I am often asked how to get free money but unfortunately there are very few legitimate ways of earning free money. Recently I started being inundated with adverts that promise that you can make money from free game apps. The ads show amounts rapidly building up (100s of dollars in minutes) for the users to withdraw straight to PayPal. As it seems too good to be true, I decided that it probably was, but for me to be able to write about these apps fairly, I decided to download a selection of these free game apps that promise massive monetary rewards, and play them each day to see what would happen. To ensure my reviews were fair, I decided to play the games for a few days before looking at the reviews in the app store so as not to sway my opinions.
Is Panda Cube Smash Legit?
My Panda Cube Smash Review – This game is very similar to other games that I play and do actually really enjoy. Like the others you earn a lot of money early on and then those amounts tail off, and become fewer and further between. I’m currently on $44.89 and the minimum cash out amount is $50. It’s also another 9 levels until I can earn any more, and when you are getting less than 50 cents a time, it’s going to take a while to get there. I don’t have the time to spend playing a game when the rewards on each level that you can even earn money on are decreasing so rapidly. My time is definitely better spent elsewhere – perhaps a similar game but without ads.
App Store Reviews – This seems to have less reviews calling it an outright scam, but I certainly wouldn’t be convinced of getting any money out of it based on the reviews and experience of other games like this. It appears that the app has previously changed the minimum payout amount and other people are complaining about the level of ads. I think we can safely say Panda Cube Smash is a scam!
Is Lucky Dice Legit?
My Lucky Dice Review – Lucky Dice is a dice game where you roll the dice and move around a circular board, picking up rewards along the way. The more tokens you earn, the higher level you can get to, and in turn earn bigger rewards. On day one of playing this I was at nearly $80, but I cannot tell you how many adverts I watched. I was so excited – the minimum withdrawal amount is $100, so I was 80% of the way there. My concern is that as you stay on the game longer, the monetary rewards would decrease, and unsurprisingly this is exactly what has happened. Since day three of playing I’ve earned a maximum of $1 a day, usually around 75 cents (a 50 cent bonus and then a 1.5 x multiplier). Ultimately, this is just another way of getting you to watch ads, so I am not entirely hopeful that I will ever reach the minimum payout which on this game is $100 but as I am now up to $95 I am going to keep going. The one good thing about this game is that it is something that doesn’t really involve effort, so I can click through the rolls and the ads whilst working, playing, watching TV or anything else. Otherwise there is no way I would have stuck with it.
I’m expecting to get to the $100 payout amount within the next week or two, and I will update this post when (if) I get there. I’ll either be able to withdraw or there will be an issue where the minimum amount you need to get to withdraw changes or I’ll lose my money – both of which are scenarios I’ve seen mentioned in the App store on games that are similar.
My top tip for this (again, assuming I am ever able to withdraw the money) is not to watch the ads to multiply your “wins” if you get coins, only watch the ads to multiply cash amounts. The coins work out at 2 billion needed for a £2 or $2 voucher! It’s just not worth it!
App Store Reviews – On the whole the reviews are saying this game is a scam. They all seem to say similar to me – that you can earn loads of money on day one and then it tails off. I get the feeling that Lucky Dice is another scam and probably not worth your effort.
Is Spin Day Legit?
My Spin Day Review – Spin Day is another “game” that involves no effort as such. It is free slot machine spins on a variety of different games available each day. The minimum withdrawal amount on this one is much lower – at only $10, but after day one, I have won a maximum of 20p a day – usually 10p. You need 5 million tokens to cash out £5 as well, and I’m not even at 200,000 so I have a feeling these won’t be worth it.
You do watch occasional ads, although a lot less than on some of the other apps. You can choose to watch additional ads to unlock bonus spins each day too.
As you can click on the spinners and just let the ads play I have persevered with this one, but bearing in mind the minimum payout is £10, and it’s taken me this long to get to £6.50, I am not convinced it is going to be worth it, and that’s assuming I even get to the pay out!
App Store Reviews – There are a lot of reviews saying it is rigged, and that after you earn about £5 the winning amounts drop drastically (which I would agree with). The minimum cashout amount of £10 is more appealing, but I think it will take a ridiculous amount of time to get there with the ever decreasing amount of money being rewarded, plus I can imagine that as you get close to that amount the rules will change or there will be an error! I think Spin Day is a scam!
