play to earn or marketing tool dbs ultimatehawker

Play-To-Earn Or Marketing Tool? – DBS PayLah! #UltimateHawker Game

I was watching the news last night and came across the DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker Game and decided to check it out. The game is to be played on mobile from 7 December 2021 – 5 January 2022. They claim that there is S$50,000 to be won throughout the game in total.

So can we make money or is it all a marketing gimmick? As always, it depends.

What Is The DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker Game?

Source: YouTube

This is a browser-based game that is similar to PokemonGo. They will track us via GPS and we will click on stalls that are in range and collect local hawker dishes. We can then fill orders for monsters and get paid via DBS PayLah!.

We can play the game by pressing the link here on mobile or tap the ‘hawker’ tile on the DBS PayLah! App.

Participation is free and we will need a smartphone and DBS PayLah! Account to participate.

If you are familiar with the local treasure hunts by hunting a gold coin or a mouse that gave away quite a bit of money, they are organised by a company called Sqkii. Sqkii is a company that help brands create activities and gameplay as a marketing tool. They have worked like giants like POSB and Grab. This time, they have partnered with DBS to encourage making mobile payments with the DBS PayLah! App and to support local hawkers.

How To Play The DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker Game?

dbs paylah ultimatehawker map stalls

Source: DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker In-Game

First, we will need to look for a stall icon on the map and then click on it.

dbs paylah ultimatehawker cooking instructions

Source: DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker In-Game

Next, we will play a mini-game to prepare a dish. The rules are as follows.

  • Click on the black button repeatedly to make sure the arrow is in the green zone at the end of 20 seconds
  • We can enter the yellow zone but if at the end of 20 seconds, we are still in the yellow zone, the dish will fail.
  • Once the arrow hits the red zone, the dish will fail.
  • The amount of taps needed to move the needle is random so we will need to pay attention to the arrow speed

dbs paylah ultimatehawker dish complete

Source: DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker In-Game

Once done, we will collect the dish and there will be a 15-hour countdown until the dish spoils and disappear from our inventory. We will get a 5-hour extension every time we get the same dish before it spoils.

dbs paylah ultimatehawker power ups

Source: DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker In-Game

To increase our chances of fulfilling orders, there are power-ups available that can the “freshness” of the dishes, increase the chance of certain styles of dishes and to restock the stalls instantly. To get more power-ups, we will need to use our DBS PayLah! App to make a payment at a merchant and we will get a random power-up.

dbs paylah ultimatehawker orders earnings

Source: DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker In-Game

There are 12 orders made by monsters and their difficulties range from $ (2 – 4 hawker dishes) to $$$$$ (all 30 hawker dishes). The different difficulties also have a different payout rate as seen above.

After collecting the dishes needed to fulfil the orders, we can serve them to the monsters and get paid via DBS PayLah! by 5 February 2022.

Strategies And Tips To Maximize Chances Of Winning

I have a few strategies to share that can increase our chances of winning.

No Need To Hoard

Ingredients “spoil” when the timer runs out but they don’t get used up. You don’t have to save your dishes to fulfil the more difficult orders. If you see that you can fulfil any order, just serve them and get the rewards.

Use Two Thumbs

Sometimes the speed of the needle goes down too fast for one finger to cope so we can use two thumbs like drum sticks to hit the button quickly. Pay attention and make sure every uncommon and rare dish completes. It is easy to get distracted and let the arrow hit the red zone and your dish is ruined.

Try Landscape Mode

You will be able to reach places that you normally wouldn’t if you try to use landscape mode on your phone.

Set Alarm Every 90 Minutes

The stalls have a cooldown of 90 minutes so we can play the mini-game at every cooldown at every stall. We will be able to play the mini-game at the hawker stalls near our home or workplace every 90 minutes. Sometimes the GPS goes crazy and we will be able to be in the range of stalls that are further away.

