Whether you like it or not, blockchain gaming is here to stay. Fair warning, it is a minefield of scams, pump-and-dumps, and vaporware, but I promise you it’s not all bad. Here are 10 titles releasing this year that are worth checking out.

1. Skyweaver

We’re starting this list with one that is closest to traditional video games - Skyweaver. It’s a free-to-play trading card game with three different types of playable cards.

  • First, there’s Base cards, these are your starter cards and there are more than 500 of them, all of which you can unlock as you level up. You don’t have to spend money on them, and you won’t need to spend money to play and enjoy the game.
  • Second, Silver cards. These are cosmetic, NFT versions of the Base cards that you earn by winning Ranked matches. If you’re so good in the game, you won’t need money to buy them, but you can if you want to. That’s where the p2e part of the game comes in.
  • and third, Gold cards. Rare, limited edition NFT cards that you only can earn in special tournaments.

What sets this apart from other blockchain-powered games is the lack of a native currency. Skyweaver is all about the NFT collectible cards that you can buy and/or sell on the marketplace. It’s now on Open Beta and available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.

2. Guild of Guardians

This is a multiplayer, action-RPG where players lead a team of heroes to raid dungeons, collect drops, craft NFTs, fight guild wars, and more.

But first, let’s face the reality. One of the biggest challenges with play-to-earn games is building an economy. This avoids hyper-inflation that has wreaked havoc in many p2e communities.

Guild of Guardians plans to avoid this by releasing a FIXED number of tokens every day. A player gets a cut of this daily reward pool based on play-time, level, history, and daily quests completed.

Whether this is effective or not remains to be seen. Guild of Guardians will be free-to-play on both Android and iOS sometime this year.

3. Illuvium

If you’ve been following P2E’s, this is, probably, one of the most anticipated titles. An auto-battler, RPG set in a world populated by creatures called Illuvials.

As for its play-to-earn aspect, there are a lot of ways. You can focus on exploration to capture rare and powerful Illuvials… that you can sell on the marketplace; Or dominate battle arenas for rewards; wager on tournament outcomes; mining, crafting, and many more.

Public beta is supposed to launch soon, while mobile release is scheduled later this year. It’s worth noting, though, that there's a history here of delays so don’t be surprised if dates change.

4. Axes Metaverse

Another common issue among p2e projects is that the team behind them lack the experience needed to create and maintain games effectively.

Axes Metaverse is an exemption. It’s being developed by Azur Games, one of the biggest mobile game publishers in the world. By the way, it’s more than just one game. In fact, there are three separate games all sharing the same NFTs and economy:

  • Battleground - a large-scale battle royale,
  • Team tactics - squad-based tactical RPG,
  • and Kingdom Wars - multiplayer strategy and resource management game.

How can you earn? You can send your NFT heroes to mine and sell valuable in-game resources; win tournaments; or challenge other players on all-or-nothing PvPs.

Early version is set to release later this year.

5. My Neighbor Alice

If you enjoy builder games like Animal Crossing, this one's for you. The mechanics are pretty simple. Develop your piece of land, farm crops, rear animals, build your house, and many more.

Warning, this is not your typical play-to-earn game. Yes, there are NFTs in the form of lands and other virtual assets; plus rewards during seasonal events and competitions. But it’s positioned as more of a community-building project that will introduce millions to blockchain technology, not just another chase for ROI.

Full version of the game is expected to release sometime this year.

6. The Sandbox

As we go through this list, I’ll continue to highlight common issues of play-to-earn games. This time, let’s talk about longevity. A lot of titles in the space have rigid gameplays with narrow wiggle room for improvements. This eventually leads to just another grind for rewards.

The Sandbox is different, it’s a platform for building “experiences” on the metaverse. It aims to provide players with tools to develop, publish, and, potentially, earn from their creations. It’s basically the web3 version of Roblox.

The Sandbox is an ambitious project that has been in development for years! Mobile launch is finally coming later this year! And more than 5000 mini-games are expected to be playable next year.

7. Cornucopias

Talking about metaverses, here’s another one that is taking a different approach. Cornucopias is more than just play-to-earn, it also comes with…

  • learn-to-earn. Cornucopias is partnering with learning centers around the world to develop educational games inside their metaverse. And students receive rewards by completing these games.
  • Build-to-earn. Creative players can design and mint their own in-game items, which they can choose to use and sell to other players.

A mini game is coming in the second quarter, with full release by the end of the year.

8. Crabada

A big problem with NFTs, in general, is the energy consumption associated with running the underlying blockchain. This is only partly true in gaming. We’re currently tracking more than 1000 games and about 70% of them run on more energy efficient blockchains like Binance Smart Chain.

Example of this is Crabada, an idle game built on the Avalanche Network, a blockchain that consumes 35,000x less electricity than Ethereum and 200,000x less than Bitcoin.

As for the actual gameplay, it’s pretty straightforward. You play a fierce Hermit-Crab warrior (lol), that you send to mining expeditions, looting missions, or battle for rewards! Each crab contains a unique DNA with specific traits. Breed crabs to give birth to more powerful Hermit-Crab Warriors.

It will be playable on Windows, Mac, and Android soon.

9. Nunu Spirits

This one is unique. At first glance, it looks like a collection of casual party games like floor is lava, capture the flag, and parkour tag. What makes Nunu Spirits unique is how the game’s world is tied to the real world.

In-game rewards and benefits are closely tied to real-world actions, specifically that of trees planted. You plant trees, it gets verified through some mechanisms, and you get more in-game benefits. We don’t know the specifics of how this whole thing will work but it surely is an interesting idea.

Public beta is coming in the third quarter of this year.

10. Gods Unchained

If there’s one lesson we can learn from blockchain-powered games, it’s how players can and should have a bigger voice in the development of a video game. Nowhere else do you see a development team very much engaged with its playerbase than on legitimate p2e projects.

A good example is Gods Unchained, a free-to-play trading card game that has been a very vocal proponent of “TRUE OWNERSHIP” over in-game items. Players start with a free deck, additional cards are unlocked for playing and winning matches.

The game has been in beta for a while and has been through a lot: re-balancing updates, server issues, chain migration, and more. All this time, the team has been very active in addressing issues and feedback on Discord.

Gods Unchained beta is currently available for Windows and Mac.