Illuvium Review: The Best Upcoming NFT Game of 2022?

Illuvium is an open-world RPG game based on the Ethereum blockchain that takes you on an adventure through a desolate, forgotten planet that has been destroyed beyond repair.

Considered the best upcoming play-to-earn game on the blockchain, Illuvium has piqued gamers' interest worldwide. Co-founders Kieran and Aaron Warwick claim it to be the first triple-A game on the blockchain. The ILV token has also jumped from $30 in October 2021 to an all-time high of $1858 in November 2021. Let us explore the concepts of the game as disclosed by the developers. Illuvium gained significant momentum in 2021, but can it be the best NFT play-to-earn game of 2022


Illuvium is an open-world RPG game based on the Ethereum blockchain that takes you on an adventure through a desolate, forgotten planet that has been destroyed beyond repair. The game has various vast and explorable biomes to travel around to capture deity-like creatures called Illuvials. While playing the game, you can level up your sidekick drone along with your character. In Illuvium, all your in-game purchases will be processed in ETH, but with the Immutable X Layer-2 solution, the transaction speed will be high, along with no gas fees. While adventuring to capture various Illuvials is one aspect of the game, you can also compete with other players to climb up the leaderboard. Illuvium offers highly competitive elements for tactical battles in their auto-battler gameplay from the player-versus-player viewpoint.

What are Illuvials?

Illuvials are mysterious fantasy monsters, like Pokemons and Axies, that inhabit the universe of Illuvium. There will be 100 distinct Illuvials available at launch that designers designed in a fun way. Illuvials are all unique and separated into five affinities and five classes. No two Illuvials share the same set of abilities or combat features. As you adventure from planet to planet, you get to fight various armored Illuvials. By using a synergies feature, your Illuvial can absorb the power of defeated Illuvials and evolve from cubs to deities. As you venture further in-game, you will encounter more powerful Illuvials with multiple affinities and classes. You can also fuse three leveled-up Illuvials to produce one new variant with much better abilities. Every time you capture an Illuvial in-game, a new NFT is minted, and when you fuse three Illuvials, a new Illuvial is minted while the existing ones get burned. There is no official information yet whether fusion has a preset or randomized result. 


Illuvium has its own online decentralized NFT marketplace governed by the Illuvium DAO, known as IlluviDEX. If you want to buy, sell and trade your in-game NFTs like Illuvials, weapons, armors, skins, and other rare items, you can do so on IlluviDEX. IlluviDEX is 100% safe with perfect security cores, so you don't have to worry about cyber-attacks and scams. A 5% fee is charged on every sale, 0.5% goes to Immutable X, and the rest goes to the reward pools. Just as any other blockchain NFTs, you can trade Illuvium NFTs on different marketplaces as well. 

What are the features of Illuvials?

1. Classes

All illuvials are divided into five categories from which gamers can choose. While selecting an Illuvial, you must keep these classes in mind to combine them in various ways. The five base classes available to you are:

  • Fighter
  • Psion
  • Guardian
  • Rogue
  • Empath

2. Affinities

There are a total of 5 affinities in Illuvium:

  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth
  • Nature

Although most Illuvials will have a single affinity, as a player, you can fuse different Illuviums to produce stronger multi-affinity Illuviums.

Mining and Harvesting in Illuvium

In Illuvium, you can find a variety of treasures of different planets and landscapes. You need to use your drone for mining lucrative resources from a planet's surface. These minerals can be made into new weapons and armors or even improve those you already have. The most valuable treasure in-game is gemstones. These gemstones are very rare, and you can attach them to your weapons to increase your strength in battles. You can also buff your Illuvials temporarily during combat by feeding them organics that you can harvest from trees. 

1. Shards

If Illuvials are the pokemon of Illuvium, shards can be considered as pokeballs with which you can capture them. Before you set out to explore competitive planets, it is crucial to have several shards in your arsenal. Shards are generally mined from the ground in an uncured state, and the stronger shards are rarer to find. If you ever encounter a strong Illuvial while exploring, you need a strong shard to capture it successfully. 

In Illuvium, every planet has many strong Illuvials, and shards are there to help you capture them. Similar to shards, the strength of a shard is directly related to an Illuvial's rarity, and finding powerful illuvials is very difficult as the treasure hunt is random. It is always wise to carry strong shards with you if you don't want to miss out on capturing a powerful illuvial. There is no guarantee that you can mine strong shards; you can also buy them from other players on IlluviDEX.

2. Weapons

In Illuvium, you need to fight alongside your Illuvials to determine the final result. The weapons equipped by your character play an essential role in the battle outcome, so you should look for a weapon compatible with your character. As mentioned before, weapons can also be upgraded using gemstones to make them more powerful in battles. 

3. Armor

Your in-game character needs armor to sustain against damage. If your character's armor is damaged, you need to wait for it to regenerate before you resume battle. If you buy an armor NFT, look for universal defense mechanism suits that can protect you on every planet. It is possible to make your armor from resources you mine, and you can also buy and sell armor on the IlluviDEX. 

4. Imbues

Developers added Imbues to the game so you can significantly increase the rarity of items you have in your collection. Imbues also allow you to customize your character and weapons.

