If you’ve been losing sleep over who would win in a fight between Moon Knight and Ghost Rider, you can turn to Restoration Games. With Unmatched: Marvel, superhero stans can battle as characters that may never otherwise interact in the iconic comics or films. Plus, Marvel die-hards can re-create scenes on the gameboard with characters that might just know a little too much about each other.
Unmatched is an asymmetrical miniature fighting game in which 2-4 players embody their favorite Marvel heroes through a detailed card deck. Players travel across the gameboard with miniature figures of Marvel characters as they battle unlikely opponents. There are five different Marvel: Unmatched sets, featuring three characters. Plaers can battle as Spider-Man, She-Hulk, Squirrel Girl, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Luke Cage, and more.
There are several different tactics players can use to give friends and family the toughest Marvel-themed fight of their life — and the experts at Restoration Games provided tips and tricks on how to make that possible.
The Pop Insider spoke with Justin D. Jacobson, Owner of Restoration Games, about winning strategies, potential new Marvel sets, the inspiration for the characters (MCU vs. Marvel Comics), how to choose your character, and more.
For those playing Unmatched for the first time, what are some basics? Things to keep in mind?
Keep an eye on the cards in your hand. If you’re playing Ms. Marvel, it’s great to see a couple of Big Wind Ups to attack with … but make sure you have a Shrink! Shrink! Shrink! or other defense to handle the counterattack. Don’t be afraid to back off and regroup if necessary. Whether you’re battling in Hell’s Kitchen or on the deck of the Helicarrier, you’ll want to use the map to your advantage.
How long does each match typically last?
Matches often last 20-40 minutes. The biggest factor in how long a game takes is how aggressive the players are. If you want a quick game, keep the pressure up (while not leaving yourself too open for a counterattack). If time is not an issue, try setting up a big turn by getting the right cards in your hand and the right position on the board. Or, better yet, play a best-of-3 with a bunch of different heroes.
There are several Marvel characters battling each other in the Unmatched sets. In each set, what team is the most surprising?
In Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil’s small deck makes for a really different and challenging play style. In Redemption Row, mastering the different identities of Moon Knight is a fun test. In Teen Spirit, wrangling Squirrel Girl’s horde of furry friends presents one of the most unusual play styles in the whole game. During For King and Country, Black Widow’s missions can make for a very surprising twist to the game. In Brains and Brawn, Dr. Strange has a host of unique spells and always seems to have the right tool for the job.
Any tips for Marvel fans that are playing to win?
As a She-Hulk fan: Play She-Hulk! For a more serious answer, Tempo is really the most important skill to learn. Figure out when you have the advantage, and press it. Be aware when you are at a disadvantage. Sometimes, it makes sense to attack just to force your opponent to get some cards out of their hand. Leverage your effects to gain more cards or better positioning. If you’re ranged, position yourself to get in an attack while forcing them to move. If you have a sidekick, figure out if they are best for blocking, or protect them for their powerful abilities.
Fans can mix-and-match sets to create interesting, opposing pairs — which sets or combinations of characters could result in the toughest battles?
Black Panther versus Spider-Man is a match-up of two of the biggest stars in the Marvel Universe and makes for a great contest. Black Panther can take a bunch of hits (and cards), but he better watch out when Spidey lines up that big swinging kick!
What comes in each Unmatched Set? Is there anything the player will need to provide for a more immersive experience?
Each set has everything you need, including highly detailed miniatures and the best art in the business. The only thing you need is more sets to get the wildest matchups.
Can you tease any new Marvel characters that fans can expect to join the Unmatched universe?
We had an amazing run with Marvel — 15 heroes for even the biggest Marvel fan — but no more sets are in the works. The beauty of Unmatched is in the wide variety of heroes, and we have some fun stuff in the pipeline — maybe even some other heroes from the pages of the comics … or from the computer screen … or from the pages of history. And, who knows, we might go back and revisit Marvel down the road with all new heroes.
Do you have any fun ways for players to pick their characters?
Pick a story you like from the comics or the movies and re-create it on your table — like the trippy battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Strange in No Way Home. Or you can just take all the hero cards, flip them over, and choose randomly.
Are the characters based on their Marvel Comics counterparts or the Marvel Cinematic Universe versions?
Mostly from the comics. Especially for the characters we chose, the comics offer so much material to draw from. We even got Ryan North to write some quips for the margins on Squirrel Girl’s cards! But there are definitely a few nods to the movies in there as well.
For those who love games with similar gameplay to the Marvel-themed Unmatched sets but aren’t invested in the Marvel universe, what would you suggest?
Well, there’s a host of other Unmatched sets to explore, with heroes from all corners of the globe, through history, myth, and legend. So, if you ever wanted to know who would win in a fight between King Arthur and Dracula, we’ve got you covered.
Is there anything you’d like to add that we didn’t ask about?
The thing I like most about Unmatched is how the game itself is so simple, which means we can customize each deck to make it feel unique to that hero. Whether it’s Little Red Riding Hood reaching into her bag of tricks or Houdini pulling off a great escape or Medusa turning you to stone with a single gaze, you’ll feel like you’re the hero you’re playing.
For more information or to purchase Unmatched: Marvel games, visit restorationgames.com.