Apparently, the original version, it was much easier to get tokens, but subsequent updates, it is now nearly impossible to get them through regular gameplay. Which means the company made a conscious decision to try to screw the users, in hopes that they get so frustrated that they just buy a bunch of tokens for $5 - $100.
As someone who works for a 3-person company developing on a mobile/tablet game, I can talk a moment about this.
In the mobile market, the two common types of income models are:
1) F2P (free-to-play), specifically ones classified as "freemium". These are games you can download right off the App Store or Google Play and bam, you're in the game playing. These games are specifically designed
with microtransactions in mind. It varies per game type/style (let's not get into a discussion about that aspect), but in most cases, you can play the game as much as you like without spending a single cent..... however, it might take you (making up numbers here) 6 months to get as far a player who spent US$5 to buy a bunch of upgrades (tokens, gems, diamonds -- it varies per game, but it's usually some kind of "currency"). An alternate way is to watch an ad (usually 15 to 60 seconds) which can get you a little bit of something, but not as much as actual cash.
2) Traditional, a.k.a. pay-to-play. You pay a flat amount for the game itself (say, US$10), and you get everything right then and there. There are no microtransactions. A good example of this would be the puzzle game series The Room (which you should check out, BTW. Wonderfully done, worth every cent).
Right now in the mobile market, F2P is the common go-to choice, because it's the cash cow. It really depends, though, on what the demographic is your game is trying to cater to. I hate to generalise or categorise, but there's a lot of market research that shows "soccer moms" (30-somethings with kids who like Candy Crush), avid competitive game players (ex. Clash Royale) and upper-middle class people have no problem shelling out a few dollars here and there (hold that thought). Companies like King, Supercell, IGG, Machine Zone, Zynga, etc. have figured out the formulae and apply it. You should look up King's annual financial reports
: the numbers will blow your mind. I am not joking when I say I cannot comprehend how much money people dump into F2P games. I say this honestly, but a little tongue-in-cheek: it's like the average IQ is dropping. The mentality seems to be "eh, who cares, it's just 99 cents" but they never think about *how often* they're doing that. I've heard of people having $500+ charges in things like Niantic's Pokemon.
I am ***NOT*** a fan of F2P. Yes, there are a couple games I have where I've spent money to help accomplish some goals (I think I've spent maybe US$15 total in Digfender, simply because I was getting really stuck on specific levels and the walkthroughs on YouTube for those levels showed the person just having complete/total luck in how they managed to beat it, i.e. it was pure RNG). I might download and play an F2P game on occasion, but in ~95% of the cases, I've uninstalled it within a week because I "figure out" how their game mechanic works. One of the WORST was Clash Royale, which I actually had to play for a week at the request of my boss and then give feedback/a write up on what I thought. That game rewards the people who shell out money for upgrades early on, and because of how the game model/mechanics work, it's literally impossible to ever be able to beat someone who has done that. I even ended up spending US$2.97 (US$0.99x3) throughout Clash Royale to try and get a feel for "how much" benefit some of the upgrades got me, and it all felt incredibly temporary. I also didn't like some of the game mechanics (there were 2 or 3 specific gameplay mechanics that every player would abuse that would essentially get them the win every time).
The last part of my above paragraph has a term too, it's called P2W or PTW (pay-to-win), and it's prevalent in both PC and mobile games where there's a competitive nature. I don't agree with it and I don't like it. But that's me.
And there's a whole involvement with Facebook on a lot of these things, too, which I won't bother to go into. It's all interwoven, like a web coated in poison. ;-)
To wrap this up: the place I work at has had several meetings over the years discussing what our model should be. I can't talk about the decisions we've made (what a publisher wants plays a big role too), but I can tell you that a HUGE amount of the decision-making boils down to deciding who or what your player base is. If it's "soccer moms" and teenagers with rich parents or trust-fund kiddies, F2P with microtransactions, if done right, will make you a millionaire. If it's the casual player, or the type who get really "deep" into a game (role-playing, etc.) then the traditional model may be a better choice. If *I'M* your demographic, then traditional is going to be how you get me to spend money -- but you'd better make your game cost US$10 *at most* (US$5 is a good balance) because I'm not going to consider it otherwise. I'm not a penny-pincher nor am I frugal in the least, it's just about knowing that all of these things are horrifically temporary in nature and many don't offer true/real replay value, unlike a lot of classic console games.
And that's my write-up.