Axie Infinity: Origins
Axie Infinity: Origins Review
Axie Infinity: Origins is a play-to-earn game based on pocket monsters, where the player has a group of three characters, aka Axies, each with different abilities. These abilities are in the form of cards, which are linked to the individual Axie’s genetic traits—as all Axies can have different combinations of traits, their abilities and card decks will be based on these trait patterns.
The Axies’ genetics is where the Web3 components of the game come into play—different character traits have different rarities, which means Axies with certain traits will be more valuable.
Getting Started in Axie Infinity: Origins
First of all, make sure you’re playing the right game. Axie Infinity later became Axie Infinity: Origin, and then last September the devs changed it to Axie Infinity: Origins, plural. Start by going to the Axie Infinity: Origins site, where the user is greeted with a trailer and the Play button. This is where the first struggle comes in—the game does not have a browser version, and we are meant to download an installer. In case you want to play this game on your phone, you have to go through even more hoops as Axie Infinity: Origins is not available through conventional mobile platform stores.
To get Axie Infinity: Origins on Android you have to download the .apk installer and allow third-party installations on your device. For iOS, TestFlight should be used, which is mostly for developers testing pre-release software. These are major hurdles for new players or people unfamiliar with the more technical side of their devices.
The screen that pops up when you press “Play” on the main website on Android
Before starting the game it’s also important to go through the recommended “Getting started” steps—linking your wallet and creating a separate marketplace account. At the time of writing this review the only supported wallet is Ronin—creating an account there and installing it was fairly straightforward.
The game was tested on a OnePlus 7T Pro with Android 12, running the latest version of Oxygen OS 12.1. Graphically, the game looks great and runs smoothly. However, the app crashed at least twice and froze on the loading screen once. A new .apk has to be downloaded to install an update, but this too was relatively easy.
Axie Infinity: Origins Gameplay
The game starts with a tutorial focusing on all the primary gameplay mechanics, including different Axies and their abilities. However, the tutorial will not let you experience the Arena part until it is finished, which can take anywhere from 1.5–2+ hours.
The tutorial is part of the single-player story, which can be experienced without purchasing anything or registering any extra accounts on top of the main one. The in-depth gameplay however does lie in the Arena, which is focused on battling with personal Axies that you own.
A starter axie, its card abilities and body parts.
There are two ways to get started with personal Axies, and the main one is purchasing them on the marketplace. It is also possible to rent Axies (aka “apply a scholarship”), but it has to be done through the community Discord, and is not possible through the main website. It is not currently possible to create new Axies through minting, with breeding remaining the only option to bring new Axies into the world.
A random axie available for purchase on the marketplace. You can see the different parameters this specific creature has, its abilities, parents, children and sales history.
Axie Infinity: Origins’ gameplay is that of a typical collectible card game where the cards are linked to specific Axies. The rounds can last a while, especially if the characters use shields and healing, with many other fun abilities.
On top of abilities there are also runes that can be added to Axie cards to significantly alter their gameplay, and charms that change the Axies’ card stats. The combinations of different Axie skills, runes and charms lead to a multitude of teams and gameplay possibilities. However, a decent investment should be made into Axie Infinity: Origins before creating a team that would be viable in the Arena.
Axie Infinity: Origins Web3 Components & Community
Axie Infinity: Origins is built on the Ethereum blockchain and uses AXS tokens as the intermediary currency.
At the time of writing this review the marketplace has over 600,000 Axies on sale with over 40,000 completed sales during the past seven days, which shows an impressively active community.
Axies can be purchased for any amount, with a minimum initial investment for one party starting from $9–10. This party will be stronger than any of the starter Axies you are given during the adventure mode, but not by much. The cost of every Axie is defined by the rarity of its seven components (horn, eyes, ears, mouth, back, tail and body) and the amount of times it has been bred, which is limited to seven.
Other parameters mentioned in the filtering section of the marketplace can also impact their rarity to a lesser degree. You can also find accessories, lands, items, runes and charms in the marketplace; however, accessories and lands seem to be the most active ones.
Looking at the earning possibility of Axie Infinity: Origins, it will mostly depend on the player’s investment capability and luck when breeding Axies. Creatures with separate rare components can be bred to possibly create a new one with both these rare body parts, resulting in a more expensive asset. However, it is important to keep in mind that cheaper Axies will not have expensive body parts, so the price of a “successful” breed will not be drastically higher. The chances are of course always there.
Axie Infinity: Origins Conclusion
Axie Infinity: Origins is a game built around the idea of creating and breeding unique creatures with different features and abilities. This is a great idea to build around a blockchain, where you can be sure that no other person in the world will ever own or create the same Axie you have.
The technology the game is built on functions well, the community is active, and the gameplay itself is fun for those searching for a Pokémon-style battle card game, but with a few extras on top. However, to dive deep enough and get access to the more complex and interesting team combinations, a significant investment is required. Also, the game installation experience is not user-friendly at all—in a perfect world the game should be either in the respective app stores or playable in a browser. Having to download a separate .apk or managing TestFlight is not a sign of a market-ready product.