Home Reviews Hash Rush: A "Play to Earn" RTS - Alpha Gameplay Preview

Hash Rush: A “Play to Earn” RTS – Alpha Gameplay Preview

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hash rush

Update 12/19/2019: Hash Rush has just released its long-awaited “Crystal Titan” update. As players attempt to build their colonies, they are now opposed by a Crystal Titan monster that tries to destroy everything they have built. The details of how this new game mechanic works are explained in a section below.

Hash Rush is a real-time strategy game in which the central goal is to mine crypto crystals. In the public release, it will include crypto rewards in the form of a token called RUSH Coin.

Hash Rush is currently in public alpha stage. We’ve played this game far enough to unlock most of the buildings. And in this article, we’ll report on what we’ve discovered.

We’ll also discuss future plans for Hash Rush and explain how the beta will differ from the current alpha build.

If you’ve wondered what playing Hash Rush is like, read on to find out.

Getting started with Hash Rush Alpha

To register for and install Hash Rush Alpha, a player must take the following steps.

Navigate to the official Hash Rush website, and click register on the alpha now.

hash rush registration

Enter an email address, name, and a new password.

account

Put a check in the captcha box, then push the create a new account button. This should produce a message saying that the registration was successful.


Click the download link at the top of the screen to get to the download page.

download

In the upper-left corner of the screen, click Hash Rush launcher.

launcher

Once the file finishes downloading, it should open to the login screen.

login

From here, the player can enter his login credentials. The game will take a minute or two to index local files. Once it is done, the play button will become active.

play screen

Pressing play will open a configuration screen. This screen can be used to select graphics settings. Pressing play again will begin the game.

Hash Rush story

hash rush story

Hash Rush opens with a cinematic story.

A great tragedy has occurred in the Hermian Galaxy. A crypto crystal storm wiped out most races and societies. But the race that suffered the most was the Trinel, who experienced devolution.

cinematic

There is still hope. You can help the Trinel by guiding the primitive Ernacks as they attempt to mine crypto crystals from deep beneath the surface of planets.

Hash Rush Alpha Gameplay

Hash Rush is a stock real-time strategy game. Players who have experienced Warcraft II, Starcraft, and other games in this genre will find that Hash Rush feels familiar.

Here are the main features of the current Hash Rush alpha build.

Controls

gameplay

The controls for Hash Rush are highly intuitive. 

Moving the mouse cursor off screen will cause the camera to move in the direction of the cursor. For example, the player can move the camera north by pushing the cursor above the screen.

Scrolling forward or backward with the mouse wheel causes the camera to zoom in or out. The entire planet can be viewed by zooming out to max.

world map

Left-clicking on a unit or building selects it, while right-clicking causes the selected unit to move to that location.

Gameplay menu

gameplay menu

The gameplay menu is in the lower-left corner of the screen. Here is what each of the menu options does.

Construction (M key)

This is the most used menu icon. A player can select any building to construct by first clicking this button.

Quests (U key)

This keeps track of all of the player’s quests. In our testing, we picked up a quest to investigate screams that came from the forest north of our base.

The developer of Hash Rush plans to add more quests in the future.

Challenges (C key)

This keeps track of the player’s active challenges. We did not encounter any challenges in our testing. But there will probably be some available in future builds.

Inventory (I key)

This keeps track of the player’s materials, including logs, planks, rough stone, stone blocks, food, fireflies, ore, and ingots. This information is also displayed in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Exchange (X key)

This allows the player to exchange materials with an in-game vendor (not other players). A player can exchange any amount of one material for any other material he wants. However, this must be done at a disadvantageous 3:1 ratio.

Marketplace (M key)

The marketplace allows players to buy and sell collectibles in exchange for RUSH Coin. In the current build, the only collectible available is the stock Ernack skin that players begin the game with.

marketplace

Obviously, it makes no sense to buy this skin. But at least this does show off how the marketplace function will work in the public release.

The developer plans to create a variety of ERC-721 items that players will be able to trade.

Visit players (no hotkey)

If a player pushes this button from within the menu, it will allow him to visit the planets of other players. Some players may enjoy seeing the huge colonies built by others. Others may enjoy seeing how much worse off other players are.

Regardless of the reason, this button can be used to see the successes and failures of other players.

If a player does not want other players to be able to visit his planet, he can uncheck the “allow visitors” box to keep his planet private. 

Buildings

buildings

As with any RTS game, the principal method of achieving progress is to construct buildings. Here is a list of buildings and what materials and prerequisites are needed to construct them.

