Games Are Multiplying on the Ethereum Blockchain (4 Reviewed for February 2018)
Ethereum (ETH) is a cryptocurrency used primarily for their Dapp (decentralized application) network. Many new Dapps have been created in recent months in the form of games to intrigue the player, and in some cases pay dividends. This Dapp craze is growing rapidly but which games are worth your time?
Last week a special was published, Ethereum Games Have Taken Over the Blockchain. Have Taken was followed up by repeat requests for updates regarding t the Etherbots mentioned above and requests to provide a few new games that had already established the dividend protocol, so many players demand. By having a dividend protocol in place, it allows the player to receive a percentage of the total collected game fees. The dividend protocol adds precise value to the digital assets/collectibles that so often lose value before reaching their true potential.
There have been many updates to two of the most popular ETH based games this week. Cryptocountries and Cryptocities have taken player feedback (including the writer of this piece) into consideration and implemented major positive changes! Their developer’s teams are hard at work ensuring the value of their game’s assets continues to rise as their market popularity increases.
Etherbots was discussed last week as it was going live this week. Well, it has, almost. Instead of launching the main net for pay (starting at .4ETH) they decided to launch a test net using test net ETH. This ETH you do not pay for it is provided to “test” new Dapps. Incorporating a test phase was an excellent choice as there were some underlying issues with the gameplay.
The newest game to be discovered was due to one unique feature that they have beaten the other games to the punchline. Both Cryptocountries and Cryptocities have promised to implement a dividend in the future. However, one much lesser known, but equally addicting game accomplished this task first: EtherEstates A dividend makes it, so the player receives a regular payout for playing the game based on how many other players are also playing. The regular payout drives demand to play more, as the more you and others interact, the more dividends everyone will receive.
The positive news is the developers behind these games are actively implementing suggestions from their players, and they are a lovely break from a volatile day of crypto.
The newest addition to this list is fairly easy to describe and review. It is very similar to the Cryptocountries premise, but instead of collecting countries, you are collecting famous pieces of real estate. Very few crypto traders could buy any of the actual properties listed, but in the digital world, you can own anything you want! Indulge in a high priced asset that will provide a 5% dividend of total daily volume, or explore a cheaper priced piece of digital real estate yielding under 1%. The player is left to choose: The Bellagio for 2 ETH or the Great Pyramid of Giza for 20ETH.
EtherEstates has had over 800 ETH in total volume in the last seven days since their launch. These larger volumes of ETH almost $1 million transferred between real estate holders! Not bad for a first week as a live Dapp. EtherEstates game has room to grow as many of their assets are under .5ETH. When compared to Cryptocities and Cryptocountries .5ETH is a low entry point for “premium” assets or countries of the world.
On the horizon for this game according to their developers is a referral system which will provide incentives to players to bring in their friends. They already have a great dividend system in place based on the tiered pricing of the real estate that the market set. When EtherEstates can grow, their population of users their game will truly take off. The dividend is what makes them unique and if it grows in value in the short term more players and traders will flock to the alternative ETH game.
Pros: New, Dividend, Very Simple, Low Cost of Entry Compared to Others
Cons: Needs More Game Features, A Larger User Base Would Increase Dividends for All
Cryptocities is leading the Dapp list of games based on total volume; this is a “game” more so than an investment. The player collects both countries and cities that provide them the ability to “Discover” new cities. Each time a discovery takes place the player can discover a new city of a higher point level. For example, Player A starts with two, level one cities. They go through the discovery process resulting in discovering a third city. Now they can find a level 2 city. The process continues onward until level 50 cities are reached. The catch? It takes 15 plus hours to discover a new city and then be able to see one of a higher level. The process to get to a 50 level city will take at a minimum one month.
One of the features of the game, keeping players invested over an extended period (like a month) provides an incentive to keep the race to 50 going. However, the developers implemented many new features to ensure their game stays relevant for both the short and long term. They are also working diligently to implement a dividend (although not complete). This week they have provided a point value to countries while also providing bounties for reaching specific city levels.
The point value for a country provides what was a “premium asset” actual value. Previously the countries had been fairly useless, without utility what was the value? The development team fixed this by giving them a point value, facilitating the discovery process. The development team providing bounties for reaching a level 25 city, level 30 city, level 35, and so on until level 50 provides an incentive for players to keep chugging along. Instead of the game being solely for speculation there are prizes awarded for winning the race to level 50, or what the “game” is. The development team is very active in their discord implementing the advice of the community on a daily basis. Cryptocities has had over 800 ETH transacted through their game in the last week. This amount should continue to grow as Cryptocities continues to grow in popularity.
Pros: True Game Development, Development Team Implementing Feedback, Great for Geography Buffs
Con: Premium Assets Need More Utility, Needs a Referral Program to Bring in New Players
Cryptocountries was initially referred to as one for “high rollers.” Not much has changed except for their future plans! Cryptocountries has a starting buy-in at over 1 ETH for the cheapest country making it a very expensive game to start playing. However, they have plans to implement cities and just finished holding a fundraiser for UNICEF. Cryptocities managed to raise over 11 ETH to support UNICEF in aiding the Syria Conflict.
The game Crptocountires is one where the player trades the highly valued assets that automatically appreciate when purchased the following time. The digital assets are the world’s countries. There are many strategies for collecting ranging from buying the biggest ones visible on the map to buying the cheapest available islands. Each player/collector can institute their personal preference when enjoying conquering the world 1ETH at a time. The total volume of this game has plateaued slightly to just under 500 ETH this week as fewer people can afford the high priced countries.
Pros: High Roller Atmosphere, Elite Group Playing, Cities Coming Soon, Charitable Contributions
Cons: Lacks Game Play, Only Countries Available for Purchase, No Major Updates Recently
Well given this is the most advanced game in the Dapp space many expected and hinted at a delay. When they announced, they were going live with the test net, and not main net many were left disappointed. However, very quickly it was established there were minor glitches and had it been the main net people may have lost ETH due to winning or losing battles that would have had the opposite results. Etherbots takes the Dapp game level to the next level. Cryptocities takes the country collecting to a new level. However, Etherbots takes Dapp gaming to a whole new level.
The player can buy different parts to build their bot. The more expensive the part, the more useful it is for attacking, defending, or based on scarcity. Once the bot is built, it is time for combat! Etherbot is the first game where players have control within the Dapp instead of just “breeding” (Cryptokitties). Players have to learn a set of commands to control their bot and make them fight, defend, and maneuver the battle arena. For you old Nintendo 64 players, it is like Pokemon meeting the blockchain. While it is on the test net, it is free to play and a blast to learn! At first, it is a little challenging to memorize commands to fight and defend. However, this is the first game to implement player control like the video games most are accustomed to, while still have the collectability many traders demand.
Etherbots seems to be working out all their kinks on the test net preparing for the main net release. Hopefully, they can maintain the interest through the test net process.
Pros: Advanced Game Play, Free to Trial (On Testnet), Great Devs Fixing Bugs
Cons: On Testnet (Can’t Profit), Has Minor Bugs, May Lose Momentum before Mainnet Launch
Conclusion: Dapps Are Addicting, Getting More Advanced, and Here to Stay!
What was once an atmosphere filled with one notable Dapp, Cryptokitties, has evolved into a space with multiple ETH based games. The game list continues to grow as more ideas are implemented on the blockchain capitalizing on the liquidity so many have in these markets. A fascinating time to be exploring ETH games, as the crypto markets continue to rebound expect more and more individuals flocking to ETH based games to spend their crypto on “fun” alternatives.