Looks like blockchain games are evolving more and more, as new ones are launched every week. As this bonanza of games got available, I ask myself what makes a game better then a similar one? Is it the chain the game is built on? Is it the type of game and who's backing it? Is it the concept and how easy is to play? I think is a mix of the above, and many more.
I played most of the blockchain games launched recently and some of them were good, while others were horrendous. I realize that the main quality must be the lack of errors and glitches, because they are the joy killers and the main reason I stopped playing some. The second quality of a top game must be the level of entrainment and maintaining the user happy. Some games will hook you up at the beginning but then they offer nothing new, just a repetition of actions which will bring the players to a level of boredom which will make them find interesting a melting snowman.
What is Upland?
I seen adds on Brave but never clicked them. Had no clue what it was, and I was thinking is the same thing as Alpaca World, until the Upland writing competition came on Publish0x. I cannot write about something I don't know so I started doing my homework and assimilate information about the game.
Went on their website and started reading. About 20 minutes later I had enough information to start playing. The short resume of Uplands must explain that the in-game world mirrors the real world and real properties. Players can buy, sell or trade virtual properties with UPX, the platform's currency. UPX is a fungible token on the EOS blockchain, used as an utility token in the Upland game. Being an utility token means that it can only be used inside Upland and cannot be withdrawn. However, to mirror a real economy, Upland made a partnership with the financial division of Linden Lab to implement a new feature called "fiat out", which will allow players to sell the virtual properties and items for either UPX or fiat money.
Upland was created and is operated by Uplandme with support from organizations such as Block.one and professionals from the gaming, real estate and technology industries. The concept started in 2018, during a monopoly game between Dirk Lueth, Mani Honigstein and Idan Zuckerman, the Upland co-founders. They tried to “tokenize” the real world through technology. From then on, they created a plan and and developed the Upland vision, a metaverse where users will be able to play, socialize and earn money. The EOS blockchain developed by Block.One was the choice for development and the concept unwrapped quickly and the coding started in December 2018. Selective beta testing was open through 2019 and the open beta was launched in January 2020 for both iOS and Android devices.
The 2021 roadmap contains plans to add a NFT gateway that will allow players to import NFTs from other blockchains and the opening of new cities across the world.
Downloading Upland and first impressions
I used Publish0x referral to open my Upland account, straight from the competition article. The game has a 4.2 rating on Google play, from 2594 reviews, with the last update on the 10th of February 2021. The game size is 12 M and had over 100,000 installs. Pressed the install button and few minutes later I was a visitor. The game rating is good which makes me feel confident about the gameplay and game standards.
The tutorial launched and I was ready for the crash course. The first thing that worth a mention is the "true ownership" of game assets. When the players will reach the Uplander status an EOS blockchain account created and only the player can control his in-game assets. The account will last forever and the assets inside it are kept forever. No one else can control the players Upland in-game assets. Sounds really cool to have your assets minted in the blockchain and have true ownership.
Players can buy properties and earn UPX coins. The earnings can be claimed every three hours. It does sound like Monopoly and just to let you know ... I am very competitive at Monopoly.
Buying properties will lead to completing collections and earning rewards. The property can be fitted into various collections and the player will earn a reward and a boost in earnings, depending on the collection range. Collections, quests and earnings ... good mix!
The properties can be traded with other uplanders same as in a real estate market. To be able to trade properties, the player must have an Uplander status. Can we buy the dip in Upland ?
Upland evolves constantly and the team always building new features to make the game better. Players will be able (soon) to build buildings on their properties and even open real digital business. This looks like a top upgrade and maybe soon I will be able to mentor bloggers and content creators straight from my Upland account.
A strong community will bring benefits to the game, as feedback can lead to upgrades. The Upland Discord community is big and helpful, as tips and support is available. Exclusive content and prizes are constantly shared on Discord, an extra reason to join.
The Quick Menu contains all the buttons in a simplified tab, from where players can find all the required information and features.
My Upland Journey
I was ready to jump on the Llama and start my Upland journey. Feeling like a noob and made me decide upon Fresno as it's more affordable. The difference between the 4,840 and 896 UPX per property is huge.
Hey Llama! Thank you for being my welcome party! Slower pace and inexpensive properties but limitless opportunities? That's what I am looking for!
The Fair Start Act (FSA) are properties designed for the new starting players and are less expensive than the normal ones. It is recommended to start with this ones as they can build a nice portfolio.
Once I become a property mogul or a skyscraper kingpin I can move to San Francisco for bigger opportunities. The train terminal can be used to travel between the two cities.
And boom ! This may be the first bug I encounter on Upland as I am in San Francisco and the properties are far from the Fresno label or the minimum property price I was told about. The properties have different colours, depending on their status. Properties in light blue are owned by another player while your own properties are dark blue. The green properties are the ones available for sale while the FSA are the unowned properties that can be bought by new players at an attractive price.
You can always up your game and buy UPX tokens but that's not what I'm doing! I will try to work around the low balance and being sent in San Francisco by playing smart.
Visitor v Uplander
Upland has membership classification, which starts with the Visitor, which has to update the visa every 7 days to maintain the ownership of accumulated assets. There is no limit on renewing the visa. When the UPX balance reaches 10,000 tokens, the membership is upgraded to Uplanders. The Uplander can participate in the marketplace and has true ownership of his assets. The status is matched with the EOS account on the EOS mainnet blockchain.
The Pro, Director and Executive status are the next membership levels but for a humble farmer like me, will be hard to accumulate 100,000 to 10,000,000 UPX tokens and enjoy new perks such as exclusive explorers or 3D custom made objects.
