Scratch and Win! Sorta…

The sound of glorious money trickling down the metal chutes of a slot machine, the cheers of on lookers around a craps table, and the mesmerizing allure of a roulette wheel. What do all these have in common? Why it’s the siren known as gambling my friends. Be it real or digital, we as human beings are attracted to the dreams of winning riches in exchange for little work, and in light of this, a developer by the name of Backstage has developed a quaint little gambling app for Facebook called “Scratch and Win.”

Okay, so it’s not the most creative title, but it does summarize the game at least. Scratch and Win is a simulated scratch off game complete with credits, winnings, and prizes. Of course it’s not using real money, but its still gambling and it’s presented in a fun and entertaining way.

When you start the game you are presented with a free scratch off ticket that you can either manually scratch or do so automatically (I recommend automatically because the app lags terribly when using the manual controls). When you finish, you win credits based on the numbers that are revealed. Now, here’s how it works: you begin with X amount of credits and gain 10 credits each day. You use credits to purchase tickets, the winnings from your tickets converts to tokens, and these tokens are used to redeem prizes. No, they’re nothing extravagant, but they are very cool avatars, images, and so on for your Facebook page (virtual goods anyone?).

The organization of the game is also very well planned out. There are six stages of tickets that increase in cost. As the stage and cost increase, so do the rewards (and loses). You also get the opportunity to go “Double or Nothing” at these higher stages, which just begs the question: How lucky do you think you are? Furthermore, each stage has a plethora of different tickets that each have their own style and sound effects. Personally, I got a good chuckle with a ticket called “Lucky in Love,” where losing gets you a nice slap in the face. Nevertheless, all of the tickets are equally colorful and amusing.

Another interesting addition to this app is the title system. Similar to “achievements” (achievements are titles and unlockable content for Xbox 360 games) from Microsoft’s Xbox Live, you earn titles for your profile based on certain actions you take. This is a very simple concept that more and more developers are beginning to use. While not everyone cares about this sort of thing, a vast majority of players do view these as entertaining goals to acquire and wear them like badges of honor to show off to all their friends.

So what about the friends and social networking usage for this app? Well, there’s more than in a real scratch off game for sure; the developers have tried to include as much as they could considering the nature of the game. You can earn rewards, titles, and prizes to display on your Facebook profile, but you can also contribute your own artwork and designs to the developers to be utilized in the prizes pages. You can not only share your tickets with friends, but you can even donate your cash itself to noteworthy charities such as Doctors Without Borders.

Scratch and Win is nothing that is going to shake the foundation of social gaming, but for what it is, it’s an amusing, fun, and well thought out application. As a stan alone, it isn’t very socially interactive, but the fact that it provides support for some very admirable charities certainly deserves respect from the community. It’s not complex, but it certainly satiates that little Vegas thirst in all of us, and I recommend giving your luck a shot!