Marvel Trading Game Card is based on the physically produced "Vs. System" trading card game which featured Marvel Comics characters. The digital version was released for PC, PSP, and DS and is essentially a direct translation of the physical game (that is to say the rules are the same and all the cards are based on their real life counterparts) but with the addition of a single player campaign and AI opponents. It was possible to play the digital version against other players, however this can no longer be done online because the login servers are shut down.
Deck Construction and Setup
- Your deck must be at least 60 cards but not more than 80 cards.
- A deck can include any cards but must not include no more than 4 copies of a card. (If you try to add more than 4 of any card, the game does not let you.) A card is differentiated by its name and type. It is for example possible to run more 5 or more Spider-Man cards in a deck, but no more than 4 can be the same kind of Spider-Man card.
- Both players shuffle both decks and draw 4 cards from their respective decks.
- Each player may then choose to mulligan, meaning they choose to put their hand on the bottom of the deck and draw a fresh hand of 4 cards. A player cannot mulligan a 2nd time.
- Each player begins with 50 endurance points. The game goes on until at least one's players endurance falls below 0, at which point the player with more endurance wins the game.
After the players decided on their hands, the players take turns taking the following steps which make up each turn of the game:
Draw 2 cards. (Both players do this, even during the very first turn of the game.)
You may place one card from your hand face down into your resource row.
You may put into play a character card from your hand with cost equal to or less than the number of cards you have in your resource step. (For example if you have four resource points, you can play a character that costs 4 or less. Or, if you have two characters that cost 2 each, you can play both of them.)
For each of your characters you may attack one of your opponent's characters. Attacking with a character exhausts that character (exhaust = turn the card sideways) meaning you cannot attack with that character again that turn. (unless you have a way to un-exhaust it, although this isn't common) The character being attacked does not get exhausted, but if it gets beaten in combat, it will get stunned. (Stunned = card is turned face down. Stunned characters can't attack.)
Each player chooses exactly one of their stunned characters and recovers it. (Typically each player would obviously choose to recover their most powerful character.) All other stunned characters are KO'ed meaning they are sent to the discard pile. (Characters that weren't stunned remain in play.)
Afterwards, the turn ends and the process is repeated starting once again with the Draw step and Resource step.
Character cards are the focus of the game and it is impossible to win without them. Every deck must have a substantial amount of character cards to be able to win. Each turn, players can play as many characters as their resource points allow, but usually each player will summon only one character per turn, in order to summon the most powerful one they can afford that turn.
After summoning characters, players go into the combat phase and attack their opponent's characters using their own. Each time one of your characters is stunned, you lose a certain amount of endurance. (life points)
Plot Twist cards
Plot twists have a wide variety of effects, but many of them are used to get a jump on the opponent during combat, or to protect a character being attacked. If you take out all plot twists from your deck, you might suddenly find it harder to win.
Plot twists are very efficient because, unlike characters, they are free to play, despite having a cost printed on them. Even better is the fact that plot twists can be played from the resource row (by turning the card face up) meaning you're essentially getting a 2-for-1 deal. (since you are able to put a card in your resource row and use that card afterward as if it were still in your hand.)
Ongoing Plot Twists
Some plot twist cards have the keyword "Ongoing" stated on them. This means the card is providing an effect for the rest of the game. (unless the card is removed from the resource row, or turned face down) Ongoing effects only work from the resource row.
Ongoing plot twists are "always on" so long as they remain in play and remain face up.
Location cards, for all intents and purposes, are the exact same as ongoing plot twists. Like ongoing plot twists, they can only be used from the resource row. (by turning the card face up) While face up, a location either provides an ongoing effect or provides the player with an ability that can be activated. (Activating is done by turning the card sideways and can be done once a turn.) Activating can be done right away.
Like all plot twists, location cards have a cost, but don't require any resource points. The cost merely refers to how many resources you need before you are able to use it.
Equipment cards are cards that are played from the hand and directly onto one of your characters, increasing that character's attack and defense attributes, and/or granting that character new abilities.
Unlike plot twists and locations, playing equipment uses your resource points (much like character cards) and must be played from the hand. (much like character cards) Also, like character cards, they can only be played during the recruit step. Equipment also comes with a rather obvious drawback- If the character the equipment is attached to gets KO'ed, the equipment is lost as well.
