Game of the Week: Serum City
Welcome to our weekly article highlighting what we consider to be the most interesting blockchain games currently playable.
12th February 2024: Serum City (Faraway/Novel Labs)
Early access of city-building game Serum City, which is co-developed by Faraway Games and Novel Labs, has recently launched.
Initial access was granted exclusively to holders of NFT collections Bored Apes, Mutant Apes and Mutant Hounds. However, the game is gradually expanding its player base and recently allowed holders of Kodas, BAKC, HV-MTL, Meebits and G Tags to join as well. Eventually, the game will go totally free-to-play.
Although the game incorporates Yuga Lab’s iconic ape IP, the company is not officially involved in the game’s development. Instead, the dark-themed purple and green world of Serum City and its narrative are based on some of the Mutant Apes NFTs owned by the Mutant Cartel and the Mutant Hounds collection created by the Mutant Cartel itself.
The primary gameplay elements revolve around idle game loops, where players aim to unlock resources and buildings. Players earn rewards such as gold, xp and gems by producing and delivering resources such as Venison, Raw Serum, and Hound Feed.
While no obvious blockchain features beyond the requirement of holding an NFT to gain access appear to be implemented yet, ApeCoin and USDC are the two in-game currencies required for players to purchase gems.
Find out more at the Serum City website.
1st February 2024: Heroes of Mavia (Skrice)
After 7 months of testing, Vietnamese studio Skrice has launched free-to-play mobile strategy game Heroes of Mavia. With an exclusive focus on building blockchain games, the team has been working on the title since 2021.
Now available through Google Play and Apple App Store, Heroes of Mavia is a multiplayer strategy game where players aim to build bases and battle for resources, including the in-game currency Ruby.
Though the game is free-to-play, users have an option to purchase Land NFTs, which boosts gameplay through various exclusive benefits and early access to mints. A total of 10,000 Land NFTs are available via OpenSea, with a current floor price of 1.05 ETH. A native Mavia marketplace is also in progress.
Additionally, owning a Land NFT entails a higher chance of minting rare Legendary items, as well as increases the amount of Ruby a player will earn, a currency essential for crafting certain items. There’s also a rental system in play, where Land owners looking to earn passive rewards can rent out their Land to non-NFT players.
In conjunction with the recent launch, Skrice has kicked off an airdrop campaign featuring different tiers of those downloading the game and connecting their wallets, and Land NFT holders. Users will be eligible to claim the game’s MAVIA token, which is slated to go live on 6th February.
Find out more at the Heroes of Mavia website.
11th January 2024: Blocklords (MetaKing Studios)
Already one of the rising stars among blockchain titles, let alone in the strategy genre, Blocklords is proving to go from strength to strength. Developed by MetaKing Studios and published by Seascape, the game recently entered season one, Bearslayer, and we’ve been grinding the new battle pass.
With a wide range of tasks spanning from marketplace trading to farming to maybe eventually slaying the bear, the game intends to encourage active gameplay. Fully engaged players can maximize their rewards buying the $10 premium pass.
The Bearslayer season brings to light players’ strategic choices of basic farming loops, which lay the foundation to a successful empire. This is a cornerstone in the PvE battles, which will later advance to full PvP battles.
At this early stage since the game’s launch, this season also serves as a guide to the developer what can be improved in future seasons, based on the experiences of the community. MetaKing CEO David Johansson recently commented on the release, “We expect most active players to take part in the season, and will continue improving future seasons based on their feedback!”
On that note, the Bearslayer season has certainly triggered an appetite for more and we look forward to what the game has in store for the future.
Find out more at the Blocklords website.
20th December: My Neighbor Alice (Antler Interactive)
Swedish game studio Antler Interactive, previously known as SVRVIVE Studios, recently launched alpha season 4 of its PC-based multiplayer farming game My Neighbor Alice. In conjunction with the launch, it also announced a full migration from BNB to Chromia Appnet, a precursor to the Chromia mainnet which is slated for release in 2024. However, it seems like elements of the early access is still running on BNB, as to get into the game you’re required to switch your wallet to the BNB network.
Deployed fully onchain, meaning all game logic and assets operate onchain, the game itself is a multiplayer farming game drawing inspiration from the likes of Animal Crossing. Consisting of six islands which are part of the Lummelunda archipelago, exploring the various plots and features in Alice’s world is an enjoyable venture.
Along the way you meet characters who set you off on your first quests such as fishing and resource gathering. Generating items through crafting is one of the main features and back at your own nature plot you’re guided by Alice, who’ll help you get that farming loop underway.
Another integral part of My Neighbor Alice is the marketplace, where users can purchase land plots, equipment and other game items using the native ALICE token. Currently the Lands are going to a floor price of 200 ALICE tokens ($250), but users can claim a free starter pack to try the game without any NFT integration.
Find out more at the My Neighbor Alice website.
7th December 2023: Splinterlands
Is the ultimate sign of a good game that despite long periods of not playing it, you always end up returning? And more importantly, you enjoy it just as much? This cycle accurately describes my relationship to Splinterlands, one of the most popular blockchain games to date.
