Crypto Mobile Gaming and UX – Where are we?

After reviewing the different wallets to access mobile games, it's time for some actual tests!

besancia2020-05-19

Introduction

In our last article, talking about the evolution between video games on smartphones, we mainly focused our analysis around the technical and security issues related to mobile wallets.

While talking about security first is essential when entering the world of cryptocurrency, we are not forgetting to return and talk about the fun part! The games mentioned in the previous article compete to maintain the level of quality required to keep the attention of the players, and make them come back!

In the previous article, we wondered how blockchain is integrated into mobile games. But what value does it bring to the gaming experience?

RPGs

A few months after the success of CryptoKitties, two projects aimed at the mobile market have emerged (EOS Knights and My Crypto Heroes). Besides that, Enjin announced more and more projects related to RPGs (Forest Knight, War of Crypta, Crypto Fights, Cats in Mech…).

The reason is extremely simple, this style was the ideal candidate to test the possibilities of non-fungible tokens!

Indeed, this style has several advantages:

  • It mixes very well with other gaming styles
  • Many objects can be tokenized
  • The turn-by-turn allows to validate each action

There are many possibilities to offer players innovative gameplay, but the difficulty lies in the way in which the blockchain will be presented (or not!) to players…

My Crypto Heroes & Brave Frontier Heroes

My Crypto Heroes is one of the oldest Ethereum players to offer a mobile version of their game. The gameplay is extremely simple and accessible: after forming a team of heroes, simply send them to fight monsters to gain experience as well as weapons or armor.

Objects and heroes fall into two categories: Replica and Original.

Originals are the most sought because they can be placed on the blockchain and subsequently resold on a secondary market. They can also be improved, in particular thanks to replicas.

To bring the originals to your wallet, several conditions must be met:

  • Have an object of a certain level
  • Have changed the image of the asset

This is why you will see so many different images of the same asset in secondary markets, but this model is highly encouraged by the team. If you manage to make a nice modification, the other players can assign a “like” on your creation, each appreciation being rewarded with GUM tokens.

Aftershocks are the most common drops in the game. They are used to be sold for GUM (the in-game currency) or, to improve Originals.

One of the major updates to the game has been the appearance of LANDs to develop clans, other types of quests, and events.

Although Brave Frontier Heroes takes almost the same gameplay from My Crypto Heroes, the notable difference is in the character design.

In MCH, the characters are historical personalities while in BFH, the heroes are all from the game of the same license. In BFH, although the rules for getting your NFT out of the game are slightly different (you have to write a small description of the object), the rest of the game remains relatively similar.

The prowess of Brave Frontier Heroes is not in its gameplay, but rather in the collaboration with a very famous game license to bring the blockchain aspect. Depending on the success of the game, we hope this leaves the possibility of seeing more licenses integrate this technology!

Chain Guardians

In development for more than a year, the beta has been accessible on mobile since April 2020. The game universe is located in a Science Fiction themed world and offers gameplay that is similar to that of My Crypto Heroes with some differences.

First, the game is played turn-based, letting you choose what type of attack you want to launch against your enemies. Depending on the type of attack (air, fire, water, plant, electric, etc.), your strike power will be more or less effective.

You can buy a hero from one of the secondary markets, but to start the game you get a team of heroes who cannot level up. That said, a free chest is offered per day, giving you a hero who can level up following the success of your quests.

The game is therefore free, but certain actions may ask you for CGC, the in-game currency for example, faster resurrection of your heroes who died in combat. This CGC currency, the only way to get it today is to mine it (or buy it from the sale). And for that, you will have to put your NFTs to use!

If you have assets from the games shown above, you can try to mine the next block once a day to get a CGC reward.

One of the concepts we find particularly interesting is the concept of interoperability between different games and we can’t wait to see how the game continues to evolve!

Axie Infinity

A historic player in blockchain games, the evolution of these little monsters has gone through several stages by proposing gameplay improvements that are always linked to their community.

The basic concept is relatively simple: assemble a team of monsters to send them to fight against other teams. Each Axie can thus level up and be improved to become more powerful. Originally inspired by CryptoKitties, it is also possible to breed your Axies together so that the child has certain characteristics of its parents.

In early 2019, Axie ran a sale of LAND to be able to develop more content and interactions. The purpose of this map will be to be able to send your monsters to seek resources or fight against Chimera to be rewarded in LUNA, an ERC-20 token.

This token will allow among other things:

  • Buy resources to improve your buildings
  • Pay fees
  • Vote to determine how the cards change
  • Buy or upgrade Axies
  • Buy potions

The success was the rendezvous, but at the moment, the only possible interactions with this new world are the sale and purchase of the various assets.

Until its development continues and offers opportunities to interact with, the team has focused on the mobile development of its game, the alpha of which was released earlier this year.

This is the only way to play Axie Infinity today and the very nice update of this Alpha is the possibility of questing! Until this launch  it was only possible to fight with other players, now your little monsters can fight against an AI to evolve. In addition, the quests offer rewards in the form of an ERC-20 token, the “Small Love Potion”. These can be used to breed your Axies or be exchanged for Ethereum on Uniswap.

EOS Knights & Knight Story

A pioneer in the use of NFTs in mobile games, EOS Knight suffered a major problem shortly after its launch.

