Trading Card Games (TCG) are nothing new. Games such as Magic The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, World Of Warcraft and of course the incredibly successful Pokemon TCG have all contributed over the years to make this gaming genre one of the most popular and lucrative around.
Due to the nature of this genre and its ability to consistently add new extensions and expansions to existing products, as well as playing on the gambling mentality associated with games of chance, it was only natural that Blockchain technology would be the next integration for this gaming movement.
A tribe called quest
Like every TGC, you will first have to create your deck. There are of course the free/basic ones to discover the game, but soon enough you will face the cruel reality: you need better cards to have better decks.
They developed a strong lore, with beautiful Tribes (12 now), the illustrations are stunning and the mechanics are flawless. As we often say, no need to reinvent the wheel again if it works, and they totally understood this statement.
The game is free-to-play for everyone and does not have a play-to-win mechanism: the overall in-game balancing is good. Of course there is a meta, you need to adapt, craft, sell, buy new cards (that is, basically, how TCG keep selling cards and stays healthy), but you can totally have fun without paying a single eth (thanks to the nice websites with all kinds of decks, but we will talk about that later).
Talking about mechanics, it is pretty easy to get started, if you have ever played a TCG: each player has 30 health points, a deck and a board to summon your creatures. Each player starts with 1 mana, and this will increase every new turn.
Your goal is to kill your opponent (by bringing him to 0 HP). There are plenty of different decks, from free ones to super expensive ones. If you choose to buy them, you can play super aggressively (aggro decks) or exhaust your opponent and heal yourself turn after turn, play a lot of small creatures or only build super powerful ones, play only a few spells or have a lot of spells in your deck…
Make good games first, not money (like GU)
One of the most interesting features of Gods Unchained is definitely that you own your cards. As big Hearthstone players, we have spent 1000s of $ in the game and in the end, we can’t even resell the account, or change our way of playing without spending more money.
In Gods Unchained, you can decide to grind without putting a single dollar in, or you can invest to buy a few cards, then just resell them when you are bored of playing with them. GU is not a play-to-earn game as was originally intended, only a fraction of the best players can earn something. Most of the mechanics are made to push you to play and not lose money while you enjoy the game. The marketplace is made on ImmutableX, one of the most trustworthy marketplace makers at the moment.
In terms of mechanics, some new ideas will bring some fresh air in this very defined style of gameplay, without pushing the limits too far. For some players, this will be a good point, for TCG rookies, it might be a con as you can want something really new. Relaying to the quantity of cards and new decks is also a double sided idea: even if there are a lot of possibilities, only a few decks are really competitive. Who will try to bring a real change to this type of game?
Time to forge
So what does web3 bring to Gods Unchained? For us, one of the most important video game features: owning your assets. You can be the one speculating, tracking the best decks and buying all the rarest cards, but you can also be a sustainable player and buy a few cards, grind the other ones.
You can also use The Forge to combine two same cards, and same rarity, to upgrade it to the next level of rarity. From the second level, you can sell it on the marketplace. Ex: you will need two Plain cards to create one Meteorite card, then five Meteorite cards to create one Shadow card, etc… and burn some in-game tokens for every combination.
How do they make money, you ask? Mainly with boosters. The $GODS token is deflationary, they won’t mint any other ones. All of this seems more sustainable than the web2 version, in that they earn money while selling booster and cards, but you can still own them and sell them if you don’t use them.
Where Hearthstone was only pushing people to buy more and more boosters, just for the sake of finding 1 out of 20 boosters with a legendary card, and after 100 boosters having enough “dust” (the in-game token) to craft a legendary one you were missing (something like a $200 investment back in the days), you can just buy you exact card in the GU Marketplace and get back to the game.
Web3 integration is also flawless for competitions, it is easy to offer different cards to players, or in-game tokens to buy cards. Everything is transparent, and that is definitely what is missing in the online TCG industry.
Gods Unchained triggered this “one last game and back to work” feeling with the latest updates, lost for a long time in the TCG genre (maybe last time was Hearthstone launching).
Incredible art, working mechanics, play-to-own tokenomics ( you can earn a little bit, but no magic money), ImmutableX marketplace & proactive community (from casual to pro-players). Maybe it is not a big renewal of the TGC genre regarding the mechanics and the gameplay in general, but we definitely enjoyed playing it.
• Gameplay: ??/10 (can we really grade TCG gameplay?)
• Graphics: 9/10
• Blockchain Integration: 9/10
Final grade: 9/10
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