Splendor: Marvel

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Splendor Marvel is the heroic take on the award-winning original! Avengers, assemble and take on the evil forces and Thanos himself, in a bid to stop him gathering all the infinity stones! Much like the original, you must gather gems together every turn to enable you to gain infinity points and recruit heroes to aid you in your fight against Thanos. Each hero you recruit will also g…
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Category Tags , , , , SKU ZBG-ASMSCSPLMA01EN Availability 3+ in stock
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  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • The familiar marvel theme
  • The chunky poker chips
  • Creating and using your engine

Might Not Like

  • Somewhat abstract if you don’t get into the theme
  • The swing of points with the Avenger tile
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Splendor Marvel is the heroic take on the award-winning original! Avengers, assemble and take on the evil forces and Thanos himself, in a bid to stop him gathering all the infinity stones!

Much like the original, you must gather gems together every turn to enable you to gain infinity points and recruit heroes to aid you in your fight against Thanos. Each hero you recruit will also give you an infinity bonus that can make it easier to recruit further heroes later in the game.

If you are a fan of the original Splendor, then you will feel right at home as many of the rules are the same and you’ll be playing in seconds. In terms of differences to the original game, you will find that the end game is slightly altered, with players requiring one of each of the colours of gem as well as a Tier 3 card. This is in addition to the 16 VP required.

While this game is about building a team, don’t be fooled by the other players! This is very much a cooperative game and you must fight to recruit the best heroes you can as you can only emerge victorious if you have the strongest team on your side!

Be ready to gather resources, acquire locations and ready up your heroes to rid the Earth of Thanos and his evil forces!

Players: 2-4 players
Time: 30 minutes
Age: 10+

Splendor is one of the most successful and popular games out there. It’s accessible, quick and fun to play. But most importantly, comes with kick-ass poker chips! At its heart, Splendor is a card-management engine-builder that pits players against each other in a race to 15 prestige points. There was a tapped-on theme of being a rich merchant during the renaissance trying to acquire jewels. But the game quickly becomes an abstract game of chasing colours. Fun, very satisfying and a brilliant gateway game. But it does lack a fun theme.

I really enjoy the game but I never wanted to buy it. I would regularly play with friends who had it and always enjoyed the experience. But it lacked a certain something that warranted a place in my collection. Well, now Marvel has come and slapped their mighty brand over it, and boom, Splendor: Marvel! And there it is, sat on my shelf!

Is the game any different? Not really. But it sure does look cooler now! And I know my kids will want to play. And now the poker chips are Infinity stones!

Gamers, Assemble!

The Marvel version is essentially the same game. But with way better art! Each card now depicts a character from the marvel universe that you need to recruit. Replacing the rather dry but efficient design from the original. Your goals are essentially the same, but the story around it is so much more thematic. I am lost more in this games universe than I was with the base game and find myself pouring over the cards, not just to see what I need, but to check out the pictures too.

The end game scenario has changed a little and for the better. Players now need to do a few more things to trigger the end of the game, and there is a fluctuating bonus score of three points available with the Avengers tile. But before we come to that, let’s talk quickly about how this game players.

“You won’t like me when I’m angry!”

Set up of the game is very simple. Separate the cards into their three types and then lay them into three rows of four cards. Place out the location tiles, Avengers tile, Infinity gauntlet tile and all the chips. Done! This is all achieved within a minute. To explain the game to a new player, you are talking about just one minute more!

Your goal is to get 16 infinity points as quickly as possible. One more than the original. Points are attained from the cards, locations, and the Avengers tile. On your turn, you can do one of four things. The first two are to either take two infinity stones of the same colour, (if at least four of that colour are available) or three stones of different colours.  These stones will be used later to recruit characters to your team.

Your other two options are to either recruit or reserve a character card. Characters have their recruitment requirements clearly on them. This will be a number of coloured stones they need to join forces with you. They will then bring with them the permanent stone purchasing power to your team. So that in later turns, you will be able to recruit characters using just the characters themselves. You use temporarily owned Infinity stones to recruit characters who will then bring with them permanently own Infinity stone power.

