Marvel is one of the biggest franchise properties in our house and has been for quite some time. As boardgamers, this means we get excited to check out any tie-in games that are Marvel related. I was super excited to see Funko Games bring Marvel into the Funkoverse with the additions of Funkoverse: Marvel 100 (4-Pack) and Funkoverse: Marvel 101 (Expansion). Funko Games recently sent us both games for reviewing.
What is Funkoverse: Marvel?
Funkoverse is one of the biggest game lines from Funko Games. It’s a franchise based strategy game where characters designed to look like miniature Funko Pop! Vinyl Figures create teams to combat each other in various scenarios. There’s a growing number of franchises including everything from DC and Marvel based characters to Disney, Jurassic Park, and even The Golden Girls. These newest additions are based off of Marvel characters. Part of the appeal of Funkoverse is that the design has a core set of rules that carry over between the games so that players can mix and match characters across franchises. The game is designed for 2-4 players ages 10+ and takes about 40 minutes to play. The price points tend to vary based on how many characters the set includes. Funkoverse: Marvel 100 (4-Pack) has a MSRP of $39.99 and Funkoverse: Marvel 101 (Expansion) has a MSRP of $14.99. It should be noted that the sets marked as expansions do not contain enough to be played on their own and must be combined a 2-Pack or 4-Pack for gameplay.
Funkoverse: Marvel Contents:
Since I am covering two products in this review, I will note their contents separately. Overall, it’s clear to see why titles from Funko Games are gaining in popularity and in fact, two Funko Games titles made the finalist list for the coveted GeekDad Game of the Award in 2020, which is alone reason enough to look into their releases as far as I’m concerned. Their nicely put together components that line up well with the game price point.
Funkoverse: Marvel 100 (4-Pack), MSRP $39.99
Funkoverse: Marvel 100 (4-Pack) contains the following:
- 4 Character Movers
- 4 Character Bases
- 4 Character Cards
- 4 Basic Characters
- 4 Basic Character Cards
- 2 Cooldown Tracks
- 9 Ability Tokens
- 8 Exhausted Markers
- First Player Marker
- 3 Energy Tokens
- 4 Point Markers
- 1 Triumph Marker
- 4 Double-Sided Target/Leader Markers
- 6 Dice
- 21 Points
- 1 Double-Sided Map
- 2 Double-Sided Scenario Cards
- 1 Data Terminal
- 1 Data Terminal Objective Card
- 1 Vibranium Case
- 1 Vibranium Case Card
- 1 Instruction Booklet
Funkoverse: Marvel 101 (Expansion), MSRP $14.99
Funkoverse: Marvel 101 (Expansion) contains the following:
- I Character Mover
- 1 Character Base
- 1 Character Card
- 1 Ultimate Character Card
- 1 Ultimate Scenario Card
- 6 Ability Tokens
- 5 Game Markers
- 6 Points (Infinity Stones)
The biggest appeal, especially if you have a Pop! Vinyl habit like me, is that the Character Movers look like smaller Pop! Vinyl figures. Each character is well done and easy to identify, just like they are in Pop! Vinyl form. The 4-Pack includes Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Black Panther. It’s a good mix of popular characters that still leaves enough favorite out to create a desire to get more sets for other Marvel characters. The expansion brings Thanos into the game. Each Character Mover comes with a simple base that clicks onto the bottom.
The cards are well done. They’re as thick as typical game component cards, but the artwork is great and helps to quickly identify and differentiate the cards. The information is nicely organized and easy to read. Different cards also have different sizes which helps with sorting. The Tokens and Markers are all thick cardboard, but color, shape, and design all contribute to ease of identifying and differentiating. There’s just enough pieces to make the game interesting without being overwhelming, which means our 10-year-old can set up a game on his own without too much hassle.
The dice have custom symbols on them, but they’re easy to read and work well for the game. The points are actually little plastic crystal counters which feel a little extra fun, especially the Infinity Stone version that comes with the Expansion.
The Vibranium Case and Data terminal are plastic but hit that nice point of small but not so small they’re too easy to loose. They do make nice game pieces though.
