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Phantasma Chain has recently released the open beta of its turn-based competitive wrestling game, Nacho Men. The game first featured in the NEO+Microsoft development competition and won first place, netting the grand prize of US $150,000 in GAS out of 77 entries. Since its beta release, the game has moved steadily along its roadmap that included numerous development updates such as ranked and casual matchmaking, gym training and staking of Phantasma’s SOUL tokens for battle rewards.

The new features have been included in the open beta that can be accessed via a one-step registration process. Players sign up to the public beta test to receive a Wallet Import Format (WIF) key delivered via email. Players then download the game from a selection of platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Once downloaded, players then enter their WIF key to start playing; players can sign up to the beta here.

Fighters in Nacho Men are characterized as masked luchadors of lucha libre, a style of wrestling popularized by Latin American culture. Each luchador is a collectable non-fungible asset that can grow in strength through a levelling mechanic for both stats and base experience levels. Attributes such as attack, stamina, and defense and can be trained incrementally through the in-game gym, or earned by increasing the luchador’s base level by challenging the AI or other players to battle. When luchadors are created their attributes and identities are chosen at random, with some even starting with special moves such as a poison attack that applies a damage over time tick to opponents.

The core gameplay involves battling another luchador in a turn-based wrestling arena, combing elements of strategy, chance and psychology. At the start of the round, each player squares up and is given sixty seconds to declare one of four possible moves. Players can select from Chop, Smash, Counter or their special move if available. Chop is a moderate attack that is guaranteed to inflict damage, while Smash does more damage than Chop but can be negated by Counter.

This “paper, scissors, rock” mechanic creates unpredictable gameplay by requiring players to consider the risks and rewards of their actions as well as that of their opponents. Additionally, each luchador has stats and special moves that are either strong or weak against certain opponents; this creates a meta game of determining if it would be better (or unexpected) to follow a more aggressive or conservative strategy to win the match that changes the longer it plays out. Rounds continue until one or both luchadors’ hitpoints are reduced to zero. When a player loses a match, their wrestler loses a unit of “mojo” that recharges over time; new wrestlers start with two units of mojo each.

Nacho Men supports numerous game modes, including ranked and unranked matchmaking, practice against the AI and, versus that allows player to challenge individual opponents. Ranked play has a leaderboard that displays a list of the strongest and most competitive luchadors of all, as well as a unique wagering mechanic using Phantasma’s SOUL as an in-game currency. Before searching for an opponent to challenge, players stake how many tokens they’d like to bet on the outcome of the match, with the winner receiving a proportionate amount of the loser’s tokens at the end. It’s a requirement to register one’s account through the game’s option screen to participate in ranked play. Players may also link their Nacho Men address to their Twitter account for verification. New players are encouraged to play through the first few levels of the training mode first to get a feel for the controls and strategy of the game.

Besides battling other players, the game also focuses on collecting and improving their roster of luchadors as collectable assets. Fighters can be bought and sold through an in-game marketplace for wrestlers and equippable items that can boost the character’s stats. The game uses SOUL for trade and can be deposited and withdrawn through the player’s wallet; NEO may also be deposited as well.

As Nacho Men is still in beta, Phantasma will continue to work on new features and develop its community. A key benefit of the beta is that players can carry over their luchadors and any items they earn to the full game once it’s released, earning themselves an advantage over newer players.

To access the beta, sign up here.

More information on Nacho Men and Phantasma can be found at the links below.