Walken App Review
Mar 20, 2023
Walking is a ubiquitous activity that's a part of everyone's daily routine. Whether you're strolling around the office, hitting the gym, or engaging in a sport, chances are you're racking up a considerable number of steps. Wouldn’t it be great to earn some extra money for every step you take? That’s where the Walken app comes in.
Walken is a free, walk-to-earn & play-to-earn mobile game built on the Solana blockchain. It offers the unique opportunity to earn cryptocurrency in the form of $WLKN tokens while doing simple activities such as walking. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to own and trade NFTs of your game characters which we’ll explain later in the article.
When you first start the game, you’ll first go through onboarding and setting up your new wallet. For those who are new to blockchain and web3 wallets, you will be issued a 12-word secret recovery phrase. This is the only way you can recover your account if you move to a new phone or accidentally remove the app. Think of it like it's your bank account number and routing number. So never give anyone your recovery phrase. After you’ve been set up, you’ll be given a free Level 0 CAThlete. This is the special character you’ll use to play the game.
The Walken app’s gameplay focuses on the performance of your CAThletes as they compete in running competitions. The scores depend on their attributes and how many steps you walk during the day. Walking in real life earns you GEMS that can be spent on boosting the level of the game character. Each CAThlete has 3 basic stats: speed, strength, and stamina. As you continue to earn gems from your everyday activities, you’ll level up your CAThlete's characteristics, which increases their chance of winning in competitions.
CAThletes compete in three main race types: sprint, urban running, and marathon. You will want to choose the type of race based on the best stat of your character. This gives extra weight in determining who wins the competition. For example, if your CAThlete is strong on speed, you should run a sprint competition.
As you take part in these races in the game, you start winning $WLKN tokens. These tokens can convert your CAThlete to a new level once you’ve maxed out the GEMS you’ve applied to it. As your game character continues to grow in levels, it also earns more $WLKN. In addition to leveling up your CAThletes, you can also spend $WLKN on power-ups like clothes, accessories, or Mysberries in the Marketplace section of the app. These power-ups give you extra boost points to your character’s stats to help win competitions.
Earning and Spending $WLKN in Walken
Once you get to level 6, things start to get interesting. First, you’ll be able to convert your CAThlete into an NFT. This becomes important when you’re ready to take part in some of the other features of the game.
After spending a few months on the game, it's fairly easy to get an idea of what your win and earn rates will be daily based on your character's level, the amount of CAThletes you own, and how often you play. While there are days where your wins can spike higher or lower, the average win ratio you'll experience are balanced and fair.
Even with a good win ratio structure, sometimes I'm left feeling like they could've added more weight and emphasis on your daily step count stats. I understand this sets a low barrier of entry for people who aren't as active to participate. But when you lose a competition to someone who only had 100 steps while you're sporting over 14,000 steps, it can be disappointing. If the thesis of the app is to get people to become more active and healthier, it would be great to introduce some sort of special power-up for those who can register for a workout or run. It's no small feat of course. Introducing any new element of earning requires careful consideration of the overall game economy and how it affects the players.
There are times when you'll practically beat another CAThlete in a competition on all stats. But because they are wearing an accessory, you'll lose the match. I hope in the future they will offer some transparency on how matches are scored with characters wearing accessories because it's in those scenarios, you end up feeling like the game leans towards the "Pay 2 Win" structure.
Even with these minor gripes, you'll still be able to strategize a system to get you earning a modest amount of $WLKN. At first, it will seem like it's not much. But when you take a step back from focusing on the short term and plan for "the long game", you can start to map out how much you can make in a month. Knocking off a few hundred dollars off rent, paying for your gym membership, or treating yourself to a nice dinner is a deeply satisfying outcome for playing Walken. Especially when you're getting paid for something you do for free every day.
Once your level 6 CAThlete becomes an NFT, you can participate in the marketplace portion of the app. The marketplace allows you to buy and sell power-ups and CAThletes. Having more characters gives you exponentially more chances to run competitions and earn $WLKN tokens. In addition, you can do things like buy a low-level CAThlete, raise its level, and resell it on the market. The same also goes for clothing and accessories.
You also have the option to purchase items in the marketplace with Solana $SOL tokens. This makes it convenient for those who already carry $SOL and don't want to go through the hassle of swapping it for $WLKN. It's noted though that prices of items on the market aren't one-to-one between $WLKN and $SOL. This isn't the fault of the Walken team since users are the ones who dictate the prices for their NFT items. But regardless, it's something to carefully consider when you're trying to find a good bargain for an item in the marketplace.
