Illuvium Review: Made For Investors, Not Gamers

When we think about the last few years in the gaming and technology industries, everyone seems to be interested in the Metaverse, NFT, and Crypto Gaming.

Every year, a boatload of crypto games are created, but sadly, most of them are a resonating failure. Also, we’ve seen developers make incredibly good games in an effort to buck the tendency of failure.

Today I decided to write an Illuvium review – released in 2021 and is rumored to be the first AAA blockchain game. Created With the “Unreal 4” game engine by Epic Games, Illuvium is a massive adventure game.

When we look at the game’s first impressions, we expect something similar to Titanfall 2, No Man’s Sky, or Warface. On the other hand, Illuvium is an RPG-themed Auto Battler (TFT, HS, MTG) game.

Illuvium is a classic metaverse project developed on the Ethereum network using ERC-20 standards. This review will dive deep into Illuvium’s tokenomic system, NFT sales, and PVE play-to-earn events.

So without further adieu, let’s take a look at how good Illuvium really is.

Illuvium Review: Graphics & Design (8)

As I said in the beginning, Illuvium was created using Epic Game’s Unreal Engine 4.

Unreal Engine 4 is commonly preferred by companies that develop high and low-budget games for Crypto gaming projects, mostly because this engine is free and simple for developers to use. This engine is also used in a lot of famous games, as it’s very robust.

But I guess nobody really supports these game designers, whether they’re making crypto games or regular games, because every developer in the industry uses Unreal Engine 4 (It was also used in games like Star Atlas – check out our Star Atlas Review here).

Because of that, almost all of the games look very identical. Despite the appealing graphics in Illuvium, the market is filled with games of the same type.

To avoid having any misconceptions, I would like to take a closer look at the gameplay.

Once you log into the game using the recent beta, you’ll find yourself on a beautiful planet with stunning visuals.

The beach, the ocean, and of course – our main game character, are all looking glamorous. I must admit that I like how the main character is designed. 

The game’s atmosphere can genuinely give you the impression that you are on another planet. After a while of progressing with the character, we enter a cave full of Illuvials, which is the game’s main mechanic.

Exploring Illuvium cave

Inside the cave, there are exquisite details like precious stones and different shadows. We can definitely see how crucial the graphics engine Unreal Engine 4 is when we consider the lack of experience on the development team.

While waiting for something to happen as we move with our character, we are also aware that our character is trapped on a massive planet.

But if this is the case, how come this game feels so… empty? The game has seeds full of illuvials only when you enter the cave.

You must fight in order to collect them, just like in Pokémon. I’m not going to get into this topic right now, though, considering that our upcoming title’s gameplay will incorporate our ideas.

Running around the open world with my character

Illuvium seems appealing from a visual point of view. Even though the developers created a beautiful planet but left it empty, we can look at it as something they will fill in the future, aka – progress.

There’s a cool effect when we hit the “Jump” button to make our character jump, and the same effect happens when we pick up a laser gun and shoot it.

Even though the shooting effect isn’t visually impressive, it’s acceptable for the beta.

Using the speed boost inside a cave

In conclusion, Illuvium has excellent graphics for a typical Auto Battler game. That said, I can’t help but think, why is the graphics quality so high in a game where the only gameplay mechanic is an auto-battle?

Gameplay Review (5)

Now let’s look at Illuvium’s gameplay and see what this game is really all about.

First off, it’s anticipated that Illuvium will have two distinct gameplay modes. The first will focus on PVE (Player Versus Environment), while the second will only be PVP (Player Versus Player) – focused.

If you haven’t heard of Illuvium before, you might assume it’s a war game that can be played as an FPS (First Person Shooter) or TPS (Third Person Shooter).

After playing inside the cave with the Illuvium published beta, I realized that my character exists solely to allow me to move.

To be honest, trying to design a “Main character” for a typical auto-battler game feels more like an attempt to sell NFTs or Tokens down the line. Why? Because no matter how you look at it, it doesn’t make much sense.

We entered a cave filled with illuvials at the beginning of the game. Illuvials are the creatures that make up the game’s main mechanics.

Additionally, there are 100 different illuvials available right now. Inside the cave, we can approach and shoot various glowing objects. When we interact with this glow, we can then count the illuvials inside of it and choose whether to participate in battle or not.

Found 4 Illuvials

An area dominated by auto battler mechanics greets us as we enter the warzone. A zone exists where we can set up our own character and illuvials for battle.

