Zynga Bingo enters closed beta today

Zynga kicks off a closed beta today for the next title in its Casino franchise, Zynga Bingo.

The game is a recreation of the classic gambling game where players receive cards with numbers placed along a grid and each column is identified by letter. A “caller” draws numbers at random from a pile, calling out the letter and number while players search for the corresponding spot on their cards. Should a player find the number called, they place a “dauber” token on the number; if they fill an entire line of numbers with daubers, they have a “bingo” and can claim a prize. Other winning conditions include filling up an entire card with daubers, placing daubers on each of the four corners of the card or completing specific number sequences that have been marked for prizes by the organizers.

Zynga’s main update to the game comes from power-up and bonus items, which are either bought, earned or gifted from friends. The power-ups are unlocked and used during the actual game of bingo; a boost bar fills up with each play, and once full, the player can click it to activate whatever power-up item they have queued. The power-ups available at launch are limited to placing down a dauber on certain numbers as if they had been called in normal play or increasing the number of bonus items received at the end of a game. Bonus items include soft currency, tickets (which are used to purchase bingo cards), mystery crates and keys to unlock said crates. The crates can contain power-ups, soft currency or tickets.

Other features in Zynga Bingo include real time chat, themed rooms that sometimes draw from Zynga’s own games and a Zynga Casino navigation bar above the canvas that presumably allows players to jump easily from Zynga Bingo to Texas HoldEm Poker or other Zynga Casino games as they are released. During a press demo, a Zynga spokesperson declined to discuss any upcoming features related to the Zynga Casino interface beyond what had already been revealed at Zynga’s 2011 Unleashed preview event.

Among social games, bingo has been slower to catch on than other casino titles like poker or video slots. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2011 that Buffalo Studios’ Bingo Blitz began to gain traction, hitting 2.8 million monthly active users and 930,000 daily active users before the end of the year. Other bingo games have since launched on Facebook to more modest success and some virtual casinos have added it to their lineup of games.

Zynga Bingo is the developer’s second Facebook title of 2012. Its first 2012 game, Hidden Chronicles, launched in the first week of January and currently enjoys 12.5 million MAU and 6.1 million DAU as recorded by our AppData traffic tracking service.