The Unmatched board game series has always been about clashes between unlikely titans. So perhaps it was inevitable that the superheroes of the Marvel Universe would one day join the fray.

Mondo (who releases Unmatched alongside Restoration Games) has announced four new sets for the ever-growing tabletop line, and they will start hitting shelves next year. New combatants include characters like Luke Cage, Daredevil, Ms. Marvel, Black Panther and more. Like with past sets, they can be enjoyed as standalone experiences or combined with previous releases for the ultimate battle royale.

We have the first details about the new releases, as well as the first look at some stunning box art. You can check them out below.

The Marvel-themed editions of Unmatched will start to hit shelves in summer 2021 and will comprise of four sets featuring thematically-connected characters. Here’s the initial line-up of the games, and the heroes they contain:

  • Redemption Row – featuring Luke Cage, Ghost Rider, and Moon Knight
  • Hell’s Kitchen – featuring Daredevil, Elektra, and Bullseye
  • Teen Spirit – featuring Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, and Cloak and Dagger
  • For King and Country – featuring Black Widow, Black Panther, and Winter Soldier

Like past releases, each set can be enjoyed as a standalone game. Or you can purchase multiple Marvel sets for the ultimate Marvel mash-up. Or if you’re a longterm collector like me, you can combine these new characters with all other previous Unmatched sets for some real nerdy chaos. If you also want to watch Squirrel Girl fight the raptors from Jurassic Park or see if Black Widow can take down Buffy Summers, well, you’re the target audience for these games.

While Unmatched hangs its awesomely nerdy premise on sound game design, it’s also one of the best-looking game series on the market – every box cover and every card is a work of art. The Marvel games look to continue that trend. Previous Unmatched artists Heather Vaughan, Oliver Barrett, and Ian O’Toole are back as illustrators for the new games, with Matt Taylor and Sanford Greene joining the line-up.

You can take a look at some of their work right now with the box art reveals for Redemption Row and Hell’s Kitchen, created by Matt Taylor and Oliver Barrett, respectively.

Veterans of Unmatched will note a few intriguing details on the boxes beyond the stunning art. Notably, these are the first sets to feature three characters – previous sets have featured four characters, two characters, or in the case of the Bruce Lee standalone expansion, one character. Unmatched has previously played best with either two or four players, so releasing new sets built around three-player gameplay suggests that Mondo and Restoration Games have ironed out the rules and made this player count function in a satisfying way. If that’s the case, this will be a major win for the entire line of games, even for those players who aren’t immediately excited by Marvel characters.

Mondo is also teasing “unique gameplay additions building off the core game rule set,” which suggests that the ambitious design of Unmatched: Little Red Riding Hood vs Beowulf was just the beginning. I wrote before about how the core design that powers these games is simple and easy-to-learn, but also powerful and malleable and capable of being expanded in thrilling new ways. It sounds like the Marvel superheroes will continue to push Unmatched in bold new directions.

Jayme Boucher, Director of Games at Mondo, had this to say about the new releases:

“Unmatched is more than a fighting game. It’s an invitation to cast yourself as the hero in an epic story, something Marvel has absolutely no shortage of. The team’s unfettered love of these characters and stories has resulted in some of the most excitingly thematic character development in the series to date. We can’t wait to share it with fellow fans.”

The specifics of the release for all four games have yet to be revealed beyond the summer 2021 announcement and it’s not clear if they will be released together or one at a time. We will keep you posted as we learn more about not just the Marvel games, but the future of the Unmatched line in general. And honestly, if you’re looking for a couple of great holiday gifts, you can’t go wrong with diving into the increasingly deep world of Unmatched.

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