I am totally a gamer at heart, always have been, always will be. The basic philosophy behind cryptocurrency has amazing potential for the gaming industry and I really think that is why gamers will lead the way when it comes to normalizing the use of crypto in every day life. Recently I have been doing some testing of blockchain based crypto games and I wanted to share one of my favorites so far; Cryptogs! Follow The 'Stache as I play a game live and break down this simple, yet very fun nostalgic version of the game of pogs.
History Of The Pog
The game of Pogs or "milk caps" as they are generically called (because that is what they actually were) popped up in the 1920's in Hawaii, but made a major come back in the mid 90's right when I was at the perfect age for the explosion of the game here in California. What was once a simple milk cap turned into a fad like I had never seen before as a child. It's a simple game with only a few rules, but is wicked fun!
Two players select an equal number of pogs and then stack them together (shuffled) in one face down stack. You decide who goes first, sometimes by a flip of a pog or slammer, then each player takes turns throwing their "slammer" (a metal coin about the same size as the pogs) to try and flip over as many pogs as you could. You get to keep any pogs flipped over on your turn. Rinse and repeat these steps until all pogs have flipped over, the player that ends up with the most pogs is the winner! Simple and fun!
Crypto + Pogs = Cryptogs!
I came across mention of this blockchain game on Twitter, thought it was a GREAT application for ERC-721 tokens, and decided to check it out. I retweeted about the game and the creator, Austin T. Griffith, liked my post and I told him I would give it a spin for my blog. The website is clean, and easy to understand just like the game. I thought it was really cool that the idea for this came about at an Ethereum conference in Denver. This isn't Austin's first game (or even first blockchain game, see http://Galleass.io) but I honestly think this one could be a hit. The crypto version of Pogs works just like the real game, except you need MetaMask installed to play it with a little ETH in your wallet to cover the gas cost for playing a game.
First things first, you need to purchase some Cryptogs. The basic starter set is just 0.004 ETH for 10 tokens. One of the cool features I found before buying a set is that you can submit your OWN original artwork to make Cryptogs out of! By far one of my favorite features of the game. I minted a few of my custom made designs, but after chatting with Austin in his Discord he was kind enough to "mint" some cryptogs for me out of a couple of custom designs I had made! You can pick up the limited edition "'Stache Series" coins for just .009 ETH that include my logo coin as well as the numbered 'Stache series. So fun!
Once you have your Cryptogs purchased you can start a game. This requires you to choose 5 Cryptogs to play with and then start the match and wait for another person to challenge you. The few times I played it only took a minute or two for someone to challenge me and their is even a link provided that you can push to your friends on social to invite them to join the match.
My challenge was accepted and now it's time to show them the magic of The 'Stache!
You can see which Cryptogs they chose to play with and you must both confirm the initial transaction to transfer these ERC-721 tokens to the contract. This is where your first ETH Gas transaction comes in. I paid about $1.85 worth of Gas to play this round.
I really love the transaction screen for this game, it is clear, shows you exactly what is going on, and it is one of the best I have seen online for any Ethereum based transaction because it doesn't keep you guessing.
Once the transaction goes through the player with the lower "receipt hash" has to pay for the actual generation of the game, which I thought was a neat feature. In this round my challenger paid, but the next game after this I ended up having to pay and it was again around $2 in Gas fees.
Slam It To Me Baby
Once the game starts you will see the big Ethereum Slammer above your virtual stack of coins. I like to use my mouse to kind of "pull" the coin towards the stack, but I believe the slamming is actually automated. You take turns until all the coins are flipped over.
I win! My supreme 'Stache powers prevailed once again and I was the lucky winner of the most Cryptogs, and therefore the winner of the round. All told it took about 5 minutes from start to finish. I do wish ETH gas prices were a little bit lower so the games were not so costly, but this is the price you must pay currently for crypto based games unfortunately. Would love to see this game make it's way to the EOS network (where there are supposed to be NO transaction fees), but the jury is still out on whether they are going to live up to their promises.
Here is my Cryptog collection after my big win!
It's no doubt that Cryptogs lives up to it's promises as a silly, fun game of Pogs on the Ethereum network. Unlike many other crypto based games I have tried, this one is complete, simple, easy to play, and I could certainly see it exploding just like the Pogs of old. I love how you can create your own Cryptogs with original artwork, how well the interface guides you through the game, and that each token you own is an ERC-721 token.
I will note that in the graphic of the stack of coins it shows the coins face up and they should technically be face down before you slam them. I would also love to see more Slammers with customization's or maybe even as prizes for winning a certain number of matches. How could would a "golden slammer" be? Lots of potential here and I will be playing and following this game as it progresses, hopefully the small dedicated team sees that they have a winner and work to make the game of Cryptogs the next blockchain fad!
More great content coming soon, but until then...