Similar to that, there are enemy illuvials positioned in front of us. We can strengthen illuvials by using armor and special items to gain an advantage in battle.

Planning mode in a battle

I prefer to fight the illuvials that appear first, to fully comprehend the gameplay, and we’re probably lucky to have exactly 4 illuvials to fight.

The Survival Mode, included in the game’s beta version, is another important part of Illuvium. The game begins on a battlefield with waves of enemies rather than your character.

There are a variety of illuvials and creatures in this mode that can be purchased using in-game currency, and each and every illuvial has unique characteristics and strategies.

Our opponent will enter the next round stronger after each round we win. Of course, as you earn game currency, you’ll be able to fill your battlefield with new illuvials.

Attacking the enemy in combat Illuvium

Although these are the typical Illuvium gameplay mechanics, two additional types – Overlord and Leviathan, are expected. There isn’t yet a description of the gameplay for these mechanics, but they’re believed to be PVP-focused.

To conclude the Gameplay review, I’d like to make a slight criticism about the game’s similarity to Teamfight Tactics and Hearthstone. The game’s developer, Kiernan Warwick, stated the following:

“We took the DNA of time-honored autobattlers like Teamfight Tactics and merged it with competitive strategy like the games Hearthstone and Starcraft. The exciting new hybrid of the two pushes skill and strategy to the absolute limit of engaging gameplay. Our studio’s focus is on creating interesting, visually-heightened, player-friendly experiences.”

Kiernan Warwick

In terms of gameplay, I pretty much agree with what Kiernan said. Aside from the card game similarity, I couldn’t figure out what it had in common with Teamfight Tactics and Hearthstone.

Big battle on a floating platform

I wasn’t exactly sure of the similarity despite being a fan of card games and auto-battlers since Magic the Gathering.

Illuvium, on the other hand, in my opinion, is an exact replica of the once extremely popular “Legion TD 2.” Check out the video below to see what we mean.

Also, I firmly believe that Legion TD 2 offers more enjoyable gameplay and a Starcraft-like strategy.

I hope Illuvium keeps surprising us and doesn’t just become an RPG-themed game designed to increase NFT and token sales.

Game-Story Review (4)

When Illuvium was introduced back in 2020, it had nothing but simple images and lacked a compelling plot or story that the players would find interesting.

At the time of writing this review in the fall of 2022, there’s still no great storyline. I can, however, state that the Illuvium plot is promising.

First, the illuvials, with their different classes and types, are the main focus of our story in the Illuvium metaverse.

The illuvials story serves as the basis for the game’s tactical structure. We must catch an illuvial if we want to have an NFT at the point where the story and the game meet.

We need a strong Illuvial shard to accomplish this (The illuvials we get can be shiny, gold, or holographic). Furthermore, due to their affinity in the game, illuvials can receive additional bonuses.


In Illuvium, there are 5 different classes. The compatibility of each class is crucial, particularly in terms of gameplay. The Illuvium story also includes the creation of hybrid classes because combining two classes of the same type allows you to create an illuvial with much stronger class abilities.

Cards of different Illuvium classes

The classes are:

  • Guardian
  • Fighter
  • Empath
  • Rogue
  • Psion


Affinities in Illuvium allow you to use different strategies and tactics.

For example, a water illuvial will cause higher damage to a fire illuvial. Illuvials can also be combined, for example, air+earth, just like the classes.

3 different fire affinity cards

Here are the different currently available affinities:

  • Air
  • Nature
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth


In the Illuvium story, there is no mating. Instead, Illuvials can be combined to become stronger. There are illuvial levels as well – These levels can also be reached through battles.

Your Illuvial can be sold for more ILVs, the more unique and high-level it is. To be honest, the only story in the illuvium universe is creating new illuvials to make profits from NFT sales.

Another aspect of the story is that adventurers can collect illuvials as loot after defeating them. I believe that the logic of hunting gives RPG games more depth.

Finally, as I said before, Illuvium has 3 distinct gameplay modes. Everyone was probably hoping for a good plot in the story mode, which is the most obvious gameplay mode.

But honestly? It feels like the only story the development team created in Illuvium, is basically exploring the planet and caching Illuvials.

Unlike Illuvium, games such as League of Legends or TFT, have a fantastic story. Similarly, in DOTA Underlords, the players can be affected by the story in each season.

Music Review (9)

I adored the songs of Illuvium. I don’t want to ramble about this too much, but you’ll know what I mean if you’re familiar with songs from League of Legends.