The Illuvium Gameplay

Illuvium has pitched itself as a triple-A open-world RPG game compared to titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and The Elder Scrolls. The early gameplay videos reveal a 3D world with large explorable biomes with great details. The color palette is typical of Unreal Engine 4 and has a lot of resemblance with Fortnite. The Illuvium team has promised its players a range of explorable environments, but we have only a glimpse through its concept art. Players can travel the world of Illuvium on food and through the Obelisks found across the globe. You can also find Towns near the Obelisks where you can craft gears with gathered resources and stay safe from wild Illuvials. 

While adventuring in Illuvium, you will cross paths with Illuvials that phase in and out of the world. The gameplay is archaic, like that of old Pokemon and Final Fantasy games where you can not track the creatures. If you successfully defeat any Illuvial, you get the chance of capturing them in a Shard. The success rate of capture depends significantly on the target Illuvial's power and the Shard's power. Once captured, the Illuvial gets added to your collection that you can either sell or use in future battles. 

Illuvium Game Modes

1. Adventure Mode

The Illuvium team has planned to release only the Adventure mode at launch. Most of the gameplay that has been teased until now happens in the Adventure mode. Adventuring in Illuvium is very exciting, as you get to explore various worlds, conquer illuvials, gather treasures and valuable items, and much more. The different worlds of Illuvium have different graphical themes and backgrounds. When you set out for an adventure, your main goal should be to return with improvements. The experiences and expeditions are set up so that you need to outsmart the challenges on your way to succeeding. 

2. Arena Mode

After the initial game launched, the developers have promised two different battle arena modes: Ranked and Leviathan. The ranked arenas will be more or less fair as you will face an opponent having the same abilities as you. If you feel adventurous, you can choose Leviathan, where the arena is free for all, no matter what powers you have. The developers have plans for allowing in-game betting on the battle arena modes where other players can spectate and wage on you or against you. 

Developers Behind Illuvium

The development team behind Illuvium consists of more than 75 individuals who have experience across different fields. The co-founding brothers, Kieran and Aaron Warwick are among the most prominent names in the team. Their brother Kian Warwick is the founder of the DeFi protocol Synthetix. Kieran is an entrepreneur, and Aaron has a long history of being a hobbyist coder. Nate Wells, the game producer of Illuvium, has previous experience working with hit games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Last of Us. The developers are using the popular Unreal Engine 4 middleware to develop the game, and all the tokenomics are according to the ERC-20 standard on Ethereum blockchain. Illuvium has partnered with Immutable X to handle the NFT trading to provide players with faster transactions with no gas fees.

Play-To-Earn Mechanics

Like most NFT games on the blockchain, Illuvium's primary focus is the play-to-earn concept where players can earn money (ILV token) by collecting and trading high-value Illuvials. However, it is not easy to get such Illuvials as one has to explore deep into the game even to encounter one. Before capturing any Illuvial, you need to mine Shards from the Land along with gemstones and other resources with which you can craft and upgrade your gear. 

In the IlluviDEX, players can sell their gathered resources, crafter gears, weapons, and captured Illuvials to other players. All Immutable X facilitated IlluviDEX transactions are done with the ILV token. You should also remember that the number of Illuvials present in the Illuvium ecosystem is limited. That is why with more of a type of Illuvium being discovered, it becomes harder to find that type. However, the Illuvium team plans to expand the regions in Illuvium; it will be challenging to add new Illuviums without causing the existing ones to depreciate. Once the game is released, we will get to know more about the battle mode wagers and Land. 

Illuvium Zero

In addition to the main Illuvium game, a mobile spin-off title of Illuvium called Illuvium: Zero is set to release in 2022. The game will mainly focus on city-building gameplay where players can buy Land and build a civilization on it for mining resources that are usable in the main Illuvial game. Illuvium: Zero introduces the concept of metaverse real estate to Illuvium, just like The Sandbox and Decentraland. If you buy into Illuvium: Zero, you can transfer the mined resources to the main game to help your character progress. The free-to-play version of the game does not support the transfer of resources. In Illuvial: Zero, you can scan the illuvials that wonder on your Land and produce marketable skin NFTs that you can sell for profit. 

When Will Illuvium Release?

The game hasn't yet been launched, but you might not have to wait much longer as the private beta is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2022. The game was previously set to launch in Q3 of 2021, but unfortunately, it got delayed. The mobile free-to-play version of Illuvium Zero is set to launch in late 2022. But these release schedules are subject to changes, and you should join the Illuvium Discord channel to remain updated with their latest announcements. 

Final Say

Illuvium serves as an excellent example of how much the blockchain gaming space has evolved in a few years. While non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance(DeFi) have been an integral part of the crypto space for years now, gaming finance (GameFi) is a relatively new concept that has heavily impacted the community. With the combination of NFTs, DeFi, along with triple-A equivalent gameplay, Illuvium is every gamer's dream. After the success of Axie Infinity, we have seen many games come in the play-to-earn market, but none of the existing games can keep a player interested for long. Meanwhile, Illuvium is an exciting project that can solve all current problems of play-to-earn games, with fun quality gameplay being one of them. With an ambitious roadmap and many milestones to reach, the Illuvium community is set to grow more in the future.