Reserving a card means you simply bring it into your play area, but not your hand yet. And take a S.H.E.I.L.D token, a wild infinity stone. You can recruit this character at any later point on your turn, but no other player can now access it. And that’s the game.

“Part of the Journey is the end.”

The end game has changed as I mentioned above. Players now need to have not just the required points like the original, but now also, one bonus of each colour and one green infinity token. This is all clearly marked on the infinity gauntlet tile in simple iconography, which stays present throughout the game. So, it is all very simple to learn and play.

One final change is the avenger tile. This brings three bonus point to the player who owns it at the end of the game. You can acquire this by having character cards recruited into your team with the Avengers symbol on it, and when you have three of these, the tile comes to you. But as soon as someone else gets at least one more Avenger symbol than you, they take the card and its potential three points. This is a fun see-saw element that can affect end game triggers and the ultimate winner, so worth watching your opponent’s recruitment throughout the game.

“No amount of money ever bought a second of time.”

The original was hugely popular but sometimes criticised for being a little lacking in player interaction. Occasionally players would take a card you really wanted, but otherwise, it was a solitaire race game, who could get the required points first. Now, with the Avengers token, you need to pay way more attention to what your opponents are doing. A swing of six points can be huge in a game that only requires 16 to win.

This can also mean that the game can end when you least expect it. On one turn, a player could recruit a character card with two Avenger icons on and two points, claim the Avengers token from another player taking three more points, and leap from 11 to 16 points in one turn. Also, taking you back three. But the fact that you need to have a bonus of each colour, it is a little easier to track your opponent’s progression. As you can only ever acquire one card each turn, you can never get more than one bonus colour each time.

“I don’t know if you’ve been in a fight before, but there’s not usually this much talking.”

All of this creates a much more interactive, social experience. I find I play Splendor: Marvel more “head-up”. I am more aware of my opponent’s actions and trying to guess what they are up to is a lot of fun. The game feels more of a group experience than the solitaire race of the original. And the theme pulls me in way more with the colourful and vibrant art, recognisable characters, and familiar storyline.

But what remains from the original is the sweet satisfaction of building your engine. For anyone who has not played an engine builder before. Let me briefly explain this beautiful mechanic. At the start of the game, you have no engine. Just you. As you begin to recruit characters in your team, they will bring with them bonus colours. Powers to recruit more characters using their combined powers. Acquiring one character my increase your “mind” strength for example, and when added to other cards than have brought your combined “reality” and “soul” strength, this may mean you can now get another character card that needs one of each to recruit. Your engine now has more parts to it. More strength and power. You have built a functioning, working, efficient engine.

The joy of this comes from the planning. The top row cards are harder card to acquire, but bring more points and Avengers icons with them. They are present for all to see from turn one, but no one will have the power to get them yet. But as you can see what they need in order to be recruited, you can start to plan. You will find you look down to rows two and one to see which cards are there that will bring the required powers needed to get the cards you want from row one.

Your engine will not get built at random but from a framework. A plan you forge from turn one. But of course, other players are competing with you. They too may want those cards. They too are building their engine. Do you try and get to the top rows as quickly as possible, recruiting fewer cards thought-out game, but each one more powerful? Or do you build up a big powerful engine from the bottom row, hoping for a late flurry in the later rounds where you can recruit whatever you like for free.

“Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it.”

This creates a beautiful balance where on occasions you can be caught out, Other players may work quicker, build a more efficient engine than you and trigger the end game before you have made use of your own engine as much as you would like. But with the added requirement for the end game in this version of the game, I find this happens a lot less than the original, and this is a good thing. Building an engine is fun. But using it is way more fun! And in Splendor: Marvel you get to use your engine a lot more.

If you have Splendor than I would not say you need this game too unless you are a huge Marvel fan. But if you have neither, this is the better version. It has all the original does but adds more. And not in meaningless rules or components, but rule tweaks and extra scoring options. Splendor: Marvel may well now be my gateway game of choice. Whenever someone who hasn’t played much before wants to try a game, if they are a Marvel fan, this will be my go-to choice. And if you yourself are thinking of a family-friendly accessible game for your own Marvel clan, then look no further. This is one super-secret boy band I do want to join!