I really do love the artwork on the map which features Shuri’s Lab on one side and a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier Bridge on the other. The map is gridded out neatly and there’s a clear distinction between areas that can and cannot be crossed.
I am also a fan of the organization of the Instruction Booklet, especially the use of diagrams to identify components, game set up, and movement rules. It was clearly well thought out. Rules for a basic version of the game mechanics are also available to sort of ease you into play.
My overall impression is that the components are well-made and will highly appeal to fans of Marvel movies.
How to Play Funkoverse: Marvel
For this section I will go over the general Funkoverse rules as well as note how bringing the Ultimate Thanos and the Ultimate Scenario from the expansion impacts the game. The game was quick enough to catch onto that my 10-year-old caught on fast enough to beat me in every game that we’ve played so far. Setup isn’t too overwhelming either, and I found myself memorizing the setup after one game.
The goal of Funkoverse: Marvel is to earn the goal number of points as described by a particular Scenario. There are several ways to earn points which include Combat Challenges between teams, Interacting with Point Markers, and via other instances as described by a specific Scenario. Some actions may earn more points than others.
Setup is one of those things I find goes together pretty quickly after you’ve done it once, although there will be variations for different Scenarios. To setup a game, carry out the following steps.
- Agree on a Map and one of its Associated Scenarios. Place Point Markers according to the diagram on the Scenario Card. The following Marvel based Scenarios are offered:
- Leaders (Marvel 100): Emphasizes Character Challenges. Leaders are selected and Challenges involving Leaders tend to have higher Point rewards.
- Scrimmage (Marvel 100): Character Challenges involve Targets and not just direct attacks.
- Triumph (Marvel 100): Goals include seizing and controlling the laboratory to earn Points.
- Siege (Marvel 100): The Goal is to still be involved in the melee area at the end of the Round.
- Infinity War Ultimate Scenario (Marvel 101): Players fight for control of the Infinity Stones. The Heroes try to Knock Out Thanos 3 times before he can collect all 6 Infinity Stones and Interact with them.
- Place Dice and Points near the Map.
- Assign a Cooldown Track to each Player and set nearby.
- After each player picks a Base Color, flip the First Player Marker. If the Marker matches your Base Color, you take the Marker and will go first.
- To make a team of three, each Player can take two Characters and 1 matching Basic Character. With enough sets put together, players can make teams of just Characters without the need for Basic Characters. In a 2-Pack Game, Players would be limited to 1 Character and 1 Basic Character each. Scenarios may vary the point goal based on how many Characters you play with. If you are playing with Items, these would also be selected.
- Take and set out any Character Cards, Item Cards, Status Cards, or Tokens associated with your Characters as noted on their Cards. Each Character has colored dots on the bottom right corner of their cards, take one Ability Token to match each colored dot. Each Player also gets 1 Exhausted Marker per character.
- Check the Scenario Card for additional rules.
- Your starting area is marked with your Base Color on the Map in the diagram on the Scenario Card. The Players going first sets up their Characters first, then the other Player.
For the Infinity War Ultimate Scenario, one Player gets Ultimate Thanos and the Ultimate Thanos Card and Ability Tokens described on it. The other Player gets a team of 3 Characters. Use the setup of any scenario but after setup, replace all rules and goals except for Starting Areas and Point Marker locations with those of the Ultimate Scenario. Thanos can also be played as regular Character and has a separate Character Card for that.
The directions include a Basic game version that focuses on Challenges between players. For purposes of this review, I would like to note I am describing the “Full Experience” rules. For our games, we used 3 Characters per player.
Taking a Turn
Players take turns choosing any of their Characters to do actions. When all Characters have had a turn, the Round ends. The following actions occur during a Turn.
- Player selects a Character without an Exhausted Marker.
- Player does 2 Actions.
- Basic Actions:
- Move: Move up to 2 Squares in any direction. Players cannot move through standing rivals or obstructions.
- Challenge: Roll 2 Dice to Challenge an Adjacent Target.
- Assist: Stand up an Ally who was knocked down.
- Interact: Some items players Interact with including Points. Players stand adjacent to the Point Marker to collect it.
- Special Actions
- Ability: Spend an Ability Token to do an Ability and put the Ability Token on the Cooldown Track number indicated by the Ability description.
