Gamer's POV on NFT Clicker Games

in #play2earn2 years ago (edited)

NFT ClicKer GAMES.gif

Play2earn games are still riding in the wave of hype that started last year, so expect that many more hit-or-miss, experiment-like NFT games will come. I'll candidly admit that I've spent considerable money and time on some of these iffy games. Although my overall profits are still a lot higher than my losses, there's still some lingering regret on not paying better attention to the red flags. It was there since the start. I just failed to acknowledge it and take the correct action.

I hope to share some of my learnings in my NFT gaming experience by highlighting the potential problems of some of these NFT games. And, hopefully, with more awareness of specific risks, you'd be able to make more informed choices.

Today, I'd like to talk about the risks of a breed of NFT games which I will, from hereon, term as Clicker games. Its flaws aren't too far away from NFT mining games that I talked about on my previous blog, but the core problem in an NFT clicker game has a more insidious way of crippling the game economy. Thus, once you're in, you may not realize that the game is going downhill until you are already at the bottom.

Disclaimer: I'm only a humble gamer slash programmer and have a limited perspective on the matter. So I'll leave it to market analysts or blockchain experts to further enlighten us about the topic (if you are one, kindly leave feedback in the comments section).

What are NFT Clicker Games

Clicker may not be an accurate term of the NFT games I have in mind since the word is quite broad. Google wouldn't even give us a definitive meaning. Click-to-play is also a suitable name, but let's go with the catchier clicker. Though the terminology may be vague, I hope I'd be able to communicate its qualities and flaws, so you get to be warier of the red flags of risky clicker games.

Any game will need clicks or some input, so the root problem doesn't stem from the clicking per se. What I find problematic are those with zero or minimal strategizing. Games like Splinterlands and Axie will demand some careful calculations to win battles. You won't win by randomly selecting any card. Doing so would net you zero rewards.

As a concrete example of the troublesome sort of no-strategy NFT clicker games, let's imagine a play2earn game with a matchmaking theme. Using your Hero NFT asset, you can play a game session with four possible Waifu options. Each selection has a specific winning percentage depending on a random dice roll and stats compatibility between your Hero NFT and potential Waifu. Let's borrow some Splinterland assets for demonstration.

87% Success Rate
80% Success Rate
92% Success Rate
95% Success Rate

Your Hero NFT has the highest compatibility with Daria Dragonscale; so selecting the card will give you the highest chance of winning and earning rewards.

Compared to NFT mining games, I find clicker games marginally more fun. It's entertaining in a way some online betting or dice games are. I'm not promoting gambling, but just pointing out that it's at least a bit thrilling to anticipate wins within specific odds.

The sample gameplay I had is not entirely mindless since there are simple considerations to maximize your reward. But even if you mistakenly click the non-optimal choice, there's still a significant chance to earn rewards. And the problem with clicker games lies there. If a human thought process becomes optional, then the NFT game may not need a human to play it at all.

Bots: The Scourge of Clicker Games

One dreaded outcome for NFT games is when the game's coin reaches a state of oversupply, showing that there's a lot less interest in buying the coins while there's a massive playerbase that's constantly earning and selling. With enough time and talent, the developers may drive their games away from this bad ending. Unfortunately, clicker games aren't afforded much time due to a nasty infestation called bots.

Bots enable an individual player to own hundreds of accounts with the sole intention of farming rewards. Using bots in a strategic game like Splinterlands is quite complex, so there may only be a tiny percentage of players capable of utilizing bots. But what about clicker games? Players can still earn rewards even by randomly clicking. Bots for NFT clicker games are so simple that anyone who knows how to use Google can set it up. I tested one free, clicker bot out of tens of options. I only needed to install it, record click sequences, and voila, the clicks happen as I intended it to at specific time intervals.

Bots infestation is a bit insidious since it's easy to assume that each bot entering the game is a real player. And this may be mistakenly interpreted as a success signal. Human players are good since they can be swayed to buy more NFTs, refer friends, or do other stuff that benefits the game. Bots, however, are created with a single purpose to farm rewards.

As hundreds or thousands of bots tirelessly generate coins 24/7, the day the coin reaches oversupply comes faster.

A Glimpse on a Clicker Game and How Bots Ruined It

Bunicorn is one Clicker game that I heavily invested in months ago. I'm currently at a loss, but I'm still optimistic about the game's upcoming updates, so I'm still keeping my NFT assets and coins. Despite being extremely hopeful of its future, I'd like to acknowledge that there were real problems with the game.

Bunicorn launched its game on Aug 31st of last year. The gameplay is similar to the matchmaking sample I talked about earlier. Players use a pair of Trainer and Bunicorn NFTs to battle. There's no actual battle happening; players only need to select one of four opponents. Each teams' power ratings with randomized power buff/debuff decide who wins. The gameplay is so simple, so it's not hard to imagine how you can leave a basic bot to do all the work.

By mid-October, the game's coin, $BUNI, has dropped at around 50% of its recent high. The lead developer tweeted about the thousands of bots farming the game as one of the major culprits of the dip. The millions of reward coins minted daily, which can be verified by checking the blockchain explorer, supports the developer's claim. They further mentioned that they are taking action by banning all the bots.

First marker is ATH; Second is the 50%-ish dip when the bot issue was most talked about; Third marker is the current lowest range; $BUNI-USD Coingecko Chart

But even after the bot ban, the coin price continued dipping. Perhaps the anti-bot measures worked but maybe the remedy was implemented far too late. Or maybe the measures didn't work at all, and the bots were able to continue farming. Either way, bots are bad news. From an all-time high of $0.60, it dropped by around 90% three months later at $0.67. It's at least not as terrible as NFT mining games, where the 90% drop often happens within several days.

The bots were not the sole reason that Bunicorn ended in that mess. But I figure it must be one of the biggest ones. Instead of focusing on creating new features, the devs were scrambling to try out strategies to address the bots issue. The players who pay attention to the market become fearful. Scarcity drives prices higher. The oversupply caused by the bots triggered coin holders to sell at latest prices, expecting that the price will drop further.

But having said all these about the Bunicorn game, I'm still optimistic about its prospect. The devs are still not giving up, so they may be able to turn it around despite how dire the present circumstances seem.

To end

Is it good to invest in NFT clicker or click-to-play games? Carefully factor in the game's complexity. If the game is too simple then expect that there'll be an overwhelming number of bots in the future. An abundance of bots will ultimately harm the game. Check out if the developers have sufficient measures to battle the bots. But even if there are anti-bot mechanisms in place, don't discount the possibility that bot owners can work around those.

As for the context of the gaming experience, clicker games can be fun. The simple gameplay is a pleasant break from my favorite strategy and RPG games. So I imagine some gamers will want to play it. I did, and I still do.

But with all these considerations, I'm assessing Clicker games have a moderate to high risk of failure, so manage your investments accordingly.

Related Blog

Gamer's POV on risks of NFT Mining Games

Header image made with Adobe Express.
Card assets belong to Splinterlands.


As a gamer, I agree with pretty much all of the points. In general, these games aren't so much fun normally, so the only reason to play is the ROI - which points to another problem: the moment the ROI is bad, the playerbase dwindles and we get into this loop that's impossible to get out of.


Yeah. NFT games are still struggling on varying degrees to incentivize playtime other than the earning part. Current play2earn games aren't as fun as the best of mainstream and indie games yet. But I believe we'll get there in a year or two :)

Thanks for the comment and curation!

!discovery 30

You should check out @cryptobrewmaster and give your thoughts on that.

The game looks great. I'm looking forward to learning more about it soon. Thanks for the recommendation!


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