How to Play Parallel 🎴
The NFT TCG explained!
Metaversal is a Bankless newsletter for weekly level-ups on NFTs, virtual worlds, & more!
Dear Bankless Nation,
Parallel is a sci-fi trading card game built with NFTs.
After looking around some, I decided to write a guide that had the general basics of the game as they stand in one place.
That said, in today’s post we’ll cover all you need to start playing Parallel!
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A Beginner’s Guide to Parallel
Active development of Parallel began in 2021, and the trading card game (TCG) finally kicked off its beta on July 31st, 2023, allowing players to earn card packs and PRIME tokens, the game's ERC20 currency.
Up until the beta launch, Parallel's NFT cards were released across multiple pack drops, culminating in the final pack drop in January 2023, completing the Parallel base set. The next planned phase is the upcoming expansion, "Planetfall," though its release date is yet to be announced.
Here, also note that the Parallel TCG is one of two games currently being developed in the wider Echelon universe. The other game, Parallel Colony, is a sim game where AIs equipped with ERC-6551 wallets team up with players to mine and trade digital loot. The rest of this guide will focus on the TCG, but keep your eyes peeled on Colony, too!
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Getting your first Parallel cards + beta access
During Coinbase’s Onchain Summer celebrations, the Parallel team is releasing five unique Starter Decks on Base, each priced at 0.05, and each representing one of the game’s five “Parallels,” i.e. deck types. At the time of writing, the mint has two weeks left and will run through August 31st, 2023.
Notably, these decks will provide you with 40 cards to begin playing, plus 10 apparition (non-NFT) packs to help you additionally build out your card options. Buying one of these decks will also grant you access to the Parallel TCG beta, so the steps to begin are like so:
Bridge ETH to Base (e.g. via Hop)
Visit parallel.life/starter-decks and switch to the Base network
Select which starter deck(s) you want
Press “Buy Decks” and complete the purchase transaction
Create an account on parallel.life if you haven’t already
Go to your account settings and save your wallet to your account
Wait 5-10 minutes to receive a beta invite email
Use the invite to sign in parallel.life/play
Press “Download Parallel” and wait for the download to finish
Sign into the game launcher and press “Install” — then you’re ready to play!
Once you install and launch Parallel, you’ll automatically be prompted to complete two tutorials, “Combat System” and “Card Types & Paragon,” that will demonstrate the basic gameplay mechanics. Be sure to pay attention here because they’re great walkthroughs!
As for the game’s general design, players battle to reduce their opponent's life total to zero, and each side starts with 30 life points each. Gameplay involves constructing a deck of 40 cards from one Parallel only (Augencore, Earthen, Kathari, Marcolian, or Shroud) and with the option to include "Universal" cards that can be used in any deck. Additionally, a Parallel card can be categorized into one of the following classes:
Units: People or beings that engage in battles.
Relics: Non-combat “permanents” with various effects.
Effects: One-time spells.
Upgrades: Persistent effects that attach to units.
A special unit to be aware of is a "Paragon," a powerful character type that is both playable and offers persistent passive effects. Also in order to play cards in the first place, players must accumulate resources by “banking” cards into their Power Bank, which adds an element of strategic energy management to the game.
Once you get through the beta’s preliminary tutorials, you can start exploring around the launcher, e.g. import and further customize decks from the Parallel Deckbuilder in the “Collections” tab or jump into some trial “Rookie mode” quickplay matches to see if you can get your first wins.
If you’re just diving into Parallel, keep in mind that PRIME is the Echelon ecosystem currency that Parallel players can earn through winning ranked games, with earnings influenced by factors such as ladder rank, multipliers, and win streaks.
PRIME can be spent on various Sinks, i.e. services and experiences, and a major portion of these earnings are redistributed back to the Parallel Gameplay Pool, from which ranked match winners earn PRIME. The big idea? Create a self-sustaining play-to-earn game economy for years to come.
I’ve long had Parallel on my gaming radar, but as I’ve started exploring it more deeply now through the beta I’ve only become more impressed.
People complain there aren’t many playable NFT games out there yet, and while the Parallel TCG is still in its very early days, the playable version that buying a Starter Deck unlocks is, in my opinion, fun and well designed and built on a solid lore.
All that said, I think it’s a great time to give the game a go with there still being two weeks left on the Starter Decks mints. Whether you're drawn to the strategic depth, the play-to-earn economy, or the allure of the wider Echelon universe, Parallel is one watch!
Explore Parallel: Pick up a Starter Deck 🎴
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Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.
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