While also one of the longest reigning games in the web3 space, Splinterlands celebrated its 5th anniversary in the summer of 2023. Following the birthday however, among other measures the company announced it had to restructure and cut back staff. In addition, it would split up the company into two entities, with the one led by co-founder Jesse Reich focusing solely on Splinterlands.
So in a quest for revival, the team has recently launched Rebellion, which has been called its biggest and most radical card season yet.
With Rebellion, four new unit abilities have been introduced, including melee attacks, armor attacks, and new abilities that are enabled depending on cards’ positioning. Additionally, Rebellion features new summoners, five Rare ones, one legendary Dragon Summoner and six legendary summoners.
More generally, the team also released its Land expansion The Secret of Preatoria phase 1.5 earlier in 2023. The update expands the ability for players to stake items and cards as well as generate resources within the Splinterlands ecosystem.
Deployed on the Hive blockchain, Splinterlands is built for browser and mobile and is available through the app stores.
Find out more at the Splinterlands website.
30th November 2023: Summoners League (Nyou)
Although Christmas is still at a few weeks distance – if you’re playing recently launched Summoners League – it can feel like it’s come early. A real-time PVP puzzle game, this mobile-based card collectible generously rewards active gameplay, which encourages plenty of hero power-ups and quick progression. Short fast-paced matches make it particularly attractive to casual players.
More significantly, although it can be enjoyed as a traditional F2P casual game alone, Summoners League is deployed on Wemix. This enables ownership of assets such as Skill Scrolls and Awakening Stones, and players connecting their Wemix Play wallet can convert in-game rewards to NFTs.
In addition, Blue Gem rewards that are earned through gameplay can also be converted to Summoners War‘s native SOL tokens, which can be used for trading within the Wemix ecosystem.
Developed by South Korean Nyou, Summoners League is available via Apple App Store and Google Play.
Find out more at the Summoners League website.
22nd November 2023: Nine Chronicles M (Planetarium)
First released back in 2021, South Korean developer Planetarium’s idle RPG Nine Chronicles has now made the leap with a mobile version that’s being released through the app stores.
Significantly it’s heavily onchain game, which runs on its own blockchain called Heimdall. Players can create up to three avatars, each of which they can use, customizing them in terms of looks and gear as they play through the main career mode as well as the PVP arena and the boss mode.
Every action is stored on the blockchain, which occasionally can make the UX slower than many players will be used to from web2 games. There’s also the tricky situation that players need to securely store their account’s private key and the password they set on the account if they want to re-install the game on a new device. Interestingly, you can play the game cross-platform across mobile and on PC, even playing with one avatar on one device and another avatar on the other.
More blockchain goodness is provided by the game’s WNCG cryptocurrency, which can be staked for rewards, while the D:CC PFP characters on Ethereum can be used as in-game avatar and also staked to provide additional rewards.
As you’d expect, these native blockchain features are available in the PC version but many of them are not featured in the mobile version for the usual app store reasons.
Most players, however, will be happy enough exploring the game’s deep meta in terms of summoning, crafting and grinding gear and other items as they look to power up their characters and rise up the Arena leaderboard.
Check it out at the Nine Chronicles website.
16th November 2023: Phantom Galaxies (Blowfish Studios)
One of our most anticipated games of 2023 has launched early access. PC-based open-world sci-fi RPG Phantom Galaxies from Blowfish revolves around fast-paced mecha combats where players select a Starfighter class, equipped with various loadouts, to engage in space combat or ground battles. Players can choose to either play alone or in multiplayer modes, with the main purpose of protecting human colonies against pirate hordes and aliens.
Players can generate unique characters and customize their Starfighters with integrated NFTs such as quarters and hangars. NFT holders will be offered various benefits depending on the class of their NFTs, including higher quality quarters and hangars. Additionally, planets can be developed through integration with marketplaces and refineries for use in the game’s extensive crafting system.
Deployed on Polygon, Phantom Galaxies is available to download via Ultra, Epic Games, Steam (web2) and through the game website.
9th November 2023: Zoids Wild Arena (ACT Games)
TCG Zoids Wild Arena recently kicked off season 6, in conjunction with its move to the Ronin blockchain. Currently in beta, the game launched on Ronin following its migration from Polygon. Developed by South Korean studio ACT Games, Zoids is available across PC and Android.
While utilizing the Zoids IP, with NFTs based on the franchise from toy company Tomy, existing players who migrate their account from Polygon to Ronin are eligible for NFT rewards as well as a token airdrop. Players can either buy packs of random cards or select particular cards available on Mavis Market.
Through a rewards system players can earn in-game currency Metal. Currently operating off-chain, in the future players will be able to cash out their Metal for RON token. It’s also possible to mint your cards into NFTs and sell them on the Mavis Market, although any blockchain activity requires players to buy the $10 Crafters License.
With its simple strategy and straight-forward UX, Zoids Wild Arena is the first TCG to launch on Ronin, and reaching a new base of players among the existing Axie ecosystem could well benefit this game.
You can download Zoids Wild Arena from its website.
