Today at Casual Connect in San Francisco, RealNetworks’ GameHouse division has announced the upcoming release of Slingo Adventure, a new mobile and Facebook title in the long-running Slingo franchise which combines bingo and slot machines into one gameplay experience.
RealNetworks acquired the Slingo brand last year, and GameHouse has been hard at work creating a new experience for existing franchise fans and newcomers alike. Speaking with us, GameHouse vice president of studio Ken Murphy said the team’s goal was to create “a really modern adaptation of the classic franchise.”
Many players might be familiar with the Slingo brand from Zynga’s version of the game, which was released in 2012, but closed in late August 2013 after the GameHouse acquisition. Before that, the game was available in various forms all of the way back to its original launch on AOL in 1995.
During a demo of the game, GameHouse showed off the base elements Slingo fans have come to expect. “[We] wanted to make sure we nailed the core mechanic for those that would be familiar with the game from previous franchise adaptations,” says Murphy.
In each level, players have a limited number of spins to daub numbers on their cards. Each spin sees five new numbers and/or symbols appear at the bottom of the screen, and players must match those numbers with the numbers on their cards, like in a game of Bingo.
However, plenty of new elements are here too. As examples, users are challenged with mini-games and evil devilkins while playing. Slingo Adventure will offer two mini-games at launch: the Joker’s Shell Game based on three-card-monte and a coin toss game, but Murphy says more will be added “quickly” after launch.
As for the devilkins, these tiny wisps hide under numbers and tests players’ reflexes. For instance, if hiding under the number 25, and the number 25 is rolled on the next spin, the devilkin may rush to change that number to something else, preventing the square from being daubed. It is possible for players to daub these squares before the devilkin succeeds, but otherwise, the devilkin will continue to bounce around the screen until players can finally eliminate him (through a combination of luck and correct daubs on the board).
Other boosts come in the form of rockets that can instantly daub all numbers in a column, coin bonuses, and the franchise’s famous jokers, which allow users to daub any number in a column, or on the entire board, depending on the variety.
The level-based gameplay of Slingo Adventure will see users earning up to three rings (think stars) on each stage, depending on the number of points they earn while playing. Gamers need to complete some base requirements to successfully finish a stage, and can replay stages in order to earn extra rings.
The game will offer 100 levels at launch, which become increasingly complicated as players progress. Levels are split into themed areas, like a mountainous world where ice cubes sit on top of numbers. In these instances, players must daub the number once to remove the ice, and again to actually complete the square. Or, they can use a power-up to instantly remove the ice.
Players will have the option to purchase power-ups with coins before levels begin. This adds an element of strategy to the game, as some power-ups aren’t as useful as others, and players will need to determine which ones to purchase for the greatest chance of success.
While clearing every number on the board isn’t typically necessary for level completion, determined gamers can purchase additional spins on top of their free allotment with extra coins or premium currency. If players can complete the entire board before running out of spins, the game will explode into a frenzy of bonus points to help them climb higher than their friends on the level-specific leaderboards.
Slingo Adventure is expected to launch on Facebook in mid-September, and roll out to iOS and Android devices around six weeks later. Because Zynga Slingo was so popular on Facebook, Murphy says GameHouse chose to launch Slingo Adventure on the same platform first, to use the franchise’s existing fan base as a “springboard” for success.
Check back soon for more.