With Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) recently announcing their partnership with Animoca Brands to develop a play-to-earn blockchain game utilizing Yuga Lab’s NFTs, and with digital land going for millions on Metaverse games like Decentraland and The Sandbox, the latest craze taking the crypto and NFT world by storm is decentralized gaming. These decentralized games are also popularly known as crypto games and employ GameFi models like play-to-earn mechanics for their games.
This list runs down some of the top play-to-earn games you should know about:
1. Axie Infinity
How can we possibly talk about play-to-earn games without talking about Axie Infinity? The most popular play-to-earn game by far, Axie Infinity can be compared to games like Pokemon and Tamagotchi, where players collect, breed, evolve, trade, and battle cute little creatures called “Axies”. Axies have different attributes and strengths and can be bred with other Axies to produce new unique Axie babies using an in-game token called Smooth Love Potions (SLP).
Illuvium is an RPG fantasy game that combines open-world fantasy exploration with a PVP battle game. Players of Illuvium can battle, participate in quests and challenges, collect, and trade in-game. The Illuvium game is inhabited by creatures called Illuvials, for which players can capture in battle. The Illuvium token (ILV) is used as a governance token via the Illuvium DAO, to reward players for their in-game achievements, and entitles players to a share of the Illuvium Vault.
3. Gods Unchained
Gods Unchained has been making headlines in the crypto sphere as one of the current most popular free-to-play, play-to-earn trading games. Led by the former game director and inspired by Magic The Gathering: Arena, the game involves competing and outsmarting your opponents by collecting playing cards and building a deck. Cards in the deck allow players to strategically combine a wide variety of tactics in order to play and defeat their opponent while playing.
Derace is a “complete NFT horse racing ecosystem” that allows players to buy, breed, and bet on real-time races in-game. These NFT horses possess unique characteristics to enhance the racing experience, and the game also gives players the opportunity to not only bet on horse races but also build their very own hippodrome to host races to rake in profit. The full platform is scheduled to launch in 2022, with its betting system set to kick off by the end of the year.
5. My Neighbor Alice
Inspired by Animal Crossing, a popular game played on Nintendo Switch, My Neighbor Alice is a multiplayer builder game with a narrative that players can follow, as well as a digital world for them to collect and trade NFTs on. Players can buy or own virtual islands, collect and build exciting items and meet new friends. The play-to-earn component of the game comes from completing quests, for which players can earn ALICE, the game’s native token.
Vy Worlds is a web3 gaming platform, where players can play and build their own game worlds. The gaming platform features playable characters as NFTs, called the Vy – digital vinyls that love to play, build, and connect with friends. It’s a two-part platform that facilitates both multiplayer gameplay and a Game World builder – in addition to play-to-earn, Vy Worlds also has a create-to-earn mechanic where you can get rewarded for creating game worlds for other players to enjoy. If you’d like to be part of building the next big metaverse gaming platform, don’t sleep on Vy Worlds!
7. Defi Kingdoms
DeFi Kingdoms isn’t your regular play-to-earn game. It’s also a decentralized exchange, a liquidity pool opportunity, and a market of rare utility-driven NFTs, that all plays out seamlessly in the incredibly nostalgic form of fantasy pixel art. A true marriage of DeFi and NFT gaming, DeFi Kingdoms uses the Harmony Protocol blockchain with its native coin ONE, which can be purchased on most major exchanges, including Binance, Kucoin, Crypto.com, and others.
8. Crypto Raiders
Crypto Raiders is a pixel dungeon crawler RPG on the Polygon network with gamified DeFi elements utilizing tokens & NFTs. Characters can raid dungeons, duel, customize and level up their characters, and own their in-game assets (NFTs). Inspired by Zed and World of Warcraft, Crypto Raiders is a throwback to the icons of online gaming, and features engaging gameplay that generates rewards with real-world value.
Why are play-to-earn games so popular?
With its unique gaming model that combines DeFi systems and NFTs together with the gaming experience, play-to-earn games allow players or participants to earn or be rewarded cryptocurrency in-game. Through playing or trading, the cryptocurrency earned in-game can be converted into cash usable in the real world. It is no surprise then that play-to-earn games are picking up speed and gaining traction with players, marketplaces, as well as developers.