1st November 2023: Space Lasers (Lamina1)
UG-driven metaverse-optimized blockchain Lamina1 has released its October update, and with it a first playable demo called Space Lasers.
In-and-of-itself Space Lasers is a very basic browser-based arcade game. Part of a wider ecosystem of individual metaverse experiences called Spaces, Space Lasers is described as a framework to showcase how Lamina1’s open, interactive and interoperable network is intended to work once fully launched.
At the moment, adding content to the hub is limited to early access partners, but the core idea is that each Space on Lamina1 will eventually be developed and run by its creators, without the need for centralized control. Spaces will also cover more than gaming, including fashion, entertainment and education and come in any format spanning from 2D, 3D to AR and VR.
In addition to Space Lasers, the recent update also introduces in-game NFTs players can earn based on their scores, as well as a username feature enabling L1 users to purchase a username with their L1 Betanet tokens.
Stay up-to-date and play Space Lasers via the Lamina1 platform.
24th October 2023: Chaos Kingdom (Animoca Brands)
Does the sound of a tower defense game that’s part of the TOWER ecosystem, deployed on Polygon and launched by Animoca Brands ring a bell? For most players, Crazy Defense Heroes springs to mind, but whereas many features utilise the same design as Crazy Defense Heroes, Animoca Brands’ recently launched Chaos Kingdom also has some significant differences.
Compared to its mobile-based original, Chaos Kingdom is browser-based, but its tokenization structure is what gives the game its main difference. All game assets such as cards and earned resources will be NFTs and fully player-owned.
Compared to Crazy Defense Heroes’ linear game progression, Chaos Kingdom makes its complete range of stages available from the get go. This means players who desire more challenging levels can leap straight into them without needing to grind through the easier stages first, although they miss out on potential rewards. For the more novice players, gradually advancing and earning utility resources might be a more encouraging approach.
Stages that are currently available are marked as Beginner, Moderate, Expert, and Crazy, and players familiar with Crazy Defense Heroes will recognise these as the beginner levels in the original game. As Chaos Kingdom advances, this structure is likely to change.
While players are currently given the option to choose from six different cards in each stage, these will later become upgradable NFTs and based on players’ progression.
It should be emphasised that while Chaos Kingdom is part of Crazy Defense Heroes’ TOWER ecosystem, at full launch, all features and progress will be completely independent of the original game.
Players need to connect a wallet to play Chaos Kingdom. The game is F2P with no NFTs required and the alpha version of the game can now be accessed via its website.
12th October 2023: Pirate Nation (Proof of Play)
Although live in beta since late 2022, US studio Proof of Play’s Pirate Nation would certainly have attracted a new set of players following its recent funding round of $33 million. In fact, the announcement made the floor price of its genesis NFTs increase by 300%. That in conjunction with the increasing interest in fully onchain games, lays a good foundation for this resource-collecting turn-based RPG to take off.
With its NFTs on Ethereum, the game is deployed on Arbitrum Nova and although a bit clunky due to the nature of being 100% onchain, onboarding and gameplay is smoother than expected. For players who value the benefits of onchain games, these are minor issues.
In terms of gameplay, Pirate Nation offers a combination of active (turn-based battles) and idle (time-based loops). To start, players are given a ship and get to choose a pirate, both of which are currently free, and the grinding cycle begins. You gather resources through battles and idle loops – craft items – level up your pirate – go to battle – regenerate – and repeat.
For more details, visit the Pirate Nation website.
15th September 2023: Wreck League (nWay)
Positioning itself as a hardcore PVP fighting game, Wreck League has gotten off to a slow start with only around 5% of the possible 10,000-odd NFT mechs created on launch day. But developer nWay has a long term plan with more free mechs provided for Bored and Mutant Ape holders before a F2P mobile version is released in early 2024.
8th September 2023: Shardbound (Bazooka Tango)
Shardbound’s appearance as our Game of the Week seems unlikely to be the only time this deck-building tactical turn-based battler will appear on our list as it works towards its eventual release.
This version is available through a closed alpha available to 1,000 players for 10 days. As you’d expect, some polish is missing, both in terms of art assets as well as tutorial and meta progression etc, but the core gameplay of the PVP action – which sees you either taking the health of your opponent’s commander to 0 or gaining 10 victory points from collecting in-game positions — is clear to see and feels compelling even in the early stage.
It’s also worth pointing out that the playable version of the game is purely web2 with blockchain integration with the Immutable blockchain expected in future builds.
30th August 2023: Minigame Party: Pocket Edition (Com2uS)
Somewhat in the shadow of Com2uS’ flagship blockchain title Summoners War: Chronicles, mobile title Minigame Party: Pocket Edition launched in July 2023, and has rapidly gained popularity. Following its release the game reached number one on both Google Play and Apple App store in South Korea.
Gameplay is straightforward and based on one tap on the screen. Although each mini-game in Minigame Party has different aims, they all share this basic function.
With in-game rewards including characters adapted to the 13 various mini-games, as well as costumes and skins, the game will keep any casual game fan busy. In addition, each mini-game involves its own food players can activate ahead of the game to boost their performance and score higher on the leaderboard.
