Forgotten Artifacts (FA) is a dungeon exploration and combat game from Cliff Cawley.
It is currently listed as a “pre-alpha” release, but is a fully playable game even in its current form. Forgotten Artifacts features dungeon loot backed by Enjin Coin.
Any blockchain items farmed from FA dungeons can be collected over time or traded with other players.
We participated in the FA “stampede” event from June 1-2. We tried the game out, and we’re here to report on what we discovered.
Is Forgotten Artifacts a fun game? Is it worth the $25 cost of a discovery chest needed to play? Read on to get our review.
In the process, we’ll also explain how to purchase, download, and install the game for those interested in playing it.
Forgotten Artifacts sign up process
Most blockchain games are difficult to sign up for when compared to traditional games. And FA is no different in this respect.
But we still found this sign-up process to be manageable. To be able to play the game, you need to register, connect an Enjin Coin wallet, and download/install the game.
Forgotten Artifacts registration
To register with the game, first navigate to the official Forgotten Artifacts website. Then click account in the upper-right corner of the screen.
From there, click create an account.
Fill out the fields with your email address and a password, then click create account.
You’ll get a message saying that your account was created successfully. Immediately afterwards, you will be sent to page that tells you to link your Enjin wallet to the account.
Connecting an Enjin wallet
In order to receive blockchain-backed dungeon loot, you’ll need to have an Enjin Coin (ENJ) wallet connected to your account.
The official ENJ wallet can only be installed on a tablet or mobile phone, so open your mobile device’s web browser and navigate to enjinwallet.io/.
From there, you can find links to both iOS and Android versions, including a .apk file that can be used for Android if Google Play ever removes the wallet from its store.
Setting up the wallet
Install the wallet on your device and open it. The first time it is opened, you’ll be asked which coins you want to display on the interface.
This can be changed later, so it really isn’t very important. But if there are particular tokens you use on regular basis, you may want to add them here.
Backing up the wallet
Once you are finished with this step, you’ll receive a red warning at the top of the screen that tells you your wallet is not backed up.
Click this warning to get access to your seed words. Write them down on a piece of paper and make sure you store them in a safe place. If you forget your password; or if your device is lost, stolen, or crashes, you will not be able to recover your collectibles without these seed words.
Linking to Forgotten Artifacts
When you are finished backing up your wallet, click the menu icon in the upper-left corner that looks like three horizontal bars.
Select linked apps from the list. Then, push the button that says link app. Your device’s camera will activate and the words “input link code” will appear.
Once you see this screen, go back to the Forgotten Artifacts website on your PC. Click link enjin wallet now.
A QR code will display. Hold your phone up to the PC screen until the borders of the square are exactly aligned with the QR code on the screen.
This will input the code into your phone and allow your Enjin wallet to be linked to your Forgotten Artifacts account.
Once this is done, all of the loot you earn in the game will go straight to your Enjin Coin wallet.
If you happen to encounter an error when trying to connect your wallet, simply copy and paste the Ethereum address from your wallet into the alternate field to connect it.
Purchasing the game
Unlike most blockchain games, there is currently no free version of Forgotten Artifacts. In order to get access to the game, you’ll need to buy a Discovery Chest from the developer. In addition to game access, this chest also contains four random blockchain items.
These items could be of rare, epic, or legendary quality. Of these three, legendary is the most rare and valuable. So if you are lucky enough to get one of these, make sure you hang on to it (or at least shop around for a buyer and sell it to the highest bidder).
If you happen to have grabbed a Founders Chest while they were still available, you also got a chance at a mythic item.
The cost for the chest is $25. To buy it, click shop from the menu at the top of the screen.
Below the Discovery Chest image, click more details to get to the buy page.
You can make a payment using ETH or ENJ. If you want to be old-fashioned, you can even buy the chest using Paypal.
In our testing, we used the same ENJ wallet to both send payments and receive collectibles. However, if you want to use a separate ETH wallet to make payments, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Regardless of what form of payment you use, the collectibles you receive will only go to the wallet that is linked to your account.
Installing Forgotten Artifacts
Once you’ve bought your chest, you’ll be able to immediately download the game. On the website, click download from the menu at the top of the screen.
Next, click Download Forgotten Artifacts Windows Installer. Once you open the file, it will begin to install.
Once Forgotten Artifacts is finally installed, you’ll have to click through a few warnings that tell you this is a pre-alpha build that is likely to be different from future versions. Eventually, you’ll end up at the weapon select screen.
Review of the sign up process
For players that are accustomed to playing browser-based games that use Metamask, the lengthy process of registering, connecting an ENJ wallet, and installing the game may cause some frustration.
However, once this process is finished, both the ENJ wallet and Forgotten Artifacts game do work exactly as intended.
In our testing, we experienced some delays in receiving our items due to Ethereum network congestion. We also found that the Forgotten Artifacts server was down for more than a day, which prevented us from playing at first.
But ultimately, we did receive our blockchain items from the chest and we did get to play the game.
So although there is a bit of a learning curve to registering and installing the game, it is a process that appears to be worth learning.
Forgotten Artifacts gameplay
Forgotten Artifacts is a dungeon-crawl game similar to Darkest Dungeon, Diablo, or Rogue. You play an adventurer in search of treasure and fame. You start off on the top level or “Level 1” of the dungeon.
As you venture through the lower levels of the dungeon, you encounter two different kinds of monsters. The first kind is a small creature that looks like a salamander, frog, or some other strange beast.
This beast attacks with its claws in melee range.
The second monster is a sorcerer or wizard. It attacks with long-range fire spells.
To move your character, you must click on the place you want the character to move to. The directional arrow keys are not used.
