We chose three criteria for this review: Fun, Price and Product. I had loads of fun playing CryptoKitties so that's an easy 5/5. When it comes to the Product, the website is easy to navigate and the drawings for the kitties themselves are extremely well done, 5/5 in my book. Last but not least, we did have to spend $20, but we acquired quite a few kitties. We can't give that a 5/5 as it's not free, so a 4/5 is most fitting.
If you’ve been in the cryptocurrency space for a year or two, then you’ve definitely heard of CryptoKitties. If you’re like me, you probably laughed at the idea of collecting virtual kittens and never bothered to check it out. Back during the crypto craze in 2017 and 2018, I remembered the amount of hype that surrounded CryptoKitties. It was so popular that it even started clogging up the Ethereum blockchain, hell one kitty even sold for over $170,000… Now that crypto has calmed down a bit, I started to get curious what all that craze was about. Also, I’ve been on a roll exploring new blockchain based games like CryptantCrabs and Relentless that I had to give this a try. Without further ado, let’s begin.
In order to get started with CryptoKitties, you will need a browser that supports Metamask. Chrome and Mozilla are great options, in my case I’m using Chrome.
Once you have your Metamask browser extension set up, create an account. Once your account is unlocked, navigate to CryptoKitties and hit the start button in the top right corner. It will ask you to add your email and a password and will also link your metamask account.
If this is your first time logging into CryptoKitties you will be greeted with a tutorial. This kitten class will teach you about your kitties’ attributes, how to play the game, and how to breed your kitties.
Acquiring Your First Kitties
Once the tutorial is over, you are left on your own. Since you are a new player, you will have no kitties. In order to start playing and breeding kitties you will need a pair. While others can gift you kitties, the easiest way of acquiring two kitties is by buying them from the kitty marketplace.
You can browse the marketplace and sort by price, age, gen (generation), cooldown and likes. It’s important to make sure your new kitties are at least Gen 1 with a Fast cooldown. We will talk about the importance of that later in the article. I went ahead and bought the two cheapest kitties that I could find with the requirements above. They cost me around $1 each, including the gas fee.
Breeding Your Kitties
After you purchase your kitties, they will take some time to arrive to you. It only takes a few minutes, the reason for the delay is because our purchase sent out a transaction to the Ethereum network which needs to confirm. After a few minutes you will be able to see your newly purchase kitties under “My Kitties” in your profile.
Hit the breed button on the top right, select the two kitties just like in the tutorial and scroll down to give them some privacy.
Your Metamask account will pop up asking to authorize the transaction, there is a birthing fee which is around $1.5 at the time of writing, so keep that in mind. Once that is done, it will take a few minutes until your newly bred Kitty arrives to your collection.
When the new kitty arrives, it will show up as an egg. Click on it to hatch it.
Say hello to our new kitty!
Breeding More Kitties
There is a cooldown on how often you can breed your kitties. But, it’s not that simple. At first, the cooldown on breeding is only 1 minute, the more generations a cat has the longer its cooldown is. You can take a look at the table below for a breakdown of cooldown length and generation amount:
|0,1||1 min (Fast)|
|2,3||2 min (Swift)|
|4,5||5 min (Swift)|
|22,23||2 days (Sluggish)|
|24,25||4 days (Sluggish)|
|26+||1 week (Catatonic)|
Our new kitty’s generation is 2, which is why it was born with a Swift, not a Fast cooldown.
Think of the above as a base cooldown. Each time you breed your kitty, that base cooldown will increase. The cooldown increases with every child, so if the Kitty starts with a Swift cooldown of 2 minutes, after one child it will have a cooldown of 5 minutes, followed by 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour etc.
There is also the whole birthing fee. Each time you birth a kitty it costs 0.008 ETH which is roughly $1.52 at the time of writing. For the sake of this review I set aside $20 to spend. I decided to breed my kitties once more, I wanted to see if the game will allow you to breed your offspring with its parent or breed two children together.