On a deeper level, Minigame Party’s web3 features involve Gold Medals which players can acquire through playing the game. Based on the number of Gold Medals players earn, Sun Chips are proportionally provided. Those can then be converted to the ecosystem’s underlying XPLA token.
It’s the first casual web3 game to deploy on Com2uS’ native blockchain XPLA and is available globally on the app stores.
Visit the Minigame Party website to find out more.
10th August 2023: Nitro Nation: World Tour (Creative Mobile/Mythical Games)
The latest title in Estonian game studio Creative Mobile’s drag racing catalogue, car racing and collecting game Nitro Nation: World Tour launched season 0, called Head Start, this week.
Published by Mythical Games, this early release enables Nitro Nation players to build and level up their car collections and get a feeling for the core gameplay.
Although F2P and available for anyone to download and play through app stores, the game offers its NFT holders an advantage, through more powerful baseline cars. Players can bring those into play by connecting their Mythical account to the app.
Unless players upgrade and keep on top of tuning processes, however, NFT cars won’t provide much of an advantage as the game progresses.
One of Nitro Nation’s prominent web3 features is the workshop NFTs, which link more directly with players’ progression. All players have to join an alliance, called Clubs in the game, to level up their cars.
In the Clubs, workshop owners can attach NFTs and make their inherent features available to all Club members, some of whom won’t own NFT vehicles. For this reason, anyone who joins a Club will benefit from the fact that Nitro Nation is designed around blockchain assets.
For more details, visit the Nitro Nation: World Tour website.
On 12th and 13th September 2023, Pocket Gamer Connects returns to Helsinki. Promising 20 topic tracks with insight from more than 150 speakers, there will be something to inspire and inform everyone, with Creative Mobile’s Paul Flanagan joining the Web3 Wonders session.
20th July 2023: Hunters On-Chain (BoomLand)
One doesn’t have to dig deep into our Game of the Week history to find we’ve already featured Hunters On-Chain. Such is the anticipation over the game’s mainnet launch however, that we feel it’s justified to highlight the game again.
Developed by BoomLand, this free-to-play action battle royale has gained a solid player base during its testnet beta phase in 2023. Its Genesis Hunters started the week with a floor price of 100 Matic on Magic Eden, a healthy sign all things NFTs considering.
In terms of gameplay, the fast-paced multiplayer battles vary from PVP to players cooperating against larger monsters, with modes like Hardcore Hunt and Boss Hunt.
Running on Polygon, Hunters On-Chain is powered by the BGEM token, with which players are rewarded for completing daily quests or good scores on leaderboards. A small sum of BGEM is also available to claim daily on the developer’s website. BGEM is used for buying in-game chests.
And following the mainnet release, the second token – BOOM – will also be released, which is used for advanced features such as summoning and levelling up.
The mainnet version of Hunters On-Chain will be available for holders of the mainnet genesis NFTs, who will be able to start earning tokens and levelling up their hunters. Users will need to connect their wallet via the BoomLand website to start playing the game, which is currently available in browser and on Google Play early access.
Find out more via BoomLand’s website.
13th July 2023: Mighty Action Heroes (Mighty Bear Games)
Its imminent open beta release is not the only reason our BlockchainGamer.biz team is excited about Mighty Action Heroes. With an emphasis on fun and accessibility, this fast-paced, hero-based, isometric battle royale has a lot going for it.
In regards to web3, Mighty Bear Games’ Simon Davis recently told us about his motivation to make NFT ownership and collecting fun (again) and although his easy-going approach is evident, the team’s commitment to create a game that players will actually want to play, is a healthy marker of where the industry at large is directed.
At this stage no NFTs are required to play the game, although a wallet will be needed, and an email login system is currently in progress.
Mighty Action Heroes is the first game to be released as part of Mighty Bear Games’ MightyNet ecosystem. Recently announced to deploy on Arbitrum, although its NFTs were launched on Polygon, the game is available on browser in open beta from Friday 14th July, with APK launching 16th August.
Find out more at the Mighty Action Heroes website.
6th July 2023: Mini Royale: Nations (Faraway)
While we’re seeing a growing number of blockchain projects changing track, either reversing to web2, cancelling their games altogether or moving onto the latest technology buzz, Faraway serves as an example of a developer breathing the very definition of web3 and its disruptive limitlessness.
Not only has its browser-based FPS Mini Royale: Nations been called one of the best web3 first-person shooters, but some think it’s the best browser game in its genre regardless of technology.
However, even for someone who is triggered more by the blockchain side of things rather than a love of fast-paced multiplayer shooters, Mini Royale: Nations is an enthusing case.
Deployed on Solana in late 2021, the game has revolved around various themes, including vikings, cyberpunks and samurais. In season 5, which launched recently and will run for the next 12 weeks, we’re introduced to pirates and sea gods. On top of that are additional features like new quests, battle passes, skins and weapons.
More significantly, however, is Faraway’s recent collaboration with Hiber, which enables players to create their own game maps using Hiber’s no-code tools to create and import their maps into Mini Royale: Nations. Keeping in line with its belief that interoperability is the core definition of web3, players will also be able to bring their created game assets into other games, outside Faraway’s ecosystem.
