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Neosify - Buy, Stake & Earn Crypto
San Francisco, as depicted in the property trading game Upland

Lou's Initial Take on Upland

By LouP77 | NashvilleLou | 18 Feb 2021

As always, remember: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. 
Do your own research. Buy my NFTs

One of the oldest memories I have is when my family was about to move from Sheffield, Alabama to Waverly, Tennessee. Circa late April 1981. I was about 3 1/2 years old.

For reasons I don't quite know, we had the board game Monopoly in French. So to keep me occupied as they finished packing, my parents let me play the game and I guess presumed I wouldn't choke on the thimble.

I specifically recall trying to figure out what the property names were. I suspect my one-person game was heavy on house rules, particularly since the instructions were written in French.

Periodically, I would bring some of the cards to my mother to see if she could tell me what they said, like the property titled Champs-Élysées. That part I vividly remember.

So I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Monopoly. Board games in general I've always liked, but Monopoly in particular was enough fun that it was worth investing a significant chunk of time in playing, especially when I was younger.
Cryptocurrency is something I find simultaneously fascinating and baffling. But one of my goals going into 2021 was to learn as much as I possibly could about crypto, particularly its application for people in everyday life.

We're getting closer with tech, and I've learned a tremendous amount thus far. Plenty of material for future columns. But one crypto-related project has captured my attention: Upland, the property trading game.

Later, when I learned that Monopoly was part of the inspiration for the creators, I wasn't exactly surprised. It's a solid concept.


Freemium games can be tremendous fun, but there is a certain ephemeral nature to most in-game purchases. It's great that I can still use my WWE SuperCard season 1 UR Arn Anderson as an avatar, as almost no one has it and Arn now works for All Elite Wrestling.

I could reap a windfall if I were allowed put that Double A card up for sale, and I probably would if it were possible. Ditto for my LE Ultimate Undertaker pro card from season three, especially since the whales weren't able to spend their way into obtaining it.

WWE SuperCard LE Ult Undertaker Pro

But that's not how it works in WWE SuperCard, or in most other freemium games for that matter, at least not in my experience.

And that is where Upland is different in a very positive way: the virtual property you buy in that game can be sold on the open market. And it's in this spot that my Monopoly nostalgia collided with my intensive effort to learn about crypto.

They had my attention.

Something tells me there will be plenty more in the future for me to talk about with this game, even without the incentive of the UplandPublish0x contest. But here are some of my initial thoughts.

First, if you'd use my promo code to sign up if you haven't already, I would appreciate it greatly. If you're on a mobile device, you can start downloading the Upland game (it's free) while you read the rest.

Planning ahead before you start is important. Particularly since you begin with a relatively small amount of UPX, the in-game currency, you'll want to make sure you maximize your options.

And to that end, you'll be well-served to read up on the game before you start buying things, well beyond just reading my suggestions. And never spend money you can't afford to lose on a game or an investment.

Let me repeat that: never spend money you can't afford to lose on a game or an investment.

The temptation is there out of the gate to start buying, but you should avoid the resale market early. Especially since you won't be able to flip that property right away. Be very careful with your assets when you begin, as the game doesn't provide much in the way of guard rails.

In that way, it's very much like real life.

You start out with access to property that established players beyond a certain threshold are restricted from buying directly from the game, which is a term called minting.

But you need to know what to look for to buy it. This will double as a helpful answer to "What am I supposed to do in this game?" as you locate property designated as FSA.

Official Uplander
FSA stands for Fair Start Act, which the game designers enacted to allow new players to purchase and eventually flip property for a profit early in the game. It lowers the barrier for entry and seems to function very well.

However, I didn't know that when I started. So I ended up buying property on the resale market instead of minting new lots, where the greatest value is.

To find this FSA property, your in-game character needs to be in range. In this example, my avatar is a cherry with a blue background.


A rather strange-looking shot, right? You have to zoom in further to see the individual lots of available property for sale. Your recent path is shown behind you, and for a limited amount of time you can find FSA property to buy even if your avatar has moved past it.

Here's how the FSA properties look when your avatar isn't in the area or hasn't passed by recently. It's grayed out here, but when your avatar moves into close enough range, the gray properties turn green.

