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Bitcoin Hodler – (Early Access)

A few weeks back, I wrote about a contest that was taking place across multiple games. This is a look at one of those games, Bitcoin Hodler a free-to-play mobile game for Android devices by Hymedall UG. This game is still considered not officially released, but is currently publicly available as early access on the Google Play store. Bitcoin Hodler is essentially a near-clone of Flappy Bird, with different artwork and some Enjin coin assets added to the game.

For anyone unfamiliar with Flappy Bird, it is a side-scrolling game where you need to try to avoid crashing into pipes by tapping the screen to fly up or slowly descending by not touching the screen. In Bitcoin Hodler, the pipes have been replaced with market indicator lines, known as candles. To be fair, the developers of Bitcoin Hodler did add a few new features to the game and it is well polished.

This is how the main gameplay of Bitcoin Hodler looks.

During each attempt to fly through the candles you have a total of three lives, represented by three balloons on the upper left side of the screen. Crashing into the ground, a candle, or staying at the top of the screen too long will cost you one of your lives. You get points for each tap or for collecting the small orange diamonds, a couple of which you can see in the screenshot above near the 84. You also get bonus points for just brushing the top, or bottom, wick of the candles.

Other obstacles will appear as you progress in the game, such as an object representing “taxes”, that will drop your score. You can find, or unlock, various items through playing the game. One example being the magnet, pictured in the screenshot above, which lets you attract nearby coins. The course itself also becomes more difficult to navigate, with other objects being in the way that are fatal, in the same fashion as the candles.

The game over screen, seen when you run out of lives. Note the obstacle in the middle of the screen.

The game is separated into levels, or cycles, where new difficulties are introduced the further along you get. There is also a mini-game where you switch to flying a rocket ship. The mini-game is similar to old arcade games, where you need to fly through coins to collect them and shoot obstacles to not crash into them.

There are also some additional features, such as finding various cryptocurrency icons, which unlocks a screen where you can see real world information about those projects, or achievements that you can attempt to complete, to make the game even harder. There is also a leader board where you can see the best runs and an option to share you run results to social media. Even though the main gameplay borrows the idea from Flappy Bird, they did put a lot of work into making this its own game.

To the moon!

Right now the game is not really monetized, so there are no in-app purchases or advertisements. They have integrated with the Enjin blockchain allowing assets to be bought and sold through that network, which is presumably how they are planning on monetizing in the future. There are some items that you can find in the game that are actually assets on the Enjin network.

However, with the current fees to transfer items, it seems like that may be on hold. I found one item that is a new balloon skin, but it has yet to be delivered after several weeks. Which, again, is understandable considering the current fees to move around items.

The various items you can unlock in the game. There are other spaceship and character images as well, though some of those may only be available as purchases later on.

The artwork for the game is well done, and I appreciate the cryptocurrency-related humor in the game. The music when playing the game is a fast paced synthesized track that wouldn’t feel out of place in a classic Nintendo game. There is also a space themed track when on the main menu.

Since the game is still in early access, I’m not going to give it a hard rating evaluation. I will say that, as a game, I did find it enjoyable. The gameplay is challenging, at least to me, and it feels like there’s a lot of things to unlock in the game by progressing further through it. I’m not sure that including blockchain assets really adds anything to the game, as simple in-app purchases of skins or bonus items would work about as well.

You can save points and spend them on upgrading items if you have enough achievements completed.

If you want to check out Bitcoin Hodler it is available from the Google Play store here. There is also an IOS device release currently in testing, which you sign up for here.

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