- Use Attachment: Some attachments require Actions to use.
- Basic Actions:
- Rally: If the Character whose turn it is has been Knocked Down, they must use their entire turn to get back up using Rally.
- Exhaust the Character: Place an Exhausted Marker on the Character who just took a turn. They may not be used again this Round.
- The next Player takes a Turn.
Ending a Round
When all Characters are Exhausted, the Round ends and the following Actions happen:
- Cooldown: The Player with the First Player Marker goes first and moves everything on the Cooldown Track down one. Characters, Items, and Ability Tokens that come off of the 1 Spot will be returned to play. Ability Tokens go back to a Player’s pool, Characters are placed in the Player’s Starting Area, and Items are returned to relevant Characters.
- Refresh: All Exhausted Markers are removed.
- New First Player: The First Player Marker moves to the next Player and they start off the next Round.
- Players cannot Move through Obstructions
- You can Move onto a Square partly occupied by an Obstruction as long as the Obstruction is not in the Square center.
- If an Obstruction is on a Square corner, you cannot move diagonally through it.
- You can Move through a Square occupied by an Ally, but not through a Square occupied by a Standing Rival.
- You cannot end a Move in a Square occupied by an Ally or Rival.
Draw an Imaginary line between the center to the Character’s Square to the center of the Square it is trying to see.
- If an Obstruction interrupts the line, your Character cannot see the Square.
- If the line passes through a Square occupied by a Rival, your Character cannot see the Square, but you can see through a Square occupied by an Ally.
- If the line passes through where four corners meet and Rivals are in one or two squares touching the corner, your Character can see through the Corner.
A Square is Adjacent if it is next to or diagonal to the Square in question unless blocked by an Obstruction.
Challenges let Players Knock Down and Knock Out rival Characters. In a Basic Challenge, the Attacker rolls two Dice, and the Defender rolls the same number of Dice as their Defense number (the Shield Icon on their Character Card has this). The Attacker gets one point for every Explosion they roll, 3 for ever set of Exclamation Points. The Defender gets 1 point for every Shield they roll, 3 points for ever set of Exclamation Points. If the Attacker has more points, the Defender is tipped over on their spot and Knocked Down. Nothing happens if the Attacker ties or rolls less. If a Knocked down Defender looses a Challenge while Knocked Down, they are Knocked Down. The Character is removed from the Board, and placed on the 1 Spot on the Cooldown Track. The Scenario Direction will tell you if Points are awarded for Knocking Out a Rival and how many. Characters on the Cooldown Track cannot act and on their Turn, an Exhausted Marker is placed on their Character Card. Some Abilities allow Players to Challenge multiple Characters. Resolve these one at a time. Characters who are Targeted may not be Blocked by an Obstruction.
When doing an Ability, follow these steps:
- Choose an Ability from the Character’s Card.
- Spend an Ability Token of the appropriate type (you must have the correct Ability Token available). The number next to the Ability Description tells you where the Ability Token goes on the Cooldown Track.
- Follow the rules of the Ability as indicated on the Character Card.
If a player moves to a spot Adjacent to a Point Marker they can immediately Interact with in and claim the point. Put the Point Marker letter-side up on spot 4 of the Cooldown Track. When it moves off the Cooldown Track, place it back where it was and a player can Interact with it once again to earn a Point. In the Marvel 101 Expansion, Point Markers are used for Infinity Stones instead and they have alternate rules as described on the Scenario Card.
Attachments include Items, Companions, and Bonus Objectives. Not all Attachments must be physically attached to a Character but each Player should have an equal number of Attachments.
- Bonus Objectives: Marvel 100 includes two of these: a Vibranium Case and a Data Terminal. Each Players selects an Item with a Bonus Objective and the matching Card. After Characters are placed during Setup, Players will place their Rival’s Bonus Objective Items in their Starting Area.
- Items: Some Funkoverse games have Items (Marvel 100 and Marvel 101 do not). When Items are used, each Player selects an Item and places it in a Character’s hand. The Item Card is placed next to the Character Card. If the Item Card has a # it needs a Use Item Action to use and will be placed on the Cooldown Track in the spot indicated on the Item Card, otherwise it acts as a Character Trait.
