GDC Recap: Portal Fantasy

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GDC showed me that the era of Web3 gaming is here. At the very least, we are in the early stages of its development, and it is time for gamers to accept it is the future of gaming. There has been resistance to this shift, but from what I saw at GDC, there is no stopping it. Gaming on the Blockchain will be the standard like loot crates and battle passes are now. The big publishers have already taken steps to slowly implement the shift to Web3 so that when it does become mainstream, we won’t notice the change.

I know there is a lot of stigma surrounding Web3 because of all the negative press, but the early era of the internet wasn’t without its faults either. Now the internet is essential and useful if you are smart about it, and Web3 will be the same. I am not here to convince you to buy NFTs or get into crypto, but I am here to tell you that you shouldn’t be as afraid to look into the projects coming out for this new era of gaming. You might even find your new favorite game.

There were a lot of Web3 games featured at GDC, and a couple piqued my interest. One game I am particularly excited about is the cute monster-catching game, Portal Fantasy. Portal Fantasy is a browser-based pixel art monster catcher game that has some clear inspiration from Pokémon. The art is great, and the gameplay reminds me of the best era of Pokémon. But Portal Fantasy isn’t another Pokémon clone gunning for your money. The story is a lot darker, and the game has a few promising features that will set it apart from Pokemon.  

The Pyli kingdom is under threat by an unknown evil force. The Porbles that fill its land have suddenly grown murderous. In retaliation to this new threat, the kingdom uses its last bit of magic to summon the heroes from another realm to ait them. With the help of the Porbles that catch along the way, the heroes must work together to rid the world of this evil. Only when this land knows peace will they be able to return home. 

If you want to know more about the lore, go check out the webcomic. It comes out every two weeks, and the story is pretty solid. I love the art style, but I was not expecting the story to get so dark. This isn’t going to be another Pokémon clone, at least not lore-wise. The webcomic is free to read, and I think it’s worth checking out. Who knows? It might even get you interested in trying the game. I know it did for me. 

I didn’t get enough time with the game to form an opinion about its mechanics or gameplay. The art looks great and has a unique aesthetic I can get behind. The game will have two classes at launch, Architect and Adventurer. Adventurers are players who roam the land catching, trading, and battling Porbles. Architects will have access to what seems to be a promising world-building mechanic that I am sure will excite you creative folk out there. Architects will be able to create bases, quests, and even stories that adventurers can enjoy. This feature has me the most excited for this game because of the potential for content this game will have. Nothing is worse than finishing the story content in an MMO and having nothing to do. If this game is as community-driven as I hope it will be, there will always be something to do or try. I am very interested in seeing what the community can come up with.

The game is currently entering beta for blockchain users only. I am still trying to get into the beta. I will return with my impressions as soon as I get enough data. If you don’t want to get a wallet, the game will be free-to-play at launch, so make sure you keep tabs on the official Twitter for news on that release. For those who don’t mind, setting up a wallet isn’t hard. There are easy-to-follow instructions on how to do so on the official website. 

The biggest barrier I see for this game and Web3 games is overcoming the stigma that surrounds it. There are also a few too many steps to gain admission that the average player won’t want to take. As Web3 becomes the norm, many of the hurdles will eventually disappear. It is great to be cautious, but it is also good to learn new things. Now is a great time to start educating yourself on the future of gaming and maybe even start following projects that interest you. 

I will be following Portal Fantasy closely. If you are a fan of monster catcher games, I suggest you do the same. I think the art is great and the lore is cool so far. The game will be free-to-play, but there will be some monetization. The game license will be $20, and you will get a cute avatar NFT to play as. Follow them on Twitter to stay up to date on all the news. I will be back with more news as soon as I can get it.

Pictures were taken from the official site


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