Another collaboration announced earlier in 2023 lets players import their avatars from 3D avatar platform Ready Player Me into the game, customize them or make new ones from scratch. In reverse, the game’s skins can be brought to other Ready Player Me enabled apps.
Mini Royale: Nations also features The Lab, in which players can fuse different character and weapon skins to level them up to higher ranked items. A process that burns the old ingredients and removes them from the supply. Also expected to launch during season 5 is the Faraway Shop. Intended to serve as a community hub, the shop will enable creators to buy and sell their created Heroes.
Find out more about the game on its website.
29th June 2023: Anipang Blast (Wemade Play)
Part of the Anipang Club trio, Wemade’s Anipang Blast recently launched globally. Just like in Anipang Match and Anipang Coins, players will be familiar with the Anipang IP in this casual puzzle game. Available on mobile app stores, all Anipang games are developed by South Korean game publisher Wemade and run on its native Wemix blockchain.
Ranging across all three Anipang Club titles, RED PAW is the in-game token which can be exchanged to BLUE PAW and ultimately converted to the ecosystem’s WEMIX coin.
Puppy Ringo and cheese-loving hamster Mocha guide players through progressively harder levels, with the reward of RED PAW for completed levels and missions. Additionally, the forthcoming feature of NFT missions will be part of the reward system in all three Anipang Club games.
Granted you’re a fan of casual puzzle games and cute animals, then the Anipang collection might appeal to you.
Find out more about the game on its website.
15th June 2023: Eternal Paradox (Gala/Ndream)
Currently one week into a three week open playtest — and available from the Gala Games’ website as an APK — Eternal Paradox is a hybrid squad RPG-combined-4X strategy with NFTs.
As you’d expect from a hybrid, neither the RPG or the 4X gameloops are as deep as they would be in a standalone genre experience but the combination seems to work well, notably with your RPG characters coming into play as powerful units when you’re attacking other cities for resources.
More generally, the art style is accessible and crisp, and even though some features are not yet live in this early version of the game, it’s been an enjoyable experience to get a better understanding of how the complete game should play when it goes live.
Of course, the biggest gap is how the NFTs will work. There will be land NFTs that it appears you can mint from within the game, and it looks like other assets will be available as NFTs too, but blockchain integration feels like it will be fairly light; although in terms of onboarding web2 gamers, this might not be a bad thing.
8th June 2023: Crypto Unicorns (Laguna Games)
“They’re unicorns, they’re magical, they can do anything.” With those words, Laguna Games CEO Aron Beierschmitt encouraged his team to develop the games and IPs of the Crypto Unicorn multiverse.
Live on Polygon since May 2022, farming game Crypto Unicorns has recently announced the extension of its IPs with Unicorn Party. A bundle of more accessible games, Bumbercorns is a battle royale-style game now available for mobile and browser, while second title Mob Run is an io-style game expected to go live in July 2023.
In Laguna Game’s original title Crypto Unicorns, however, the essential focus loop is on farming, material crafting and breeding. This all takes place on Crypto Unicorns Land NFTs, which are available on the game’s marketplace in three ranges of common, rare and mythic.
Laying a foundation for the larger Crypto Unicorn ecosystem, the Rainbow Token RBW can be earned by selling resources to other players via the game’s marketplace.
The release of a new PVP mode has added depth to this gameplay enabling players to enter their unicorn NFTs in jousting bouts. Winning those tournaments earns users RBW tokens and other resources. The outcome of those battles is determined by the unicorns’ basic stats, something that is reflected in a players’ attention to the farming and breeding process.
While owning a unicorn NFT serves as a boost to the gameplay, it’s not a requirement to start farming. As is the case with free-to-play labelled Bumbercorns however, players can’t take part in jousting without owning one.
Visit the game’s website for more details.
1st June 2023: Cross The Ages (The World of CTA)
Inspired to get onboard web3 and NFTs based on his passion for trading cards and arts, Cross The Ages CEO Sami Chlagou recently shared his insights on the game with BlockchainGamer.biz.
A narrative-driven and “free-to-play-and-earn” TCG, Cross The Ages has deep strategy aspects incorporated with cards that can be powered up through intentional crafting.
“Easy to learn, hard to master” is a description that accurately fits this game where players tactically build their decks to compete for territory on a 4×4 square board.
A card’s number is the main indicator of how powerful it is, and hence whether it will capture the opponent’s cards.
Trying to master the heptagram, which is the heart of the Cross The Ages gameplay, is a whole lot more complex however. Consisting of seven elements, with a rock-paper-scissor relationship between them, a card’s power is increased by 150 if its element has an advantage over the opponent’s card. Likewise it loses 150 power if it’s a disadvantageous card.
Understanding the heptagram elements is essential to win, progress and be able to enjoy the game. As an incentive for this, advancing will enable a player to get more powerful cards, adding utility to their in-game assets.
Deployed on the Immutable X blockchain, Cross the Ages is a mobile-first game currently live on the app stores and available on PC. Visit the game’s website to find out more.
