Do you remember the last time you played a game of Monopoly with friends or family? Imagine that the spaces on the board are based on the real-world addresses of San Francisco. Now imagine a much larger board with cities and other places around the world.
Welcome to Upland, the game whose ambition is – starting in San Francisco – to offer you the acquisition of virtual land parcels that match real world locations.
The project successfully raised $2M funding with various major players, including Kai Bolik (co-founder and CEO of GameDuell), Markus Ogurek (former vice president of Hewlett Packard Enterprise) and FinLab EOS VC (Fund directly supported by Block.one).
Based on the EOS blockchain, each property is a Non-Fungible Token, ensuring “true ownership” for the buyer and full transparency on the market. Targeting a mass-market audience, the game is available cross-platform, including native iOS and Android apps. It is available today and you can play on whichever device you prefer!
Many events are already taking place including treasure hunts and the possibility of buying historic places or other important locations (such as parcels of the SF Airport, SFO). If we look at the 2020 Roadmap, many features are planned to take the game to the next level:
This list is non-exhaustive, we invite you to consult the roadmap to learn more about the milestones for 2020.
The basic concept of the game is based on a “Play to own” approach which Uplandme, Inc, the company behind Upland, developed and introduced as a new business model. It lets you start playing Upland for free and to pursue the goal of acquiring properties in the game as a “visitor”.
As a visitor, you will get a “visa” that will allow you to continue your adventure but, you only have limited capabilities. For instance, you can not buy or sell properties in the open marketplace. You must renew your visa at least once a week simply by logging in into Upland, otherwise, if you haven’t, your account and assets (and therefore, income generation) will be recycled back into the game economy.
To be recognized as a real “Uplander” and to become the “true owner” of a property which can be verified on the blockchain, you will have to reach a net worth of 10,000 UPX in the game (more about UPX below). Then you keep your assets forever. You can get there either by being a smart player and earning your way up or by simply purchasing some UPX.
How this works in detail is specified in the tutorial when you visit the Upland app on mobile or the web for the first time.
We will help you to make things a little easier at the beginning: If you sign up with our special referral link, you will get a double sign up bonus which is 6,000 UPX (instead of 3,000 UPX). But be aware: The game’s terms of service do not allow multiple accounts! UPX is the in-game cryptocurrency used in Upland which can also be purchased on the web with various crypto-currencies, Paypal, Credit Card or, in-app via the Google Play and Apple Store.
To be able to buy your first land, you will have to use your individual game piece called Block Explorer which randomly roams the map and helps you to discover properties. The Block Explorer leaves a small trail that eventually fades out. You can purchase only those properties which had been highlighted by the trail. Always pay special attention to the location of your Block Explorer as you will need to move it regularly to interact with some of the game’s functions.
Once you have purchased your first piece of land, it will immediately start generating recurring UPX earnings which you can collect every 3 hours. That’s when the game and the fun really begins!
The question that naturally arises when you bought your property is: how to get a return on your investment?
Once you are an Uplander, you will have several options available to you:
If you don’t know where to start, the easiest way is to try to complete the collections. It will not only get you a one-time reward but also a recurrent earnings boost from your properties. What could be better than earning money while asleep?
There are different collection levels, the higher it is, the more powerful the boost will be while the difficulty of completion increases. Do take note, you can only activate one property per collection at a time!
Now, you can be a collector who just “hodls” properties and collects earnings or if you prefer speculating on real estate and optimizing your net worth, you could become an active “flipper”. Know that this choice is not set in stone, you can start out as one and become the other over time until you find your preferred strategy.
One of the focus of the project has been on its community and the team is working hard to maintain it.
Their Telegram channel and Discord Channel are great places to start where many users are ready to help you if you have questions about the game. It’s a two-way conversation between the players and the team chimes in very often. In addition, there are also other fan-built Telegram and Discord channels that are more specific regarding treasure hunts or for German speakers.
If you want to discover the game differently, there is a YouTube channel associated with the project. This will allow you to explore walkthrough videos and other useful content made by the Upland team or other creators like Joel and Travis of the Bad Crypto Podcast.
Finally, many in-game events are organized by the team, often to celebrate holiday-themed celebrations. St Patrick’s already happened and just recently, an Easter egg hunt was organized in the game! Those events are fun and you can win UPX or other prizes. Check-in frequently as there are constantly new things happening and in-game activity is rewarded.
The game is very accessible and will be even more thanks to the “Martini” update in May 2020. The concept is simple but will require a financial investment if you want to access all the features quickly. We have heard from the game creators that they are working on a marketplace feature that will soon allow Uplanders to sell their assets for fiat currency. That will be a game-changer because Upland has all the features to create an open economy in the blockchain gaming space which hasn’t been seen before.
Although you may play the game without knowledge or interaction directly with the blockchain, for the blockchain-native it’s a pity that accessing private keys isn’t a priority. However, we welcome the many new and innovative features that outweigh by far the aforementioned and will continue to democratize the use of NFTs and accessibility for mass markets.