Bitcoin Gaming: SaruTobi

Bitcoin games Sarutobi

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With the mobile gaming industry booming over the last 24 months, there seems to be an endless choice of games providing a way to pass some time and keeping your brain trained.

Sadly though, although these games may be fun to play, they don’t give you much back financially for your time. If anything, they gave you very little other than perhaps a slightly emptier wallet due to in-game purchases.

Bitcoin Gaming companies are flipping the script though where players of the games aren’t just “users” but are rewarded for being a part of their gaming community via satoshis (or sats), which are fractions of a Bitcoin.

If you like puns, gaming and Bitcoin then you’re in for a treat as I’m well and truly getting in to the swing of things now. I never thought I’d be earning sats from slinging a digital monkey through the air but that’s exactly what I’ll be talking about with this game today!

Zebedee & MandelDuck

MandelDuck is the handle of mobile game developer, Christian Moss, who is co-founder of Zebedee, a company that powers games with Bitcoin’s lightning network, and created SaruTobi.

Zebedee was founded in 2019 with a mission to bring Bitcoin to gamers by integrating the lightning network into the digital world of gaming. By tapping in to the lightning network, people that use Zebedee’s wallet can now reward players, content creators and streamers with real world money in the form of sats.

What Is SaruTobi?

SaruTobi is an 8-bit, 2D platform game which is Japanese for “Monkey Fly“. The name of the monkey is Tobi and this little fellow is as hard as nails.

There are different game modes where you take control of Tobi to complete various challenges and weekly tournaments from the Zebedee Discord and win sats by collecting coins.

You also collect bananas which you can use to buy power-ups to help you to launch Tobi further and put you in with a better chance of winning the weekly competitions.

Send Tobi flying through the air to collect bananas and Bitcoin!

There are 3 game modes to play all based around Tobi:

  • Fly By – you basically try to sling Tobi as far as possible. Tap the screen repeatedly to build up speed and then swipe to unleash him. As he flies through the air, he can pick up bananas which you use to buy power-ups with and coins which you can redeem for sats. Power-ups include:
    • Banana skin – puts banana skins on Tobi’s feet to slide along the ground further after landing
    • Spring – wraps Tobi in a spring like a zorb ball and bounces him further after landing
    • Hang Glider – elevates Tobi if you catch the wind and keep him airborne for longer
    • Rocket – will fire you horizontally extremely quickly to build up speed!
    • Bomb – detonate a bomb which will send Tobi very high up in the air
    • Alchemy – Tobi will grow massive, like Popeye after eating spinach, and fill the screen

  • Swing Thing – requires a little more finesse as you try to swing across various vines in the forest canopy. By tapping the swing button to start swinging and swiping to let go, you then have to tap the “grab” button if you’re within reach of the next vine to swing from.

  • Fright Night – this is a 2D platform runner where you have to avoid obstacles such as zombies and bats that come across the screen by either jumping or ducking. The speed increases with each obstacle making for a challenging but frightful experience!


When I first downloaded the game and was greeted with the 8 bit graphics, it was like going back in time to my childhood and playing on the Super Nintendo again!

It took a couple of seconds to get used to having been immersed in slightly higher resolution games recently, but once I adjusted, it was fine and you really start getting in to the arcade style of the game.

As you can see from the screenshot above, there’s plenty of bananas, coins and letters that spell “SARUTOBI” for extra bonuses. These also seem to randomly change position with each throw, along with the different times of day, so you never know the layout before a swing.

Not that it matters too much as it seems that no two throws you do are the same due to timing of the taps and swipes. As the game developer says, “simple to play but difficult to master”!

See your event stats when there’s one running

As for the other two game modes, I did find these a little frustrating and couldn’t get very far with them. Probably as I lack the finesse required haha! Thankfully the Fly By game mode draws you in and is fast paced, more up my street.

When there’s an event running, you can press the “event stats” button on the display and it shows you how well you’re doing. If you want to receive sats then you will need to connect your Zebedee lightning wallet, which is really simple to do here.

How Can Zebedee Reward Players With Bitcoin?

Zebedee is partnered with several companies that are sponsoring the Bitcoin gaming revolution, one of which is a centralised exchange called Bitstamp which you will see advertised in the game.

There are also in-game adverts that will provide some ad revenue and these are not too intrusive at all. You can have multiple attempts at one level before you will need to watch a video.

In-game purchases for different skins are available if you want to have a different character other than Tobi to throw through the jungle!

How To Withdraw Sats From SaruTobi

You will need to connect your Zebedee wallet in the game which is really straightforward as all you need is your gamertag you chose when setting up the wallet.

From SaruTobi, you tap the “rewards” button, then whichever tip you have available, complete the captcha and congratulations, you have some sats!

Once connected, you can also receive sats from the Zebedee Discord whether its from fellow gamers or for taking part in challenges.

Zebedee’s wallet is based on the lightning network, although there are some limitations on how much you can store in the wallet until you verify fully. You can still send a small amount of sats in and out of the wallet depending on your preference.

You won’t get rich with this game alone but stacking some extra sats on your lunch break for playing a mobile game is not a bad thing at all.

My Thoughts On SaruTobi

The simplicity of slinging a monkey for sats can’t be understated here! A few taps to build up momentum and swipe to let him fly to bring home the goods! What’s not to love?

SaruTobi is a very addictive game once you start picking up the coins and converting them to sats in your Zebedee wallet!

If you have a lot of free time to kill then it’s well worth joining the community Discord and interacting there with other gamers, as well as taking part in the community challenges.

There is a downside and that is that this game will really warm up your phone and drain your battery. There were a couple of issues with the game freezing on start-up and not loading on occasion, even in the “low graphics” mode. However, these were quickly resolved by the game developers.

The 8 bit graphics and arcade music to go with it is a pretty cool throwback to the 1990s era of handheld gaming devices like the Gameboy and Game Gear. It really feels like going back in time to an early version of Donkey Kong but like a side-game that they never invented.

I like that there are competitions every Saturday for various things in the game to keep the feeling of challenge going. Add to that, the community on Discord are a cool bunch and the amount of sats you can win is the highest I’ve experienced so far but again, don’t expect to get rich from this one game alone.

Stacking sats by flinging a monkey across a screen? Welcome to Bitcoin gaming 2022 🙂

To download SaruTobi, head over to their website or join their Discord/Telegram community:

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. It is for educational and entertainment purposes only. As of the time posting, the writers may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency, as all investments contain risk. All opinions expressed in these articles are my own and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of The Bitcoin Manual

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