When you’ve got some free time on your hands, it’s easy to pull out your phone and scroll social media or play a video game. Well, why not try out some legit game apps to win money?
Available for both Android and iOS, the app works if you set your goals based on your capacity and you achieve them, you are well on your way making some money with your Android Phone. But if you miss out on the goals, you will need to pay out to other users who are achieving their goals. One of the best money-making apps out there, Swagbucks offers a $10 bonus for new users. Swagbucks allows users to earn money by searching the web, watching videos, taking paid surveys, playing games, or shopping online.
- Cashyy is a completely free app where you earn real money by playing games on your smartphone. Then you can exchange your coins for gift cards such as Amazon gift cards, Google Play coupons, PlayStation cards, Zalando vouchers, or you can simply get your cash directly on your PayPal account. Click here to try out Cashyy (Google Play Store).
- I have played various ‘money-making’ phone app games – I figured out was a scam – got to $98.03 – but then my ‘congrats was you get $.0 x 4, etc. – so I only played a minute or so then stopped playing.
Yes, these apps do exist, and there’s a wide variety of them out there so you won’t get bored. You may want to try a daily scratch-off ticket, or perhaps you’re interested in a trivia game. You could earn cash and rewards by giving your opinion on new games, or maybe you just want to play solitaire. All those options are available!
Top Game Apps to Win Money
Have a little fun and put some cash in your pocket with these legit game apps to win money. You probably won’t make a ton of money with these apps, but you’ll still have some fun. And yes, we tried them all out first!
If you like scratch-off lottery tickets, you’ll want to check out Lucktastic. It’s a scratch and win gaming app that is 100% free. Just pick the theme of your card, swipe to scratch, and test your luck!
Scratch cards are updated daily with new themes, and you can win daily, too! Enable push notifications to receive special limited cards in addition to your normal daily cards.
Even if you don’t win, you’ll earn tokens that can be redeemed for gift cards from over 30 major brands and retailers. You can also use your tokens for entries into any of their contests like Gas for a Month, Groceries for a Month, and prizes from Amazon. Refer your friends to earn 1,000 additional in-game tokens!
Lucktastic is 100% free and has no in-app purchases, but plenty of ads (as I’m sure you can imagine). It has a 3.9-star rating from 300,000+ customer reviews on Google Play.
2. HQ Trivia
If you’ve always dreamed of being on a game show, HQ Trivia is your chance to do just that! You can win real cash prizes for free on this live game show app.
To win, tune in each day to answer trivia questions and solve word puzzles. Be sure to turn on push notifications so you don’t miss the live shows. You only have ten seconds to answer each question, so there’s no time for Googling! If you get all the questions correct, you’ll split the grand prize with the other winners.
Earn coins by playing the Daily Challenge before each live show. Coins can be redeemed for extra lives and “erasers” that eliminate incorrect answers. You’ll get extra lives when you invite your friends to join the fun, too.
As you can imagine, there are some ads. You can also purchase coins to help in your gameplay. This app has a 3.6-star average rating from 160,000+ customer reviews.
Download HQ Trivia:Android iPhone
3. Swagbucks LIVE
Formerly known as Swag IQ, SwagbucksLIVE is another free live trivia game show. It works very similarly to HQ Trivia in that you tune in to the live show and answer multiple-choice questions. If you answer all the questions correctly, you’ll split the grand prize with the other winners.
Even if you slip up and answer incorrectly, keep going as you’ll continue to earn Swagbucks LIVE’s digital currency for all questions you answer correctly. You can then use this currency for a second chance to win or redeem it for cash or free gift cards. Invite your friends to play to get free rejoins, too.
The digital currency for Swagbucks is, well, Swagbucks (they’re listed as SB on the app). If you’re familiar with Swagbucks, you know that you can cash these in for gift cards like Amazon and Walmart or cold hard cash via PayPal.
This app has an average 4.7-star rating from 22,000+ customer reviews.
Download Swagbucks LIVE: Android iPhone
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4. Long Game Savings
Long Game Savings is a unique app that incentivizes saving money by offering interest on your savings and the opportunity to win cash prizes.
You’ll need to create an account and securely link your bank to get started with the app. Deposit money into your new Long Game account, then use your Long Game card for everyday spending to earn interest and get chances to play games and earn cash or cryptocurrency.
You’re also encouraged to set a savings goal and add money to your account to reach those goals. That’s another way to earn coins to play games.
Note that the app is only completely free if you enable automatic savings and use your debit card frequently; otherwise, it’s $3/month. (There is a 30-day free trial.) All your money can be withdrawn at any time. And yes, it is FDIC-insured.
A similar app to Long Game Savings is Acorns, which invests your spare change automatically. You won’t get to play games with this app, but you will earn by “rounding up” your purchases into a virtual change jar.
