Bored of all trading card games feeling the same? Apeiron blends together a spectrum of genres to produce a refreshing experience.

While in closed beta on PC, the game launched a play-to-airdrop campaign which attracted an audience on the Ronin network. Now in open beta via the Epic Games Store and Mavis Hub, players are giving the game a spin and finding the game is more than just token-fueled hype—it’s actually quite good.

Apeiron’s unique concoction gives the game a distinct feel, fun and strategic challenges, and an innate competitive nature. Fortunately for these new Apeiron gamers just jumping in now, there are still airdrop opportunities looming.

Apeiron squad with four small minions around a bigger god-like avatar.
Preparing for battle in Apeiron. Image: Apeiron.

A genre-blender

In a unique spin on the trading card game genre, Apeiron is a multiplayer real-time strategy god game that even implements a battle royale mechanic. That's a buzzword casserole, sure—but it’s a tasty one at that.

When in battle, you control a god-like avatar that can cast spells in the form of cards that appear on screen. Some cards are abilities that your avatar casts, while others are abilities for your “dood Apostles."

Your Apostles are your minions, all bringing different things to the board; categorized by class, they mostly do what they say on the tin. The Guardian, for example, has high defensive stats and has a taunt ability, while the Priest can heal and buff your allies.

You take six Apostles into battle, but can only field four per round—you can switch them out between rounds. Then, once the round starts, your hand is filled with cards that control your Apostles, as well as cards that your avatar has.


The avatar’s cards are determined by a skill tree before you enter battle. You select which planet you want your avatar to become, which decides how many skill points you have in each category: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. From there, you'll enter skill points into the tree to unlock cards, buff stats, and yield extra functions for the cards. 

In an Apeiron battle as the circle closes. Player has four cards in his hands.
Fighting in Apeiron as the circle closes. Image: Apeiron.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate all of your enemy’s avatars to win the round. If you don’t wipe out your opponent quickly, then the battlefield will slowly get smaller and smaller—akin to the zone closing in a battle royale shooter like Fortnite or PUBG. You must win two rounds to take the game.

This all comes together for a very strategic and satisfying battling experience. I found myself tweaking my skill tree between games, switching my Apostles between rounds, and theory-crafting wombo combos mid-fight. 

Apeiron is onto a winner with its core gameplay. My only complaint is that I felt the tutorial didn’t prepare me for real matches. There are a lot of cards you’re throwing out in the heat of real-time battle, and you just don’t have time to read each one. Instead, I had to sit out of the fight to read up on what each card did.

There is a lot of lore in Apeiron, too, told through non-playable characters (NPCs) before you enter the arena. I think it’s intentionally confusing with an overload of heavenly talk about gods, space, and science. But, despite this, the great writing kept me engaged throughout every dialogue exchange.

Apeiron skill tree. Player is looking at an upgrade on an earth avatar skill.
A look at the avatar skill tree. Image: Apeiron.

NFT cards

According to a very in-depth Medium article, most cards in Apeiron can be NFTs. For example, you can purchase Apostle NFTs to unlock unique Apostles you may not have earned in-game. Equally, you can mint avatar skill NFTs that allow you to use powerful avatar skills “without needing to worry about your elemental distribution.”

This is a logical implementation of NFTs, but it concerns me that this could lead to a pay-to-win situation. The team disagrees.

“Owning NFTs isn't a requirement for competing on our top-tier leaderboards. Many skilled players reach these heights using our free-to-play planet.” Apeiron CEO Frank Cheng told Decrypt’s GG, “Non-owners can rent or become scholars to experience playing with NFTs.”


Some NFTs also allow gamers to play and earn tokens. For example, the planet and avatar NFTs unlock Discord quests, which yield rewards. Or, you can “breed” two planets together to create a new, more powerful planet which you can then sell.

Apeiron winning screen with SMASH across the screen.
Apeiron victory screen. Image: Apeiron.

Ultimately, Apeiron is a free-to-play game, but your progress will be slowed if you keep it that way. This is not dissimilar to many Web2 models in games like Candy Crush, or most games that use a battle pass system to gate the coolest and most interesting stuff.

This talks to a wider topic of balancing in gaming, one that is ever present once playable NFT characters get involved. The key here is striking a balance between letting free-to-play gamers feel like they’re not wasting their time without making paying customers feel like they’ve been short-changed.

A key way that Apeiron is attempting to maintain balance is by allowing all players to participate in events that reward players with free NFTs that will accelerate advancement. Let’s hope this is enough to keep the free-to-play crowd from being drowned by whales.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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