Splendor is an absolutely fantastic game. It is up there as one of my favourites. Combining it with Marvel to create Splendor Marvel was nothing short of a stroke of genius by the creators. It is also a touch different, not just the same game and merely an aesthetic change from the original. It makes the game well worth a go.

Infinity Stones

Somewhat similar again to the classic Splendor. The box of contents is as follows:

  • 90 character cards. These are split 40, 30, 20 in 3 tiers. Each character has an infinity stone marked on the card.
  • 39 infinity tokens. 7 mind, 7 space, 7 soul, 7 power and 7 reality. That leaves 4 time.
  • 5 SHIELD tokens.
  • 4 location tokens (double sided).
  • The infinity gauntlet tile that clearly defines the victory condition.
  • 1 Avengers assemble tile.

Infinity Points

Whoever achieves 16 infinity points (victory points) first will take victory. Similar to Splendor where 15 prestige points are required. However, in Marvel there is more. Not just the 16 infinity points, but also at least one character which each infinity stone printed on the card. You must have all six which includes one top tier character recruited to also pick up the time stone. Only top tier characters have these. So, there is more depth to the game than just a set amount of victory points. One thing to note, all players get an equal amount of turns. By this, I mean, should player one win, all other players get a final turn, which could result in victory being snatched away. If the final player to take their first turn wins, the game would end.

Infinity War

Let the war commence. It is your job as a player to recruit heroes and villains to your side in order to secure victory. Set the game up. Lay out three rows of four characters, one row of each tier as noted above. Characters have the infinity points printed on them in a white. Low tier characters may be worth one but generally zero, top tier characters are anything from three to five infinity points. Set out location tiles equal to the number of players in the game. Also lay out the Avengers assemble tile and the infinity gauntlet tile that clearly defines the above victory conditions. There is a pic contained within the game rules of how this should look, which is helpful.

Turn play is straight forward. Either take three different infinity tokens (not the time stone), two of the same infinity tokens (so long as there is four or more to draw at the start of the turn, and again, not the time stone), one SHIELD token and reserve a character, or recruit a character by spending infinity tokens and/or infinity stones from already recruited characters. By this, I mean all characters in the pool available for recruitment have a price printed on them for the cost of infinity tokens required. Players must first gather the required resources to be able to purchase said character.

Note. SHIELD tokens count as any infinity token. It’s incredibly useful to have one or two of these in your pocket. These also count towards the maximum of 10 tokens held.

Location tiles are like the nobles from Splendor and worth three Infinity points. Acquire the necessary characters with matching infinity stones printed on them and automatically gain the location tile and add the infinity points to the score.

There is also the Avengers assemble tile worth another three Infinity points. This is a major difference to this version and really adds to it. Heroes also have an avenger’s symbol printed on them. When you recruit hero characters and total three avenger symbols you automatically acquire this tile and gain three infinity points. However, if an opponent gathers more avengers’ symbols through their hero recruitment than you, you hand over the Avengers assemble tile to them and lose your infinity points, to which they will gain. It’s an excellent addition to the game creating additional jeopardy.


Disappointingly, Thanos plays no part in this set, except to create an excellent cover to the game box. He plays no part. That being said, all the art work is exceptional in this game making for an undeniably pleasing game to view.

The game itself for, for me, is a much better game than the original Splendor. I love the original Splendor, that’s important to note. Marvel Splendor does Splendor and more. It asks more of the players. One more victory point required. You need each of the coloured stones which includes the time stone that can only be gathered from recruiting a top tier hero. Then there is the avengers assemble tile which players can contest in the game. Tiles in Splendor once earned cannot be taken so this avengers assemble tile is a delightful addition.

Then you have all your favourite marvel characters from the MCU. I’m not saying these characters should influence your play and detract from a good strategy, but I need to get Groot. I’m just saying. No doubt you will all also have your favourite characters that you will want to ensure are recruited to your side.

Final Thoughts

There isn’t anything for me not to like about Splendor Marvel. It’s Marvel and it is a great game. Definitely worth picking up and having a game of.

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • The familiar marvel theme
  • The chunky poker chips
  • Creating and using your engine

Might not like

  • Somewhat abstract if you dont get into the theme
  • The swing of points with the Avenger tile