Game developers love innovative ideas, exploring new systems, and inventing new game mechanics. It’s hardly surprising that many game devs have turned their attention to the blockchain, easily one of the most exciting new technologies of the 21st century. There’s a lot of experimentation going on in the blockchain-backed, cryptocurrency-fueled game world these days, much of it taking advantage of Ethereum’s smart-contract resources.
But how exactly does a blockchain-based game work? What new kinds of gameplay can they create? Will they always turn into some form of online gambling, or can cryptocurrency trading create real community? Crypto-based games are quickly becoming an entire industry, but it’s not yet clear what form that industry’s products will take. In this post, we’re checking out seven very different games built around the Ethereum blockchain.
1. CryptoDozer: If you’ve ever been to an arcade, you’re already familiar with “games of skill” that allow you to win small prizes. Claw games, coin-dropper games, pachinko-type games … they’re everywhere. CryptoDozer is the same basic idea, only you’re playing for cute, collectable digital dolls. Those dolls can be “traded” for real money, of course, so check your local jurisdiction to see if this cuddly looking game qualifies as online gambling before you play.
2. CryptoPunks: Built around the Etherium ERC-721 Non-Fungible Token Standard, Larva Labs’ CryptoPunks is more of a collectable pixel art project than a true game. There are 10,000 individual “punks” available, each with their own unique set of facial features. Each punk is also represented by an ETH smart contract, and they can be collected, traded, and sold for real ETH.
3. CryptoSaga: Billed as a “decentralized RPG” with MMORPG elements, CryptoSaga is an otherwise typical mobile game that also allows players to buy and upgrade unique characters. These characters battle, level up, and do the standard RPG things as they complete quests. These characters can also be traded and sold for ETH using the game’s storefront.
4. ChickenHunt: This chicken-slaughtering “idle game” has exceptionally obtuse mechanics, but the basic idea is to grow your stats, battle other players, purchase upgrades, and somehow earn ETH in the process. While it doesn’t appear to offer thrill-a-minute gameplay, it does allow you to slaughter millions of digital chickens … if that’s your thing.
5. CryptoPioneers: This civilization-building game by developer Blockplay isn’t quite a “4X” experience, as there’s no “eXterminate” element, so it’s probably best to think of it as a variation on a farming sim. CryptoPioneers allows users to spend their real-world ETH to purchase islands, farm for resources, construct buildings, and trade resources with others.
6. MLB Champions: Officially licensed by Major League Baseball, this game connects online challenges and gameplay with “a live MLB game in real time” using the Ethereum blockchain. Players can win virtual collectables, which can then be traded and sold for ETH.
7. CryptoAssault: Another game built around the ERC-721 token standard, CryptoAssault allows players to wage virtual war against one another using unique units purchased with ETH. Players fight over resources, claim territory, and earn upgrades. Players can even unite in alliances to take on the opposition.