Bingo Blingo is a Facebook-based bingo simulation from SGN. It released to the public back in April of this year and has been in “beta” status ever since, though it is fully playable and appears to be feature-complete at this time.
Bingo Blingo sees players competing in live online multiplayer bingo competitions in a variety of themed rooms. By expending “tickets” to purchase bingo cards, players are in with a chance of winning the room’s various prizes, with greater winnings on offer if they win quickly. As this is Bingo, however, whether or not a player wins is largely determined by the luck of the draw — and the player’s observation skills.
Bingo numbers are called out one at a time accompanied by a letter corresponding to the column the number is in. This helps players quickly spot whether or not they have the relevant number — particularly important when playing more than one card at once. Players must manually declare when they have achieved a bingo by daubing a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line across the whole card, or by filling in the four corners. This ensures that players must keep on their toes and carefully watch all their cards to spot when they have won.
As with most Facebook-based Bingo games, there is a twist on the formula. Squares on the cards marked with lightning bolts charge a power-up bar when daubed, and when full, this bar allows the player to unleash one of several randomly-chosen powerups. These vary from “free” daubs on the card to experience and coin bonuses. Rather than providing an easy route to victory, they’re another thing for the player to keep tabs on, meaning that playing a game of Bingo Blingo is a much more involved, exciting experience than many other Bingo-based titles.
Progress through the game is managed in several ways. The player has an experience level, which is increased by successfully completing games. Higher level players have access to additional rooms, which carry larger prizes and cost greater numbers of tickets to play in. Each room also has its own set of “achievements” for players to collect, though this system is completely undermined by the fact that it’s possible to purchase achievements using soft currency.
The game’s social features are solid. As well as a real-time chat facility while playing a round of Bingo, players are encouraged to invite their friends to play, with larger daily bonuses on offer for those with a larger “team” of friends competing. A weekly bonus is also awarded according to how many total bingos the team as a whole has attained — this varies from a small coin bonus up through additional free powerups to a special weekly achievement.
Bingo Blingo is a good game and a fun, exciting, social implementation of Bingo on Facebook, but there are a few aspects, particularly with regard to presentation, where it could be a little better. In short, the game’s presentation doesn’t feel very polished. Background audio, while atmospheric, is recorded at a very low sample rate, giving it a very “fuzzy” sound, while the graphics all have visible compression artifacting in evidence, giving the game an unattractive “lossy JPEG” look. It’s a minor issue that doesn’t affect how the game actually plays, but when other developers are putting out slick, polished Facebook titles without these presentational issues, it makes Bingo Blingo look a little “cheap” and amateurish in comparison — a shame, as the game itself is very solid.
A solid, fun implementation of Bingo on Facebook that could do with a bit of spit and polish in the presentation department.