It's great to discover last year's difficulties have not prevented the NFT Ecosystem from evolving and welcoming new players. Below we present a summary of the underdogs that you should be keeping an on eye on during 2021.
2020 was an extremely positive year for Non-Fungible Tokens especially in terms of diversification. The Art sector in particular has participated in these expanding developments but we should not forget other Blockchains which have also embarked in the NFT race.
The Ecosystem broadened its scope and involvement in diverse sectors which was effective in attracting large institutional players and not only big names were drawn in, last year many independent projects threw themselves into this experimental space and its these smaller players who we’ll be talking about during this article.
Have you heard of Bird Tornado, Smighties Universe or Super Player? These fresh challengers in the game have caught our attention but are just an example of the new generation ecosystem that is beginning to emerge.
In this article we will discuss small Crypto Games projects that are developing in the shadow of the Crypto Games giants.
First launched in 2019 on the Ziliqa Blockchain, Super Player then continued its development on Ethereum, particularly to evolve on web browsers. This “Rogue like / RPG” style game is identified by its 8-bit view but nevertheless is highly addictive!
Also available on Android, this game has not yet created much talk within the Crypto Community. The reason is quite simple: there is no “Play to Earn” mechanism that has been applied to the game play, only the pleasure of playing a game on a blockchain.
The least we can say is that Super Player has been very successful in this challenge! Indeed, the presence of the Blockchain Technology is only visible when you first connect to the game and it subsequently becomes completely invisible when playing.
Last year there was only one option of PvE but today it’s possible to customize your ship, before setting sail you can improve and can now also fight against other players, increase your character’s skills and many other elements which serve to enrich the gameplay further..
Behind this cute “Collectibles” focussed game is the meeting of two interesting worlds, bringing together both the Reality Clash and Herotainment teams.
The former is familiar with the Crypto world and has already released an augmented reality game where you can try out NFTs in the form of firearms. Meanwhile the second, is known more in the children’s universe because Smighties is a series on Youtube that had some success between 2016 and 2018.
These adorable little creatures are not only interesting to collect but will also be utilised in the future developments of various games under the Smighties license.
For the time being, only one licenced game on IOS is available but as Smighties Universe is still in the presale stage, the NFTs are not yet on the Ethereum Blockchain or yet visible in the game they will feature in.
Depending on the level of rarity their characteristics vary and so each will have a more or less important impact in the game.
In fact, it is now possible to mine the different terrains which are spread over three available planets and receive rewards.
In short, the game will adopt a “Strategy / Management” style of play, allowing everyone to adopt a Play to Earn strategy full of opportunities. Whether you are a land owner or player staking $TVL, the in-game token, there will be many possibilities to achieve your goals.
While the success of LAND’s pre-sales was particularly rapid, we would also like to highlight how quickly Alien Worlds has managed to develop in just over a month, despite its being over the Christmas Holidays.
One of the first games offered by Wemix, a platform intended to publish games on the Klaytn Blockchain of the “casual” type. This is by the way, the first entertainment dApp published on this blockchain and after trying it, it must be admitted, the game is very addictive indeed!
Released on December 30, 2020 already this game has evolved into a very complete Ecosystem. You only need to play (and win!) to be able to get gold, diamonds and if your lucky, keys that will allow you to participate in a lottery. The best price you can get is the Tornado Token which can then be exchanged for Klaytn!
This mixed arcade style game, whose business model is essentially based on in-game advertising, does not require you to make any purchases to continue through the adventure. With Bird Tournado we are indeed in a “Play to Earn” model that has nothing to envy in any of the other dApps of the Crypto Gaming world!
To be able to play, you will need to download and create an account on the Wemix wallet, to download the game and also to be able to play it on a smartphone.
The first game on Binance Smart Chain and it has also attracted many players since its initial release. A cross between CryptoKitties and the world of DeFI, the game seemed to promise something different and above all was supposed to be more complete than any other other DNFT-type dApp.
Indeed, Alpaca City emphasizes the different genes of the Alpacas to allow an almost infinite number of combinations.
These crosses serve to guarantee a certain rarity of Alpacas, ensuring a more or less important generation of $ALPA.
Unfortunately, like all projects using a system of this kind, it was those who arrived early that had an advantage over the others and players entering the game today end up with a very low reward despite having Generation 0 or 1 Alpacas.
The game has recently balanced rewards for users and includes the possibility of having your Alpacas fight against other players. To keep an eye on therefore..
Did you ever play Ethernal, an 8-bit-style RPG dungeon game on Matic where every room was an NFT? If so, you were one of the lucky ones! Lucky because since December 2020 the project is no longer being worked on by its developers who have left to focus on other projects.
But no problem, there is a similar project that uses pretty much the same gameplay: Dungeon Protocol
Likewise, all actions are recorded on Matic but unlike Ethernal, rooms are visible and do not need to be discovered.
Dungeon Protocol is an RPG-oriented Universe with an adventure that takes place in a dungeon that awaits you and monsters leave behind equipment of varying power when they die.
A little advice for playing, have a little patience when generating rooms, the Matic network is certainly powerful, but there can be occasional lags in the game, in which case do not hesitate to reload the page!
When it comes to new projects exploring the Crypto Gaming or the NFT space, it’s always interesting to see what new innovations are being brought in by teams with fresh ideas.
Although no one can say how long they will be around for, this kind of dApp has the type of creative freedom that big studios don’t always give to their development teams.
Without a large advertising budget but with a small, yet strong community, these smaller projects are exploring blockchain use cases while at the same time balancing their UX through user feedback, paving the way for innovation while still preserving a cohesive work ethic.
The relationship between Blockchain and Gaming is still very young, although many new use cases are being explored, we are still in the experimental stages for the most part.
2021 will be a year of much richer discoveries than found during 2020 and in particular this is thanks to the arrival of DeFI which brings a new dimension to the economic model of games using NFTs!