The Rabana.io Soccer Management Game has been running for around 6 weeks now which game me plenty of time to form an initial impression on it after getting in early. Here is a small review of both the gameplay and expected returns...
When it comes down to games on the Hive/Steem blockchain aside from Splinterlands, pretty much all of them (Drugwars / Nextcolony / Holybread / ...) have been mindless click & upgrade type grinding 'games' with a Ponzi structure where it's all about getting in early if you want a chance to earn something. It might be just me who doesn't really find this enjoyable and in essence, the Rabone Soccer Manager looked very similar.
The main reason I wanted to test it out is because I have some very fond memories of playing Commodore 64 Football Manager as a kid and I kind of hoped to briefly relive that experience. I tend to not see these games as an investment or have any plans to pour money into them unless there are some damn good reasons to. So I paid the required 5$ (~32 Hive) expecting it to be lost hopefully getting a week of fun in return.
By now we are 6 weeks later and I'm still logging in 5 minutes on a daily basis to perform some actions and follow how my team is doing. I am personally not looking for a game that requires much mental effort where it is possible to play it without having to think. Rabona perfectly fits this profile but also allows players who want to go more in dept to do so. Basically, you start being given a team a bunch of players (I got quite lucky in the average quality my players had) and you have to grow this team by training the players which increases their stats, upgrade the stadium to get more fans and income so you can scout or buy better players competing in a league where the leader gets promoted to a higher league.
Each season is played over the course of ~7 days, you can manually select your team or leave it blank so the game itself fills in the players and team formation (I use the last option and it works fine). Your players age by 1 year each season and become better until they are 29 after which their statistics start to go down and they ultimately retire.
You have income from fans that attend the home matches, sponsorship deals, merchandise shop... and expenses from player salaries, stadium costs, different buildings, scouting, ... It is also to buy or sell players on the market and the point of the game is to reach as high as possible.
As a game it does a good job for me, after 6 weeks it doesn't feel like a task, and I still kind of enjoy watching how it all goes making some small decisions on what to upgrade, how much to charge, who to sign,... without the game taking up much time or requiring extra investment.
Something all these blockchain games have in common is that they allow some way for players to earn something from them. For most the "click-and-upgrade games" this means part of the money that comes in being redistributed to the players. Usually, this model collapses rather quickly as once the weight of existing players gets too big and there aren't enough new ones to carry the weight. Most games also have their own token which can freely be sold or is used to distribute rewards.
In the case of Rabona, it looks like they doing a weekly reward payout to their players depending on their season ranking. The RBN token can not yet be traded yet on Hive-Engine and I'm not sure how this will work as RBN currently can be bought in the Store at a rate of 1$ for 100k RBN with bonuses for bigger purchases. The game also continues to develop.
My rewards so far after 6 seasons and having paid ~32 Hive to start playing the game:
So far I have recovered around 25% of my initial investment and will likely play long enough to at least make it a zero-sum-game having gotten a fun experience. I estimate the chance quite small of this becoming a real earner like Splinterlands which allows me to earn something between 40$-50$ consistently on a monthly basis just by playing 20 minutes daily completing the daily quests (See Splinterlands Full Earnings Report). Rabona right now has about 225 active daily users ranked 21st on the Dappradar games section. Most of the player base consists of existing Hive Users who want to test it out as a new toy on their blockchain and it won't be easy to grow unless there is another mainstream crypto hype.
For those who are looking for a simple Football Manager Game on the blockchain which doesn't require a lot of time or more than a 5$ investment with the potential to earn that back by playing, Rabona.io is pretty much the game that they are looking for. After 6 weeks I still enjoy it as a game and I will likely continue playing seeing everything that the game pays me as rewards as a nice bonus. The game is still developing and it will be interesting to see where it all goes from here on out.