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Mobile Money # 18: Rising Star (Beta)

Who doesn’t want to get paid for playing video games? This series follows 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.

This time I’ll be taking a look at the web-based game Rising Star. Not to be confused with the game developers Rising Star Games or the Rising Star 2 game on Steam, this Rising Star game is a, mostly idle, music-themed game on the Hive blockchain. Normally, I would note the developer, but as with a lot of these blockchain projects, there doesn’t seem to be any company clearly associated with the project. Instead, it was announced earlier this year by an account @risingstargame and is currently in open Beta.

The main mission screen, where you will spend the majority of your time in this game.

In Rising Star you take up the role of an aspiring musician trying to make your way into the business by playing on street corners and in open mic nights at clubs. This takes the form of timed missions. Your only initial option is to illegally perform on the streets, which takes 5 minutes. For completing missions you earn experience points and Starbits, the games currency. You can also get drunken fans, who expire after a 12-hour period when they sober up, or various items.

Embarking on a mission takes energy, 10% in the case of the first mission. Energy recovers at a rate of 1% every 5 minutes, so a little over 8 hours of real time to fully refill. However, those items that you find tend to be things that either increase your energy recovery rate or fully refill your energy bar – at least in my experience playing the initial stages of the game.

The second mission that you can do is to attend an open microphone night at a pub.

Missions have certain prerequisites to undertake them. You need a minimum level and a minimum number of fans for all missions. Later on in the game you need to have particular items for some more advanced missions.

Items in the game take the form of cards. These cards provide you with one of four stats: Fans, Luck, Skill, or Income Modifier. Fans provided by cards you own don’t expire, unlike the drunken fans you attain from normal missions. Luck increases your chance of finding rare card rewards from missions, how much skill you gain from music lessons, and how well you perform in battle of the bands missions.

Skill offsets ego, a negative attribute you start to gain at level 15, or after getting 1,000 fans. Ego reduces the amount of Starbits you earn for doing missions. Income Modifier is for a future enhancement that has yet to be added to the game, and no explanation has been provided yet as to what it might do.

You can purchase cards on the market with Starbits or packs of cards with cash.

Starbits are a cryptocurrency, that can be traded on the Hive network. You need to reach level 20 to be able to withdraw Starbits, but this is how you can try to make money by playing this game. At the time of this writing, a Starbit is worth an estimated $0.00004. Hardly something that is going to make you rich, but as it takes no investment to start playing the game, it is essentially free money for very little effort.

The intended use for Starbits is to trade them for cards on the market place. The amount that you earn increases as you progress through the missions, though the time to complete them does as well. At a certain point it will also become quite difficult to progress without actually picking up some items, so spending those Starbits on the game is going to be needed to progress in the game.

At the time of this writing, the cheapest card is 400 Starbits, which you can make in less than a day of casually doing missions.

Once you reach level 10, you can start doing Music Lessons. These are essentially another form of a mission, where you earn Skill points and experience. As noted earlier, this offsets the negative Ego stat that you start to acquire as you get more fans.

One nice thing that the developer has done is to add achievements, which provide bonus Starbits. There are also certain achievements that provide a free card or a free pack of 3 random cards. They are all essentially just doing a certain number of missions, but that is the primary mechanic of the game.

Currently on the total mission achievements seem to provide free cards.

Eventually you gain the ability to build a band, where the band members are cards in the game. There is a battle of the bands, where you fight with other player’s in a musical contest. It notes that prizes will be given out in the future for participating in it.

Aside from that, there are special missions where you can win other tokens on the Hive network, or cards. There is a leader board that is said to eventually reward the top spots with the Hive cryptocurrency starting in 2021. There is also a mini game where you need to tap the mouse to try to keep a plane between two guitar-styles obstacles.

This Flappy Bird knock-off was quite laggy for me personally.

The art for the game is fairly simple, as you can hopefully tell from the various screenshots. One nice little aspect is that the site has its own streaming music channel, “Rising Star Radio.” It feels very appropriate for a game about trying to make it in the music business to have a lot of music in it.

Since Rising Star is still in Beta, I’m not going to give it a hard rating. It’s certainly not a game where you are going to make a ton of money playing it. But, if you enjoy casual mission based games then you might like this.

It may not be for everyone, as there’s not a lot to do other than wait for missions to complete or energy to regenerate. It is free-to-play, which is fairly rare for blockchain related games. If you do want to check it out, then you can do so here.

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