Money Making Game Apps For Android Phones Free
This app has a 3.8-star average rating from 4,000+ customer reviews.
Download Long Game Savings:Android iPhone
Mistplay is a loyalty program for mobile game players that gives you rewards – including money! – just for playing.
To get started, just download the app, discover new games, choose a game, and start earning points. The more you play, the more you earn! Points can be redeemed for gift cards or cash rewards.
If you have friends who love mobile gaming, you’ll want to invite them to join as you’ll earn points for referrals and can chat and play with them.
Mistplay takes your gaming preferences and habits into account when choosing which games to show you. This is helpful on both ends as you’re more likely to play games you enjoy!
This app has a 4.1-star rating from 100,000+ customer reviews. It’s currently only available for Android, but you can sign up for the iPhone waitlist.
Download Mistplay:Android iPhone (waitlist)
6. Lucky Day
Test your luck each day with the Lucky Day app. It’s a free sweepstakes app that allows users to win money and prizes.
Games include scratcher, lotto, and raffle games with the opportunity to win cash and earn rewards. There are no in-app purchases or deposits. Rewards can be spent on gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, Target, and more.
This app has a 4.1-star rating from 900,000+ customer reviews. Note that it’s currently only available for Android.
Download Lucky Day: Android
Boodle is a free app that gives you rewards in the form of coins by playing mobile games and engaging in other activities like completing offers and answer daily polls.
Coins can be redeemed for gift cards to Amazon, Visa, Chipotle, and lots more. You’ll discover new apps and games and earn coins just for trying them out, and you can refer your friends and family to earn bonus coins.
This app has a 3.8-star rating from 700+ customer reviews. Note that it’s currently only available for Android.
Download Boodle: Android
8. The PCH App
You’ve heard of Publishers Clearing House with the giant checks showing up at people’s front doors, right? Well, they also run an app called The PCH App.
This free sweepstakes app awards instant win prizes to users when you play simple games and scratch-off cards. Use your entry wins to enter the big sweepstakes of your choosing.
You’ll also earn tokens when you play each game that can be traded in for rewards. Tokens can be redeemed for entries into smaller giveaways like for gift cards, microwave ovens, and even trucks. So, everything’s a giveaway and there’s no guarantee you’ll win anything, but it’s still a fun and simple sweepstakes app to try out.
This app has a 3.9-star average rating from 350,000+ customer reviews.
Download The PCH App:Android iPhone
Bananatic is a website and app that rewards users for trying out free online games, playing and testing them, and writing game reviews. It’s a fun way to try out new games and give developers some feedback.
As you play, you’ll be rewarded with Bananas for completing simple in-game quests and writing reviews. Bananas can be exchanged for real prizes like additional games, Amazon gift cards, and digital gift cards to gaming platforms.
This app has a 3.2-star rating from 4,000+ customer reviews. Note that it’s currently only available for Android.
10. Brain Battle
Math whiz? Try out the free Brain Battle app and test your math skills by quickly answering simple math questions of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
As you play, you’ll collect tickets that you can then use to enter the regular cash prize draws. The more tickets you collect, the better your chances of winning the cash prize which is paid out via PayPal.
You can also earn tickets by completing occasional special offers and connecting to their social media accounts.
Brain Battle is a free app, but there are ads. However, there are no in-app purchases and you don’t have to pay anything to win.
This app has a 4.5-star average rating from 26,000+ customer reviews.
Download Brain Battle:Android iPhone
11. Solitaire Cube
Raise your hand if you love solitaire! If that’s you, did you know that you can earn money by playing Solitaire Cube?
The gameplay is just like regular draw-3 Klondike Solitaire. You have 5 minutes to play each round, but you can end at any time to get bonus points for finishing early. You earn points even if you don’t fully complete each round.
Their Skillz platform matches you with other players who have a similar skill level, and then you’ll play the same deck head-to-head with another player. If you earn more points than them, you win.
I didn’t see any ads, and you can play for free. However, the only way to win money is to enter their tournaments and competitions. To do that, you’ll need to pay actual money as an entry fee. However, the prizes are also cold hard cash. So, think about your skill level before you enter!
This app has a 4.6-star rating from 58,000+ customer reviews. Please note that it’s currently only available for iPhone.
Download Solitaire Cube:iPhone
The main focus of Givling is crowdsourcing funding to pay off the student loan and mortgage debt of its users. However, even if you don’t have student loans or mortgage debt, you can still play.
Givling offers a free trivia game that teams you up randomly with two other users. Earn points by answering questions correctly to bring your team to the top of the leaderboard and split the weekly prize.
Another way to get money is to join the funding queue by earning points for completing offers and shopping through the Givling app. The top user on the queue becomes the next person that receives funding toward their student loan or mortgage debt. Note that it is extremely time-consuming and potentially expensive to earn enough points to get to the top of the queue.
