“OPEN THE THANOSTONE DADDY!!!”
My 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son were fired up when I returned from Gen Con 2021. While they may have been excited to see me, they were more excited by the miniature Iron Man inside the plastic packaging protruding from my bag of 15+ games I needed to review after the convention.
So, we ripped it open. “It” is Marvel Battleworld: Treachery at Twilight, a series of collectible Marvel characters paired with a dice-chucking game where each player takes control of a superstar from the Marvel catalog as they take on fights with baddies from the Marvel universe.
As I am learning with products from Prospero Hall and Funko, the games seem to always work. Marvel Battleworld: Treachery at Twilight is no exception.
Ryan’s World Has Taught Me Everything
If you are a parent of a child older than 5, you have probably heard of Ryan’s World; Ryan at one point was the most popular child on YouTube. His “unboxing” videos, where he took great joy in opening up new things while on camera, are famous, but his toy line is what brought me into the fold.
For a mere $50 (yikes!), we had the chance to buy my daughter a Ryan’s World Mystery Spy Vault, which is basically a chintzy plastic case with poorly-made toys inside. The trick is that it is all a secret! Who really KNOWS what’s inside that box? (As a parent, you already know: more crap that your kids will litter all over the house.)
Marvel Battleworld: Treachery at Twilight (we’ll shorten this to just Battleworld for the rest of the review) capitalizes on this energy by giving kids the chance to buy a set of six characters that can be used in any Battleworld game: 4 characters that you can see when you first open the box, and two more characters that are buried inside of Thanostones, which are basically thick orange cardboard shards big enough to hold a miniature roughly 2 inches tall.
The Battleworld game tied to these collectibles is really simple. Up to two characters will be placed on enemy tiles (cards) before rolling dice to attempt the defeat of enemies like Loki, U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M., or Stegron’s Dinosaur Army by using the combination of a die-roll from a D12 and the powers of each hero in battle. Roll well, and you score hits against these baddies; if you miss 3 times, that enemy will eventually win the battle. Players have to win between 3-5 battles to win the game; if enemies win 3 battles, players will lose the game.
However, what is more important than winning or losing battles? Defeating the tiles that have Thanostones on them. When you do this for the first time, you get to crack open one of the two physical Thanostones in the box to find out which minis you get to play with in future games.
It is hard to remember what was a bigger turning point in my life: becoming a father, or cracking open the Thanostone with the golden Twilight Groot variant inside. The screaming at my house made it difficult to remember because the kids were so excited to discover a supposedly “Ultra Rare” mini inside that first Thanostone.
It is these moments that make you remember why you love games. Discovery. Rolling dice. Narrowly avoiding defeat. Scoring a hit on Spider-Hulk to win the game. And to have the chance to do all of this with my kids? Amazing.
Another easy win for the kids
An average game of Battleworld takes 10-15 minutes. Battleworld has been living in a plastic bag (we shredded the plastic packaging when ripping open the game) on my kitchen table for the last two weeks and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
That is because the kids keep asking to play with different Battleworld characters: Iron Man (in the Spider Island suit, whatever that means), Shuri, Ghost-Spider, Falcon, Black Widow 2099. And while Battleworld is straightforward, it always seems to be dramatic because of the dice rolls, and even when they lose, the kids have a blast.
Adults will never play Battleworld with other adults, but that’s a good thing. Battleworld is best served as a game with the kids. The base set only includes enough cards for a one- or two-player game, so you’ll have to purchase additional content to get 3-4 players to the table.
That’s fine by me. On its own, Battleworld is a great way to entertain the kids without any extras!