Is Starry Legend Legit
My Starry Legend Review – Starry Legend is possibly one of the most boring games I have ever played. One of the other things I hate about this game is that before you watch the ad, you have to choose which ad you watch. If you aren’t paying attention it means you are sitting there for extra time between rounds.
This game is basically about tapping on collections of blocks of the same colour. The bigger the group, the higher the reward in points. If you click on a really large block, you get a PayPal bonus (usually around 50 cents). There is a target to reach at the end of each level, and if you don’t watch it you can watch an ad and have another go, or it will prompt you that it thinks you need to shuffle the cubes and you can do this if you watch an ad. It’s just so dull though and as you have to concentrate (even a little), I can’t see me ever reaching the minimum payout which is $200.
App Store Reviews – Reviews of this app confirm that it is yet again another con. Some people are even saying they have reached the minimum payout amount and then the game changes the amount or the rules to be eligible to withdraw! Bearing in mind how rubbish this game is, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole! Conclusion: Starry Legend is a scam!
Is My Cat Legit?
My My Cat Review – This game you do have to concentrate for, but I actually really like the concept. It’s similar to a lot of other “merge” games, merging cats with number 1 together to make a number 2 cat, and so on, getting as high as you can. As it involves a little bit of thought I’ve not played it as much as the other games, but I do actually enjoy it more.
You can also earn extra coupons if you spot a star or bank note floating across the play screen, and again you can multiply this by watching an extra ad. You can also earn free upgrades (eg changing a level 5 cat to a level 6 cat) by watching an ad. As I actually enjoy the game, I don’t mind these so much and so far the ads that I have seen in this game seem to be for other normal games, rather than the “earn loads of money on these free games” rubbish which I’ve seen in the others.
The minimum withdrawal on this game is $50 and I think for now I am going to stick with it, but that’s mainly as I enjoy the game. I do see it getting harder and harder to earn any coupons though, and I’m not convinced I will ever get to cash out but whilst I am enjoying the game, I am prepared to stick with it and any cash out will be a bonus.
App Store Reviews – a lot of reviews say that people have gotten to $50, gone to withdraw and then all their money has been lost and they’ve never received it. Based on this, I cannot recommend this game, and will be looking at normal versions of this kind of game as I have enjoyed it. Conclusion: My Cat is a scam!
Is Word Smash Legit?
My Word Smash Review – This game involves thought, but it isn’t too tricky. You need a minimum of $50 to withdraw, but the app is actually showing that $1 withdrawals have been made which I don’t believe for a second. The goal of the game is to find words on blocks. You can earn bonuses by watching ads. I think there are better word games which have less adverts. I seem to be prompted to watch an ad more regularly than in any of the other games I’ve tried. I don’t particularly enjoy the game, and I don’t think I’m ever going to get to $50 as I’m still only on $28, so I wouldn’t bother with this one.
App Store Reviews – Unsurprisingly the majority of the reviews are saying this is a scam. I’m not surprised and would also say that Word Smash is a scam!
Is Merge Number Plus Legit?
My Merge Number Plus Review – Merge Number Plus is another game that is based on the merge concept of games – you tap on two of the same numbers and get rewards. To be honest it’s one of the worst of these games that promises money that I’ve played. You can cause a combo where blocks then continue to combine, but it’s not entirely clear how or why. It also keeps coming up with “No times left” (sic) and I’m not entirely sure what is going on. It also keeps prompting you to watch more ads – to increase your bonus rewards and also to get more time. I’ve also seen no references at all of this app being able to make you money. There is no clear way of finding out if you can withdraw rewards or anything like that. The concept of a Merge Number Plus cash out promise is one lost on me – I can’t see any reference to this, so I am wondering if perhaps on launch they offered this and now it has been taken away.
App Store Reviews – This app has terrible reviews, a lot of which mentioning a minimum amount of $200 before you can cash out to PayPal and even then it won’t let you, coming up with other things you may not have done before you can withdraw. Merge Number Plus is a massive scam – possibly one of the biggest and worst of the lot!
Is Hyper Plinko Legit?