FSA property in Upland

Once you buy an FSA property, you're free to sell it to anyone. But it's important to note that you can't sell property in the game until you reach a certain experience threshold.

That's the moment in the game when you reach Uplander status. And that's where the real fun of Upland begins.

Two days ago, the new Clovis, California territory opened up. It's a relatively small world as of this writing, with San Francisco and Fresno (with Clovis adjacent) and some select pieces of property in New York City.

Thus far I've kept it in California. After I had tried the game out and found that I liked it, I was able to buy some UPX in-game currency with minimal hassle. That helped me reach the threshold rather quickly and it wasn't exactly cost-prohibitive.

If you're willing to spend a little bit of cash, you'll find your money really goes a long way in the beginning. You can stay strictly freemium, but it's a slow roll out of the gate as far as earnings go if you do that.

The idea appears to be to incentivize new players to associate a credit card with their account and spend a little bit, enough to learn how the purchase process works but not cost so much that it will scare people away.

You can mint FSA lots from the very beginning until you reach Pro level, which is the next tier up from Uplander. I'm still a beginner with all of this so that part of it is unfamiliar to me, but it's a relatively high threshold.

Clovis, California in Upland

When it comes to actual gameplay, Upland is rather unusual. Your avatar has a mind of its own, and it wants to be scouting at all times. There are ways to move your avatar, like recalling it to an owned property or using Sends to change the path.

But otherwise it's going to be travelling in a line, and you can't just redirect it easily with a mouse click or a screen tap.

There was a moment when I thought I had collided with the Minecraft wall. That's a reference to when I knew I was getting old, circa 2016. I finally tried Minecraft on the PS4 and found the experience entirely unsatisfactory.

Too blocky, too unwieldy, and too confusing. Subpar explanations at best. Gave up, sold the only slightly-used game back to Amazon, and I never looked back.

Fortunately with Upland, eventually I figured it out enough to not be frustrated, but that part might not be particularly easy for some new players.

Because Upland is designed to be played on a cell phone or a tablet or a web browser, there are certain limitations to the version I play on my desktop computer that agitate me at times.

You'll want to make note of a few websites that I've linked below, which should help with any confusion. Trying to use the game interface to compare/contrast property is unwieldy at best, at least for me up to this point.

While the game does a rather poor job in explaining what exactly is going on, the online Upland community has done some excellent work in putting information out there. screencap of LouP77

Not an exhaustive list by any means, but these three sites have been particularly helpful in the initial process for me: 

1. (with my holdings as of 2/17/2021 illustrated in the screencap above)
Data gathering within the app or browser is burdensome at best, particularly when comparing/contrasting properties in different areas. It was quite vexing for me.

But because of how the game functions on a blockchain, it's possible for information to be located easily via third-party sites. There's a record of every transaction.

I really like how with you can easily find all sorts of valuable info, including details about your own holdings, complete with the full in-game history of the property.

2. Upland's Discord page
For reasons I don't understand, Discord is quite popular. It's not my cup of tea, an endless scroll of chats that I find cumbersome to navigate.

But in this case I have to recommend it, as there is valuable information there and a group of players who in my experience have been helpful. And if you like Discord, you should be very pleased with it.

3. Upland Academy
Established in November 2020 by Daniel "TheTurbo" Lukas, Upland Academy is a relatively new website. But it's well worth your time to check out, especially new players trying to make sense of this fascinating but often poorly-explained world.

210 Townsend St.

And now a tease for next time. You might have noticed in the giant screencap of my property portfolio that I own 210 Townsend Street in San Francisco.

At first when I saw it listed, I thought there was a mistake. A reading blunder, a rookie error, a miscalculation of some sort.

For $42 USD in a cash transaction, I was able to buy 210 Townsend St., a lot with a restaurant that is in very close proximity to both Oracle Park and the lone San Francisco train station in the game.

When I say close, I really mean it. That darker blue square is 210 Townsend St.

Proximity to Oracle Park and the train station in SF

Next time, I'll let you know how I did it and why players strictly using mobile devices are operating at a disadvantage.

Visit this link and let the adventure begin:

UPDATE: The follow-up article is now online.

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