Blacksmith

The game’s description states that this building can “forge essential tools.” This may be a prerequisite for more advanced buildings.

It costs 50 logs and 50 rough stone to build a blacksmith.

Hut

Ernack units are produced with the Voyager’s Bastion, the headquarters of the player’s colony. However, there is a cap on how many Ernack workers can be produced. Constructing huts increases this cap.

Each hut costs 60 logs and 30 rough stone.

Light Pole

A Light Pole can be used to illuminate an area within the Crystal Fog. Each Light Pole costs 30 logs and 30 fireflies.

Stockpile

As Ernack workers chop trees, catch fireflies, and gather other resources, the player will inevitably hit the cap on total storable materials. Constructing more stockpiles will raise this cap and allow the player to continue accumulating mats.

Each stockpile costs 75 logs and 60 rough stone.

Barracks

A barracks allows the player to train four different types of soldiers: swordsmen, slingshooters, archers, and healers.

It takes one worker and approx. 60 seconds to train one combat unit. Having multiple barracks is often a good idea, as it allows the player to train soldiers faster.

Each barracks unit costs 150 logs and 60 rough stone.

Trogg Pit

This can be used to train two types of elite combat units: Ram Troggs and Boulder Troggs.

Each Trogg Pit costs 60 logs and 30 rough stone.

A blacksmith, smelter, and apothecary are prerequisites to building the Trogg Pit.

Brewery

The Brewery is a prerequisite for the Apothecary. It costs 150 logs, 50 stone blocks, and 100 food to build a Brewery.

Sawmill

When manned by a worker, the Sawmill produces wooden planks. These cannot be gathered in any other way.

Each Sawmill costs 100 logs and 25 ore.

Stonemason

When manned by a worker, the Stonemason produces stone blocks. These cannot be gathered in any other way.

Each Stonemason costs 25 logs and 100 ore.

Crystal Mine

One of the main goals of the game is to produce Crystal Mines. 

Crystal Mines produce Crypto Crystals. In future patches, these crystals will serve as the player’s “score” in Bounty Challenges. Players who rank high in these challenges will receive crypto and NFT prizes.

In later builds, players will also move to new planets when they extract all crystals from the current one. This process will result in additional crypto rewards.

Crystal Mines can only be placed on crystal nodes within the map. Each Crystal Mine costs 60 stone blocks and 60 wooden planks.

Silo

When a player accumulates a certain number of Crypto Crystals, he will hit his storable cap for them. The only way to raise this cap is to build Silos.

Each Silo costs 60 stone blocks and 60 wooden planks. 

Apothecary

In future builds, the Apothecary will be used to craft items. Each Apothecary costs 60 logs and 30 rough stone.

The Apothecary cannot be built unless the player already has a Brewery.

Stables

In a future patch, stables will be used to produce battle mounts for soldiers. A Stables can be built using 90 wooden planks and 60 stone blocks.

Guard Tower

The description for the Guard Tower states that it can disperse the Crystal Fog from a distance and repel invaders using a deadly ballista.

We did not encounter any invaders in the current build. But in future patches, Guard Towers will probably be needed.

A Guard Tower costs 30 fireflies, 30 wooden planks, and 90 stone blocks to build.

Hash Rush Crystal Titan update (New!)

When we first tried out Hash Rush, there were no difficult enemies for players to encounter. This made the tech tree progression seem to go by very quickly.

But on Dec. 2, the Hash Rush team implemented a new update called Rise of The Crystal Titan.

The intention of this update is to make the game more challenging and longer-lasting.

Phases of resistance

Under this update, players encounter the minions of the Crystal Titan as time goes by. These minions’ behavior is determined by the phase of resistance the game is in at the moment.

The developer claims there are five phases of resistance total. We were able to trigger three of them in our testing.

Phase 1. Harrasment – In the Harrasment phase, single units of enemy creatures will wander near the player’s structures and workers. If these units directly encounter workers, combat may occur.

However, these single monsters can be taken down by two or three of the player’s workers, so this phase isn’t too difficult to deal with.

Phase 2. Attack – In the Attack phase, groups of two or three monsters will attempt to destroy the player’s buildings.

If these monsters are not defeated, they can cause significant setbacks along the tech tree.

For example, if the player is trying to build a Trogg Pit, he may find that the enemies destroy his Apothecary and Smelter, forcing him to rebuild these structures before trying again.

In this phase, the player can swarm enemies with multiple workers. But this will result in at least some worker deaths and lost structures. Players need to have trained soldiers in this phase to prevent a significant setback.

