What do you get when you combine elements from video games such as Nokia phone 2D side-scroller Bounce, mobile sensation Flappy Bird, and then integrate a Lightning Network-powered micropayment system that rewards the players’ excellent skills?
Well, Bitcoin Bounce by Thndr Games is the arcade-style game which takes the economics of quarter-eating arcade cabinets and turns them on their head: instead of paying each time they see a “Game Over” screen, players are registered to a daily contest that can bring them prizes ranging from 25 to 5000 satoshis.
In a nutshell, Bitcoin Bounce is yet another ingenious way of stacking satoshis – and the best part is that you don’t have to understand Bitcoin or the Lightning Network in order to join this video gaming revolution.
After downloading the app on your Android or iOS (requires TestFlight installation, as it’s still in a beta phase) smartphone, you’re greeted by a flashy neon-lit screen which encourages you to tap the screen in order to start playing. Aesthetically, it’s like a return to the arcade games of the 1980s, with parallax scrolling and lots of purple.
The Aesthetics and Gameplay of Bitcoin Bounce
Bitcoin Bounce gives you the vibe of a positive futurism where the Bitcoin protagonist overcomes all obstacles, often times defies the laws of gravity during its journey, and can have meteoric runs that take it farther into the future. The metaphor is only broken by the rather frequent moments when you fail to land on a good platform and either fall into the bottomless abyss or have your bouncy properties deflated by spikes.
Your goal is to make the number go up by travelling laterally from the left side of the screen to the scrolling and always surprising right side (hence the game’s belonging in the sidescrolling platforming genre). The better you handle the Bitcoin ball through obstacles and gravitational challenges, the higher your score becomes – and if you’re good enough and collect lots of thunder items, you basically earn lottery tickets for the daily draws.
The levels are randomly generated, so you will never have the same experience twice. This sometimes makes your success a matter of chance, as the difficulty level gets adjusted on the go and you can never know when you lose early on due to spikes, or you end up setting a new personal high score. The element of randomness only gives players an extra incentive to try again, but also removes the learning or skill component because there is nothing to memorize (unlike other arcade games where everything is all about learning and mastering every detail on the game map).
At the end of the day, depending on both your luck and skill, Bitcoin Bounce awards you a prize that can range from 25 to 5000 satoshis. Which isn’t bad at all, considering the fact that you are undergoing a task that is intrinsically fun and isn’t known specifically for its financial incentives.
Bitcoin Bounce Prizes and the Lightning Network
Bitcoin Bounce has one of the nicest and easiest integrations of a Lightning-powered micropayment system. After the daily draw (which determines your prize in satoshis) concludes, you click the “Claim” button and are automatically directed to your primary Lightning wallet.
In my case, Blue Wallet has done all the hard work: it generated an invoice for the 25 and 50 satoshis I have won, sent it to Thndr Games for validation, and made the payment to my wallet. Everything happened instantly, without making me do any complex operations – which means that any video gamer who has no prior knowledge or understanding in regards to the Lightning Network will be able to claim his prize.
It was interesting to see that the game has automatically picked Blue Wallet instead of Wallet of Satoshi, but there is nothing to complain here because the process was smooth and instant. The two Lightning wallets are very similar in their design anyway, and they are likewise easy to download and use – to the extent that it’s unlikely that enthusiastic nocoiners will have any problems.
Therefore, any gamer who has never dealt with Bitcoin will also learn how to install and use a wallet. And inside Blue Wallet, newcomers will find the LApp browser and marketplace. This can definitely be a turning point, as the newbies discover exciting ways in which they can use the digital currency they have earned by playing (most notably, Bitrefill gift cards).
In order to increase Bitcoin and Lighting adoption, seamless interfaces are required – and in this regard, Thndr Games does an excellent job with Bitcoin Bounce. Unlike previous efforts such as Satoshi’s Games, you don’t have to make extra efforts to get your sats and figure out how they work, and the whole experience is based on polished user interfaces.
What Can Be Improved?
For now, Bitcoin Bounce is still in a beta phase and users are encouraged to test various features before the big public release. Therefore, it’s well-understood that new gameplay elements and mechanics will get added along the way.
However, there are two big improvements that should be done to Thndr Games’ Bitcoin Bounce: the addition of a catchy soundtrack that makes the experience more memorable and engaging, and the inclusion of extra graphics for combos and moves that require extra skill.
The music and sound effects are meant to make the gameplay more satisfying while further immersing the user in the 1980s TRON-style (the film, not the shitcoin) atmosphere, while the visual effects should increase the dopamine levels by making players feel better about themselves whenever they pull off a difficult move or start a memorable precision streak.
Otherwise, it would be better if the game somehow put the satoshi rewards in a more prominent place, so that casual gamers can understand the incentives and give Bitcoin Bounce a chance. Otherwise, there is always the risk that the game would get buried among the thousands of App Store titles that feature similar aesthetics and gameplay elements.
It should be more clear that Bitcoin Bounce has a generous reward system, and this process would be excellent for increased awareness and ultimately adoption.
The Monetization of Bitcoin Bounce
If the developers of Bitcoin Bounce are giving away about 26000 satoshis every day (about $2.62 at today’s BTC valuation), then how can their video game be profitable?
Well, the answer is simple and very common among mobile video games: it’s all about ads. Whenever you want to get an extra life in your game or you want to collect extra thunder tickets for the daily draw, you are given the chance to watch a 30-second ad. On scale, this system generates much more than 26000 satoshis/day and maintains the profitability of the operation.
Furthermore, if the popularity of Bitcoin Bounce increases, then we can expect to see an increase in rewards (more small prizes or bigger top prizes, depending on the approach that Thndr Games decide to pursue). After all, we are all in a game of economic incentives, where supply matches the demand.
Watch the Bitcoin Bounce Twitch Livestream
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Thank you for reading!