Binance Smart Chain is seeing what can only be described as a Cambrian explosion in its DeFi and gaming ecosystems — with new, innovative solutions seemingly launching left, right and center.
Among these, a new generation of “Play to Earn” games is emerging by blending the best of video gaming with DeFi yield-bearing strategies to produce games where it quite literally pays to play.
CryptoZoon, a decentralized battle game built on BSC, is among those leading the charge.
What Is CryptoZoon (ZOON)?
CryptoZoon is a popular new play-to-earn blockchain-based gaming ecosystem that allows players to collect and battle cutesy critters, known as ZOANs, for a chance to win a variety of rewards.
The game is set in a universe where the once peaceful ZOANs were attacked by a resource-harvesting race of foes known as Yaki. Now, it’s up to the players to battle the Yaki using their collection of ZOANs, to help restore peace to the CryptoZoon cosmos.
CryptoZoon initially launched following an initial DEX offering (IDO) during which 25% of the total ZOON supply was sold for 800 BNB via Unicrypt.
As of writing, the primary gameplay mechanic of CryptoZoon is a PvE battle game, which sees players pit their ZOANs up against a range of foes in order to win both ZOON tokens and experience points.
In later iterations of the game, ZOANs will also be able to battle each other (through training) and breed with one another to produce potentially powerful offspring.
ZOON is the platform’s native utility token. It has a variety of functions within the CryptoZoon ecosystem — as it is both the main reward token for the battle system and the token used for purchasing and hatching eggs.
In total, 43% of the ZOON token supply is allocated to the game's play to earn features. Out of this, 14% is distributed to monster battle winners, 15% to farm participants and 14% to those training their ZOANs.
How Does CryptoZoon Work?
The platform is based on Binance Smart Chain, which makes it both secure and accessible to users who are already familiar with Ethereum-based DApps. As it stands, players can connect to the DApp using either MetaMask or WalletConnect.
To begin playing CryptoZoon, users will need one or more ZOANs. These can either be hatched from eggs, which are available directly from CryptoZoon for a variable price (paid in ZOON), or they can purchase an already hatched ZOAN from the peer-to-peer marketplace.
Once the player has at least 1 hatched ZOAN, they will be free to battle monsters. Players are able to see the odds of defeating each monster, in addition to the potential reward — in terms of both ZOON and EXP. After defeating a monster, the EXP is automatically applied to the ZOAN, and any ZOON winnings are added to the user’s reward wallet and can be claimed at any time (15% fee for claims within 5 days of a previous claim).
ZOAN’s come in six different rarity tiers: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Super Rare, Epic and Legendary. This rarity tier determines how often the ZOAN can fight — with common ZOANs having the least plays per four hours, while Legendaries have the most. They’re also associated with one of four tribes: Plasmer, Hydrein, Stonic and Skyler — this affects their attack, defense, speed and HP in battle.
Besides this, ZOANs also have a level associated with them. This helps determine the amount of ZOON won with each battle and the rate at which they earn EXP. ZOANs can level up by defeating monsters to earn EXP — this rate is also affected by their rarity.
The amount of EXP needed to level up is shown below:
CryptoZoon is currently in phase one of its roadmap and its NFT battle system and Yaki boss fight game mode are now operational. Further down the line, CryptoZoon plans to launch a global tournament mode, as well as a dedicated mobile app on both iOS and Android.
What’s New in the CryptoZoon 3.0 Update?
In late August 2021, CryptoZoon underwent a major upgrade to version 3.0. This brought with it a variety of new features, some of which include:
- Graphics boost: A completely overhauled user interface with improved graphics;
- ZOAN merge feature: Two ZOANs can now be merged into one Super ZOAN through a unique fusion process. These Super ZOANs will feature unique properties that may make them particularly desirable in certain situations. To fuse two ZOANs, players will need to get their hands on a fusion gem, but there is a chance that ZOANs may perish in the process and be lost. This can be avoided by using a Proteus Gem to temporarily boost their power to ensure they survive the fusion process;
- New Yakis: CryptoZoon 3.0 brings with it a handful of new bosses with improved designs;
- ZOAN NFT Farming: With the new update, users are able to stake their ZOAN NFTs to farm a variety of rewards — including ZOON tokens, energy gems and weaponry;
- Tribe switching: Users are now able to switch their ZOANs tribe to help gather a full team for boss battles.
For more details on the CryptoZoon 3.0 update, click here.
What Makes CryptoZoon Unique?
CryptoZoon is designed to be as accessible as possible. One of the ways it accomplishes this is by building on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which features far lower transaction fees and faster transaction times than Ethereum — while maintaining a similar degree of security.
Each egg and ZOAN in the CryptoZoon ecosystem is represented as a non-fungible token (NFT). This means each is entirely unique, and their scarcity and properties can be easily checked over the blockchain.
CryptoZoon makes it easy to get started by providing a simple egg purchasing feature, which allows users to buy eggs directly from the platform for a gradually increasing amount of ZOON. This egg is randomly generated and has a chance of hatching into a potentially rare ZOAN.
For those that want to eliminate the odds and jump right in with a set of ZOANs that suits their needs, CryptoZoon provides a peer-to-peer marketplace. On it, users will find a variety of ZOANs for sale — with different rarities, features and experience levels. As of writing, the cheapest ZOANs can be had for around $100 worth of ZOON, whereas more sought-after critters can fetch north of 100,000 ZOON (about $5,700 at time of writing).
Though the primary gameplay feature is the regular odds-based battle game, CryptoZoon also features a weekly Yaki boss battle, where players can join forces to tackle a powerful foe. If successful, a 100 BNB reward will be split between the participants. Players will need to pay a 150 ZOON fee to participate, and will need a valid lineup of at least four ZOANs of a particular rarity and type (see full details).
What Is Play to Earn, Exactly?
As we previously touched on, CryptoZoon is an example of a “Play to Earn” game. In essence, this means players can earn real money just by playing the game.
The term was popularized by the Ethereum-based NFT battle game Axie Infinity, which has become well-known as a game where players can generate a potentially impressive income with the right assets and strategy — particularly for countries with a lower cost of living.
In CryptoZoon, players earn a yield in the form of ZOON for each battle they win. Because of this, the project now has a thriving community of players dedicated to building the ultimate team of ZOANs to maximize their returns. Though many try their luck by hatching eggs and hoping to land a rare ZOAN, others bypass this step and simply invest in suitable ZOANs by purchasing them from the CryptoZoon marketplace.
Thanks to its carefully balanced tokenomics, including controlled supply, various burn mechanics and a fixed token cap (1 billion ZOON), CryptoZoon hopes to sustain its player rewards for the long term.