26th May 2023: GRIT (Team GRIT)
In development since 2021, wild west battle royale GRIT from Team GRIT and publisher Gala Games, recently launched on Epic Games. Aiming to bring an innovative gaming experience to everyone, whether it be on horse back or from top of a train, it’s all about avoiding to get shot by being the player shooting first, which is easier said than done. Features like multiplayer, single player and co-op modes are also available to spice up the gameplay.
Running on Gala’s own blockchain and Ethereum means that players can own their in-game assets such as characters, horses, and more. Those NFTs are available to purchase through Gala Games’ store although they have yet to be integrated into this build of the game.
Set in an impressive wild west environment, this hold your horses shooter has a spectator mode when you die, offering an exciting experience even for the less successful player.
Although it’s hard to see many of those even attempting to play this PC game. Impressive as the graphics are, the question remains whether it’ll be enough to onboard a larger audience than the most dedicated web3 gaming crowd. Nonetheless, it’s well worth giving GRIT a go.
The game is available to download from Epic Games store.
18th May 2023: Axie Infinity Origins (Sky Mavis)
First released in 2018, Axie Infinity has been labelled by many as a trendsetter in the still relatively juvenile industry of blockchain gaming.
Developer Sky Mavis – not its name at the time – created the game with a vision to combine immersive gameplay with the potential for earning income, leveraging the disruptive technology of blockchain. And realising the lack of a blockchain matching that vision, also eventually created its own chain; Ronin.
With its engaging gameplay, Axie Infinity Origins has managed the balance of attracting a wider age range. A traditional battler, with cute bouncy Pokemon-style monsters, the combination invites the most inexperienced player.
Launched in May, Season 4 takes aim at touching base with an even larger audience who’ve never played the game before. One new feature is the redistributed rewards, which means players with lower rankings get a bigger piece of the total prize rewards. Another is the new rank system, making it easier to progress for players with lower rankings as well as making it harder to maintain the higher ranks. The match speed has been increased and starter Axie upgrades can be achieved easier, using specific resources collected from the daily and weekly missions.
Although the most significant step towards onboarding a new set of players might be the recent announcement that a blockchain-lite version of Axie Infinity Origins has set sail at the Apple App Store, through which players in Latin America and southeast Asia can now access the game as a free-to-play experience.
Of course, more generally, Axie Infinity Origins is also available in its full blockchain version as an APK for Android devices or PC/Mac download via the game’s website.
Want to find out more about Sky Mavis and the future development of Ronin, check out BlockchainGamer.biz’s recent interview with its co-founder Jeff Sirlin.
12th May 2023: Blocklords (Metakings)
Despite the project having been in various stages of development since 2019, the launch of this month-long community build is the first time we’ve been able to have a look at this medieval PC strategy game.
Of course, not all the final features are live but playing through the tutorial and beyond provides an engaging experience in terms of how Blocklords’ basic resource-based economy is going to work, as well as providing some insight into the metagame aspects for higher level players, which involve being lords of the land and setting taxes for their citizens.
Available until early June, Blocklords can be downloaded from its website now. No NFTs are required to play although NFTs holders can import them into the game to get a boost. Players can also earn a NFT by completing the free battle pass event during the beta.
4th May 2023: Xeno Dragon (nStep)
In this classic Korean strategy RPG, players are thrown into a world of dragon battles. Each dragon will grow and level up as the game advances through four modes; Adventure, Dungeon, Expedition and PvP Arena.
First comes Adventure mode. Here players get to know their dragons and abilities, manage their team and send it out into auto-battles against increasingly powerful monsters. With a time limit of 3 minutes to complete each course, to spice up the gameplay, players are occasionally sent into a three-track endless runner area to top-up mana.
So far, so easy, even for a novice of Korean style RPGs. Needless to say though, as the game progresses to Dungeon mode and the chance to acquire Dragon Gears, it gets more challenging. Levelling up the dragon team becomes a necessity. In this mode players are faced with just one big, significantly stronger, dragon. In the narrative of the Olivia continent, these are called the “the heads of each of the scattered Dragons”.
Pay attention to the tutorial
Dungeon matches can last up to 10 minutes, however, to me it only lasted for about half of that as I probably didn’t pay enough attention in the tutorial. Lesson learnt. I guess I won’t need to tell you who came out victorious.
As incentives, players earn rewards for completed matches. In Arena mode there’s an opportunity to earn dragons. Additionally, the game offers daily, weekly and special quests as a way to earn. $NST is the main token in Xeno Dragon. Looking ahead, the token is set to be updated for use in other games as part of the nStep ecosystem.
Boosting gameplay with NFTs
An alternative way to acquire dragons is by purchasing NFT Dragons, which are stronger and hence increase the chance of winning. Having an NFT Dragon also gives access to the NFT Arena, a game mode with even greater earning mechanisms.
NFT Gears is a further way to boost the dragons. Both NFT Dragons and NFT Gears can be obtained through Mystery Boxes in the marketplace.
Xeno Dragon is developed by nStep, a team of South Korean gaming veterans with a background in Disney, LINE, Com2uS and more. Released on mobile, the game is currently available on the app stores in open beta albeit without any blockchain integration. It runs on the K STADIUM groundchain.
