Dude hating life after playing Upland.

Still patiently awaiting the concept of cryptogaming.... (Upland review)

By Archangel | Brett's Spiel! | 19 Feb 2021

First, for a little about where I'm coming from, read this.

So, invoking statement #1, I am new to cryptogaming and have only fiddled around with a few.  So, if you are an avid cryptogamer and think my lack of playtime in the space is problematic, then this review is not for you.  Move along and write your own blog.  This review is meant as a write-up for anyone coming from minimal to zero cryptogaming and wondering if Upland is for them.

I have been bored out of my mind by Cryptokitties, Blockchain Cuties, etc. It seems that the developers of these games either don't game, see gamers as pigeons for their get-rich-quick schemes, or have a vastly different definition of fun than I do.

(Hint: It's not Skinner Boxes)

Look, getting stuff is exciting. Making money is nice. I'm not sure I'd attach the word "fun" to these things. Clearly that's subjective, so YMMV.  

Let's dig in.

First, I really think it's a bad sign when I resent the developers within minutes of starting their game.

I started this game with "Bonus Bucks" from Publish0x and still felt immediately poor and restricted in what I could do.  Though I got that the development is in Fresno and San Francisco right now, I don't really have any attachment to those locations at all.  Finding a place there I give a particular rat's ass about would be kind of like throwing a dart at a map.  So, I wandered over to Tokyo (where I used to live) and looked for some of my favorite spots. I mean, Google Earth is cool, I suppose, but hardly seems like anything innovative.    So, I just started clicking around and... 


My "Bonus Bucks" were just shy of being enough to buy much of anything in San Francisco. The lowest property value I found before my grumbles were getting on my own nerves was 6090.  Why, I would have to put in my own money to make up that extra. Huh. (I then died of "not surprise".)

I spent what felt like hours (but was probably minutes) plodding around the clunky interface, poking on random properties to see if I could afford them.  It occurred to me that this felt like those old scams where someone would sell you a square inch of land in Scotland to grant you a lordship or knighthood title or sell you the naming rights to a star.  I get the difference between the digital version that lives on the chain and the one IRL, but it seems that the conflation of the value of the two is the whole selling point here.  

Then, I wondered where the fun was in randomly wandering toward nothing you care about, until you dumped some RandoBucks into a travel function to take you to someone's property...or to take a train.  So, is the "game" running around whales' properties until FOMO convinces you to dump your fiat into the chain and hopefully wrest that 1234 Arbitrary Avenue from someone to begin your exciting life as a virtual landlord?  

This is barely even gambling. I think it's generous to call it a game.

Really, if you just want to dump money into weird Rube Goldberg mechanisms for laundering money, there's a pretty straight forward one that will shake you down for Tron (TRX) called Tronbirds. 

So, to put it simply and bluntly: 

  • It's not fun.
  • The interface is clunky and exasperating.
  • The income potential seems pretty much in line with rich guys getting richer and everyone else getting fleeced.

I love all kinds of gaming: card, board, video, parlor, etc. But I very much take exception to this being called a game. Watching a stock ticker is not gaming. You may enjoy it, but it is disingenuous to call it a game.

My initial intent was to enter the competition with this, but I'm pretty sure I have irked the devs and all the whales. I doubt the Publish0x folks will find it in their hearts to reward an unflattering (and admittedly, quite harsh) opinion for their newest incentive, despite the contest rules not stating that the review had to be favorable. ;)  It's ok. No hard feelings.

Keep posting cryptogames for me to review, though. I'll gush over the good ones and shit on the bad ones.

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Scientist by day and superhero DJ by night. One of the 4 Housemen of the Apocalypse. Cybersecurity guru and proponent of the connectivity of art and information.

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