Spells of Genesis
Android users got the first Bitcoin game out of the gate, and I have to say, as someone who normally eschews mobile games as a matter of principal, this one seems to strike a very good balance between fun, micro-transactions, and progression. The core mechanic is simple: fire balls into a physics-enabled box to defeat your adversaries. The strategy entails using billiards trigonometry and dead reckoning to maximize each shot.
The interesting part of the play cycle, however, is the summoning and deck building mechanic, as this is where Bitcoin comes in. Certain rarer cards are tradeable assets on an open market tied to bitcoin, meaning you can sell off your surplus or game the current demand of the meta to make premium in-game currency. That currency isn’t like other in- game coins, though: it has real-world value, and the price is set by the markets, with a market cap of 7 Million USD at the time of writing. You can sell it for bitcoin easily using sites like Shapeshift or Counterparty. Effectively, cards have value as if they were part of a real- world TCG, and you can trade them and make a profit in Bitcoin on them as such.
None of this would matter, though, if the game were an un-fun grind fest. Luckily, though, the deck building, strategy, and monetary stakes put it a cut above your average Candy Crush-style cash vampire. After a week with it, I hadn’t felt the urge to dip into the coffers or been frustrated with the difficulty curve. They even offer an alternate gameplay mode designed to help you get cards quickly, which in turns help along story progression and smooth over the risk-reward of playing a challenging level.
The game has readily apparent appeal to mobile fiends as well as the more relaxed casual crowd, even those thoroughly disinterested with Bitcoin and the functionality it provides to our community. Once the game polishes up to 1.0 release standards, I think it has a good chance of wide appeal, all the better for funding your next Clandestine Amazon Purchase.
iOS users rejoice: You aren’t left out in this new mobile gaming phenomenon. Takara is halfway between Pokemon Go and a geocaching app, instead of Pokemon, though, you go out in search of crypto-currency. The value transfer is more direct, too: you just hit up the spot where the bitcoins are, verify that you aren’t spoofing your GPS signal, and then cash in on going out.
May not seem like there’s much to this one, but the fun isn’t intrinsic to interacting with the app. Imagine getting paid to walk to the store instead of taking the car, or picking up a wad of cash sitting on your favorite hiking trail with none of those terrifying 'is this a street gang’s dead drop' implications. The uses of Takara go beyond exploring and geocaching, too. You can start Cicada 3301 style scavenger hunts with the question functionality, or promote a local business by attracting people with BTC.
I’m sure we’ll see more of these emerge with time, as it offers a superior experience to most mobile offerings out there today. It makes sense that they can afford to be less invasive with their micro-transactions, too: their monetization platform is tied to a currency with real value. If people like the game, and it catches on, that value goes up. They make money directly for the game being good, and making sure their investors, which in this case, are also the players, are happy. The Bit of Bitcoin you get as a side effect might just be a hemp-scented side effect, but it’s one I’m going to enjoy thoroughly.