As expected, you can’t breed kitties that have the same parents, or parents with their children. I decided to purchase another kitty to test this further. I bought a third Gen 1 kitty and bred it with one of the original parents. I tried breeding the child with one of the step-siblings, as expected that wasn’t allowed as well. In short, each kitten can’t breed with their parents or siblings, but they can breed with their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
I ended up buying two more kitties that don’t have tails. We will talk about why I did that later in the article. After about 2 hours of breeding my kitties I ended up with a dozen cats. I definitely feel like a cat hoarder right now…
The 4 Different Ways to Play
As I was breeding the kitties I was thinking about what goal I was trying to achieve exactly. There are different ways to play this game, as CryptoKitties’ FAQ describes it best, there are four ways to play: The Kitty Collector, The Breeder, The Trader and The Fancy Chaser.
The Kitty Collector – The first way is for people who are just excited about owning CryptoKitties. Some are excited about owning a whole new class of assets that someday could be monetized, others may just like their furry friends.
The Breeder – Another way to play is to go for specific characteristics. You could go for cats with certain patterns, colors, eyes, tails or anything else that catches your eye.
The Trader – You can also play this game with the goal of making money. It might make this experience a lot less fun, but some people are determined. You could keep an eye on the market and hunt for certain traits on your own kitties. Eventually putting them up for sale in order to make a profit.
The Fancy Chaser – Following up on trading high sought after cats, there are also special cats called Fancy cats which you can breed if your kitties match a certain characteristic. You can check out this video for a quick tutorial on how to hunt for fancy cats:
Remember I bought the two kitties without the tails? That was so I could work towards completing the Nubbins set challenge. If you go to your profile, there is a tab called Set Challenges. If you collect a certain amount of cats with specific attributed you will get a badge on your account. It’s a relatively easy goal as you only need 6 kitties to complete it. Moreover, the tailless kitties aren’t that rare and you can buy them all for $1 each.
There are three other set challenges which are a bit more complex. It’s nice these challenges available as it adds some method to the breeding madness.
You can also explore the Cat Codex tab to see the various traits that are available and the traits you have. You can create a collection if you’re hunting for certain trains and group kitties with the same cattributes together. Last but not least, there’s a Special Cats tab that shows you some Special Edition, Fancy, and Exclusive cats.
Selling Your Kitties
To see an ROI on your breeding costs you need to sell you kitties on the marketplace. Each time you place a kitty for auction, it will cost you around 4 cents, if you sell your Gen 2 kitties with a Swift cooldown, the current market price is 0.0015 ETH, which is 25 cents at the time of writing. Doing some math, if it costs us $1.5 to breed a kitty and we profit 21 cents off each one, we need to sell 8 kitties to be able to breed a new one, not a very good return at all.
The higher the generation of your Kitty the higher the market value. However, keep in mind you won’t notice the market value increase until at least Gen 25. That means that we could play the long term game and keep breeding our kitties over and over again to increase their generation count. Reaching Gen 25 will require a bit of an investment ranging from $50-$100.
Take a look at these Gen 35 kitties and their prices:
One problem I foresee with this method is whether or not you will actually be able to sell your high generation kitties on the market, will there be a buyer?
I was able to check CryptoKitties’ market activity with the help of kittyhelper. There have been 234 sales in the past 24 hours, which means there’s definitely some good market activity going on.
For some, it might be worth the gamble.
Siring Your Kitties
There is another way to make money. You can Sire your kitty to the public and put a price on it. The default price is 0.005 ETH and as the time progresses the price falls down to 0.001 ETH. I would leave those prices default but change the time frame to 1 day, that way you will be able to find someone quicker since the price will fall to 0.001 ETH within 1 day.
You can also use this feature to breed with other kitties for sire. Simply search for them on the marketplace and select the one you want to breed with. Choose a kitty from your collection, this time you will be paying the Sire fee along with the Birthing fee when you breed them.
To end this review, I decided to simply place all my kitties up for sire for the default prices. If I get lucky and other players buy the auction, I will earn money that I could spend on further breeding other kitties.
It’s great to have a way to simply perform a task every 1-2 days that can potentially earn you money. As time progresses and your kitties’ generation grows, and so does their value. Overall I had loads of fun exploring CryptoKitties and creating my own unique characters. I’ve spent around $20 and ended up with 13 kitties.
I definitely suggest you give this game a try as it’s not only a fun experience, but also provides an awesome gateway into the dApp world. Actually interacting with the Ethereum network and using Metamask provides great insight into blockchain tech and clarity about many concepts.