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Blockchain games have come a long way from their earliest iterations. There aren’t many titles that can say they’ve lasted this long into 2022. But Axie Infinity is one of those titles. Yes, it’s seen its fair share of dips and low times, but it has a dedicated and committed user base that will go down with that ship, should it go down.
Axie Infinity’s continued success in bear or bull markets is because it’s doing something right. Community engagement/management, tokenomics, balanced gameplay–whatever their formula is, Axie Infinity tapped into something that’s made several other games look to them for inspiration or even just use them as their starting mold.
In this guide, I aim to break down the hallmarks of Axie Infinity and identify several games that do something similar, or–dare I say–better.
Don’t feel like reading through everything? I’ll save you the trouble. If you want a game that’s as similar to Axie Infinity as possible, Crabada is your best bet. If you want a game that’s similar to Axie Infinity but better, then you should look into Blockchain Cuties.
My Selection Criteria
What makes a game similar to Axie Infinity?
When playing Axie Infinity you’ll learn that its core gameplay revolves around breeding, battling, and questing. There are more nuances and mechanics than just those, but Axie Infinity started with just three basics and remains rooted around them today.
Axie Infinity is an NFT game, meaning each Axie you own is unique. Aand it’s PvP, so you’ll be going against other Axie owners in the arena. It’s one of the largest crypto games in existence, with over $100 million in daily volume and a market cap of over $1 billion.
So, when looking at other games I searched for games that involved breeding, battling, and questing in some capacity. I looked for games with high market caps, large volumes, and with dedicated fan bases. I only looked at games that had NFTs and that featured PvP of some kind. I looked for games with the highest market caps and daily volumes, and though many of them are significant, they don’t come anywhere close to Axie Infinity. But, I believe that given time, some of them may come to grow as large as Axie Infinity, if not overtake them.
Time will tell.
6) Eternal Dragons
A promising game built on the Solana blockchain, Eternal Dragons bills itself as more than just a single game. It claims to be a metaverse, the Eternal Dragons Metaverse. But considering they haven’t even released their first game yet, that remains to be seen.
Eternal Dragons is set up the same as Axie Infinity: you breed your dragons–many of which come with unique, generational attributes–and you take them on quests or to a battle arena.
Eternal Dragons isn’t out yet. It’s not even in Alpha. Their whitelist for their initial token drop is happening now, so players can get themselves a spot to purchase Eternal Dragon’s coin, Eternium, when it drops this summer. But Eternal Dragons was only announced in early 2022, so it has a lot to do before it’ll be rivaling the giant that is Axie Infinity.
However, despite its young age, Eternal Dragons has some large supporters and financial backers. It’s listed high in most analytical ratings and it has a larger Discord and Twitter following than many live games.
Eternal Dragons claims to be different from the current web3 gaming space by offering ‘play and prosper’ mechanics. Unfortunately, since the token hasn’t dropped yet, I can’t see how much it’s worth or how much volume the game is doing.
Eternal Dragons is a great opportunity for those looking to get into a game similar to Axie Infinity early. Imagine if you’d gotten in on AXS when it first dropped, your investment would’ve quadrupled by now.
I’m not saying that will happen with Eternal Dragons.
But I am saying you never know.
Crabada is about as close to Axie Infinity as you’re going to get. The breeding is strikingly similar, the battles are virtually the same, and the daily quests feel like a rip-off.
But it’s crabs! So it’s different, right?
Crabada is a game where you breed, battle, and send your crabs on adventures. It’s built on the Avalanche blockchain, which has many promising games on it. Their Twitter has over 50,000 followers and there are always at least a few thousand active members in their discord channels.
At the time of writing this piece, we are experiencing a bloody bear market, and Crabada is not looking too good. To be fair, though, their native token, CRA, has been hemorrhaging for almost an entire year. It’s worth about $.05 and its total market cap is hovering around $53 million. Users appear to be flocking to other games, and they’re taking their CRA and TUS with them as they go. TUS, Treasure Under the Sea, is the in-game currency in Crabada and it feels a bit like a scam. You can only use it on medallions and special store items in the game. Unlike other crypto games, which give you a legit token with utility outside of the game.
Maybe players caught on to some sketchy tokenomics in the background?
Regardless, Crabada is blatantly similar to Axie Infinity. Their economy might be much worse and their developers less trustworthy, but the game is just about the same.
Kryptomon is essentially Pokemon but with crypto.
It’s almost embarrassing how much they steal from the Pokemon franchise. You call yourself a trainer, you follow orders from a professor hell-bent on understanding kryptomon, and you battle kryptomon in head-to-head battles.
That said, it also clearly draws inspiration from Axie Infinity. So, it’s more like Pokemon and Axie Infinity bred, and Kryptomon is the result.
The game claims to have ‘living NFTs’. Does that mean anything? No. But it’s a clever gimmick to make their NFTs stand out from the crowd.
