There are two types of games for a game reviewer with deadlines. Firstly, there are the games that you play until you feel you have enough material to write a credible and informed review. Knowing when you reach that point will depend on the game and on your experience as a game reviewer. Some games are multi-faceted and require more time playing, while other games are simpler and require less time playing. In my experience, most games, and particularly most decentralized games, fall into this first category.

The second category of games are those that you keep on playing even though you know you have enough material to write the review you’re supposed to write. You’ve gone through most of the game’s features, understand most of the mechanics, and you’ve played it for at least a few hours. And yet you keep playing. Superficially, you tell yourself that you need to play for a bit longer, just to get the full experience, but deep down you know you’re suffering from the “one more game” syndrome. The game you’re playing is simply too addictive to stop. CryptoDozer falls into this category.

I played twenty more levels after I took this screenshot 🙂

As a kid, the coin pusher machine in the arcade that came to town twice a year was my favorite game. I had a slight feeling the machines weren’t rigged in my favor, but that didn’t stop me from spending all my precious euros seeing worthless coins fall down the gutter. There was little strategy to my playing. I let chance guide me and received just enough reward to want to keep on playing.

CryptoDozer is a coin pusher game on the Ethereum blockchain. When you first start playing CryptoDozer, you’ll receive around thirty coins if you verify your email address and connect your Ethereum account through MetaMask. That’s enough to get you an enticing sniff of the game. At first, like a total noob, as if I hadn’t played this game in an arcade twice every year for a decade, I dropped coin by coin, watching how each single coin pushed the other coins forward. Eventually, I started dropping multiple coins at once, in the center or on the flanks, depending on how the field of coins was moving forward.

The fact that I felt the same addictive rush of dopamine playing a digital coin pusher game as I felt when I was a kid playing it in a game arcade, shows how well-made CryptoDozer is. After all, apart from the fact that it’s certainly not easy to find the right balance between giving enough rewards while also keeping the user playing, it’s also not easy to recreate something physical digitally.

The real world has a tangibleness that the digital world doesn’t have. It’s almost as if feeling the coins in your hand and hearing them clink down the vertical tunnels of the machine is addictive in itself. A digital game cannot recreate that, so it needs other reasons to keep on playing. As such, CryptoDozer differs in a few important ways from a regular coin pusher machine.

Firstly, there isn’t just a front gutter for your coins to fall in. There are also side gutters that your coins can fall in. Anything that falls in there is lost. It doesn’t contribute to your reward, something that I only realized once I saw a few bonus coins disappear in there.

A bear edging towards the front gutter

You can protect your coins and items from falling off the sides by putting up two walls on the sides. For a limited amount of time, these walls will not only stop anything from falling off the sides, but they’ll also push everything close that’s to the sides back inwards. The field gets narrower, which makes it easier to push coins and items through the front.

Secondly, the game has a variety of bonus coins that fall automatically whenever you reach an accomplishment in the game. In the above screenshot, apart from the regular coins (with the Ethereum symbol on them) and the two bears, you’ll also notice two XP coins. Whenever you manage to drop an XP coin down the front, you’ll get five XP, which will help you level up. Whenever you reach a certain level, a crate will drop with either a normal, rare, or unique fancy doll inside (see first screenshot for a crate). The higher your level, the higher the chance of a more valuable doll. Once you reach level eighty, the most valuable dolls will unlock.

You need keys to unlock your crates. The crates with normal items require a key you can buy with dollars through PayPal or Razer Gold. Five keys cost $6.45 right now. Crates with rare or unique dolls require a key you need to buy with Ethereum. A single rare key costs 0.28 ETH and a single unique key 1.09 ETH. This is undoubtedly expensive, but there’s a chance you receive a doll in return that’s worth a good bit more than what you’ve spent on keys.

The fancy dolls you can find in crates

I bought five keys for $6.45. With only four keys, I gathered dolls that are worth around 0.03 ETH, or $4.95 in today’s Ethereum price. So I didn’t completely return my “investment,” but it recovered much of it. Besides, if I happen to stumble on a Hikimo or Olive & Pip doll in my next crate, I’ll fully earn my money back.

