What is Ethereum 2600?
It’s also very likely the first game distributed fully by NFT, and almost certainly the first NFT distributed game for any classic console. As such, Ethereum 2600 is a little piece of history.
You can find the Ethereum 2600 NFT over at OpenSea.
Is Ethereum 2600 a collectable NFT or a way to distribute indie games?
It’s both. Holding the NFT allows you to download the game a copy of the game (and have a cart produced, if that’s your thing) but you can also speculate on the collectable value of this first classic console game NFT. If gaming is your focus, purchase the NFT, download the game, and sell it again. With any luck, you might sell it for more than you purchased it for.
What Do I Get For Purchasing This NFT?
The purchaser gets an individual copy of the game rom, and high resolution label art. You have the right to have a cartridge created from the rom, if you like. You are also entitled to transfer or sell your copy of the rom (or cartridge) once.
Reselling the NFT doesn’t remove these rights.
How Do I Get This And Play?
Upon purchase of the NFT at OpenSea, you’ll be provided access to a page where you can download the game rom and related materials. After downloading the game rom, you can play the game via:
- Emulation. The access page for this NFT has a browser-based emulator, to make trying the game out easy. Or you can download the game ROM and play it on your computer with your favourite 2600 emulator.
- Flash Cartridge. After downloading the game ROM from the NFT access page, you can put it on an SD card and play with a flash cart, like the very fine Harmony Cart.
- Real Cartridge. After downloading the game ROM and label art, the fine folks at AtariAge can create one beautiful looking Ethereum 2600 cart that will work with a real 2600 console, just like the old days. The quality of these carts and labels surpasses the original run of 2600 games.
Ethereum 2600 Gameplay
Ethereum 2600 is a corridor shooter, reminiscent of classic games like Targ or Crossfire. Each enemy takes multiple shots of damage to destroy. Destroy 20 enemies, and you’ll finish the level. After each level you’ll encounter a bonus round, where you can try to collect four four golden coins, to earn an extra life.
In the year 2600, the generational ship ETH has sheltered humanity for centuries. An alliance of three wayward tribes have risen up, and are seeking to bring down the ETH. Defend the good ship from their deadly onslaught.
The Brrr wander the corridors randomly, until they become horizontally lined up with your ship, at which point they’ll come right for you. Evade them by moving vertically to another row.
Rent Seekers run a serpentine pattern from the top of the screen to the bottom, until they happen to line up with you in the same column, at which point they’ll come right for you. Evade them by moving horizontally to another column.
Regulationistas have their eyes everywhere, so they can home right in at you whereever you are. While they’re more difficult to evade than other enemies, thankfully they move slowly.
Ethereum is designed for play with the Atari® 2600 joystick. Pressing in any of the four cardinal directions moves your ship in that direction. Holding the fire button down locks your ship in place, and then moving the stick will shoot in that direction.
- Some enemies target you vertically, when they’re in the same column as you. Other enemies target you horizontally, when you’re in the same row. Breaking off their attack by moving to a different row or column.
- Shoot the closest enemies first. Your refire rate is quickest when the enemy is close.
If you turn your console on while holding the Reset Switch, the game will display a QR code. Reading this QR code with your phone will reveal a bit of pithy crypto-themed wisdom. There are four game rom variations, each with a different bit of QR wisdom.
About The Author
Ethereum 2600 was created by Mike Saarna, an avid classic console developer and crypto enthusiast. Mike has made numerous contributions to the Atari® 2600 and 7800 indie development scenes, including development of emulators, compiled languages, assemblers, profiling tools, documentation wikis, and naturally - games.