When it comes to blockchain games, the Trading Card Game (TCG) genre has seen a notable rise in popularity. Even with many titles still in development, some of the best blockchain games currently playable are in the genre.
For example, out of more than 800 games in the Big List of Blockchain Games, TCGs made up 5% of the total. More significantly, in terms of live games, TCGs is even higher – 15%.
So what makes this genre so popular? And how do TCGs actually integrate blockchain technology?
Compared to the bigger game genres like RPGs and game metaverses, TCGs have a straightforward and seamless way to utilise blockchain. This is likely one of the reasons behind their success.
Blockchain offers players a way to take ownership and control over their in-game assets, in this case, their cards. It also ensures that the rarity and ownership of the cards are transparent and immutable while allowing users to trade and sell them in a secure and transparent manner through on-chain transactions.
To better understand how these games operate, we will take a closer look at three of the top games in the TCG genre.
Splinterlands is a blockchain TCG running on the Hive blockchain, ensuring ownership and rarity of its digital cards.
The cards themselves represent creatures from various elements. Players begin with basic ones that are free but can pay to buy more powerful ones, or win them. In turn, these cards can be combined together to level up, be sold on the marketplace or rented out to other players.
The gameplay in Splinterlands consists of quick battles where players strategically choose their cards to attack and defend against their opponents in a pre-battle session. Each bout then plays out based on the choices of the two players in a deterministic manner. Each match has different combat rules and mana cap, adding variation as well as a level of excitement and challenge.
Players are rewarded every two week period in tokens and cards for the position they gain on the overall leaderboard.
This TCG works well, particularly for beginners. It starts out simple but offers ways for more skilled players to progress, notably playing in paid tournaments.
Its tokenisation and the various ways to earn tokens is straightforward. The fact that Splinterlands has become one of the most popular blockchain games, regardless of category, is proof of its functionality and effectiveness.
Skyweaver is developed by Canadian game studio Horizon Blockchain Games. It’s a trading card and deck building game which features deeply strategic, turn-based battles. The game is currently in beta on the Ethereum blockchain.
Players can unlock more than 500 cards for free through gameplay. By climbing the leaderboards players are rewarded with different sets of cards, including tradable Silver cards or Gold cards.
A big emphasis is put on the customization of the decks for each match. For beginners this can take a while to fully grasp. Players have to work out which play style suits them best, learning through play but also from the deck leaderboard that provides stats of which cards are performing best.
Skyweaver is designed with both casual and hardcore gamers in mind. Certainly more challenging than Splinterlands to get into, it’s also highly rewarding for players that do; something that is marked by its strong community backing.
Gods Unchained is developed by Immutable Games. It’s a TCG that allows players to collect and trade fantasy digital cards representing various gods and mythical creatures. Each card is unique with its own set of attributes and abilities that are tactically used to battle other players. As with the previous two games, Gods Unchained places a strong emphasis on strategy.
The game runs on the ImmutableX blockchain, bringing digital ownership to players as well as providing a way for earning items. Items can either be sold on supporting marketplaces, used in the game or embedded in third-party games and tools.
The $GODS-token is at the core of the in-game economy and can be used by players to buy new card packs and chests, craft their own NFTs as well as earn staking rewards.
Further games in the TCG genre to check out include Cross the Ages and Illuvium: Beyond.