This game is an Idle / RPG. This means that the game will take place even while you sleep. All you need to do is upgrade your heroes so that they can find more and more rare materials as you progress through the levels. These materials are used to create new armor or weapons, which can be equipped or resold. Once your heroes are dead in battle, you can revive them to start the adventure from the beginning.

The problem is, every action in the game is recorded on the blockchain. This means that to equip or remove an object, restart the game or evolve your heroes, you must send a transaction. We mentioned it in our article on EOS, the blockchain being overloaded, the game had simply become unplayable.

Since then, the Biscuit teams have published Knight Story! Knight Story is a simple port of the game to Ethereum. That said, in order not to reproduce the same errors as its predecessor, this application completely changed its approach with the blockchain:

  • Transfers on Ethereum
  • All actions in the game are off-chain
  • The NFTs sold during the presale only serve to reward players daily with an “In-game” currency
  • The link between the account and the wallet is only made when the account is registered
  • To retrieve NFTs from the game, you must use a system called Myki. Just use a special ticket ($1/3 tickets) to see them appear in your wallet and sell them on a secondary market!

Although the game has been well received by the community, the game now has a version using the Tron blockchain. Perhaps this is one more step towards collaboration between several blockchains?

A third portal will soon be available on the application … which suggests a homecoming!

Eos Dynasty 

A copy of EOS Knights, EOS Dynasty took advantage of the success of the Biscuit application to offer the same gameplay but with a few differences:

  • The graphic style is focused on medieval China
  • An in-game currency stacking system is integrated into the game to receive daily dividends

As all the actions in the game must be confirmed by a signature from your wallet, the game encountered the same difficulties as EOS Knights. But the team held on and continued to develop the game to deliver more and more content.

Today the game celebrates its first anniversary and wants to provide compatibility between several blockchains to celebrate this!

Sarutobi Island

Developed by Mandel Duck, this adventure game consists in advancing in history Sarutobi, a little monkey parachuted in the middle of this new universe. Maybe someone threw him too hard from the palm tree where it is usually perched?

In the meantime, the gameplay of the game is very complete! In addition to offering fun dialogues related to the history of Bitcoin, it is also possible to summon monsters to make them fight against other trainers. It is therefore a kind of Pokemon with a Bitcoin theme!

The game is presented in isometric 3D and this presents difficulties on the gameplay because of the smartphone format compared to a portable game console. That said, if you can get past this technical detail, the game should please you a lot and you will discover nice surprises there…

Casual games

This model is suitable for players looking for short games or who cannot give much attention to the game. There are several elements that can determine a game as “Casual”:

  • The cost of a game. To take the example of Candy Crush, if you miss your level, you will lose a life! Fortunately these regenerate every 30min
  • Very simple gameplay
  • Playing time can be very short
  • Regular congratulations

This style of play has become widely democratized with the proliferation of mobile applications but already existed in the 20th century, for example with Solitaire or Tetris!

Crypto Idle Miner

This game has been available since 2018 and offers a fun way to get to know the crypto mining environment. Like EOS Knight, the main gameplay of the game is in “Idle” style.

The key will therefore lie in the improvement of your mining equipment in order to be able to generate more money. Very easy to handle, your performance will appear on a global ranking which will determine the number of rewards that you can receive. These rewards are tokens on the Tron blockchain and which can then be exchanged for other crypto currencies.

The team aims to develop their own universe around this token, so we are waiting to see the different interactions that will be made possible with this token!

Spell of Genesis

One of the first games to use the blockchain environment on mobile!

We talked about it in our article on NFT and Bitcoin, this game has gameplay based on your ability to properly aim your enemies on designs in 2D

Free from the start, the virtual currency you will get in the game will allow you to buy hero packs. Heroes that you no longer need can be transformed into gems, which you can use to level up the characters on your team.

Certain characters in the game, when they reach their maximum level, will appear in your Book of Orb portfolio and can then be sold on a secondary market. Each part will cost you a bit of energy and while it may seem frustrating, remember that this is still a great way to fight spam!

Bitcoin Bounce

Bitcoin Bounce is a platform game where the goal is extremely simple: go as far as possible to score the highest score. You can also try to collect as many tickets as possible on the way to increase your chance of getting a better daily reward from Satoshis!

The game occasionally offers events to increase the reward but it is also possible to unlock new balls after a certain number of actions are performed. The new balls have no particular effect on the game, other than match you better.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is to raise awareness of the presence of mobile today among crypto games. It would have been a very long article if I had to describe all the games installed on my phone!

More and more Dapps have mobile support, using different blockchains. 

We encourage you to discover the ones we haven’t talked about and don’t hesitate to share with us your findings that are worth a look, tag us twitter @nonfungibles! Because, even if we remain attentive to the development of this sector, some may have escaped us and we are counting on this large community of ours to share their experiences!

The different means of interacting with the blockchain are therefore constantly evolving and it is difficult to predict which model will charm players. The economic models are for the moment still modeled on a presale system, but what will happen tomorrow if the game’s behemoths offer a complete game as soon as it is released?

Meanwhile, some signals make us stay positive: Microsoft is already testing the NFT on his side and Steam agreed to Lightnite and some others. Perhaps a relaxation of the payment rules via the purchase of Stores will participate in the democratization of Dapps on mobile, but neither Apple or Google are known to be friendly with cryptocurrency…

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