If the Visitor will not renew his visa, than he will loose all his properties and UPX tokens. Upland will pop-up a reminder every day so will be hard to miss them. I left it until the last day as I wasn't sure if it's for free or you have to pay it with UPX tokens. I can now confirm that is FREE to renew the visa and this can be done unlimited times.
The Daily Bonus
The Daily Bonus will reward every player for login on Upland. Each player will be rewarded with 50 UPX for day one, two and three.
In day four, the reward grows to 75 UPX tokens and as the Daily Steak continues, it can lead to 300 UPX tokens in the 7th day.
I made a habit of opening Upland at least once per day, to claim the daily bonus. I still wait before buying any properties, as I am holding the UPX tokens for my Uplander title.
And the 7th day has come and the big fat check was claimed! Any player that claims the bonus every day, maintaining the streak, will earn 775 UPX per week. Will take a new user 5 weeks to reach 10,000 tokens, with the 6000 UPX new user bonus and the daily claims.
From humble farmer to Uplander
PVM is used with the farm, with the tractor and with the harsh winter. Coming in a big town like San Francisco was a bug move out of the comfort zone but it had to be done. My whole game plan was to wait and claim the reward every day and write a boring post about how patience is a virtue. Unexpectedly, one of my referrals reached the Uplander status and a big fat slice of UPX was delivered on the dark alley where Hobo PVM was being patience.
Meme poor rich.
As my balance crossed 10,000 UPX Net Worth, a pop-up message informed me that I can level up from Visitor to an Official Uplander. True ownership... here I come. Went to my profile and clicked the button. Players have to provide a phone number to upgrade to Uplander status along other details.
Confetti and lights, fireworks and Champaign, as the humble farmer can sell his tractor and pigs and buy a property in San Francisco. No more eating from the bin, as we get ready for the high life.
I looked around for a property until I could find one that I could afford. My choice was this beauty on Guerrero Street.
This made me earn 100 UPX as I completed a mission where I needed to buy my first property, and 800 UPX for completing my first collection.
This is the street view of my property. Shall I order some pizza for my tenants?
While walking around San Francisco, I also found my first treasure! The Pinata was bashed until it rewarded me with 101 UPX.
The Clovis Strategy
As San Francisco was too expensive, I moved to Fresno but this is almost sold out. The prices I seen in the tutorial are non existent and the prices on the market place are almost as high as in the big city. Fortunately I remembered about the message saying that Clovis is now open. The Clovis City is part of the Fresno County and was added as an expansion aimed to help no players have cheap properties to start their Upland Journey
Sold the San Francisco property and made enough money to buy 3 properties in Clovis. Being part of Fresno County, having three properties on the same street will complete 2 Upland collections, The Fresno Standard Collection and the King of the Street Standard collection.
Is easy to spot if the properties matching a collection by clicking "Edit Collection". The Fresno collection will reward 350 UPX tokens and will give a 1.2x earning boost while being active.
The King of the Street collection will reward 950 UPX tokens and will give a 1.3x earning bonus while being active. I kept this collection active as will generate more rewards.
With the reward money and what I collected in a day, I went for another collection, the City Pro. This Limited Collection is achieved by having 5 properties in the same city. I was fortunate enough to find cheap properties in Clovis and complete it. The City Pro collection will reward 1200 UPX tokens and a 1.4x reward boost while being active
This is the street view of the 3 properties on Oxford Avenue. The guy from 636 needs to trim that tree as it looks he lives in a tree house like Bilbo Baggins.
Updates, events and NFTs
One of the most interesting things is the pop-out notifications for various updates and events.
Upland Artist Spotlight: From time to time the Upland spotlights will focus on valued community members. This one was about multimedia artist and musician Mar$ Utah. An interview and a NFT auction was organized for this event.
Sandbox Party: This event was organized as a building session on Sandbox, where players can build at superspeed during two sessions of 4 hours.
The Harlem Collection: This collection was limited to those having three properties in Harlem. This set had a 1.57x bonus boos and a one-time award of 1,600 UPX tokens. This collection was a unique chance to bag some newly minted properties. Luke Cage is the top dog in the neighborhood so watch out and behave!
Solidarity with Texas: The solidarity campaign was meant to raise money for those affected by the massive power grid failure in Texas which left many without heat, water, food and basic living supply. I joined the cause because we must bring our support for the community.
Things that I would like to add
Bookmarks ... yes property bookmarks! This will be a cool addition to improve the gameplay experience. I seen a property that I needed to complete my City Pro collection. It was cheap and I was few UPX down to afford it... and only 17 minutes until I could claim the earning. The issue was that 17 minutes later, I lost track of where the house was and wasted a lot of time to find another one that was affordable.
Shortcut to Train Station and user friendly travel. I had to "presearch" where Fresno is from San Francisco and move along the map. I had to look where Clovis is from Fresno and move along the map to find it. Some
A longer Visa. You seen the above calculation? Without buying any properties, a new user will need 5 weeks to earn the UPX to become an Uplander. I personally consider that a week is not enough, specially for those joining the game. This should be updated for a longer period or even better as monthly visas, from the 1st until the last day of the month.
More bonuses for players! We are talking about the no. 1 blockchain game in DappRadar's ranking. Upland can share more with the "customers" that set the record for 10,000 daily active users.
Upland has all the attributes to become a TOP game! It has gameplay, it has the possibility to grow and ... it has the possibility to generate real money! Being linked to the real world makes it cool, and I believe many players will pay nicely to buy the property they have in real live. Imagine how cool will be to have the same property you live in as a property on the blockchain. At least the Upland one doesn't have bills to pay for.
Upland ... UpLlama... Thumbs Up!
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