It’s fair to say that everyone is aware that mini-games are not the best way to make money, nor are they particularly favored or varied. I often find these games are avoided outright when they spawn which seems like a bit of a waste, but considering that most of the mini-games are pretty identical simplistic and competitively oriented it’s understandable.
I have a simple solution to increase the activity of all current and future mini-games: Give first place a chance at winning a signature item associated with the completed mini-game. Could be an item, a hat, a trophy, but every game should have it’s own associated signature item as a reward for winners. This would attract veterans and newcomers alike to keep playing mini-games even when the money isn’t that great, or by itself an uninteresting incentive.
Shot the most pumpkins? You have a chance at winning this uniquely styled pumpkin hat. Shot the most balloons? Here’s a balloon item that lets you float around when held. You get the idea.