The @splinterlands team is hosting a contest that I think is ending today or shortly that wants you to compare Splinterlands vs other games. I've been wanting to make a post like this on why I prefer to play Splinterlands over other TCGs so let us just jump right into it.
Disclosure, I enjoy watching others play Hearthstone and God's Unchained but have only casually played Hearthstone and never played God's Unchained. The same goes for Magic the Gathering I've only played with friends and their decks, but feel I can still make a good comparison. If you feel I'm way off on my comparison let me know in the comments as I've open to feedback and may persuade me to play more of one of the other games.
Rental Market - Advantage Splinterlands
I think the Rental Market is a very cool aspect of Splinterlands that gives the card market a huge advantage as not only will people be buying cards just to collect or to play with, but also to make passive income.
Huge shoutout to the @steempeak team for creating peakmonsters as they've made setting up a card rental crazy easy. All you have to do is set up a termination escrow price, a daily rental price, and how long you want to rent the card for (min and max number of days) and you can pretty much forget about it as the rental happens automatically.
The only reason I check back in on my rental cards is to see if they're renting out ok and if I need to increase my rental cost because I could be making more or decrease the rental cost because my card is just sitting while others are renting "cheaper" cards.
Long Term History - Advantage MTG and Pokemon
MTG - Magic the Gathering and Pokemon have gone through many bear and bull markets and the game is still around. Therefore as an investment, I would feel much more confident investing in either one of these games because they have the history to make an intelligent guess on how cards and booster packs will perform over the long term as well as the history of surviving over many bear markets both within the game and the overall economy.
I think both God's Unchained and Splinterlands are setting up to have the sticking power to stay around long term as they have both been created in a bear crypto market, however, it will be interesting to see if people continue to invest in the cards when Bitcoin and alts start going up 2, 10, and maybe 100x.
One of the draws in investing in these two games currently is that they are doing very well in a bear market so instead of just holding Steem and Ethereum and constantly watching them lose value you can invest in some packs of cards and be able to at the very least hold value and best case scenario start to see a modest return on your investment to 2, 3, or even 10x if you get lucky investing in certain cards.
Quick Gameplay and Easiest to Learn - Splinterlands
I think this is why Pokemon TCG (Trading Card Game) has managed to stick around so long as it caters to a different audience then Magic or Hearthstone. Of the non-blockchain based TCGs, I also think it's the easiest to learn as everything pretty much is self-explanatory.
I think Splinterlands does a great job of creating a TCG that is both easy to use and has super-fast gameplay. It's an easy game to pick up and play when you're waiting for a movie, or sitting in line at the grocery store waiting to check out or any other time where you have a few minutes to spare.
Once the app comes out it will make that experience a million times better as well. I think Hearthstone has a huge advantage at this point as it is one of the most popular TCGs that you can play on your phone on an app. This is the biggest "hole in my heart" if you will as I do a lot of mobile gaming on Splinterlands and while I'm not going to complain too much as you at least have the option to play, playing on an app specifically designed for a phone screen will make playing that much more enjoyable.
Game Depth - Magic and Hearthstone
I guess I should really say Physical TCGs (like Magic and Pokemon) and Digital TCGs (like Hearthstone and God's Unchained). One thing that worries me about Splinterlands is it is a little too automated. You set-up your line-up in the game and then that's pretty much it as you watch the animation of the gameplay out. This is one thing that really worries me about the long term success of Splinterlands is will there be enough depth to keep the game going and players interested.
I'm not sure how interesting this will be to watch on YouTube, Twitch or 3Speak as I imagine Hearthstone type games will be loads more enjoyable to watch. I guess this may be more of an opinion, but I just feel these games are more competitive and require a little more thought when putting together a deck on what type of strategy you want to use.
This is pretty evident when you go to Youtube and look-up GodsUnchained and Hearthstone as they both have more gameplay videos and commentary than Splinterlands does. One could argue that most people just upload their Splinterlands videos to Dtube or 3 speak, but I just don't think the videos are just that enjoyable to watch or to make when you feel like oh yeah with a little bit of luck and skill I crushed this guy and want to make a video to share with others.
"Card Burn" - Magic and Splinterlands
I think the Splinterlands have a great idea of combining cards to level them up. This allows people who can't afford more expensive cards to still be able to participate in the game with their level 1 cards while still creating an incentive to continue to play and level up your cards. It also makes the cards more and more rare over time.
To me, this is one thing that causes the market to struggle in other digital TCGs is that the number of cards is never reduced. True people quit playing and then their cards just sit in their account which does reduce the number of cards some, but when you're playing a game with physical cards, they get scratched from playing, they get smoke damage from being in a smokers home, they get lost in house fire, or the pallet of cards gets damaged in transit to help slowly reduce the number of cards making them more and rarer as they get older, especially "pack fresh cards".
Leveling of cards by combining cards does a great job over time of naturally reducing the number of cards available as more and more people join the Splinterlands community and want to rank higher and higher in seasons. I don't think Gods Unchained or Hearthstone has anything like this and will limit the amount common cards go up in value over time as they will only reduce in quantity as people forget about their accounts.
TLDR - Advantage Splinterlands
If/when Gods Unchained comes out with a mobile app I will probably spend some time playing that game as well, but I really enjoy the fast pace style of Splinterlands. While I do have some concerns longterm with game depth with such a quick style game, the Splinterlands team has done a great job keeping me coming back most seasons even if it's only to max out my rank to try and get a few more of those reward cards.
Some things I didn't cover above is I like the frequency of tournaments, even if I don't participate in a lot of them, and the daily and season quest rewards. I do think it's also nice that the packs are based on a USD price instead of a Steem price because it might make packs cost $10 - $20 depending on how hi the Steem price goes on the next bull run and that is once concern I have for God's Unchained.
Finally, I hope the art of Splinterlands just keeps improving. I think hearthstone ha some ok art and Magic has some amazing art, but both God's Unchained and Splinterlands can make some improvements in making cards that just evoke a stronger emotion which is what a lot of the cards in Magic does. I definitely think the Splinterlands expansion was a step in the right direction with some "prettier" cards.
I think the Splinterlands community is awesome though. That is definitely one thing that separates the Steem Blockchain and Splinterlands from other games is the community here on the platform and think it's awesome that @acidyo and @ocd and trying hard to get God's Unchained to be a part of this community as well.