This app has a 4.6-star average rating from 1,700+ customer reviews.
Download Givling: Android iPhone
13. Lottery – Play the Powerball
Play the lottery from your phone with the Lottery app. The app itself is free, but you’ll need to buy the actual lottery tickets (just like you would at the gas station or grocery store).
Different locations will have different lottery games available, but I was able to buy tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions, Daily 3, and lots more from my phone.
There is a service fee, but the app does save you the trip of buying lottery tickets at the store. You can also cash out right from your phone and collect 100% of your winnings.
I don’t play the lottery, so this wouldn’t be an app I would use, but if buying lottery tickets is already a part of your routine, you may be interested in streamlining this process with the Lottery app.
This app has a 4.5-star average rating from 15,000+ customer reviews.
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When you’ve got some time to kill and are looking to put a little cash in your pocket, try out one or more of these legit game apps to win money and have a little fun. Good luck!
Have you won money with any of these legit game apps? Please comment below to share your experience!
With a global market generating $100 Billion this year, it’s no wonder that many people want to get in on the game app action. But getting rich off of the App Store is only one of the many possible motivations! Who knows, you could simply be interested in creating something fun for your friends, or actually building a lasting piece of digital art.
Whatever the reason, this quick guide will show you what tools you can use to create a video game that’s playable on iOS and Android. Please note that we also have a complete overview of different game engines here, some of which even allow you to create games for consoles and desktop!
So what do I need to get started?
While we usually focus on app makers, you’ll notice that none of them are actually good for building games. What you’ll need instead is something called a game engine, or a dedicated software for creating games. Unlike app makers, you need to install them on your computer, which leads us to the first item in our checklist:
- A computer: you will need to install the game engine on your PC or Mac. Note that some game engines are only PC or only Mac. They don’t work on both.
- A smartphone (or two): you will need to test the game on your desired platform. It’s worth ensuring it plays nice on both an iPhone and an Android phone if you want to reach both markets – and it’s worth trying on low end devices too!
- A developer account: to submit your game app. It costs $99 per year for the App Store and $25 for life with the Play Store. Unlike with app makers, you’ll be in charge of updates and making sure the game works on all devices. This could mean several new updates per year.
- A way to create art: Whether you are going 2D or 3D, you will need game assets. You can find a ton of free resources online and some game companies have got their own marketplaces. But the best way to make your game stand out is to create things like the characters, background, music and menus yourself.
And a game engine too?
Yup. That’ll be your main tool. And now that you’re going down the rabbit hole of game making, you’ll see that there are a number of solutions, from the very very basic to the extremely sophisticated. Roughly speaking, you can categorize game engines with the following features:
- Game templates: the easiest way to get started – and also the most limiting. You won’t be able to change anything about the game except the characters, backgrounds, music, that kind of thing. In short, the mechanics of the game cannot be tweaked at all. For example, AppyPie or ChupaMobile offer templates (these are online solutions, by the way).
GameSalad is a drag and drop editor that also offers game templates
- Drag and drop: this is the best method for beginners. You have a list of behaviours (if this happens, then that happens) and you can just apply them to your game objects. For example you create a 2D square and create a behaviour that says “if I press on the screen, the square jumps”.
- Visual scripting: a more advanced solution that gives you all the flexibility of code without having to code. You basically create “nodes” that represent actions or events for your game objects. This creates a kind of diagram that represents everything happening in your game window.
- Coding: the pros will tell you this is the only serious way to get complete control over your game, especially if you want it to be complex. And if you’re interested in a career as an game developer, you might as well start learning while doing! The good news is that some game engines offer their own simplified scripting language that makes it easy to grasp the basics for beginners.
Can I make any kind of game?
Technically speaking yes. But of course that depends on your amount of time and dedication. However, it is worth noting that beginners will probably have more success creating mobile games such as:
- Puzzles / Word games
- Casual games
- Arcade games
More complex 3D game genres such as FPS (first person shooters) or a MMO (massively multiplayer online games) will not only require some code, but they are also not necessarily the best suited for playing on a smartphone or tablet.
Which game engine should I choose?
This is the big question, and obviously it will completely depend on your level of skills and the kind of game you want to make. But below is a quick overview of some of the engines we think would be the best suited for you, listed in order of complexity.
GameSalad falls into the drag and drop category, and it features an intuitive interface as well as very good documentation for beginners. The way it handles 2D physics is perfect for mobile games, and it’s worth noting that you can publish your results to iOS, Android and even desktops. They also have a “mobile viewer” app to let you test your game on different mobile devices!
Watch how to get started with GameSalad in 15 mins.