For more details, visit the Xeno Dragon website.
28th April 2023: NFL Rivals (Mythical Games)
Somehow it would be wrong to start off a profile of a sports game and not give it away straight away; I know next to nothing about American Football.
Sure I’ve watched Super Bowl from time to time and I understand that the sport is more like rugby than soccer as we Europeans understand it. Beyond that, I’m alien.
So playing NFL Rivals has been a big portion of challenge, but also a lighter bite of pleasure. Basic skills such as gaining yard with the ball rather than being pushed back, as well as passing (if you’re not too pressed for time), aren’t too difficult.
It’s refining those skills and managing under increased pressure that requires more patience.
There are more than a few moments where you just can’t make sense of the game. When you aim for a touchdown and press sprint but the player instead throws the ball off the pitch and falls to the ground.
Just the beginning
Little niggles like those make the game feel unfinished, which is no big surprise as it’s been released in early access for the first months. This is the season called the Offseason.
Despite the hiccups however, NFL Rivals offers plenty of room for players to improve. Someone with a competitive and stubborn mindset is sure to return to the game more than once. Not only to get faster at crisscrossing passed players but also to get more accurate at passing, and getting the order and timing of the technical moves right.
Even if you don’t manage to win many matches, your achievements in terms of distance run and passing add up and you’ll be rewarded with Rival coins and gems. Those can be used to purchase new players, something that should work well as a measure to motivate more playtime.
Of course there’s also the quicker option, to spend money purchasing player packs. Those players vary in rank from common to mythic and you can acquire differently ranked cards based on which ones you collect.
Where’s the blockchain?
But despite being a web3 mobile game, NFL Rivals isn’t in any obvious way a blockchain game. That’s what you get for making it through app store approvals.
However if you already have a Mythical Market account, you can link it to the game and import your player NFTs. These don’t give you any in-game advantage compared to the standard web2 players, however.
So, in this, as in other respects, NFL Rivals is very much a work-in-process. But it’s a decent start.
To find out more, visit the NFL Rivals website.
21 April 2023: InfiniMerge (InfiniGods)
As the title indicates, InfiniMerge is a game that combines the puzzle and adventure genres to create an exciting merge gameplay experience. Inspired by popular games such as Triple Town and City Blocks the game aims to offer a fresh take on the merge game genre.
Part of the wider InifiniGods Universe, the adventure aspect of InfiniMerge features ancient mythology and civilizations. The game is developed by blockchain gaming studio InfiniGods, founded by Damon Gura and Owen O’Donoghue, both veterans of the social and mobile gaming space. Passionate about blockchain games, the duo set out to create a project focusing on fun, as opposed to the financial aspect of web3 gaming.
With another title recently announced, tower defense Immortal Siege, InfiniGods aims to onboard all types of players, regardless of game and crypto experience.
InfiniMerge encourages a player-owned economy where users control the supply of two key power-ups, Followers and Elder Gods.
Followers is the main reward that players can gain by completing new daily levels and placing high on weekly leaderboards. The reward can be used to perform special actions within the game such as enable a merge or free up board space. Alternatively, players can choose to bundle their Followers to create an Ark, a tradable NFT.
The inclusion of Elder Gods and their various in-game powers such as randomly shuffling the board and adding extra time or moves to limited levels, adds an extra layer of competition and prospect of progression to the game.
Each day players are presented with a new level to play, tainted by the legends and characters of different mythologies. These daily levels are sequenced out as seasons, retelling classic myths, or telling new stories based on various legends.
InfiniMerge is the first title to be revealed as part of the wider InfiniGods Universe. It’s currently in alpha on Polygon.
To find out more, visit the InfiniGods website.
14th April 2023: Mojo Melee (Mystic Moose)
Having seen some projects recently lose momentum due to what appears to be a lack of interaction through social channels, I’m easily pleased when I find one that doesn’t.
Planet Mojo has gained a substantial level of buzz with the recent announcement that its game Mojo Melee is heading into open beta. When? Well, “soon”.
More interesting than the exact date however, is what the open beta will involve. For the curious, there’s a blog post going into the details, but in general it means that all the game stats will be reset and every player will start from square one. So, no Mojos, champions or spellstones until they’ve been earned through gameplay or bought as NFTs.
This is exciting particularly for beginners as it widens the opportunity of getting into the game and having a chance to progress on equal terms.
More than just a game
Mojo Melee is a PvP auto-chess battle game, developed by Mystic Moose, running on Polygon and the first to be released as part of the Planet Mojo project. Its fantasy-themed surroundings and characters are entertaining and add a sense of excitement. Bonus points too for how the game manages to capture childrens’ attention with its quick battles, jumping Frodas and funny broccoli-looking creatures.
With the game in open beta, players will have to progress and earn the in-game token Gems either through the BattlePass or by earning reward chests. These can then be spent on new game items such as champions and spellstones, which are helpful to advance in battles.
The BattlePass comes with two sets of rewards. One common track that is available for free to all players and one premium, only available if the Premium Battle Pass is purchased. This includes a range of exclusive champions, skins and more, and is also set to go on sale when the open beta is launched.
