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My Favorite Crypto Games
Published on Apr 11, 2024
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Sponsor: Mantle — Mass adoption of decentralized & token-governed technologies.

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A Parallel RPG?
  1. 🤔 Parallel buzz. A new teaser vid from NFT gaming's hottest title showed a snippet of RPG-like footage. With the play looking distinct from the main trading card game (TCG) and Parallel Colony, fans are speculating that a 3rd title is coming.
  2. ⏸️ CTG regroups. After player pushback on the auction format of Crypto The Game's Adidas-sponsored challenge today, the game was paused and will continue tomorrow. All of the +600 remaining players will survive another night.
  3. 📢 Last call, ETH OGs. Multichain NFT marketplace Magic Eden reminded ETH users that it's the last day to claim their retro Diamond drops. The platform awarded these points to any Ethereum NFTers with trading activity since 2017.
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Top Crypto Games to Try
Bankless Author: William M. Peaster

The potential around the crossroads of games, crypto, and NFTs is immense. The amount of projects building at this crossroads right now is also huge.

More and more crypto rookies and veterans alike are looking into this scene and are eager to dive in. But where to begin?

To get closer to answering that question, I've gathered together what I think are the best crypto games to start exploring today. These are my subjective picks, but they are great entry points.

Let's go over them tier by tier! 👇

🏆 The Bests

My top pick is Parallel. In my opinion, it has the best all-around gameplay and tokenomics of any crypto game right now. Anyone can jump in and play with non-NFT "Apparitions" cards, while more hardcore players can go deeper with onchain assets. There's a learning curve, but the game is legitimately fun, and that's the engine that makes the whole project go 'round.

Next up, Axie Infinity. I get the impression that anyone that hates on Axie today hasn't touched the project since 2021. The gameplay has become much richer and wider since the arrival of Axie Infinity: Origins in 2022 and its introduction of new modes, equipable charms, starter Axies, and Axie Experience Points. It's a good time to return, in my opinion.

A newer title that's really impressed me is Nifty Island. A virtual world platform designed for NFT holders, Nifty Island has introduced a handful of multiplayer game modes, from capture the flag to races, that are downright enjoyable. Letting players use their NFTs as avatars to host contests on islands they've customized while earning rewards is a recipe for continued success.

Last up among my top favs is Fren Pet. A Tamagotchi-like adventure game, Fren Pet is incredibly easy to onboard to and has pioneered the early blueprints on how to bring a fun and casual crypto game to mobile players. While games like Parallel and Axie Infinity can get sweaty, Fren Pet's gameplay is addictively casual and well-suited for people of any skill level. Its tokenomics are compelling, too, I think.

😯 The Awesomes

In the realm of Farmville but adventure-themed and onchain, Pirate Nation is an RPG where you explore, battle, and craft your way to earning loot. With its own bespoke onchain game engine and blockchain infra, Pirate Nation's one of those games where the play and the tech come together in a really wonderful way. If you're not stacking BOOTY Points, consider starting.

Though it tends to fly under the radar in the fantasy sports niche, Sorare is one of the bigger success stories in NFTs, with dozens of millions of dollars circulating in its ecosystem today. Think tradable soccer, MLB, and NBA cards that you can enter into fantasy contests every week. It's a huge hit among its fans, and my guess is that it will continue to fare well from here.

A newer entry to the scene that I also find really impressive is Influence. A massive multiplayer space strategy game on Starknet, Influence has incredibly deep gameplay potential around its in-game resource economies. The project just conducted its Pre-Release trial, with a full launch now just around the corner. If you haven't started preparing for the rollout, get ready.

🙂 The Goods

The flagship non-Axie game on Ronin, Pixels is an open-ended farming game based around exploring and harvesting resources, with plots of land maintained as NFTs. Riding high on impressive daily active user (DAU) numbers and its recent $PIXEL token release, Pixels offers a casual gaming experience that's easy to dig into.

As for one of the older games around in the NFT scene, Gods Unchained is another TCG battler that continues to churn ahead and evolve. Powered by Immutable, and with over 1,800 cards to choose from, Gods Unchained offers cheap transactions and a range of different play styles to choose from. As the Immutable ecosystem continues to rise, I think this title will keep aging well.

Next is Cambria, a Runescape-inspired dueling game on Blast where players stake ETH and then battle against each other for keeps. The actual fighting mechanics are quite simple and addictive, so the learning curve to get started is minimal. Just be sure to get a couple of low-stakes practice rounds in before you start trying for bigger wins.

Another game that's worth diving into right now is Tarochi. If you like Pokémon, this one will be right up your alley. Built on the bespoke Paima Engine, the mission for players in Tarochi is to capture, battle, and level up cute monsters. Right now, the game is conducting its Season 1 event, so it's still possible to get in on the ground floor, so to speak.

🧭 The Explores

Two games that haven't released on mainnet yet but that are currently playable on testnet are Sky Strife and Primodium.

Being built with the MUD onchain engine and the new Redstone L2, Sky Strife is a real-time strategy game where 4 players face off in PVP matches, the goal being to dominate your opponents' bases. I'm a huge fan of the amount of thought and passion that's gone into this title, so don't sleep on it.

As for Primodium, it's another multiplayer onchain space strategy game, and it goes all-in with its resource management mechanics. If you love "base builder" type games, this is one you'll want to try too.

⏱️ The Trackers

Lastly, there are a handful of highly-anticipated crypto games that aren't playable yet but that you should be tracking on your radar going forward for when they are live.

These titles include:

  • 🤖 Parallel Colony – An upcoming AI-powered game where players will provide goals to their avatars, which will then autonomously pursue these tasks and evolve with memories from their actions. May the best colony win!
  • 🌳 Treeverse – A massive multiplayer RPG by the Endless Clouds studio, Treeverse has gained major interest pre-launch. Previews have shown gorgeous graphics and slick gameplay, so don't miss this one.
  • 💊 Capsule Heroes – The highest on my personal watchlist, Capsule Heroes is another Endless Clouds title, specifically a PVP brawler. I think of it like Overwatch but with cuter graphics and simpler gameplay, and I can't wait to play it.
  • ☀️ Project Awakening – Set in the EVE Online universe, Project Awakening is an upcoming game from CCP Games. If it can garner even a fraction of the player base that EVE has, this title can be huge!
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Prime Playbook

Created by YoJurmy, Prime Playbook aggregates all the best Parallel resources into a one-stop knowledge hub.

If you're still trying to wrap your head around Parallel's basics, or just want to go deeper in deck-building and portfolio management, this site is a phenomenal resource worth bookmarking and referring back to whenever you need.

Plus, if you're totally new to the game, Prime Playbook offers a referral link that will nab you two free Apparitions Packs (non-NFT starter cards) if you sign up for Parallel through it. Just click the 2 FREE AP PACKS button at the top of the page to begin.


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Crypto Social Trifecta

The onchain social scene, typified by projects like Farcaster, Lens, and Friendtech, has huge potential going forward.

As John Wang pointed out on Twitter this week, this potential is largely driven by the fact that onchain social projects bring together code, capital, and media in unprecedented ways.

Are things early at this crossroads right now? Absolutely.

But the possibilities to "engineer online attention into real-time finance" are endless in this domain, so fade the early pioneers here at your own peril!

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