Since it first became an idea Blockchain Gaming always seemed to be 2-3 years behind traditional gaming, at least when comparing graphics and gameplay. Lately though, there's been a changing of the tides. As I was doing the research for this piece, I was absolutely blown away by the amount of blockchain games in development and set to release in the next year. Many of them having AAA graphics and innovative ways to incorporate blockchain into their core gameplay mechanics.
I was surprised to find how wide ranging the blockchains represented were as well. While ETH definitely led the way, WAX, HIVE, and LTC (most surprisingly) made their appearances. All of these games I spent time in and spent money in. I don't ever want to put a list out there just because they made the top list on DappRadar and are "probably" good. I play tested all of these and for each one I probably played another 2-3 games that I didn't think should make the list. These are all just my opinion as well, if you think I should have included one please let me know in the comments below!
1. Gods Unchained
Gods Unchained is a turn based collectible card game down the same vein of Hearthstone or Magic. But with one big difference, Gods Unchained offers "True Ownership" for it's players. While still in development Gods Unchained is based on the ETH blockchain and has already made some big strides towards becoming fully decentralized, with the launch of ImmutableX (their built-in DEX that allows players to easily trade their cards and assets). They are currently headed up by a team of ex-Google and Riot Games engineers and currently led by the former Game Director for MTG Arena. Of the in development blockchain games I would say Gods Unchained currently shows some of the most promise just based on the dev team.
I've played Gods Unchained now for the last several months, the graphics and in-depth gameplay probably surprised me the most! You can pay to purchase packs or cards but at this time I don't think it's necessary. The game is pretty well balanced, I made a couple decks based off their starter cards and was able to climb to halfway up their leaderboards over the course of 2-3 hours of game time. Definitely worth checking out.
2. Lost Relics
I have a soft spot in my heart for Top-Down Dungeon Crawler type games like Diablo. I grew up grinding on Diablo II/III for items to sell on their exchange and that's exactly how Lost Relics plays, except with additional skills such as Fishing, Alchemy, Mining, Cooking, Scavenging, Engineering and Woodcutting. Lost Relics is based on the Enjin (ENJ) blockchain, and even though still in "heavy early development" has been fairly polished in the 10-15 hours I've spent in game time.
You can complete dungeons to get a chance to roll a blockchain item that can then be sold on the Enjin Marketplace. Items I've seen listed range in price from 1 ENJ all the way to 8500 ENJ (~$21,505 @ current price). I personally have gotten two blockchain items, worth about 10 ENJ each, but chosen to hold on to them to complete more high tier dungeons for a chance at a higher tier item. If you enjoy dungeon crawler games this is definitely worth checking out.
3. Alien Worlds
Now not just the largest blockchain game out there, but the largest dApp by unique users (doubling #2 and tripling #3's total users), Alien Worlds is absolutely massive. Based on the WAX blockchain Alien Worlds is an NFT metaverse where players can earn Crypto and NFTs by mining or owning lands on alien planets. Players can also participate in Planetary DAOs by staking their earned TLM to the planet of their choice. There is a wide roadmap for Alien Worlds that will include even more gameplay and earning mechanics but even in the short term the future looks bright for Alien Worlds.
When I started playing this I can say without a doubt it was a little intimidating. But the best piece of advice I can give now would be to ask questions in the MonKeyMining discord and MetaHub for general information were the two most valuable sources of information I found. Alien Worlds though probably offers one of the quickest and easiest ways to start making profits from these games. As you start with a Standard Shovel NFT and are able to start mining right off the bat.
The OG Crypto turn based collectible card game. While not having as in depth gameplay mechanics as Gods Unchained, or nearly as beautiful graphics, SPLINTERLANDS is still one of the most fun card games out there, blockchain or not. The gameplay itself is fairly simple, your cards are divided into seven separate "splinters" - Fire, Water, Earth, Life, Death, Dragon and Neutral. You have a summoner that represents each splinter than in each game you assemble your deck (as you progress there are certain restrictions, i.e. - no melee, no ranged, etc.) and fight another player. There's an extremely large community around Splinterlands with events daily there are plenty of chances to earn.
The best part of Splinterlands is that it probably provides one of the best ways to earn of any blockchain game out there. I've opened probably $40-$50 worth of packs but have earned almost $200 in rewards due to opening legendary summoners from my packs and daily reward chests. While there's a learning curve, like any game, once you do get the hang of it you'll be maxing out your tiers in no time.
Upland is an NFT Metaverse with mapping to real world addresses. They initially launched with just San Francisco but have since increased their cities and engagement with other projects. The possibilities here really are endless as having access to a virtual world, that is widely used, advertisers will want a piece and those who adopt early enough will be able to be true landlords in the future. Their roadmap is super ambitious and detailed to say the least, to save you time and headache of me possibly explaining it wrong I recommend you check it out here.
I've been playing Upland now for a little over a year. I'm no real estate tycoon, but I do own 4-5 properties and have seen some pretty decent increased valuation throughout. It's not a finished project, like many of the games here but it does have a pretty experienced team of developers and an already solid user base. If you do end up playing Upland I highly recommend you sign up for Womplay as well. Without going too far into detail for all the in game currency you spend in Upland you will essentially get a small rebate in Womplay. I definitely recommend checking it out.
The Hype Squad
These are games that don't have gameplay yet but look pretty darn good. Who knows how many of them will turn out but it's worth keeping eyes on them.
Farsite - There's already been a fair amount of posts here about it but it's a "DeFi Powered Ethereum 2 Game". According to their website they will be a sandbox MMO RTS game, somewhat akin to Eve Online. Some people are already touting it to be the second coming of Alien Worlds. Honestly if it's even half of that I'm excited. Website: https://farsite.club/
Age of Rust - The only Blockchain game to my knowledge that will be available on Steam. Age of Rust is a dark sci-fi action adventure game set in space. There's quite a few gameplay trailers already out there and it looks pretty good. Seems they will be based on Enjin and be offering NFTs in game as the monetization part. Website: https://www.ageofrustgame.com/
Illuvium - The Open World MMO Pokemon game. There's a few gameplay trailers out for this as well and it seems to be very interesting. They already had their token pre-sale for ILV and it went extremely well. At pre-sale they were going for $50/ea and are now already up to $69/ea. This is honestly the project I'm most excited for. Website: https://www.illuvium.io/
EmberSword - Another seemingly AAA game on blockchain. EmberSword is a Free-to-Play browser-based MMORPG. Their land sale will be going on soon and you can pre-register on their website. I don't know about you but I will definitely be grabbing a couple plots for this. Website: https://embersword.com/
And there's even more but I risk this article getting to text book lengths if I go too much longer. With all that I hope you enjoyed reading, I certainly enjoyed play testing all of these. Don't forget to follow if you're not and like the post. Thanks!
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