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What Is Nyan Heroes? The Solana Shooter Game and NYAN Token Explained

source-logo  decrypt.co 22 May 2024 19:15, UTC

A cat-based shooter with paw-sitive reviews from players? Sorry, there’s more cat puns to come. Nyan Heroes is a Solana-based game developed by the aptly named 9 Lives Interactive. The game experienced some early success following the initial wave of its play-to-airdrop campaign, which saw fur-tunate players earn points towards NYAN tokens.

Currently available to play on the Epic Games Store in pre-alpha, the game has garnered an impressive fanbase. Is the game as meow-gical as it’s made out to be? And, what paw-sibilities are there with the token? Okay, enough kitten around, no more puns. Here’s the scoop on Nyan Heroes and the NYAN token.

What is Nyan Heroes?

Nyan Heroes is a free-to-play, Overwatch-style hero shooter. But rather than being a genetically engineered gorilla or controversial cowboy, in Nyan Heroes you’re a cat piloting a mech suit.

Currently, in the pre-alpha demo, there are four heroes that you can play as—from a sneaky assassin to a chunky tank. Each hero has four unique abilities, such as a speedy dash move, placing a turret, or firing down a barrage of artillery fire.

No matter what class you choose, you’re able to select from the same six loadouts touching on all the weapon types you’d expect—we personally recommend the shotgun.

When you take critical damage in combat, you fly out of your mech, braving the world as a tiny cat. You’re extremely vulnerable in this state, but also really hard to hit. If you’re able to survive for long enough, then you’ll be able to respawn your guardian (the name for mechs in this game) to continue fighting as you were before.

As you’re a cat, you’re able to perform cat-like movements even when you’re inside your guardian. This means that you can climb up and across walls, which is key to becoming an expert at navigating your surroundings.

At the time of writing, the primary game mode available (although other modes are being tested) is “team-based conquest.” This game mode faces off two teams of six to capture an objective in the middle of the map. Once one team reaches 100% dominance, they earn a point—the first team to two points wins the game. The average game takes 15 to 20 minutes.

Do I need NFTs to play Nyan Heroes?

In short, no. Nyan Heroes is a free-to-play game available on the Epic Games Store.

There is no NFT integration at present, as the developers are focusing on gameplay first and aiming to make a game that's accessible to all players. For this reason, Nyan Heroes can be played entirely without touching crypto or even having a wallet. However, there is more NFT and crypto functionality coming.

There already is an NFT collection associated with the game—Genesis Nyan NFTs. This collection was released in 2021 before the game was even available to play. Holders of these NFTs are given access to beta tests, merchandise, and other unique benefits.

What is the NYAN token?

The Nyan Heroes NYAN token launched on May 21 on the centralized exchange Bybit, along with a number of other exchanges.

NYAN tokens can also be claimed by players who participated in the game’s play-to-airdrop campaigns. Players were able to earn MEOW and CATNIP points by playing the game or engaging on social media, and these points now earn players an allocation of NYAN tokens.


Trading RIGHT-MEOW! 🐱 🪙 pic.twitter.com/SQoEsRQhDt

— Nyan Heroes (@nyanheroes) May 21, 2024

Even with the launch of a token, you still do not need to interact with crypto to play the game. But if you want to, you can use your NYAN tokens to “awaken” your in-game assets, which will unlock an NFT-gated reward pathway. It’ll also be used to pay marketplace transaction fees, rent in-game assets, pay competition entry fees, as well as act as a governance token.

9 Lives Interactive also promises that players will be able to stake their tokens for additional rewards and privileges. It’s worth noting that at the time of writing that not all of these features are currently available.

The future

Nyan Heroes is in pre-alpha, so it’s very early in its development. With the token launch now behind it, the game has some potentially exciting milestones in sight.

On the project’s official roadmap, the next step is to launch NYAN staking alongside a closed beta period for the game. It appears the step after that would be another Guardian NFT drop, although there is very little information about this. Beyond these plans, 9 Lives Interactive will be looking to push the game live on a permanent basis. Until now, it has only been playable during limited periods of pre-alpha access.

Broad roadmap aside, the game itself has a lot of work to be done. Currently you can only play as one of four heroes, but the official site promises four more characters to soon make their way into the game.

While in pre-alpha, the game has gone through two seasons as of this writing. With the latest season, a ranked mode that allowed players to boost their rating to reach the purr-fect rank of Champion—sorry, the puns came back. It’s likely that new features like this will continue to launch with new seasons.

The developers of Nyan Heroes have tested out other game modes and maps while in pre-alpha, and this will also likely continue.

Nyan Heroes has been popular since launching in pre-alpha in March, reportedly breaking into the top 30 titles on the Epic Games Store with over 200,000 downloads. With this success, the developers have pounced on the opportunity to push their game forward with a token launch and new features on the horizon. We’ll see if this crypto game can break into the mainstream.

Edited by Andrew Hayward