneto and Mystique.

Is he hero or villain? You decide! Image by CMON.

Why Check Out Marvel United: X-Men

If you’ve played the first Marvel United game, you already know if you enjoy the elegant gameplay of the original. It’s easy to learn and quick to play. If you haven’t yet tried it for yourself, the base game retails for $34.99 and you can pick up a copy at Amazon or many other retailers. Much like with the first Kickstarter campaign, Marvel United: X-Men is providing several heroes and villains as stretch goals. These additions provide a lot of gameplay variety, as different villains require different strategies to beat them. There are also boxed expansions available, which not only add villains and heroes, but also additional locations in the game (which each have their own effects) as well as different game modes.

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First Class expansion. Image by CMON.

So far in the campaign, in addition to The Horsemen of Apocalypse, CMON has introduced the First Class expansion. This gives you the original X-Men team, with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as villains (as they were when originally introduced in the comics). It also includes four new iconic locations, such as the Danger Room, which allows the heroes to receive a Training card. These Training cards can give heroes an edge in their fights against especially difficult villains. If the first Marvel United campaign is any indicator, you can expect a few more expansions to make their appearances before the Marvel United: X-Men campaign is over.

If you missed out on the first campaign, and wanted to pick up an expansion or two from that, you’ll be able to purchase those as add-ons when you back Marvel United: X-Men. You can even grab the Ultimate Classic bundle, which includes all the expansions from the first Marvel United campaign and all of that Kickstarter campaign’s stretch goals.

The Marvel United: X-Men campaign runs through Wednesday, May 5th. As of this writing, the campaign has already unlocked 22 heroes, villains, and anti-heroes as stretch goals. I would expect many more to appear, especially as there are several popular characters who have yet to make appearances like Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Kitty Pryde. And if you watch the trailer for the game to the very end, it seems likely that a certain very popular character will be joining Marvel United: X-Men, possibly alongside his good buddy Cable:

If you’re a fan of Marvel heroes, and especially the X-Men, you should check out the Marvel United: X-Men Kickstarter campaign. It looks to both expand and refine what was already a winning formula with the first Marvel United, at the same time providing a lot of additional value with a multitude of Kickstarter-exclusive stretch goals.

The dreaded Apocalypse. Image by CMON.

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This post was last modified on April 19, 2021 2:30 pm

Paul Benson

Paul is a comic book writer, screenwriter, an avid board and tabletop gamer, reader of comics and collector of statues and figures. He is the creator of the webcomic "Heroines for Hire" and co-writer of "Disaster!: The Movie." He currently writes "E.I.: Earth Invasion" for Wunderman Comics.

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