Crypto Sword & Magic embodies a trend that I think everyone in the blockchain community will like. Firstly, it’s not an entirely new game, but a popular Facebook RPG whose developers decided to move everything of their game, including the game’s logic, to the EOS blockchain. Their Facebook page has over 66,500 likes, many of whom will now come in touch with blockchain technology. Nice.
Secondly, given that it’s been released as a regular game for years, Crypto Sword & Magic is already more complex and more detailed than most other DGames I’ve played so far. I’m sure it doesn’t quite come close to the complexity of the regular game, as the developers have likely had to dumb down the game a little bit to make their move to the blockchain, but that also means that the developers have a roadmap to bring Crypto Sword & Magic to the level of complexity of the original game.
I’m confident that this is a scenario that the DGaming community will encounter more and more in the future. Popular games will become decentralized and will have a level of complexity we’ve not yet seen before. Developers have every incentive to do this too, as blockchain technology offers new monetization models while giving the players full asset ownership and the ability to earn money playing their favorite game.
Installing Crypto Sword & Magic
Given the well-designed, easy-to-understand one-page website of Crypto Sword & Magic (CSM), I was eager to play the game. Sadly, however, it wasn’t easy to download at all. In fact, I came close to not reviewing the game, not because it was technically difficult to set up, but simply because I couldn’t figure out how to download the game.
When I visited their website from my desktop browser, I found no link to the game. Additionally, there’s no real mention on the website that the game had been released yet, and there’s a pre-sale section and a subscribe button that had me almost convinced the game was still being developed.
It became even more confusing when I visited their Medium page, where the developers had published a blog post on the 28th of June this year that the game had been released and that you could download the Android APK from their website. Subsequent Medium blog posts talked about the updates they’d made to the game.
It was only when I visited their mobile website that I found the download links. Apparently, the browser version of their website doesn’t show the three buttons to download the game, but the mobile version does. Otherwise, it’s entirely the same site.
The game seems to be best optimized for Android right now, as that’s a simple APK download and install. For iOS, however, you’ll need to install TestFlight, an app that allows you to play the beta versions of iOS games that haven’t been released on the App Store yet.
Crypto Sword & Magic is created by NOD Games, a South-Korean mobile gaming company based in Seoul. I appreciate that most of their traffic will come through mobile, as people in Asia primarily access the Internet through their phone, but I still strongly believe NOD Games should at least clarify on their website how their game can be downloaded, particularly as most mobile gamers won’t try to figure out for thirty minutes how to download an app. A simple paragraph on the game’s website would do.
Once you’ve installed the game, however, it’s the same smooth story as with any other EOS game I’ve played. You can log in with TokenPocket, MyKey, Meet.one, Nova, or simply as a guest. There’s no need to buy any crypto (unless it’s your first time installing an EOS wallet, because then you’ll need to stake a few EOS tokens) and you can jump into the game right away.
Classes in Crypto Sword & Magic
There are three initial classes in CSM: fighter, mage, and rogue. The fighter has high strength, medium dexterity and luck, and low intelligence. The mage has low strength, medium dexterity and luck, and high intelligence. The rogue has medium-high strength, dexterity, and luck, and low intelligence. These stats will determine your health, your attack points, and your defense points.
However, that’s not where it ends. This is where the complexity of CSM already starts to show. As you level up your hero by fighting monsters, you’ll eventually qualify for a more advanced class. Each initial class has two advanced classes.
As a fighter, you can become either a berserker, who’s better at attacking, or a knight, who’s better at defending. As a mage, you can become an archmage, who’s better at big magic attacks, or a priest, who’s better at healing and buffing. As a rogue, you can become a ranger, who’s better at long-range hits, or an assassin, who’s better at sneaky kills.
Once you’ve chosen your class, the game walks you through a comprehensive tutorial that explains the different aspects of the game. You’ll quickly notice that there’s a lot to explore. There are five tabs in CSM. We’ll go over each tab and give you a concise explanation of its function in the game.
The Five Different Tabs of CSM
The hero tab gives you all the information about your hero. It’s where you equip him with armor and weapons, where you can see his health, how much more experience he needs to level up. It shows over twenty different stats that indicate how well he’ll do against certain enemies in battle.
Here, you can also train skills. My rogue has seventeen skills, three of which were accessible immediately. It doesn’t cost anything to level up your skills, except that each consecutive level of a skill will take a longer period of time to train for. However, you can immediately complete training for a skill by spending a crystal, the game’s currency.