My Hyper Plinko Review – Hyper Plinko is a bouncing ball pinball type game where you drop balls into a pinball machine and can earn rewards. The ad grabbed my attention as it showed a PayPal withdrawal of over $1000. Let’s be honest I knew going into it that this wasn’t going to be possible but I was intrigued. I found this game really boring, and even the flashing lights and bonuses were really dull. You can earn more balls just by waiting and letting it add up, but the minimum payout to PayPal is $100 and there is no way I am ever going to get there. Like other games it starts off with bonuses and cash amounts adding quite quickly but it soon slows down. Add that to the fact that it is boring, I am deleting this asap!
App Store Reviews – This app has a high score of 4.7 but only two written reviews are coming up, and one of them is a 1 star review saying Hyper Plink is a scam.
Is Pinball Go Legit?
My Pinball Go Review – There is no way around it, this is one of the worst games I’ve ever played, whether I am hoping to win money or not. You keep dropping balls in to a pinball machine, and you earn more over time as the pot refills, and you can also earn extra balls by watching ads. It is so boring, to be it is not really a game. After downloading it, I very quickly got to $20 just from playing it for a few minutes, however in that time I have lost track of how many ads I have had to watch. I am also unable to find any information about how much you need to earn to cash out, or where that cashout option is.
App Store Revies – In the App Store, the only review I was able to read implies that you need to reach $100 to cash out but that you will never get there and that Pinball Go is again a massive scam!
Is Match to Win Legit?
My Match to Win review – Another app promising money from playing, but by playing puzzle and matching games – basically think “Bejeweled” or “Candy Crush”. You can cash out at $7, but I am not convinced you will ever get to that amount. Between the levels of the game you can play bonus games like scratchcards etc, and predictably, to start with you will win quite a few early on but then the rewards soon dry up. You can earn extra rewards by watching ads but these are in tokens which you can then use to buy tickets into the daily and bonus sweepstakes. The game itself isn’t terrible, but there are better matching games that you can play without having to sit through ads and scratchcards and other nonsense just to get to the next level.
Google Play Store Reviews – The reviews are overwhelming that you will struggle to to get a payout and that it is not worth it!
Is Rewarded Play Legit?
As well as my phone which is an iPhone which runs iOs, I also have an Android tablet and I had been hearing great things about Rewarded Play. It is an app you can download through the Play Store and you can earn coins to put towards cashing out by downloading and playing other games which you access through this app. I got a bonus equivalent to $5 on joining and the minimum amount you need to earn to cash out is $20. It’s difficult to really review this because as part of earning money you need to download and play a variety of other games. So far I’ve downloaded two other games, but I haven’t earnt much more money. On returning to the app after work (I downloaded it on my lunchbreak) I was told I wasn’t eligible to earn rewards as my IP was outside of the US. I’m not sure why that wasn’t flagged earlier but I therefore can’t continue reviewing it.
Google Play Store Reviews – The reviews for this app seem more genuine that all the games I tried through the App store, however as I was unable to continue with it I cannot confirm this. The developers seem to also quite responsive to poor reviews in the Play Store which is another reason to make me feel it might be slightly more legitimate, but I cannot confirm so try it at your own risk!
Is Mist Play Legit?
Just like Rewarded Play, Mist Play is an Android Specific app. It works in a similar way, you are rewarded by playing and downloading the apps via Mist Play. It appears that this one is available to players in the UK so I will have a more detailed look at it when I have a bit more time.
Google Play Reviews – There are, like with all the apps, some positive reviews in the Play store, however there are enough reviews of people saying rewards aren’t being tracked and are being manipulated to make me think this has it’s issues, even if it is not a scam as such. I have in fact been contacted on Twitter by a reader who says she has received several Amazon vouchers from it, so it is at least possible!
Is Puppy Town Legit?
I’m not even going to download this game to try it out on principle of the fact that the adverts are SO proposterous that they made me angry! I can see how some of the adverts for some of the other games may appear to be almost too good to be true, but that there could be the element of “maybe” or “what if” as the amounts are “almost” reasonable. This game has these screenshots in it’s advert:
and my all time favourite screenshot from any ad, that I have EVER SEEN!
Yes you read it right, the advert says you can earn $2 million A WEEK! It is absolutely ridiculous, and hopefully these mad claims will prevent people from downloading the app but it disgusts me that these adverts exist and that you can even download the game in the first place.