Phase 3. Assault – In the Assault phase, large waves of monsters attack the player’s base in an attempt to destroy everything in sight. If the player sends his workers to fight the monsters, the workers will all be killed, and around 90% of the player’s structures will be destroyed.

The only way to successfully repel invaders during the Assault phase is with a group of 4-8 trained soldiers.

Phase 4. Crystal Base? – We were unable to trigger the fourth phase of invasion, but early blog posts from the developer mention a Crystal Base phase that occurs next. In this phase, a large base spawns on the other side of the planet.

The player must find this enemy structure and destroy it. Otherwise, enemies will continue to spawn until large numbers of player structures are destroyed.

Phase 5. Crystal Titan – If the player develops his economy well enough, he may enter the final, Crystal Titan, phase of resistance.

In this phase, a large boss monster called the Crystal Titan will appear on the planet. It will walk across the planet and attempt to enter the player’s base. If the Titan reaches the base, she will destroy every building and kill all workers and soldiers present.

Only a large army of well-trained soldiers will be able to defeat the Crystal Titan.

An icon at the top of the screen notifies the player as to which phase he is currently in.

Desert planet

If the player manages to defeat the Crystal Titan, he is transported to a new planet with completely different geography.

We don’t know whether this desert planet contains enemies that are more powerful than the forest one before it. But it definitely looks different.

Source: Hash Rush Medium blog

Overall, the new patch is a step up in terms of challenge and player progression.

Hash Rush Beta features (in development)

Hash Rush is currently in an alpha stage of development. Before the game moves into beta, the developer has promised to provide the following features.

Crafting

Players will be able to acquire blueprints from completing Daily Quests and Bounty Challenges. Crafting materials will be hidden within the map. 

Using these blueprints and materials, players will be able to craft unique items. The Marketplace will allow them to sell these items for RUSH Coin if they choose to.

The developer believes this feature is necessary in order to make Hash Rush “play to earn” instead of “pay to win.”

Even more planets

The developer plans to add even more planets over time.

Each time a player progresses to a new planet, he will be able to keep the in-game items he crafted on the previous one. And each new planet will bring increased rewards.

Bounty challenge

Bounty challenges will be player-vs-player contests that award crypto and NFTs. Players will compete to see who can mine the most crystals in a given period of time, and high-ranked players will earn rewards.

Monetization

To finance further development, Hash Rush will include a store that sells cosmetic items and convenience items. The currency used in the store will be RUSH Coin.

Players who craft items or earn rewards in game will be able to sell these rewards for RUSH Coin. They will then be able to buy store items with RUSH Coin or sell the coins to others who may want these store items.

Hash Rush Alpha Review

The first time we played Hash Rush, we spent a couple of hours building structures and climbing the tech tree. It was clearly in an early stage of development. But we found that even this version was addictive…at least for a while.

We kept wanting to build more structures to get higher up the tech tree. 

Eventually, we were able to obtain enough resources and prerequisites to build a Crystal Mine. However, we were unable to find a crystal node to place it on.

At that time, we felt that Hash Rush was compelling in the beginning but would have gotten stale quickly if we had continued to play for much longer. There were no strong threats on the map, so Hash Rush lacked the feeling of urgency found in games like Starcraft.

Now that this new Crystal Titan patch has been released, we’ve tried out the game again. We’ve found that Hash Rush has become a much more interesting game now that it contains tough enemies to fight.

We are looking forward to testing out Hash Rush again when new features are added such as crafting and an in-game marketplace.

Still, it shouldn’t be forgotten that this game is currently in alpha and does not yet have blockchain-backed items.

If you’re looking for a fully-built, blockchain-backed RTS, this isn’t it. In this case, you might want to try Crypto Wars, Caesar’s Triumph, or Ether Kingdoms instead.

But if you are willing to wait for crafting, blockchain tokens, and a decentralized marketplace to be developed later, you may want to try out Hash Rush now. It’s an engrossing RTS game even in its current alpha state. And the more advanced, blockchain features may be available soon.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this game as future builds are released. And when the beta goes live, we’ll play it again to see how it has changed. We’ll report on our findings here.

What do you think of the idea of a “play to earn” game? Let us know in the comments below!





Tom Blackstone
Tom Blackstone
Tom Blackstone is a former salesperson turned tech writer. Before 2014, he sold video games, computers, home theater systems, and other entertainment products. Since 2014, he has been a full time writer. His previous work includes ICO announcements, articles on the history of cryptocurrency, guides to Kodi addons, and more. He has always enjoyed learning about new technology and helping others to understand it. As a former video game salesperson, he also likes to try out new games and review them for others.

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