With the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in full swing, it’s no surprise that many talented game developers and designers are looking at ways to integrate the blockchain and cryptocurrencies into their gaming experience. Hardware heavyweights such as AMD have previously pledged their support for the rise of blockchain gaming.
Unfortunately, despite some valiant efforts, a blockchain game still hasn’t come along to crack the mainstream gaming world. There have been some famous success stories along the way such as Cryptokitties in 2017, but for the most part blockchain games enjoy mediocre popularity with only a few thousands users at best.
Below we have listed the most promising projects on our radar that will, in time, hopefully put blockchain gaming on the mainstream radar for good!
1. The Sandbox
The Sandbox describes itself as a “user-generated blockchain metaverse”. But don’t let the complicated jargon fool you – players can except an open world sandbox environment similiar to popular games such as Minecraft alongside a bunch of new novel features. With over 40 millions downloads, 1 million active users, and direct investments in virtual land from from companies as big as Square Enix, it’s no wonder the Sandbox is hyping up to be one of the top blockchain based games of it’s era.
Another epic partnership Sandbox has in the pipeline is with legendary video game creators Atari who have pledged to recreate many of their iconic games, including Pong and Roller Coaster Tycoon, using voxels and The Sandbox game maker.
In the game the player takes the form of a “deity apprentice” and sets about creating a new universe using all of the various resources which range from the mundane soil and water to the shocking resources of lightning and lava as well as more complicated elements such as NPC’s and wildlife. Players can then save the worlds they have created for others to explore.
It is currently available for Android, iPhone and Windows. If you are serious about blockchain gaming then The Sandbox is simply impossible to ignore!
2. Gods Unchained
If you are into playing card games such as Magic: the Gathering or Hearthstone, it’s easy to excited about Gods Unchained, a new blockchain based playing card game. Although it hasn’t quite cracked the popular consciousness in a big way yet, eSports tournaments with prize pools of as much as $570 000 are sure to attract attention from professional and amateur gamers alike in the months to come.
Another huge selling point is that the game is being led by Chris Clay, the former game direction of Magic: the Gathering Arena. If you known fantasy card games, then you’ll know those credentials are no small deal!
One of the biggest selling points of Gods Unchained is the idea of ‘Play to Earn’ which essentially means you can sell in-game cards you have earned for free for real money to other players via the blockchain. This is all done using the Ethereum network, so you can buy or sell cards with Eth.
Unlike competitors like MTG Arena and Hearthstone where players can buy cards for money from the original game developer, this new decentralized format truly puts the power in the hands of the player.
3. Spells of Genesis
Another card game based blockchain game, Spells of Genesis offers traditional trading card game functionality with the caveat of also combining traditional role playing game mechanics as well.
An interesting aspect of this is that they have decided to offer some cards “on-chain” and some cards “off-chain” – so unlike Gods Unchained, where all cards or stored 0n-chain, some cards are stored in a more traditional manner and only certain cards from your collection are actively tradable on the blockchain.
This means it is possible to play Spells of Genesis without connecting your Ethereum wallet but, once you have done so, all of your “blockchain based” cards will be available to play from your collection.
It’s easy to see why they may have opted for this route to encourage new players to be able to start without any previous cryptocurrency knowledge, although at the same time die hard blockchain enthusiasts may not like this more flexible approach.
The biggest plus though is that you can still convert your in-game cards to blockchain assets through a process of “Blockchainization” if they meet the requirements, meaning the potential for a “play to earn” system is still viable if the game picks up enough steam in upcoming months and years!
4. Crypto Assault
Shaking it up a bit in terms of the traditional narratives usually found in up and coming blockchain games, Crypto Assault is all about one thing – war! If you are familiar with traditionally RTS games such as Red Alert and Starcraft, think of Crypto Assault as an RTS where instead of just building your units from your base, you actually have to buy them first, and battling can earn you real money rewards!
Although not quite as popular as some other up and coming titles, the sheer originality of the Crypto Assault idea make it a worthy contender in our list of blockchain games ton watch. Unfortunately, to date player participation has been relatively weak, possibly due to the initial investment required simply to get units, but who knows what the future holds or whether the developers may decide to take Crypto Assault to the next level one day soon.
Last but not least, the popular Decentraland is an example of an on-chain virtual world which takes after the likes of Second Life to create a virtual ecosystem where users can buy and sell land on the blockchain in order to build whatever they like, from medieval dungeon mazes through to skycrapers.
Although more of a world builder than a blockchain game in the traditional sense, it’s easy to see how Decentraland made our list thanks to its intense popularity and the large community of creative minds working to flesh out this virtual world.
Over four years in the making, it offers users the ability to explore, build new things, collect items, play games (games inside the game that is!) and even interact with other players in-world. Decentraland is powered by MANA, it’s internal cryptocurrency, which can be used to buy land and accessories in game.
Although not without its criticism, the sheer size of the world and things to interact with certainly makes Decentraland one of the most immersive blockchain experiences in its own right.
Despite the lack of mainstream adoption of blockchain based games and cryptocurrency to date, its clear that blockchain gaming is here to stay – whether it will make its big break this year, or in a decade from now, is anyone’s guess.
For now we have absolutely nothing to lose (and possible a whole lot of on-chain assets to gain!) from trying out all the latest and greatest titles the blockchain gaming world has to offer us.