Main features: drag and drop, game physics, good documentation, has marketplace, comes with basic game templates. Ad monetization supported with the pro version ($25 a month). The basic version is $17 a month, but you get 50% off the pro plan as a a teacher, student, or military personnel.
Using visual scripting, GameBuilder Studio might be a bit more intimidating than GameSalad, as can be demonstrated in the tutorial video below. However the documentation seems equally good and exhaustive, and you can even take a free udemy course online to get started with the basics. The program is also fairly cheap, costing a full price of $99 for the pro version, and $199 per year for the pro plan with all the features + tutorials and extra plugins.
Watch how to get started with GameBuilder Studio in 15 mins:
Main features: visual editor, game physics, plugin marketplace, good tutorials, create 2D animations (or integrate with Spine for powerful 2D animations). Ads, multiplayer and other advanced features are supported with the Pro version.
This one is a newcomer on the game engine scene, but it’s making big claims. Buildbox has listed 100 games made using their platform that entered the top downloads in the App Store, including classics such as The Line Zen and Color Switch. It is drag and drop, and also comes with some basic templates to get you started. On the plus side, the interface is really nice and the features seem very robust, if a bit limited. On the downside, the subscription is very expensive ($99 a month or $84 if paid yearly).
Main features: drag and drop, game templates, great UI, 2D graphics (sprites) editor and animator.
ClickTeam Fusion 2.5
Moving on to the drag and drop and visual scripting method now, ClickTeam Fusion has been helping people create games since 1994! It is worth noting that they are not exactly focused on mobile games, and in fact you will have to pay extra to build your game for iOS and Android. However, one big pro of the program is that it has a big and enthusiastic online community, so you should be able to find the answer to any question you have about how to create your game. It also has a visual editor so you can create art directly in the program. Oh, PC only though.
Android Apps To Make Money
Main features: drag and drop, visual scripting, PC only. Good online community and tons of extensions available.
GameMaker Studio 2
We now reach GameMaker Studio 2, a powerful solution that created hit games such as Hyper Light Drifter and Hotline Miami. On the plus side, it comes with a visual editor so you can create and animate the pixel art directly into the program, making it the engine of choice for artists. On the downside, you will need to code. Luckily, they use their own simplified language called GMS2. The documentation is also excellent. Like ClickTeam Fusion, it is also geared towards desktop computers and consoles, and you will have to pay for the full version ($399) to export your game to Android or iOS.
Main features: visual editor and animator, simplified code, powerful features. Excellent marketplace full of assets and extensions.
Stencyl is an interesting engine based on the MIT Scratch project. A few years ago, MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) developed a visual programming language to teach students how to code, and it is the same method that Stencyl uses. The elements are designed to fit like a puzzle so you will get a good understanding of how code works when you learn it. While it isn’t exactly a powerful engine, it’s definitely a great solution for simple 2D mobile games, and it seamlessly exports to iOS and Android.
Main features: visual scripting language, good for learning how to code, subscription model ($199 a year to publish to mobile platforms and desktop).
You’re now looking at a very powerful engine that uses a known scripting language (C#). By the way, you will be in company as Unity is the engine used by a ton of indie companies as well as AAA studios, from games such as Temple Run to Assassin’s Creed. And the good news is that you won’t necessarily have to code to create your game in it. This is because you can find a number of plugins for Unity that use a visual editor. These solutions are not always beginner friendly, but it's a start. They include FlowCanvas, uScript, Adventure Creator or PlayMaker. And Unity not only lets you build to iOS and Android, but you could also port your game to consoles and desktop!
Main features: free to use until your game makes more than $100K, paying visual editors, popular with indie developers, huge asset store, great tutorials and documentation
The main competitor to Unity, Unreal is also a powerful engine used by AAA studios for games such as Abzu and Kingdom Hearts III. It comes with a visual editor called Blueprint, and it’s known to push the limits in terms of beautiful graphics, even for mobile games. Like Unity, you can publish your game to desktop and consoles as well as iOS and Android. The downside is that Unreal created quite heavy games that target high-end mobiles. It's also a complex beast that you will need months to understand and get to grips with.
Main features: comes with visual editor, good for big mobile games, free to use and 5% royalty if your game makes more than $3000 per quarter.
In conclusion, it’s worth noting that there are many levels of what you can call “a game app”. If you want to use a ready-made template, you can. If you are more serious about game development, it’s also fully available to anyone with a computer, a bit of time, and online resources. And there seems to be more and more solutions available all the time.
So the good news is that you won’t necessarily have to code to create your smartphone game, especially if it’s a simple one. And the better news is that the best games, especially in the mobile world, are not necessarily the most complex!
Any questions? Feedback? Would you like us to feature another solution for creating game apps? Let us know in the comments below!
23 Nov 2016
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