Kryptomon has a thriving marketplace. As with Axie Infinity, the real profit to be had isn’t from questing or battling, it’s from breeding and selling. So incubating eggs and breeding creatures with the rarest or most unique traits is the goal of Kryptomon.
Players will need to purchase an egg to get started on their journey to be the best Poke–I mean kryptomon trainer there is. The eggs aren’t that expensive, with the price sitting around $30-$40 for a starter kryptomon. Though some rare eggs are listed for $300-$400.
Kryptomon is built on the Binance smart chain, which means you’ll need to obtain some BSB to play. It also requires a third-party wallet, like a Metamask, to operate. The cool thing about Kryptomon is you don’t need to convert your currency into their KMON token to play. You can purchase your first kryptomon with BSB, which makes getting started in the game easier than most others. You will want to start accumulating KMON eventually, but since it’s only worth about $.02 when writing this, it’s not a high priority. Their token price has gone up in the past few days, unlike other games. Same with their market cap, which has risen to $21 million.
Pegaxy is a play-2-earn crypto game that involves breeding and racing cybernetic, futuristic pegasus creatures. It’s not the most expansive game, with there being frightfully few features to explore during gameplay. But it’s lucrative, with some players bringing in well over $1000 a month from racing and breeding rare pegas.
Pegaxy is built on the Polygon blockchain, and it has some prominent backers and financial sponsors in its corner. But it’s a game still in development. We’re hoping by the time the team comes around to releasing the full package there’s much more to do.
VIS is Pegaxy’s native token and is what players will earn if they race well and place high enough. VIS is, unfortunately, experiencing all-time low after all-time low. It’s worth less than $.04 at the time of writing and its market cap has dropped 5% in the past 24 hours to rest slightly above $32 million.
During races, players will face off against 13 other pegas in a Kentucky Derby-style race. Whoever reaches the top three spots will earn VIS. Not much, mind you, but it’s how you’ll start earning.
Pegaxy is another game like Eternal Dragons; the opportunity for players to get in early and set themselves up for success before the full game is even released is huge. And if players are already making a sizeable profit from the game, I can only imagine their profits will go up as the opportunity to earn VIS goes up.
As weird as racing futuristic, robotic horses with wings sounds to the average gamer, this game does show promise that others–say, Crabada–seem to lack. Yes, there are races instead of battles and they haven’t added quests yet, but it’s still a game that took many liberties from Axie Infinity and has lofty goals of usurping them in the future.
CryptoKitties is a game that isn’t really a game. It’s a game where you breed kitties. Not cats, not kittens–this is a very important distinction. Kitties.
And that’s it.
There’s no battle system to speak of and you won’t find any daily quests to complete. Just breeding. All the time.
It’s less like a game and more like an NFT collection that comes with user interaction. You can make and mint your own NFTs in the CryptoKitties universe, but you can’t do anything with those NFTs once you make and mint them.
That said, CryptoKitties is like the Axie Infinity breeding system on steroids. Filtering cats by their genes and traits can get incredibly detailed in CryptoKitties, and players will find a myriad of traits to sift through.
CryptoKitties is built on the Ethereum blockchain, which is both a good and bad thing. On one hand, ETH is a popular blockchain–the second-largest by market cap and volume–and that means any project on it will gain innate exposure other chains lack. On the other hand, ETH has the highest gas prices around. The price of a simple CryptoKittie might be $9.50, but the price of gas to buy that CryptoKittie is $12, bringing the total to $21.50. It makes every action you take in the game more expensive.
CryptoKitties released its Wrapped CryptoKitties Coin (WCK) in 2021 and there are still few people know what it’s used for. The only way to earn it is by mining it from crypto exchange sites like Uniswap and it has no utility in the game currently. WCK sits at $3.05 at the time of writing, which is far higher than most other games, but its market cap is less than $200,000. Another lucrative, early opportunity for gamers and investors? Maybe. A rug pull in the making? You never know.
CryptoKitties has its merits, however, and there are always players around ready to fiercely defend everything about it. But in this case, you’re probably better off sticking with Axie Infinity in the end.
1) Blockchain Cuties
You know, I had my doubts about Blockchain Cuties. It’s too similar to Neopets from back in the day, and I despised Neopets. But Blockchain Cuties has grown on me in the interim.
Of every game on this list, Blockchain Cuties seems to have the most complete approach to their game. Some games, like Crabada, have a roadmap that lasts less than two years; they start in 2021 and they plan to finish in Q3 of 2022. That’s not much time to complete a full game intended to support a thriving community and ever-expanding economy. It’s short-sighted.
But Blockchain Cuties is more than just animals with big eyes and adorable smiles. It’s a game developed by bright minds in the gaming industry and thoughtful developers. It’s also the first multi-chain crypto game ever, so that’s something for them to be proud of. NEO, TRON, ETH, and EOS all feature Blockchain Cuties, but what’s more, they each come with their own unique content.