The music in Illuvium’s gameplay trailer was also excellent. Similarly, the songs used in the other beta release are energizing.

I’d like to express my appreciation for the song selections, which reflect the game’s atmosphere and motivate the players to win.

Additionally, some of its other early songs are available on YouTube. There’s no doubt in my mind that the game’s music is carefully chosen by the development team.

For example, the music in “survival mode” contributes to the cyberpunk look of the atmosphere. It occasionally aims to switch to a soothing tone and decrease the game’s tension.

Illuvium Tokenomics (6)

Now let’s take a look at what interests investors: the tokenomics of the game.

Although Illuvium appears to be an entirely Ethereum-based project, it’s developed on Immutable X, which has a blockchain application functionality.

Immutable X offers instant transactions and no gas fees. Furthermore, Immutable X can guarantee the ownership of the player-s items in the game.

IlluviDEX Platform

Of course, I also need to mention the IlluviDEX platform, where Illuvials can be securely sold as NFTs. Additionally, the 5% share of the transaction fee goes straight to Illuvium’s prize pool.

What is Illuvium (ILV) Token?

ILV is an ERC-20 token created for use in the Illuvium game’s ecosystem.

When the ILV token was first introduced, 500,000 of its 10,000,000 possible units were sold during a pre-seed sale for $1 each.

Taking this risk allowed early investors to purchase ILVs for a very low cost, and within a few days, 500,000 ILVs were sold.

Illuvium Price

There are 3 situations in the game where you can use and gain ILVs.

  • By completing tasks: players can earn free ILVs thanks to in-game rewards.
  • sILV rewards are distributed to those who have the option to stake ILV in the Illuvium Vault. This new token is the second coin of the sILV Illuvium ecosystem. Meanwhile, staking users can receive their rewards in ILV or sILV.
  • Participating in game management gives players the right to vote on all decisions. The game’s administration may involve the use of the ILV token. For this, there is the Illuvinati Council through the Illuvium DAO.

What is sILV?

It was made as an additional token to reward players who stake Illuvium. By converting their ILV rewards to sILV, stakers can skip the unlock times for in-game items.

Or, if they so choose, they can withdraw the USD value of their accounts in exchange for their sILV rewards.

Illuvium (ILV) Token Distribution

I mentioned that ILV got a maximum supply of 10,000,000 units. Let’s examine the distribution of these 10 million supplies:

  • Pre-Seed Sales: 500,000 ILV.
  • Seed sales: 1,500,000 ILV.
  • Development Team: 1,500,000 ILV.
  • Treasury: 1,500,000 ILV.
  • Launchpad: 1,000,000 ILV.
  • Yield farming: 3,000,000 ILV.
  • In-game rewards: 1,000,000 ILV.

Following this analysis, the gas fees in Ethereum have seemed to be a little annoying when compared to the Illuvium tokenomics structure.

Players must deal with Ethereum’s high transaction fees each time they transact with ILV. However, given the impending release of Ethereum 2.0, this issue does not appear to be long-term.

Community Review (7)

Since the game’s creation in 2020, it has formed a very specific fanbase.

I’d say that crypto gaming investors may form the majority of the Illuvium community. The best of Illuvium’s community can be found on YouTube and Twitter.

Although this could be a problem for a regular video game, it could positively impact Illuvium’s future.

Another point is that Illuvium gives ILV owners a voice in the game’s management. People can be much more involved in the community if they know they will be responsible for how the game functions.

Illuvium Twitter Page

That said, Illuvium has a significant issue with the community: Illuvium is an auto-battler-based RPG game, and Card and Auto-battle games, even non-crypto ones, don’t draw much attention.

For example, Hearthstone is currently one of the best card games in the world, and it still doesn’t receive enough attention. More specifically, casual players don’t play it very often, if at all.

We still don’t know how exciting and entertaining the auto-battler and crypto-mechanics in Illuvium will be.

Illuvium Community Discord Channel

So, who will actively play the game, aside from those who enjoy auto-battlers like me? Just the investors? And also, how will Illuvium survive as a game if only investors play it?

According to my analysis of Twitter, most of Illuvium’s community comprises people who invest in cryptocurrency gaming. As an active member of Reddit and other gaming communities, I can confirm that, unfortunately, no one is aware of Illuvium’s existence.

Finally, I hope Illuvium can use its community recommendation to reach out to video gamers as well as those interested in cryptocurrency. Otherwise, Illuvium becomes a speculative center for those looking to make money.

