So here we go with my first brutally fucking honest crypto game review, where I will break down the ins and outs of the game, crunch a few numbers, and give my completely honest opinion on what the game offers, and its potential for earning you some crypto.
What it is
CryptoDozer is not a new concept. A crypto version of a digital version of a physical arcade machine that has a long history of giving you just enough of a taste of winning that you will keep playing (or should I say paying?) in the hopes of winning big, which is highly unlikely. You drop coins onto a chute, and a moving block (the "dozer") at the back pushes the coins forward. There are also certain bonus coins that will appear that grant you additional experience or coins, or power up certain abilities. The final items you will see on the chute are the cutesy stuffed-animal-type dolls, and chests from which you can collect a different set of dolls.
The dolls are your primary prizes in the game, which all relate directly to an Ethereum value based on their rarity. There are three standard types of dolls: bronze (0.001-0.03 ETH), silver (0.07-1 ETH), and gold (2-70 ETH). These are the dolls that have a small chance of dropping onto the chute as you play.
Through leveling up or winning them via the spin feature you get the chests dropping on the chute. The chests are graded as either normal (0.001-0.2 ETH), magic (0.02-0.5 ETH), rare (0.07-1 ETH) or unique (0.5-7 ETH). Each chest costs you a key, and of course keys cost you something too, because there is almost nothing for free in this game.
In terms of the gameplay, it is actually pretty decent. It is a well-polished implementation with smooth gameplay that does exactly what is intended with very little friction - both on mobile and on desktop. It does make for a sweet little casual game.
The aim of the game in the broadest sense is to drop coins on one end, and slowly, ever so fucking slowly, either push them back to you, or lose them off the edges. Coins that come back to you can be played again, or coins that drop off the side fuel the spin meter where you can win power-ups, coins, or chests. As you can see from screenshot I had 120 coins - I was full at the time and managed to score 100 on decent spin.
You start with a bunch of free coins to play with, and a full chute so you can fool around for a bit and not be bored too quickly, but once your free coins are gone you only get more coins at a rate of 1 every 30 seconds up to a total of 20. There are also daily free coins to claim if you are willing to pay the gas fee.
In more specific monetary terms the aim is only to catch those dolls - everything else is only a means towards more dolls.
There are a few power-ups in the game too, like walls which stop you losing anything off the side for a brief time, fever mode which adds a multiplier and some annoying flashing lights and makes the dozer move faster, and the occasional bull rush which basically just aggressively clears the board which is not always a good thing because then you have to waste time and coins to fill it up again before you will get any more drops.
Design and performance and shit
Google Pixel 2, playing through Coinbase wallet's Dapp browser
2018 Macbook Pro, Brave browser with MetaMask wallet
The performance is smooth and I haven't noticed any glitches or hiccups on either platform. But older hardware might be less forgiving.
The design is nice and flashy and colourful, just like any machine built to sucker-punch you while it reaches into your wallet should be. The layout feels a little cramped on desktop, but obviously it looks like it was designed more for the mobile experience.
I only have two real complaints for the base game. One is the big fucking "INSERT COIN" thing that flashes when you don't have any coins left in your bag. I could happily sit there hypnotised by the dozer's back and forth movement for 10+ minutes except for that thing!
Also on mobile instead of having your inventory be just scrollable or just paginated, it is both. WTAF? There is some serious screen real estate wasted there in implementing both when they could have made it a much nicer experience.
Also right now they have a Christmas event going on. But let's use the word "event" loosely - it is basically just a reskin (nice job from their artists actually) and a few bundles to give you more options for ways to be separated from your money.
But who's damn foolish idea was it to make the Christmas wreath at the bottom of the screen bounce every fucking second??? It is painfully noticeable and I wish it would just fuck right off. At least give us the option to click on it once per session to stop it bouncing.
Where it falls down
The game only starts to shit on you when you get into the dolls and the real money aspects. I understand that sure the developers are trying to make a bit of money, but some of this shit is just downright rude.
Once you get to level 30 you stop regenerating free coins. You HAVE to buy them. Nice, give people just enough for free to know they want more, then cut them off - that's drug dealer psychology 101. I am fast approaching level 30 on mobile, and will probably dump the game when I get there if there are no more free coins.
You also have to deal with a seriously fucking limited number of spaces to store chests and dolls - I have 8 spaces on mobile but 12 on desktop. I'm not sure if there was a change since I first played on mobile some months ago and only tried on desktop to refresh myself for this review, or if this is an intentional platform difference. If it was an update for new players, it would have been really fucking nice of them to actually treat their existing user-base with an upgrade too considering how much other money they try to gouge with this game.