Blockchain Cuties revolves around, you guessed it, breeding and battling your adorable little NFTs. There are more than just cats and dogs in Blockchain Cuties, however. You’ll encounter bears and lynxes and fantasy monsters like dragons and weird, demonic lizard things that actually aren’t cute at all. But it’s my experience that the weirder animals get a much higher price in the marketplace.
Blockchain Cuties uses a Blockchain Cuties Universe Governance token (BCUG) to give players a voice in development. Unfortunately, BCUG is dying. It may already be dead. When it first opened, BCUG went for around $13. It is now listed at $0.13. Ouch isn’t the right word.
However, if I had to go back and start over my crypto gaming experience, I would ensure I put at least some time and investment into Blockchain Cuties at an earlier period. People did not think Axie Infinity would still be around when it came to the play-to-earn scene, and here it is years later still going strong. I predict that Blockchain Cuties will have a similar success story.
Honorable Mention: Illuvium
Illuvium isn’t on the list with the rest of the titles because it’s the hardest one to get started in. While the other titles may have–at worst–a high entry price, Illuvium requires you to either be invited by someone in the game currently or wait for a raffle of sorts to select you to join the game.
The game is in closed Beta testing and is undergoing rigorous testing, which is why they limit the number of players on their platform currently. There are a pitiful number of people actually allowed to play Illuvium at the moment, but there’s always a chance you could be invited to join them. For now, Illuvium is a great game to watch from a distance and prepare to jump in.
Illuvium claims to be an open-world fantasy RPG NFT adventure game. Like a high-end Pokemon, because we’ll never escape Pokemon’s influence. There are PvE and PvP battles and an adventure mode that allows you to capture more Illuvials. Yes, it’s built just like all the others, centering around acquiring unique NFT creatures that you then battle against each other. But, it differs in that it actually looks like a good game. The graphics are high quality, unlike the goofy crab drawings of Crabada, and the gameplay looks exciting.
Illuvium’s token, Illuvium (ILV), is an outlier in the world of web3 gaming. I first heard about Illuvium because its token broke a record for the largest single gain in 24 hours. As of writing this, ILV sits at over $300 a token. Compared to Crabada’s measly $0.5, that’s not even a competition. And you know what’s crazier? ILV used to be worth $1,600 at its all-time high and it has a market cap of over $3 billion.
So, uh, there are some wealthy backers behind Illuvium, it seems.
Does that mean you stand to make a profit? Not necessarily. But it does mean Illuvium is definitely a game to keep your eye on.
Question: Is Axie Infinity still relevant and popular or have these other games stolen its thunder?
Answer: Axie Infinity is still wildly popular. I believe too many people have made too much of an investment into Axie Infinity for it to go belly-up anytime soon. It’s weathered bear markets and controversies and massive user drops. It has a team of smart developers who know they need to adapt to survive, and I think looking back you can see them doing just that. Very relevant, very popular.
Question: How does someone find other games like Axie Infinity?
Answer: DYOR, as they say in the business. Do your own research. That said, there are websites like Coingecko and Coinmarketcap that can help you search for statistics and analytics of coins. You can search for gaming or metaverse tokens and see what comes up. Or, other websites like Playtoearn.net are geared just toward web3 gaming. You can narrow searches by game genre and user score to find games that are similar and successful to other crypto games.
Question: Why would I play other games when Axie Infinity is still going so strong?
Answer: For a whole host of reasons. Just because Axie Infinity is doing well doesn’t mean another game isn’t doing better. Perhaps the weird, goofy axies aren’t your style? Maybe edgy, aggressive creatures like those in Illuvium are more your style? Maybe you want a game that’s less about breeding and daily quests, something closer to Pegaxy? Not to mention there are hundreds of other web3 games that have nothing to do with breeding or battling. Check out Splinterlands if you’re looking to mix things up a bit.
Blockchain games are the future of the gaming industry. Web3 and crypto will take over the space; it’s not a matter of ‘if’ it’s a matter of ‘when’. Some of the games listed here may lead the transition, but more likely they will act as stepping stones. The massive, triple-A, crypto game titles of the future may look much different than Crabada and Axie Infinity of today, but they will have no doubt drawn inspiration from them.
And just because these games are adapting to a new space doesn’t mean they aren’t lucrative, profitable, or fun. There’s a reason why these communities are tens of thousands of members strong and are collectively worth billions of dollars.
Looking for more crypto, metaverse content? Be sure to read up on The Sandbox and how it’ll revolutionize gaming.
For more interesting reading check out:
- An Honest and In-depth Review of Axie Infinity
- Age of Rust Review: An NFT Game Review
- The Best NFT Games
- Axie Infinity Cards Tier List (Season 19)