Zynga Bingo daubs its way across Facebook
Following a closed beta launch in late January, Zynga Bingo is now available to all Facebook users. Zynga Bingo joins Zynga Poker as part of the Zynga Casino franchise, and the publisher is keen to distinguish the new game from the recently-released Zynga Slingo.
Zynga Bingo provides players with a fast-paced take on the traditional game of Bingo with a layer of Zynga polish over the top. After taking a virtual seat in one of the three currently available themed rooms (one of which is locked until the player reaches level 7, and “special” variants on which are available to unlock through play), players may purchase between one and six Bingo cards using tickets that replenish over time, but which can also be won or purchased with hard currency. Rooms in which more tickets are required to purchase Bingo cards offer greater rewards during play and for victory.
The basic Bingo gameplay requires players to listen to the caller and/or watch the row of drawn balls at the top of the screen and attempt to form either a “five in a row” line across one of their Bingo cards, or fill in all four corners. Unlike some other Facebook-based Bingo games, in which numbers on the cards are automatically daubed for the player, here the player is required to click on called numbers manually. It’s also possible for players to daub incorrect numbers, and the game does not inform players they have made a mistake until they attempt to call “Bingo,” at which point the card becomes locked for further play due to a bad call. If players purchased more than one card, however, they can continue to play on their other cards.
A twist is added to the gameplay in the form of powerups. With every correctly-daubed number, a powerup meter at the side of the screen gradually fills. When it is full, the player has the opportunity to use the currently-displayed powerup, which cycles through several options as time passes. Some powerups attach special items or coins to squares on the Bingo cards, while others automatically daub random numbers without the caller having to have mentioned them.
The player is awarded experience points for each correct daub, and once a game’s finite number of “Bingos” has been depleted, all players receive rewards according to their performance. Those who called “Bingo” at least once are typically rewarded with extra tickets to prolong their play session, while all participants receive experience points. Leveling up brings players closer to unlocking the FarmVille-themed room, and also rewards players with hard currency. Players also acquire keys to unlock boxes following each round. Said boxes may contain soft currency, tickets, powerups or “collection” items, which allow players to unlock the “special” rooms.
Social features include real-time chat during gameplay, which allows players who are competing against one another to interact. A real-time leaderboard at the bottom of the screen also tracks the people who were quickest to correctly call “Bingo,” allowing for friendly rivalries to develop. If the player convinces their friends to play and join their “Bingo Club,” too, they unlock the facility to play up to six Bingo cards at once — without friends playing, players are limited to no more than four at once. Players can also ask their Facebook friends for up to five “free daubs” per card once per day via to give them an advantage over other players.
The simple addition of manually having to daub one’s own numbers gives Zynga Bingo a much more interactive, competitive feel than many of its Facebook-based rivals, as the game takes on an element of concentration and skill rather than simply sitting back and watching. The addition of powerups also adds variety and excitement to the mix, and the whole experience is tied together with the typically high production values and polish expected of a Zynga product. Each room has its own uniquely-voiced caller, for example, and the sound effects and visual flair give the game a very “arcadey” feel. With Zynga’s talent for user acquisition, it’s clear that Zynga Bingo is going to be a big success.
A polished, fun and addictive take on Bingo that keeps players feeling engaged and involved at all times.