Casual gameplay was one of the fastest growing sources of new players. In 2019, data show more than 7.8B downloads, rising to more than 11B in 2020 with a constant growing trend. Mobile gaming added to the widespread appeal of casual games.
In 2021, however, another approach to gaming came in from the world of cryptocurrency. The play to earn model, or P2E, started getting added to games with the goal of inviting the crypto community. Casual games turned into one of the most suitable models to also function alongside crypto tokens. Casual games offer simplified graphics and addictive mechanics, and can also have action elements, card collection, character statistics or other features such as geolocation.
Casual games are a long list, including puzzles, races, adventures or relaxing activities like farming. The P2E model ties each activity to earning tokens, which can then be traded and monetized. P2E casual games also often offer a dual mode, with optional free to play version. Some games go the extra mile and offer NFT collections – a series of items recorded on the blockchain, which also represent in-game items like skins, characters, accessories or upgrades.
DogeDash adopts the casual racer model with a twist. The game sells a collection of cute and unique playable characters recorded on the blockchain. Buying a Doge has a minimum price of around $150, though the game also offers a free version. DogeDash was created based on the fame and meme potential of Doge Coin, but has nothing to do with this crypto coin. Dogedash has a different token, with the ticker DOGEDASH, which trades at sub-penny prices on a limited set of crypto exchanges.
Crypto Royale is a browser-based brawler game with casual gameplay. As with similar offers, Crypto Royale’s goal is to earn digital tokens. Players control colored orbs that are color-coded for strengths and weaknesses, and follow a rules-based path to defeating the game. The game is made simple, with several tiers of participation. Users can train for free, or play against the computer. There is also a competitive mode. When earning the ROY digital token, players can then lock it for passive rewards, instead of cashing out immediately.
Project Pigeon is the P2E version of Flappy Bird, with added blockchain functions. The Project Pigeon casual game is still in closed beta mode, but already with functionalities for earning the VIVE crypto token. The game has three modes – a play similar to Flappy Bird, an egg collection challenge and a sandbox Pigeon Island. Players can also mint eggs and produce unique playable characters, which can then be resold. Project Pigeon has the advantage of using the Polygon network, which does not require high fees for generating (minting) new eggs, character resales, or moving VIVE tokens.
Coin Hunt World
Coin Hunt World scatters elements of various puzzles for an engaging geotagged treasure hunt. Players need to go outside, to reach the locations of keys and vaults and solve the riddles held within. The game holds an ongoing community competition with rounds to earn crypto tokens. It is listed as one of the top casual games based on social media score. Coin Hunt World is available on Apple Store and Google Store, expanding its influence to mobile casual players. Answering the questions rewards players with BTC and ETH, the two leading crypto coins, with the potential for small sums to accrue, especially in urban areas with more vaults assigned by the game.
Ethlas is a universe filled with the cute Komo creatures. It is open to anyone to start playing and earn crypto token rewards or special item airdrops. The game has a free to play mode, but also a play to earn mode where unique Komos can be bought and placed into the game. The goal of players is to gather Gems and convert them to earnings, or upgrade their characters. The XGEM token, which is generated by gameplay, is an asset that is compatible with two blockchains – Ethereum and Polygon. In the future, XGEM will be listed on exchanges to settle a price and estimate the real earnings that can be monetized through exchanges.
Play to earn games have a volatile market where new arrivals are greeted readily for their earnings potential. Games may have different earnings scales depending on the season, the number of participants and even market conditions.
Game reviews are not investment advice. Buying tokens or NFT to participate in a game has technological and market risks, so the best approach is to either use the free version or perform personalized research to avoid losses.