Marvel Trading Card Game has not been released for Playstation Network. It has only been released on UMD disc and thus cannot yet be played on a Playstation Vita or PSP Go.
In Marvel Trading Card Game for PSP, the player chooses whether to play through the Hero or Villain campaign. After making their choice and playing through the tutorials (optional), the player makes their way through a long series of duels spanning 7 chapters, with each chapter having an average of 7 story encounters. (Each encounter usually involves one duel, but can have up to four duels.) Each encounter is preceded by and often also followed by a comic book sequence.
When the Hero campaign is completed, the player is taken straight to the Villain campaign while keeping all the cards they've attained up to that point. (This obviously makes the Villain campaign very easy when played this way.) From there, completing the Villain campaign this way takes the player back to the Hero campaign once again.
Winning each duel in single player earns credits which can only be spent on booster packs. Any duel you've completed can be revisited in order to earn more credits, albeit not as much as winning new duels.
A few of the encounters in the single player campaign involve special rules, usually in the form of added conditions that cause a game loss, or forcing the player to meet certain conditions in order to win. Examples of special rules include:
- You begin the game with a high-powered character card already in play, and so does the A.I.
- The A.I. starts the game with a certain character card already in play, whereas you start the game normally. [Needless to say, this can put the player at a tremendous disadvantage.]
- You begin the game with a certain character card already in play. You lose if that character is ever knocked out.
- You lose after 6 turns.
- You lose if, at the end of any turn, the A.I. has more than a certain amount of character cards in play.
- The A.I. gains a certain amount of endurance points (i.e. life points) after every turn.
The vast majority of duels do not have any special rules; the normal rules are followed.
Building a Deck:
The player is able to alter and improve their deck between duels and is able to create and store up to five different decks, and name them. To aid in deckbuilding, the deckbuilder allows the player to sort through their deck and even their entire card library in order of name of card (alphabetically), card cost, card type, or affiliation.
Cards in your collection are displayed as a single scrollable list, where highlighting a card makes its image and card text appear on the right side on the screen. Your deck is displayed in the exact same fashion. The Select button is used to toggle between 3 card pools: your deck, your collection, and "New Cards" (cards you have acquired since the last time you entered the deck editor), whereas pressing the R buttons switches to a different deck.
Pressing left or right adds or removes the highlighted card to your deck. Regardless of whether you are viewing your entire collection or just your deck, you can add/remove cards from your deck this way, and the number of copies of each card is always displayed as well as how many copies are in your deck. (for example if you have 5 copies of a card and 0 are in your current deck, the number "0/5" will be displayed)
Although the player can sort by affiliation, there is no way to look at up non-character cards relevant to that affiliation. (For instance, although you can easily see all the X-Men character cards you've attained, there is no easy way to look up all Plot Twist, Equipment, and Location cards you've attained that benefit X-Men or even have the word X-Men printed on them. The only way to do this is to read every single Plot Twist, Equipment, and Location card yourself to see if any contain the word X-Men.) However, since you are able to save up to five decks, you can use one of those five slots as a folder to store cards you might use later on.
Separate from the campaign, a series of puzzles are available for the player to complete. These test the player's knowledge of the mechanics and rules, and are based on the tutorials unlocked throughout the campaign, which each deals with a respective game mechanic such as Loyalty, Evasion, Boost, or Concealed.
Completing puzzles rewards you with booster credits. However, the puzzle mode may be tedious to complete due to the fact that restarting a puzzle, just as with restarting a duel, requires sitting through the loading screen all over again.
Ad-hoc and Infastructure modes are selectable in the main menu. However, online play has been discontinued, making Infastructure mode useless.
In addition to there being an options menu, these options can be accessed in the middle of a game.
- Music volume can be lowered or muted.
- Battle animations can be disabled. [All the battle animations take a long time to sit through when added together, so disabling them speeds the game up. That said, leaving them on might be handy for those still learning the ropes since they show to some extent how battle damage is calculated.]
- Autopass setting can be altered if so desired. There are only four settings and they are High, Medium, Low, and Manual. The default setting is Medium. This setting can be changed in the middle of a game, which can come in handy if you want to perform an action during a step/phase that the game usually skips for you.
Online Play (Discontinued)
The online multiplayer feature for Marvel Trading Card Game has since been discontinued on all platforms.
If the player attempts to sign up for online play using the PSP version of the game, the PSP's web browser takes them to an unregistered domain name.