Scottish startup, Etherplay, released the third installation of its game that uses smart contracts and blockchain technology to create a transparent gaming experience.

Etherplay: The Transparent Skill Game Platform

The Etherplay platform was released in January of this year and the featured arcade-style games were met with positive reviews. In a previous BTCManager piece on July 14, Alex Lielacher explained the intrigue behind “Catch Me” and “EtherSpace.” Although Erwan Sanford, co-founder of the Ethereum gaming project, claimed the group would be pursuing more racing and first-person shooter style games, the release of “Tug of War” on September 29 reveals something a bit different.

Tug Of War

Much like “Catch Me” and “Ether Space,” “Tug of War” still uses the Ethereum network as the principal platform. As all three games are pay-to-play style games, the transparency offered by the network ensures that no malpractice by players (or Etherplay, for that matter) can be hidden from anyone.

The current version of the game is available to play on Ethereum’s testnets, Rinkeby, Kovan, and Ropsten. Although these and other testnets are generally free to use, the Ropsten network has a higher cost to play due to the high average gas price. Etherplay confirmed that this would not be the case once the game is released on the mainnet. This also means that users are inclined to download a web3 browser in order to enjoy the two-player arcade game.

Though users can simply use Metamask or Mist, much like the two previous games, Etherplay reported a great experience when developing on the web3 platform. In a Medium article published on September 28, Etherplay explained that “[their] experience building the game has really been amazing. The power of web3 was felt all the way. We hope this game gives you a sense of what web3 is all about.”

That being said, they also explained that there were a few problems “In regard to web3 browser compatibility,” with the “Status web browser in particular [having] a broken local storage implementation whose data get deleted upon quitting the app.”


Though there isn’t a demo available for those curious to play without betting any Ethereum, a Youtube video posted by the startup gives viewers a sense of how the game operates. It is ultimately a two player simple strategy game; think rock, paper, scissors, but instead players deploy a certain number of units. If your deployment is larger than your opponents, you win the round.

The setting is in a tribal 2D arena with a pixelated ocean in the background and wooden tiki huts in the foreground. The units resemble orange Baby Troll dolls with either green or purple hair. The fighting itself is neither grisly nor violent with fallen units briefly holding x’s for eyes and the adversaries triumphantly celebrating.

Each player is assigned 50 units and can deploy as many units as wished until one player runs out of units. The first player to win three rounds wins the allotted ether pot established at the beginning of the round. Etherplay stated that they will only take a five percent fee from this pot, with the gas cost depending on the duration of each match.  

Blockchain-based Gaming

The success of Tug Of War and other Etherplay releases has been positively received by fans, despite the games rather simple aesthetic. The major driving force behind fan’s appreciation comes from the problems these and other blockchain-based games solve.

At current, the massive industry that is online gaming uses a centralized infrastructure that presents complicated revenue sharing models, vulnerabilities to cyber attacks, and a difficulty in managing ownership of assets reports The Next Web. Naturally, the advantage of blockchain comes from its transparent and reliable framework, as well as the negation of a third party.

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