The hero tab also allows you to equip a skill. You can equip three skills, one which will be accessible from level ten, one from level twenty-five, and one from level forty. The maximum level any hero can reach (in the current version of the game, at least) is level seventy.
The inventory tab shows you all the items you have in your backpack and the items your hero is equipped with. There are subtle touches in this tab that I really appreciate. One such touch is that the armor and weapons you equip your hero with are shown in your hero’s little avatar. This isn’t the case in some RPGs, where you’re always served a bog-standard hero avatar. It’s so much more fun to see how your hero is becoming more powerful because of the weapons and items you equip them with than it is to always see a standard hero avatar.
Another subtle touch is the pop-up that shows whenever you try to equip your hero with something new. It shows you the stats of the new item versus the stats of the item you’re replacing, making it incredibly easy to see whether you should or shouldn’t use the new item. The inventory itself, as well, shows which items you can equip and which ones you can’t.
In the inventory tab, you can also level up equipment, enchant equipment, and create entirely new pieces of equipment by melting other equipment away. Enchanting equipment seems to be the way to go for new players, as that requires nothing but a few minutes to complete (or a crystal to complete immediately). All the other functions will become more useful as your hero grows stronger and you gather more items.
The pet tab allows you to select which pet you want by your side, as well as level them up, and train their skills. I don’t know whether it’s possible to find a pet in the game, but you can buy pets from the shop tab, in the form of a pet egg for 100 crystal.
You earn crystal by leveling up your character, but you can also buy crystal. A hundred crystal will set you back 1 EOS. The biggest crystal package will give you 12,000 crystal and costs 100 EOS. All of this goes directly to NOD Games, but this isn’t the only way they monetize CSM. They also offer a VIP membership that costs 1 EOS for 1 day, 5 EOS for 7 days, and 15 EOS for a month, which will reduce chest cooltime, reduce enchantment time, and speed up training time.
The shop tab also allows you to buy items from other players in an auction, as well as sell your own items. In the auction, you can bid on items or buy them immediately for a higher EOS price. Unfortunately, there’s no way to sort for price, so you have to browse through the items manually to find something you might want to buy.
The fifth and final tab is the battle tab, and this is where all the action happens. There are three ways you can fight: on the world map, in dungeons, or during a raid. You’ll mostly fight on battlefields from the world map. Each battlefield has a difficulty level (easy, normal, hard) and different types of monsters. All battlefields are part of a world map that you’ll gradually unlock as you get stronger.
Each battlefield is a certain size and has a gatekeeper, indicated by a red flag on the map, that you’ll need to kill in order to complete the level. As you’re exploring the battlefield, you’ll come across shrines that will buff your attack or your health, as well as enemies you’ll need to defeat. When you’ve killed the gatekeeper, you’ll gain experience, collect loot, and unlock the next level on the map.
You’re also able to create a team with other people’s heroes. This is often an easy way to unlock more difficult levels and have your hero quickly earn experience. However, loot is shared between the heroes of your party. The one who fights best earns the most. Given that the mercenaries you can pick are quite powerful, you’ll likely end up with the least amount of loot.
Another subtle touch I really liked is that you can have your character walk through battlefields automatically. As I’m writing this review, my phone is lying next to me and my character is fighting a wolf (and losing). There’s no need for me to do anything, as my character walks from room to room, picks everything up, and fights monsters automatically, which is convenient.
Instead of fighting on battlefields, you can also fight in dungeons. You can enter three dungeons every day and will get ranked on the leaderboard with other players based on your performance. The best players will receive crystal in exchange. I tried entering a dungeon a few times, but was butchered very quickly. You need powerful gear to compete.
You also have the chance to participate in raids, which are fights that the developers organize. They create a powerful enemy that players have to try and defeat. The best players receive EOS in exchange. Recently, players fought to defeat the dragon Madgar. The prize pot consisted of 250 EOS; not shabby at all.
Count me impressed. Crypto Sword & Magic is a complex, detailed game that’s incredibly fun to play. It’s no surprise that thousands of people play this game. Apart from how confusing it is to download the game, I don’t have any major gripes with it. Once you get over the technical barriers that are still inevitable with blockchain technology, you’ll find that Crypto Sword & Magic plays just as well, if not better, like any other traditional, high-quality mobile game.