There are five rarity classes of CAThletes. It starts with common, which is what you start with at the beginning of the game. From there, the classes go up to uncommon, rare, epic, and legendary. Eventually, as you earn more $WLKN, you’ll be able to purchase more game characters with a higher rarity class. Rarer CAThletes feature higher attributes, more chances to run competitions, and more opportunities to breed them.
Once you have 2 or more CAThletes, breeding becomes an interesting twist to the game. By spending gems and $WLKN, you’ll be able to select two CAThletes to breed. The stats of the new character that you breed is based on the two parent CAThlete's attributes.
This is where it becomes important to diversify your characters. For example, you’ll want to breed a game character with a rarity in color and tail type, with another one with rare ears. If you get lucky and the new character you’ve bred has all three, you’ll notice a considerable change in the character’s runner stats. It also considerably raises the market value of your CAThlete.
Just like life, breeding for attributes has no guarantee. However, if you end up with results you’re not looking for, you can sell them on the marketplace. Breeding can be a great way to make $WLKN in the marketplace or add new characters into your stable to run more competitions.
The Walken team does a fantastic job of setting up special events with chances to earn rare items. As of this writing, Walken is celebrating their 1 year anniversary. To celebrate it, users are able to stake some of their $WLKN earnings to receive a loot box that could reward them with a special CAThlete or accessory. And if you aren't a lucky winner, you still get to keep your $WLKN tokens.
In addition to special events, Walken will sometimes host an NFT burning event where they will guarantee you a rare CAThlete when you give up 2 common ones. I believe this is a deflationary tactic to help stabilize the value of the $WLKN economy. Depending on the type of CAThletes you have in your stable and your earning goals, it doesn't make sense to participate. However, for those who are starting out with a few common characters or have maxed out their breeding, this might be a great option to grab a guaranteed rare CAThlete at a low price.
Recently, Walken added "Daily Quests" to the game. Every day you're presented with tasks that can earn you GEMs, Mysberries, and $WLKN tokens. On top of that, completing quests every day can earn you jars. These jars are also filled with GEMs, Mysberries, and $WLKN, but they also give you a chance to win a loot box. Although completing 5 to 7 days of quests can be difficult and costly at lower levels, Daily Quests is a much-welcomed addition to the game.
As of this writing, the development team at Walken.io have introduced a new PvP (player vs. player) element to the main game. In fairness, it would be best to review this feature at a later time considering how new it is and as it goes through optimizations. That being said, it is another way to earn even more $WLKN if you're into "risk vs. reward" options.
The Walken Team
The Walken team is lightning-fast. Their engineering team is not only transparent about what they are currently building, but they also enjoy sharing their roadmap. Bugs are quickly addressed and they move quickly and accurately. Not to mention the art is playful, clean, and very well done. So kudos to the visual / UI design and engineering team behind it. They are very active and constantly roll out new updates and features.
Walken's team is typically on top of any support issues. But support is currently only available through Telegram or Discord. This isn't a gripe specifically towards Walken's team, but as a whole in the web3 space: Public channels are terrible for support. It is ripe for bad actors to pretend they are part of the support team and scam people out of their accounts. Sure, you can report scammers but that is a wack-a-mole game. Every time you ban a scammer, 4 more show up asking for your private keys to "help you with your issue" or they will randomly DM to harass you with crypto schemes.
Most SaaS and other services will use tools like Intercom or Zendesk to create a closed system for support. Imagine trying to get assistance with your bank account on a public forum or chat room. It doesn't make sense and web3 apps should find a more secure way of handling it. If you need support, always remember: Never give out your 12-word recovery key to anyone - NO EXCEPTIONS. Anyone who asks you for it is not part of the Walken team.
The last thing I should mention is that the app is one of the most polished web3 move-to-earn games on the market. Right from the get-go, you feel like this app is coming from a reputable team that cares about the work they put into it. Without throwing out any names, most other M2E apps require you to buy NFT sneakers before you can even participate. This makes it prohibitive for people who don't have extra disposable income or are unfamiliar with the crypto and web3 space. With Walken, you can play at your own pace and it doesn't have an economic barrier to entry.
Overall, the game is fun and might be the best move-2-earn game on the market today. It offers some of the best earning options and transaction speeds are fast since it lives on the Solana blockchain. There's room for improvement but the overall experience is leagues better than the other competing fitness game apps. So get off your couch and get paid for what you do for free every day. It's time to get Walken!
Get 10 Gems, 5 $WLKN, and 100 Mysberries for FREE when you join Walken with the following special code: BUOM3CJ
Walken App Review
Hands down, Walken is the best M2E web3 game on the market. Whether you prefer leisurely strolls or are an active runner, Walken is the perfect app to earn some extra cash.
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