Web3 games have had a wild year so far in 2022. In spite of the fact that many early games are trending downward, a new generation of games is taking the space to a whole new level. Web3 game developers are now building AAA-style games with sustainable economic designs. We’re positive that these developments will increase the popularity of web3 titles amongst gamers. However, a key element that will drive the mass adoption of web3 gaming is mobile.
What are NFT games?
Crypto OGs might already know that NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens on a blockchain. Unlike regular NFT collectibles, in-game tokens don't just sit in your wallet but are important to accessing and playing a web3 game. Non-fungible token (NFT) games are the fastest growing niche of web3. These titles utilise tokens to give players ownership rights within the digital realm. This also unlocks a previously untapped possibility—which is giving players the opportunity to earn real value by playing a game!
You know the drill; we have six criteria to judge a game on . These are:
- Gameplay: Only two rules for games here: 1) Don’t be a click to earn grind. 2). Be engaging, not boring.
- Tokenomics: The fundamental difference between Web2 and Web3 games is tokens. A good tokenomics structure is the deciding factor behind the success or failure of a Web3 game. So it's a given that we’ll look at the tokenomics of the game to decide while looking for the best out there.
- Lore: We’re looking for interesting concepts, captivating storylines. The only rule is, "Don’t be boring’."
- Cost to Enter: Playing a game should not strain your wallet, in our opinion. That’s why we’re selecting games that are mostly free to play or require a minimum investment to get started.
- Graphics: To make it into the list, a game should have a visually stimulating component to it. We don’t demand AAA style graphics from these mobile titles, but good graphics generally indicate the amount of work the developers have put in the game.
- Community: Having a great community makes the gaming experience more interesting. Especially in the case of web3 games, wherein the community plays a huge role in upholding the value of a game's native tokens.
GenoPets is a move-to-earn NFT game. You can think of it as a combination of Stepn and Axie Infinity. Players buy a unique digital creature made in their likeness called GenoPet to enter the game. The rest of the gameplay mechanics are pretty similar to what STEPN does—tracking your steps and other physical actions and rewarding you with crypto tokens. The Genopet gets stronger and acquires more attributes as the player starts pushing their limits in real life. It’s a fun spin on the ideas introduced by some of the earlier games in the space, but with a largely improved design. Genopets developers have studied the rise and fall of these games and believe that designing for sustainability should be a core tenet of their game.
They ensure the longevity of the project through three principles:
- Create a game that rewards players for their skill and dedication, not just how much they invest. The hard work players put into the game appreciates the attributes of a Genopet along with their value.
- Incentivise players to continually trade in-game assets. Genopets enables a creator economy wherein players can freely trade their personalised in-game items for enjoyment or to increase their earning potential. This ensures that there’s enough liquidity in the market.
- Develop attractive experiences and assets(sinks) that players will pay for. Integrating in-demand sinks allows the game to control asset inflation without ruining the user experience.
Project Seed’s Outland Odyssey
Project Seed’s Outland Odyssey is an action-fueled role-playing game (RPG) with a rather interesting lore. Players in Outland Odyssey inhabit a dying metaverse where they have to hunt, capture, and train ancient beasts called the Zeds and try to save their digital universe from total annihilation. Despite the bleak environment of a dying metaverse, the central theme of the game is quite uplifting as players strive to achieve the impossible. Outland Odyssey uses the Unity game engine to ensure that the mobile gaming experience for players is similar to that of web2 games. Each character's avatar is tokenized within the game along with all the Zed creatures. meaning that the player will own their personal identity and that of their helpful companions in the economy of Outland Odyssey. The game also has a native utility token called "$SHILL. Players will use $SHILL to buy in-game items, create dungeons, craft NFTs, and evolve their partner Zeds. It'd be fair to say that the token has extensive use cases within the game’s economy.
Vintage fans, heads up, we've got a treat for ya-the world’s first web3 8-bit action adventure RPG-MetaGods. Personally, I like my games to have crazy graphics and dynamic gameplay, but there’s a big segment of gamers who enjoy vintage-styled games. In Metagods, players take on the avatar of a demigod such as Hercules or Achilles and defeat hordes of deities in pursuit of real godhood. Like in a good web3 game, the demigod avatars and other in-game items are tokenized on the blockchain, allowing players to truly own them. The game also has interesting sink mechanics such as permadeath, wherein if a NFT character dies in the game, the player cannot use it in the game for an indefinite period. This creates NFT scarcity within the game’s economy. There are two modes in Metagods—Hardcore and Casual. In the hardcore mode, players venture through different dungeons and battle Olympian and Norse gods such as Zeus, Hades, and Prometheus. This is the NFT permadeath mode. In the casual mode, players stake their NFT character for missions and earn passive rewards.
Thetan Arena is the world’s first web3 multiplayer online battle arena(MOBA). Interestingly, Thetan is the play to earn version of a previously released Web2 MOBA game titled Heroes Strike. That could be why, despite competing with early web3 titles like Axie Infinity, Splinterlands, Crabada, and others, Thetan is far superior in terms of gameplay, visuals, and overall player experience.The game also incorporates the battle royale genre, making it a unique ensemble amongst a lot of competing titles.
Thetan Arena includes game modes such as Battle Arena, Tower Siege, SuperStar, and DeathMatch. In general, the primary goal of these game modes is to be the last one standing.
Players take on the avatars of 'heroes’ within the game. These hero characters come in different classes, such as Assassin, Tank, Marksman, etc. Beating other competitors and competing quests within the game would earn players Thetan’s native currency, THG.
Pomerium might be the most ridiculous(in a good, funny way) game I've ever come across. Gameplay wise, it’s pretty similar to the popular mobile title Subway Surfer, but instead of an adolescent boy, you control a meme dog and the obstacles that pop up in your way are clones of Elon Musk, Tesla logos, and Shiba Inu memes.
There’s not much to say about Pomerium but that it’s a silly, fun free-to-play game that will make you laugh all the way to ♾️
New innovations are often dismissed as fads by the status quo. Many early games in Web3 were full of problems that fueled these suspicions. But these new gen games are now giving us confidence that the industry will steadily improve upon what the early games got right and what they got wrong. The important thing here is continual innovation and experimentation, and we are not observing a shortage of that within web3 gaming. Whether it be Gala Games dishing out AAA-style web3 games one after another, or games like Genopets that are improving upon the move to earn model pioneered by the unsustainable Stepn, web3 games and their creators are getting better by the day.