Everything about Marvel Snap: what is it, how does it work, and where to  download it for free? - Meristation USA

Marvel Snap, a digital card battler released in October 2022 for mobile phone gamers, was an overnight success. Made for Marvel as the debut project of the brandnew game design company, Second Dinner, it currently has a 4.6 rating or higher on both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

But the secret to the game’s fast-paced and addictive success, says Second Dinner’s Chief Development Officer, Ben Brode, is not its foundation atop the shoulders of Marvel’s already-enormous franchise, nor its deceptively deep and strategic gameplay… in his words, “It’s the poop.”

I’ll let Brode explain:

“Everything started with poop,” Brode explained to me one morning over coffee and bran muffins.

“First, we asked the big questions like, What does it really mean to take a poop? You know, what is it really like? After we felt we had some good answers to those larger questions we nailed down the more technical aspects like, What is the average mass of the human poop? Its density? What color – or colors – is it? What’s the overall shape and length of the large intestine? And then we could finally get into some real fine-tuning with things like, How much dietary fiber is in a cheesy gordita crunch? Things like that. Then, really, once we had all that information laid out, the game basically designed itself.”

In the finished product today – which adheres to the free-to-play business model – a typical game takes just three to five minutes. “Go ahead and take your watch out next time,” Brode told me, getting fidgety from all the caffeine. “That’s exactly how long the average human poop takes!” 

Gameplay perspective: player’s view from the toilet

But he’s right to be excited. Marvel Snap was downloaded over 5 million times in its opening week, and over 12 million in its first 30 days, earning more than $10 million. That’s a lot of poops! 

Other digital card games, such as the very popular Magic: the Gathering Arena, can take upwards of five, ten, or even twenty minutes or more to complete a single match. That’s a really long time to be sitting on the toilet. Marvel Snap, meanwhile, is short enough, but satisfying enough, to be played on the go. Literally, while you’re “going”. It’s no wonder Marvel Snap has found the success it has.

When asked about Marvel Snap’s similarity to other, previously-existing card games, such as AEG’s longtime success, Smash Up, Brode shrugged off the comparison without compunction.

“That’s like comparing apples to oranges,” he explained, chewing the last of his bran muffin. “It’s completely different. You can’t play a tabletop game on the toilet. It’d take too long just to set it up! And who has a gaming table in their bathroom anyway? Ridiculous.” 

And with that, our chat had to come to a sudden conclusion as nature called my interviewee to the bathroom. We exchanged goodbyes and he was off – but soon came running back when he realized he’d nearly left his phone behind.

“Geez, that was close!” he said with a laugh. But all humor fled from him when he noticed his phone had died during our conversation. “Oh no!” he exclaimed. “My battery’s dead! And I don’t have a charger…. What am I gonna do?!” I could see the panic in his eyes as they darted between the bathroom door and his darkened phone screen. 

But I didn’t let my guest, the extremely talented game designer Ben Brode, twist with discomfort for long. 

“Here you go, Ben,” I said, offering him my phone. “I recommend the On Reveal deck. I think you’ll really like it.” With a very grateful smile and a nod, he was off to the bathroom at last. 

Marvel Snap recommends if your poops take more than 3 games you should consult a medical professional.