A new iOS app allows users to help save mankind from a "reptilian alien invasion" and earn bitcoins in the process.
Tigara Games released its first title, Uranus Attacks!, for iOS users on 1st March. Built using the Coinbase API, users are rewarded with bitcoin dispensed in Coinbase wallets, about $0.05 according to developers, for encouraging others to enroll in the apocalyptic resistance effort.
The brainchild of developer Amer Qureshi, the release is the product of six months of development during which he sought to tie bitcoin into an iOS gaming experience.
Qureshi told CoinDesk:
"I don't know what the latest stats are, but there are only 2 million people with bitcoin out there, but think of how many people have games. With all of these people from the gaming side starting to get bitcoin for free, knowledge of bitcoin could grow beyond what it is today and that's good for everyone."
Bitcoin is also featured prominently in the design of the game, as users accumulate and spend virtual in-game bitcoins on items and to advance to new levels. Due to iOS restrictions, however, these in-game bitcoins have no real-world value.
Qureshi indicated that Tiagara is optimistic his team won't face similar hurdles when it tries to launch the app on Android.
Uranus Attacks! is available for purchase for $2.99 to those with iPhone 5 models or newer. Purchase proceeds help fund development and to pay for the game's referral program.
When users open the app, they're greeted with a series of missions, 13 in total, each of which has an arcade-style scoreboard. Users materialize in outer space as a cartoon astronaut beset by space rocks and colorful aliens.
Users can tap to teleport to a new location on the board and double tap to release a blast radius of weaponry to dispose of the evil aliens. Should enough be killed in a single blast, cartoon bitcoins will appear to be scooped up by players.
Points are then redeemable for new levels and special weaponry, though a default bomb is always available for free.
Users can check their point levels via a 'Coin Bank' and purchase 1,000 in-game points for an additional $0.99.
Quershi explained that the idea for Uranus Attacks! was born out of his desire to help spread the bitcoin ecosystem to new users while increasing his own skills as an iOS developer.
"The intent was to create a game that could tie-in with with the bitcoin ecosystem," Qureshi said, adding that the decision to choose iOS was partly influenced by the increased purchasing power of this demographic.
Going forward, however, he sees an opportunity in helping other developers use free bitcoin as a way to encourage others to share their apps.
The result is that this capability has been expanded by the team into a standalone product, a bitcoin referral platform for games called Coin-fu for which he projected there would be more updates soon.
Images via Tiagara Games