Besides the XP coins, there are also 2X coins, which add two XP and two coins to any one coin that falls, and fever coins, which activate a fever mode for every fifth fever coin that falls down the gutter. When fever mode is activated, the rectangular block that pushes the coins forward goes haywire and pushes at least twice as fast. There’s also the party coin, which instantly drops five coins on your playing field, the wall coin, which gives you the ability to use the wall, a special coin, which drops four random bonus coins, a giant coin, which is a somewhat bigger coin, and an even bigger giant coin, my favorite, because it’s a huge and heavy coin that makes all other coins jump up when it falls down.

Besides bonus coins and crates, sometimes a regular doll will fall down too. These dolls will either be bronze, silver, or gold dolls. Any doll from silver upward becomes quite valuable Ethereum-wise. Have a look at the list down below. Jade is a respectable 0.1 ETH ($16.5) and the Aria doll is a crazy 70 ETH ($11,550).

A list of the regular dolls

The first Aria doll was collected in the beginning of April this year, by a player called Redangel. PlayDapp, the developer team behind CryptoDozer, interviewed Redangel to talk about the experience. Given that you can quite easily exchange your dolls for Ethereum using CryptoDozer’s in-game exchange, winning a doll worth 70 ETH was something special for Redangel. It’s one of the unique benefits of blockchain technology that you can win over $10,000 in a provably fair game.

One thing I really like about CryptoDozer, and it’s the first time I’ve seen this in any DGame, is that you can choose to donate your dolls to UNICEF. In the game’s exchange, you can click donate, pay the Etheruem gas fee, and the Ethereum equivalent of your doll will be donated to UNICEF, to help children around the world with crypto. You’ll receive auto-drops in return, which are coins that drop automatically in the game, and your name will be on a donor list, which is permanently recorded on the blockchain.

(This is possible because UNICEF New Zealand announced in early 2019 that they’ll start accepting cryptocurrency donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. You can find their direct wallet addresses here. As CryptoDozer links directly to the UNICEF article announcing this, I’m assuming PlayDapp donates to UNICEF New Zealand)

My inventory of regular and fancy dolls

As you can see, there’s a lot more to CryptoDozer than it seems like at first glance. Of course, with all these items, crates, and different coins that you’ll want to gather, you’ll run out of regular coins in no time. The initial thirty coins you get because you verify your identity and connect your Ethereum account won’t last you longer than a few minutes.

You get a free extra coin every thirty seconds. So, in theory, you could play until you run out of coins and wait until you have enough coins to start playing again. This is useful if you’re close to dropping an important item and just ran out of coins, but impractical if you want to keep on playing the game. Instead, you’ll need to buy coins.

What you can buy with PLA

You can buy coins with PLA, which is CryptoDozer’s ERC-20 token. As far as I understand, PLA is unique to CryptoDozer and is not to be confused with PlayChip, which is a universal gaming token also abbreviated as PLA. You buy CryptoDozer’s PLA with Ethereum. I bought 499 PLA for 0.0499 ETH and mostly exchanged that for coins. You can also use PLA to activate the walls, to airdrop coins and to expand your inventory with more slots (only so many dolls will fit in your inventory).

I wish you could buy crate keys with PLA too. Now, you either have to pay with cash for normal crate keys or in Ethereum for rare and unique crate keys. It makes sense to offer both a fiat and a crypto option, but it’s confusing to be able to buy something things with PLA, but not others.

You shouldn’t think of CryptoDozer as a game where you’ll earn lots of Ethereum. It’s ultimately a gambling game where the odds are somewhat stacked against you. That’s not to detract from it. CryptoDozer is a highly addictive and very playable DGame that brings an arcade game into the digital world in a way that seems only possible because of blockchain technology. Try it out in The DGaming Store and see if you can resist its addictive pull.