You can of course upgrade your inventory space, but (surprise surprise) that costs money. But you can't just buy slots with ETH. No, you have to convert ETH to PLA, then PLA to inventory slots. It costs 500 PLA (0.05 ETH) for 3 new inventory slots - not so bad. But guess what? PLA only comes in bundles of 499, 2700, or 4999.... yep, that's right, 1 fucking PLA short of what you need, thus forcing you to pay out a shit-tonne more than you would want to if all you are after is 3 inventory slots. Definitely some dirty little hands more than happy to dip into your wallet.
So how can you clear shit out of your inventory?
You have only one way to remove chests, and that is by opening them with a key to get the doll out of it. Keys cost money, although you do get 1 normal key free when you validate your email address.
Dolls on the other hand you have two ways to dump those - one is trading them for ETH, or the other is to donate them to UNICEF. Donations sound great, but you have to pay a flat 0.0117 ETH to donate, and donations cannot be batched so you have to process every single fucking doll separately and pay the amount each time.
But, cashing your dolls for real ETH, that's what everyone wants, right? But hold on a minute. First let's crunch some numbers on the estimated return on the cost of keys....
The game does not give an indication of the mathematical weighting of the rarity of each of the dolls (but it is there), so I am ignoring the unknowns and just calculating typical averages based on opening 9 or 6 chests based on the number of possible dolls, and getting one of each doll in the set:
Normal chests - 9 dolls, 1 key is 0.05 ETH - 0.45 ETH to open, 0.454 ETH return, 0.004 ETH profit - the princely sum of $0.57 based on the exchange rate as I write this
Magic chests - 6 dolls, 1 key is 0.1 ETH - 0.6 ETH to open, 0.94 ETH return, 0.34 ETH profit - $48 is not too shabby
Rare chests - 6 dolls, 1 key is 0.28 ETH - 1.68 ETH to open, 2.57 ETH return, 0.89 ETH profit - almost $126, sweet
Unique chests - 6 dolls, 1 key is 1.09 ETH - 6.54 ETH to open, 16.2 ETH return, 9.66 ETH profit - almost $1365, I could handle that
But that is all good and well until you add in the rarity weightings, whatever those might be. Then I'm pretty damn sure your nice return on investment is going to average out below the cost of your keys. Also consider how damn long you will have to play to get a good chance at getting the higher rarity chests.... Your earnings don't sound so shit-hot anymore, do they?
A small point to add - on desktop the normal keys seem to only be buyable with $$$ while all the other keys cost ETH. On mobile all keys cost ETH. Seriously make up your fucking minds! Also there are no bulk discounts - you can buy 5 keys individually or a pack of 5 keys and it is worth the same.
Getting back to clearing out our dolls for real value..... obviously there had to be a catch or why else would I make you wait while I spout numbers and shit. Well, the catch is this: the minimum cash out value is 0.1 ETH.
Based on our numbers above this wouldn't be such a big fucking deal if the statistical likelihood of getting each doll from a chest was the same, but they most certainly aren't, or else I am one of the most stupidly unlucky fucks who has ever played this game.
My inventory on mobile consists of the following: 7x 0.001 ETH dolls and 1x 0.003 ETH doll, for a total of 0.01 ETH - nowhere near what I need to cash out by a factor of ten! Also I have no fucking clue if the 0.1 ETH limit is before or after the 0.005 ETH transaction fee, so maybe I have even less than one tenth!
On desktop I am faring slightly better - I have 2x 0.001 ETH dolls, 1x 0.007 ETH doll, 4 normal chests I haven't unlocked, and 1x 0.03 ETH doll in the chute (thankfully in the middle so I shouldn't lose it over the edge). At least here I might have a chance of cashing out.... fingers crossed.
There are numerous (maybe hundreds??) of apps like it on your respective mobile device's app stores - this one just happens to have the potential to win some Ethereum if you are either stupidly fucking lucky, or if you stupidly throw wads of digital cash at it. But more than likely you will just lose any money you put in and wonder why the fuck you bothered.
But if you ignore the shit economy it is a fun, casual game, as good as some of the best coin-dozer style games out there. Until you fill up your inventory and it keeps annoying the fuck out of you about it until you stop playing.
EDIT: Removed my stupidly incorrect bit about chests won on a spin going straight to your inventory.