Furthermore players can win Ore and XP in reward chests, which can be spent on levelling up.
Mojo Melee has a straightforward progression route, with BattlePass rewards for taking part in battles, completing daily quests and leveling up your characters.
Along with the open beta launch, Planet Mojo are minting a special Beta Chest NFT and the Mojo Melee store will also open, where players will be able to spend Gems buying Mojos, champions, skins and spellstones. As well as various daily offers there’s also a “very rare chance that one of your Daily Deals might be a Digital Collectible (NFT) character”.
Now all we want to know is: when?
Until the open beta release, the alpha browser version of Mojo Melee is available here.
7 April 2023: Crypto Crusades (Merfolk Games)
CryptoCrusades, by Hong Kong-based Merfolk Games, is a mobile strategy game with combat at its core. Players can construct buildings and trade resources but the main aim is to build and recruit enough units to be able to fulfill combat missions. Resources required for those missions can be gathered through harvesting. They can also be used to craft unique NFTs.
In-game currency Gold acts as a special resource and can be obtained through trading, by thieving enemy cities or through NFT-crafting. Alternatively it can be bought in the game’s shop.
Ultimately there are five ways to run a successful empire. Players can choose to play as either a warrior, guardian, merchant, artisan or farmer.
Although this hex-tile strategy game has been long in the making, it only recently launched open beta on iOS and Android and is available via app stores. It stands out as one of few fully on-chain games being optimized for mobile. CryptoCrusades is also the first mobile blockchain game launched on the Skale L2 network.
Although well presented with an easy tutorial any level of player can enjoy, the game still feels a little fresh. Certainly I’ve been experiencing plenty of dropped transactions, which is an issue given that every move in the game is an on-chain transaction.
Nevertheless, it’s good to see this OG indie project finally get released and despite these teething issues, it’s also refreshing to see a blockchain game stay true to its on-chain vision.
Find out more about the game on its website.
31 March 2023: Blast Royale (First Light Games)
With mobile battle royale game Blast Royale, UK dev First Light Games aims to present a “fun, frenetic adrenaline fuelled short session game”.
Trying out games in their early stages is never going to be plain sailing, and being new to the genre just adds to the challenge. After a few matches however, Blast Royale seems simple enough, even for complete beginners.
That said, trying to get the hang of the touchscreen joystick which randomly seems to go unhinged, means “fun” may not be the first description coming to mind. “Frenetic” perhaps more accurate. Still, the short and fast matches are an appealing feature too.
While many games quickly become dominated by heavyweight players equipped with powerful NFTs, Blast Royale offers some more quiet waters to let you get the hang of things before you are totally blasted. With its top-down view players get the opportunity to explore a map and spot weapons whilst deploying into the game at the start.
From then on the rule is simple; last man standing wins the match.
It’s basically a matter of collecting your weapon/s as quickly as possible, as well as topping up on ammo and health, whilst trying to stay in the safe areas and kill your opponents. Try not to get too distracted by the various levels of the weapons “because skillfully shooting while using positional advantages is the main focus of gameplay”, according to the game’s whitepaper.
The aim of the game is to end at the top of the leaderboard. More wins means higher rewards, although players that don’t win also get rewarded based on their placement. Those metrics also determine the number of trophies players receive, which in turn affect your earnings of the in-game token $CS.
While earning might in itself be enough of an incentive to some players, the progression of the gameplay will be more crucial to others. With improved skills, players may eventually earn enough to obtain NFT equipment.
To be able to play in ranked matches, a player must have at least three different items of equipment. Items can be either NFTs or non-NFTs, which can be upgraded with $CS and $BLST. Upgrading your items improves their performance in the game.
“We don’t want the game to be pay-to-win, that’s really important”, CEO Anil Das-Gupta has said, “but we want the NFTs to have some value, bragging rights and ownership”. Here you can read our extensive interview with Das-Gupta.
Blast Royale is a free-to-play mobile game running on Polygon and currently available through app stores. To learn more about the game, check out its website.
24 March 2023: Hunters On-Chain (Boomland)
As for the game, BoomLand’s Hunters On-Chain is the reimagined web3 version of mobile game Hunt Royale.
Hunters On-Chain is a battle royale action RPG. As such it will offer various game modes; including Co-Op, Hardcore Hunt, Duel and Boss Hunt. (as well as Special Events & Mini Games such as Tower Defense, Races and Survival mode.)
At the start, every player goes through a tutorial which will earn them the entry level common Hunter NFT. The more you play, the more $BGEM tokens you earn, albeit at a low level with these entry level common rarity NFTs. This currency is used to buy chests, which drop Hunter Shards that will be used to unlock and level up more Hunters.
There will be 40 Hunter character in total, each with different stats and designed for different play styles. Upgrading Hunters will also increase its in-game attributes as well as the maximum Hunt limit and $BGEM earnings.
Even though the game is still in its early version on the Polygon testnet, there’s good reason why Hunters On-Chain is our first pick of the week. To learn more, check out the game’s website.