Play While Travelling

Especially when travelling via bus, you will be able to visit many stalls that can be located near the roads. This is the best time we can visit the stalls outside our place of work and home unless we specially go out to hunt for stalls.

Pay Using DBS PayLah!

You will get a random power-up every time you make a payment using DBS PayLah!. Try to pay using DBS PayLah! during this period to get as many power-ups as possible. Power-ups are important to increase your chances to get the rare dishes to fulfil the orders. Don’t spend on unnecessary things to get more power-ups as it is probably not worth it.

Play During Lunch And Dinner

During lunch (1130 – 1400) and dinner (1830 – 2100) time, golden hawker stalls will open. These golden hawker stalls have a higher chance of dropping rare dishes however from experience, there is still not a small probability of getting common dishes.

Focus On Golden Hawker Stalls, Uncommon And Rare Dishes

If we are travelling during lunch and dinner time, try to focus on golden hawker stalls instead of the ordinary red stalls as they are the ones that will drop rare dishes. If we already have a huge stack of common dishes, we can exit quickly from the mini-game once we see that it is a common dish and click on the next stall.

Save Power-Ups For Golden Hawker Stalls

The three power-ups should be used on rare dishes and golden hawker stalls to get the best value. For example, if we see a golden hawker stall, we can use the special request power up to increase the chances of certain types of dishes if we have them missing. We should also use the restock power up to play the mini-game multiple times to increase our chances of getting a rare dish. Once we get a rare dish, we can then use the power up to increase the shelf life of the dish as we will not likely get another copy to extend its shelf life.

So Is It Play-To-Earn Or A Marketing Tool?

For context, I have only played for about 12 hours and started playing on 14 December 2021. I have collected 18 out of the 30 hawker dishes with some of the uncommon dishes expiring soon.

This UltimateHawker game is similar to Mcdonald’s monopoly game where you can collect the common pieces easily while the amount of uncommon and rare pieces are calibrated to make sure less than the maximum prize money is paid out.

dbs paylah ultimatehawker all dishes

Source: DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker In-Game

Here are all the dishes on the UltimateHawker game. It looks like there are common, uncommon and rare dishes. You will notice that for certain dishes, like Chicken Rice, I have up to 76 hours before it will spoil. For some dishes, I have a couple of copies so I have about 10 – 20 hours before they spoil. As for the rare dishes, these are like the Sentosa Cove and River Valley of the McDonald’s Singapore Monopoly Game.

dbs paylah ultimatehawker payout

Source: DBS PayLah! UltimateHawker In-Game

I managed to fulfil 2 easy orders and got the minimum payout of S$0.05 each. I don’t expect to make much more from this game, maybe a couple of dollars. You can indeed make money by playing this game, however, the question is how much can you make.

Looking at their past events, they have 40 – 100 thousand players playing the games made for the various brands. The average winnings of the average player is about S$0.50 – S$1 based on the total S$50,000 of prize money. Don’t expect to make too much from playing this game. Also, it will give heavy DBS PayLah! Users an advantage due to the power-ups received. To fulfil the higher difficulty orders, you will need to use power-ups to increase the shelf life and probability of the rare dishes.

The game is basically an interactive lucky draw that acts as a marketing tool for DBS PayLah!. They package the game as a support to local hawkers while encouraging the usage of their app. You can try to play and the game for fun but don’t go crazy and hunt for golden stalls and rare dishes as you will most likely be disappointed. Any money you make is just a bonus. I would say that it is 15% play-to-earn and 85% marketing tool. Sqkii creatively created a marketing tool for DBS by providing interactive and fun aspects without it being overly commercial.


#UltimateHawker a game made by Sqkii for DBS in order to encourage making mobile payments using the DBS PayLah! App. Instead of the traditional lucky draw, the game works the same as a lucky draw but it is more interactive and fun. Although there is some small aspect of play-to-earn. It is more like a lucky draw that you have to work for. Don’t expect to make great amounts of money from it due to the ratio of the prize money compared to the number of players.

Do comment and let me know about your experiences with the game.

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