If you use a sword, click on the monster while standing near it to attack. If you use a bow, click directly on the monster from anywhere within your character’s line of sight. This will cause your character to stand still and make a ranged attack.
As you defeat monsters and move through the dungeon, you come across glowing treasure chests.
Clicking on a chest opens it. Some of these chests contain common items; axes, swords, bows, etc.
Others contain health potions. Still others contain rare, epic, legendary, mythical, or transcendent blockchain items.
If you want to keep an item, you can right-click to add it to an inventory slot at the top of the screen. However, there are only four slots available.
You have to choose which items you want to keep based on limited carrying capacity.
If you want to use a particular item instead of collecting it, simply left-click on it.
Left-clicking on a weapon will cause you to drop your current weapon and replace it with the one on the ground. Left-clicking on a potion will cause you to immediately consume the potion.
You can also left-click items from within your inventory to use or equip them.
Dungeon levels: should I stay or should I go now?
Once you have cleared out an entire level, you will have the option to return to the surface with your loot or delve deeper into the dungeon. If you return to the surface, all of the blockchain loot you have collected will be delivered to your wallet.
If you delve deeper into the dungeon, the monsters will become more powerful and the items will become more rare. If you get far enough, there are even two entirely new types of monsters that will appear.
If your character dies before reaching the end of the level, he will lose all of the loot he has collected. In this case, your wallet will not receive the blockchain items he has looted. This includes not only the items looted in this level, but for all previous levels of this particular game.
The only way to guarantee an item will not be lost is to leave the dungeon and end the game. But this will also require you to start the game over from the beginning.
Because of this, there is always a trade off between the rewards you get from venturing deeper into the dungeon and the risk of losing your loot if you do so.
To leave the dungeon and lock in your rewards, take the white stairway up. To go deeper, take the red stairway that leads down.
Forgotten Artifacts stream
That’s it for our description of Forgotten Artifacts gameplay. If you want to see the actual gameplay, check out this Twitch stream by a user named hYpeZzh.
Forgotten Artifacts review
So is Forgotten Artifacts fun to play? Is it worth $25 for a Discovery Chest?
This is not Diablo
The first thing we have to say here is that this game is not Diablo. If you are looking for multiple character classes, abilities, and spells, you are not going to find it in the current version of Forgotten Artifacts.
There are currently only two ways to fight in the game: either swing a sword or axe at the enemy or shoot it with a bow. Players of dungeon-crawl style games generally expect many more options than this.
There are also no experience points or levels. So the character progression expected in these types of games is non-existent in Forgotten Artifacts.
Future versions may be better
The second thing we have to say is that this is only the pre-alpha version of the game. We have no idea what the game will look like when the public version finally launches.
There may be multiple characters with different classes, multiple abilities, experience levels, and new abilities that are unlocked as these levels are gained.
There may also be blockchain items that grant stat increases, making them extremely valuable to collectors.
The game still requires skill
In addition, the game is surprisingly fun even in its current form. Although the gameplay is simple, there are some strategies that can be used to gain an advantage.
For example, while we were playing, we found that players who were communicating on Telegram were reporting widely varying levels of success.
Some players couldn’t get past level 7, while others had made it as far as level 20 before finally dying or giving up and leaving the dungeon.
When the players who were struggling asked for help, they were given advice to run past the monsters and swing at them before they could turn and respond.
The fact that some players discovered such a strategy while others were unaware of it shows that the gameplay still requires some skill even though it doesn’t have the usual abilities found in these kinds of games.
Collecting is unexpectedly fun
We also found that the collectible nature of the game was a surprising source of enjoyment. It turns out that it really makes a difference when you know the loot you are collecting can be sold in the open market.
The only way we can describe the feeling this creates is to compare it to playing in a booster draft or sealed tournament in a CCG.
In these types of tournaments, you pay a $15 entry fee for the right to draft cards from packs that you receive from the tournament organizer. You never know what you may get in these packs.
You could receive cards whose value is far in excess of the entry fee. Or you could receive cards of a lower value but still have fun in the tournament.
Regardless, the practice of opening these packs before you build your deck is part of the thrill of playing in CCG draft or sealed deck tournaments.
And in Forgotten Artifacts, the developer of the game seems to have recreated this feeling by having players pay for an entry fee in exchange for the possibility of earning collectibles.
What about the economics?
Despite the fun of this process though, it does raise some questions about the economics of the game. In the future, will players need to pay an entry fee for each event? Or will some other method be used to finance the creation of ENJ-backed collectibles for the game?
If $25 is all that a player has to pay to get unlimited access to FA dungeons forever, it’s hard to imagine how the game will turn a profit.
There are multiple solutions to this problem, such as limiting game time or charging more.
One player even mentioned on Telegram that the game charges fees for trading collectibles, and that these fees may be used to mint more collectibles in the future. This may be another way that the problem could be solved.
Regardless, this shouldn’t be an insurmountable problem for the game.
Update 7/20/2019: Entering a Forgotten Artifacts Dungeon now requires an “adventurer’s stone.” When the player enters the dungeon, this stone is consumed. These stones can be purchased as part of the “chests” found on the website.
This should solve the problems mentioned above.
Conclusion: Needs work, but a fun game for collectors
In conclusion, we found Forgotten Artifacts to be an extremely fun game. There is no question that it needs a lot of work.
The public release will need to have character classes, spells, abilities, experience levels, items that increase a character’s stats, and more.
But even in its current pre-alpha version, Forgotten Artifacts is an extremely compelling game, especially for players that enjoy collecting digital items.
For players that are not interested in collecting, FA may be in too early of a build to be worth paying the Discovery Chest fee.
In this case, they may want to wait and see if more features are added. But for others, the game may be worth checking out even now.