Earning-Ability Review (8)

The development team claim that Illuvium is the first AAA blockchain game. But many people are curious about the game’s Play To Earn ability.

Given that it will be a massive multiplayer game, it’s clear that investors have high expectations. So, how can Illuvium be profitable for casual players? Let’s take a look:

  • First, the best way for players to earn money from Illuvium is to acquire and sell Illuvials. The Illuvials that players obtain can be combined to produce a powerful synthesis, as I previously explained. The price of this naturally occurring new illuvial can be very high. As a result, fusion is the first way that players can profit from the game.
  • Mining pieces is the second way to make money while playing. For example, we can upgrade and enhance our gear using mining items. Similarly, we can exchange NFTs for ore, gems, and plants that will give us an advantage in combat. IlluviDEX is a market where we can sell our resources, weapons, gear, and illuvials.
  • Missions and events are obviously the third play-to-earn strategy. The majority of crypto games have a large number of PVE tasks. Thanks to the survival mode in Illuvium, users can probably earn ILV tokens by completing various tasks. However, since the beta lacks specific information about tasks and ILV earnings, we cannot make precise statements at the moment.
Illuvium Review Survival Mode Screen
  • Three different game modes have so far been introduced in Illuvium. One of those game modes: “Ranked Matches,” allows the players to participate in a battle with other players. Additionally, viewers from outside the battle can bet on your ranked matches. I wonder how this betting system will be received in countries where betting is generally illegal.
  • Staking is the final method of earning money in Illuvium. Players can earn interest by staking ILV in the Illuvium Vault for a set amount of time.


Is Illuvium Free to play?

Although not exactly “free”, Illuvium has a tier 0 realm that you can try for free.

How much is Illuvium worth?

Illuvium is trading at $56.77 as of October 7, 2022.

Can I play Illuvium on mobile?

There is currently no mobile version of Illuvium. In addition, the game has not yet made its debut on platforms such as PC and MAC. However, the developers of the game state that they are working on “Illuvium Zero,” which is a mini-mobile game. We’ll probably have more information about it at the beginning of 2023.

How do you make money from Illuvium?

Since Illuvium is a Play To Earn game, it offers many money-making methods, similar to other crypto games:

Method 1: The first way to earn money in Illuvium is to develop Illuvials using PVP. You will have a chance to earn ILV tokens for every win in competitive matches against other players.

Method 2: Now there is staking, a classic crypto gaming payoff. With the Illuvium Vault, you can earn income from interest according to your staking period.

Method 3: The last method is quests and events in the game. There are many quests under story mode in Illuvium. Players can earn ILV tokens by completing different PVE quests.


Illuvium was pretty much embellished for a typical Auto-battler game, which confirmed my suspicions of it being mostly made for investors and not gamers.

However, despite the excellent ideas and designs, there are still some missing features in the game. A lot of work needs to be done here, no doubt. What will change and what will be added to the game during that process is difficult to predict.

Nevertheless, as I said, there’s still a long way to go, and nothing can be predicted.

6.7 Total Score
Needs Improvement

Illuvium is very noticeable due to its fantastic graphic designs and, sadly, uninteresting gameplay. To be honest, From the moment I began researching the game, I had the impression that Illuvium should be regarded as an investment rather than an actual game.

Graphics & Design
Earning Ability
  • The game's community is quite extensive. Users can vote on the game's and ILV token's future together. I see this as a fantastic feature in decentralized crypto games.
  • The game's graphic design is more promising than any other game in the cryptocurrency gaming industry. Suppose the RPG element is supported in addition to the auto-battler mechanics. In that case, the game can attract hundreds of thousands of casual players.
  • Illuvium has been pretty conventional in terms of play-to-earn dynamics. Those who play the game accurately and strategically are likely to earn more money. It doesn't matter how much money you have or how powerful your illuvial is. Contrarily, strategy and good planning become crucial no matter what.
  • When a video game's success is determined by its marketing strategy rather than its quality, it can be annoying. Investors make up the majority of the game's user base. Eventually, the future of the ILV token will decide how long the game will last.
  • The trust in the game is being undermined by the speculative movements in ILV. The price is currently trading at $57 in October 2022, down from $500 in April 2022.
  • The game's development takes an extremely long time. For instance, the beta process, originally set to be released in the spring of 2022, has been delayed until fall. Other expected processes will probably delay as well.
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Jason Oeynhausen
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Jason Oeynhausen

Crypto OG, entrepreneur, zen-seeker, good vibes advocate. The best investment you can make is your own education.

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