Who doesn’t want to get paid for playing video games? This series follows mobile applications, some of which are borderline games at best, that claim to reward users with cold hard cash (or gift cards). In my pursuit of extra cash to blow on games, or Steam gift cards to add to my collection, I have tried a number of these applications. I hope my experiences can help others steer clear of the more dubious of these applications.
In the second article in this series, I will be taking a look at Mistplay, a free application released by Mistplay Entertainment in 2017. This application is not really a game itself, but more of what is known as a "loyalty reward" app. In a nutshell, you get points for playing various games through their platform, which can then be cashed out for gift cards.
Before anyone gets too upset about this not truly being a game, it does relate to gaming in that you can be paid to play games via applications like this. I wanted to cover these service apps first, so there would be something to reference in future Mobile Money articles about these games. So, on to the details about Mistplay.
You earn green "units" for playing games through Mistplay.
The first thing that you need to do after downloading this application is to create a profile. You don't have to provide a lot of personal information to sign up, but you do need to provide an e-mail address and birthday, to validate that you are of legal age to use this application. You create a public user ID and choose an avatar from a selection of icons.
When signing up, you are asked a couple of questions about game preferences, so it can suggest some games you may like to play. The main menu of Games, pictured above, is several lists of games organized by genre, new additions, popular games, or games currently giving bonus points for being played. You can pick one to start playing in order to earn rewards "units".
The main way that you get rewarded for playing games in Mistplay is simply by spending time being active in a game. During play you earn "experience points" for that game, which are basically just a measure of how long you've been playing. When you spend enough time in a game, you "level up" earning units. Each game has 20 levels that you can earn points for, though each consecutive one takes longer to complete.
Different games pay out different amounts of units for gaining levels in them. You can get a rough idea of how many units a game pays, based on on the Units value on the game listing. To use the screenshot above as an example, War Eternal is offering the highest level of units, while Marble Dash is offering the lowest.
Note: the in-app purchase goals are not completed.
In addition to leveling up games, they typically offer achievements that can be completed for bonus units. For some reason, they seem to want to encourage people not to sleep and have an achievement for playing for an hour after midnight. I would also strongly advise against making any in-app purchases to complete achievements. If you are trying to earn money by playing games, then paying out money just does not make sense.
Each week, if you play a game every day for at least 5 minutes you also earn a few bonus units. Finally, there is also a weekly contest where one user wins a large prize, usually 10,000 units. To enter the contest, you need to complete a set of requirements. These requirements are usually to play a new game up to level 5 or 6, get one new person to follow you on the app, and to play a certain game for at least 30 minutes.
And, now for some math...
So, what are units actually worth? A total of 1,500 points is worth about $5 in gift cards, but only if you get ones worth $10 or more; $5 gift cards cost 1,800 units - making them a worse purchase. So, if we divide 1,500 by $5.00, then each unit is worth about a third of a penny. At the time of this writing, the available gift cards are for Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Game Stop, Apple, PlayStation, Starbucks, Ebay, Nintendo, or a pre-paid Visa card.
The next big question would be, how long does it take to earn 1,500 points? Playing somewhat casually, it takes about a month on average, at least in my experience. There are a number of factors that impact the rate at which you will earn units.
Mistplay gets paid by referring new players to applications. If you have previously played a game, then you will usually get almost no units, and achievements will be unavailable. The speed at which you can level up in games also continues to slow as you progress, meaning you earn points more quickly when starting off in a new game. I was unable to find a hard breakdown of time for each level, but I estimate going from level 11 to 12 takes about 2 hours of actively playing a game.
One item of note is that it tracks your progress in games by monitoring the activity on your phone. This may be a big negative for some more security conscious-gamers. The company site does have a list of terms and information about how they use information here.
Other than that, the application is well designed. The interface is professionally put together and simple to use. It also further makes using the app somewhat of a game-like experience, by having your account level up as you accumulate levels on various games. There is no sound to speak of that I noticed while using the app, though the sound is often turned off on my phone.
You can use the Chat section to get Follows for the weekly competition.
Overall, if you want to get paid to play games, I feel that Mistplay is a good option. It tracks your time spent in games well, the amount of points to earn a reward is reasonable (at least for services like this one), and it doesn't have any annoying advertisements. Granted, the app itself is an advertisement for games. I give it a solid "B" grade, or 8.5/10 stars.
If you want to check out Mistplay, it is available from the Google Play store here. They do have a referral program, where you get 100 units for anyone that signs up from your link and gets up to player level 4. If you want to toss me 33 cents worth of a gift card, you can sign up using this link instead.