- Companions: Some games include Companions (Marvel 100 and Marvel 101 do not). Companions are attached to Characters or Teams. They follow the same rules regarding what they can see and do as Characters. When a Character takes their Turn, an attached Companion can also take a turn. Characters can forfeit their Actions to let a Companion act. If a Companion is Knocked Out, it goes to spot 1 on the Cooldown Chart. Points are not awarded for Knocking Out Companions but any Rival Knocked Out by a Companion is credited to the attached Character for point determination.
If playing with 3 or 4 Players, the First Player Token and Character turns shift Clockwise. Marvel 100 contains two Free-for-All Scenarios designed to work will with more than 2 Players (Triumph and Scrimmage). You can also play the game in two Teams with multiple players.
Part of the fun of Funkoverse is being able to mix and match Characters, Attachments, and Scenarios. Each Character should only be represented once, even if multiple copies of the same Funkoverse game are present. A recommended game uses 3 Characters and 1 Item per side, but you can experiment with these numbers as you gain more Funkoverse games.
At the end of each Round, check to see of any Player has managed to meet the Point Objectives stated by the Scenario for winning. If so, the game has a winner. If there is a tie, play another Round to see if a Player can break the tie with the most Points.
Why You Should Play Funkoverse: Marvel
Funkoverse: Marvel is a fun game that manages to setup and learn quickly without sacrificing the strategy aspect.
The components are well made and the Pop! Vinyl based figures should appeal highly to people who already like to collect figures from that very distinctive line. The fact that the game has one set of rules and it’s only the Scenarios, Characters, and Attachments that bring in new rules makes the game really easy to catch onto and might be one you have an easier time bringing a more casual gamer into because these additions don’t change the game so much that every expansion feels like a whole new game you have to learn. With COVID, I’m still playing games within my household, and that means a lot with my kids. Not having to relearn rules but being able to still bring in a new game is really great for me because my kids can get very impatient learning rules the first time a game is played. Funkoverse clearly lends itself to a wide array of franchises. While super heroes always make sense in combat games, I feel like if your line can include The Golden Girls as well, your versatility is clearly there. As more franchisers get added, it will quickly feel like there’s something for everyone to be drawn to. It does also benefit from the fact that you do not have to be a die hard fan of a franchise for the game to make sense.
Setup, especially with the handy diagrams, goes pretty fast and adding Characters from other games doesn’t feel like such a hassle that you avoid it because the only thing more time consuming than setup becomes separating out the ;pieces to return back to their respective sets. This really ups the odds of us taking advantage of the mix and match nature of the game. My ten-year-old basically memorized the process after watching me do it once so that’s another indicator of setup ease.
Gameplay is fun and quick, and not too hard to learn. I do recommend that with younger players or casual gamers, you may want to run them through the first time play scenario until you get a feel for things. I really like that Marvel 100 came with four different scenarios which really helps to mix the game up. I know our 10-year-old really liked the Marvel 101 Expansion as well. Maybe it was because he got to play Ultimate Thanos, but the Ultimate Scenario was also really fun to take on. The strategy should not be underestimated though. Learning how to play your Character’s Abilities is combination with each other really is the key do doing well in the game as well as figuring out how to shut down your opponent’s favorite combinations to play. As I noted before, my kid really held his own against me and won every game we’ve played (his brain is just wired for strategy games). As for how much the recommended age can be fudged, there is some wiggle room. Any kid who frequently plays games in the 10+ age range with decent strategy will probably be fine here. If you have a younger kid who does not want to be left out because they love those characters, it is an easy game to play on teams especially since none of the cards have to remain secret. You might consider letting younger players team up with an older player until they seem to have enough feel for the game to play on their own team.
The price range is about what I would expect for the game and falls within a range that tells me we’ll be hunting down more titles to add to our game library. The Funko Games site lets you know which bigger retailers carry their games and you can look up Marvel 100 here and Marvel 101 here. If that’s not enough Funkoverse for you, the entire line can be viewed here. Funkoverse games can also be found in many local gaming stores.