Marvel War of Heroes shuffles the S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel and Mobage have released a digital card game set in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel War of Heroes is a mobile deck-building game in which the player takes on the task of assembling a fighting force from the resources and personal of S.H.I.E.L.D., the elite super hero-centric Earth defense force from the Marvel Universe and the Marvel Film Universe, though the game seems to draw inspiration and characters from the comics more than the films.

We have this synopsis of the background story for the game:

Hydra and the world’s most dangerous Super Villains are using the mysterious iso-8 to tip the balance of power in their favor. As an Agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. it is up to you to assemble a team of Super Heroes, unravel the mystery of iso-8 and battle the most powerful group of Super Villains ever assembled.

It looks like it would play a lot like a typical CCG, and since Marvel has had several iterations of their own CCG in the past, I expected some of the mechanics from those games to appear here, but upon playing (It’s free over on Google’s Play Store), one finds that it’s not quite so granular.

The game is divided into missions. Each mission, the player can choose one or more of the heroes from their roster (depending on the mission), and equip them with some items.

These heroes and items come from the player’s ‘deck’, which may contain as many as 60 cards at once – any further gained cards either replace existing cards in the deck or get trashed. If duplicate cards are found, they can be merged with the existing card to make it more powerful.

The combat itself, then, is automatic. The player either succeeds or fails to win the battle with no further decisions to be made. The tactics of the game then are only in the assembly of the team.

As each card is used in battle or merged with duplicates it gains levels which award points, which can be spent on the card’s primary attributes, making it better in specific combat roles. Specific card combinations can be used to allow the team additional abilities in the form of character combos.

New cards are gained either by finding them as rewards in battle or by purchasing them from the in-game store. Each player also gets one new card each day they log-in.

The game has multi-player in the form of passive challenges. Players of other social multiplayer games will already be familiar with how this works. Basically, players can challenge other players to matches while they’re not logged in, and the game will pit each player’s five best cards against one another, resolving the match without the opponent needing to be logged in.

Also familiar to these players is the energy system, which restricts the number of battles which can be fought each day, unless one pays for additional energy.

Additional features include a wide roster of heroes, including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, and Hawkeye; original art by popular Marvel Artists; and a card pool which will be regularly updated with new cards  and balanced for old cards.

Marvel War of Heroes, which was developed by CyGames and runs on Mobage’s social games network, is available now for Android and iOS mobile devices.