App store reviews – you won’t get a payout on this game – the overwhelming comments say that this is an addictive scam!
Any game that promises fast and easy rewards for little or no effort such as all these games probably are as scammy as you might think. They prey on people with ads which show fast easy payments for “normal” people struggling with money. You are then bombarded with loads of crappy ads for similar games, none of which are ever going to make you money.
A lot of the reviews say that people have tried lots of similar games and they are shocked that the App Store even allows such games to be downloaded. I doubt the majority of these games have ever paid out any money, let alone the hundreds and thousands being advertised in them. Your time would be far better spent doing something else, whether playing a different game (I have no problem with playing games) but where you have no expectation of earning any money, or making a bit of extra cash using a survey site, mystery shopping or another kind of side hustle.
One of the other thing that really annoys me about these games is that they were all rated between 4 and 5 out of 5 in the app store. Everyone knows to take a review of 5 out of 5 with a pinch of salt, but the numbers seem reasonably legit. If you look through them though you will see that a lot of the more recent reviews are the 1 star reviews bringing down the scores, all with similar feedback across the board. This makes me think that there are a lot of fake reviews on there bringing up those scores – probably from bots or fake accounts.
In the end I only tried 7 games, and didn’t reach the minimum payout on any of them. There’s part of me that wants to keep going with a couple of them (Lucky Dice and My Cat) as I don’t hate the games, and there’s always that hope that you will be the exception to the rule and might actually get money out of them, but realistically I know I’m not, and if I do, it’s going to involve wasting a lot more of my time, and so I am going to delete the lot of them. Unfortunately anything that promises easy quick rewards is playing on people’s need to get free money and will almost certainly be a scam!
Whilst playing the money games listed above, I saw adverts for the following other games, which again also promise a withdrawal to PayPal of loads of money with little or no effort. I’ve obviously not tried them all, but judging from what I’ve seen in the games I have tried, and the reviews on the app store, I would recommend steering clear of the games mentioned above and these ones. Please note that this list is NOT exhaustive, it’s just other games that I have seen advertised during game play. This list will be updated as and when I hear of new games.
- Plinko Master
- Word Switch
- Word Sweety
- Golden Match 3
- Bubble Legend
- Lucky Now
- Idle Playground
- Trivia Life
- Happy Scratch
- Solitaire Relax
- Lucky Dozer
- Happy Golden Hen
- Solitaire Tripeaks
- Money Garden
- Lucky Spins
- Coin Pusher – Fruit camp
- Solitaire Pop
- Block Jewel – Puzzle games
- Cocktail Smasher
In short – I have not found any game apps that pay you real money! I would avoid any and just play for fun!
How do free apps make money?
It’s important to remember that almost all free apps (unless put out by a charity) are there to make money. When you download a free app, whether a game or something else, you will be contributing to the developers or owners making money in some form or another. The main way these apps make money is by advertising. The apps above will be paying other apps to be advertised during the game play. If you click through the ad to the App or Play store and then download the app, you are probably earning the developers some sort of affiliate payment or commission.
I regularly play free game apps, not to try and make any money, just because I enjoy playing them, and particularly now I am home full time, I have more time than ever to fill. Sometimes these games allow you to earn extra lives, crystals, tokens, or whatever it is you need to continue playing the game by watching an advert. Sometimes these adverts will be relevant and sometimes they will seem completely random. The simple fact is that those advertisers are paying to be advertised within the app you are in. They are more likely to convert to a download if they are relevant, but you will be shown whatever the algorithm dictates on that day. As I enjoy playing the game, watching an occasional advert for a bonus seems like a small price to pay, but only you can decide if it is worth your time.
How to get free money
After publishing this post, I am often asked about how to get free money in legitimate ways. As I’ve mentione before, anything promising quick and easy rewards is probably going to be a scam, but there are some great ways of getting free money that you can check out in other posts on this site. Here are my favourite ways to get free money:
- Prolific Academic – my favourite research and survey site – I’ve earnt nearly £600 using this site over the years.
- Mystery shopping – make money by going shopping and providing feedback is a great way to earn some money back on your shopping.
- Cashback sites – using cashback sites allows you to get free money back on items you would have purchased anyway.
- Snap your receipts – snapping pictures of your receipts using these popular apps can mean you earn free money back on purchases.