Whether you've played it in a dark and smokey lodge, at a birthday party or wedding shower, or even via the huge variety of free versions already available online, Bingo isn't really a foreign game concept to most people, traditional gamers or not. However, with Zynga Bingo, the first new title in the Zynga Casino franchise (following Zynga Poker), Zynga looks to change grandma's game into something wholly accessible for the general audience via a slew of social features.
The gameplay itself will feel pretty familiar to those who have already experienced Bingo in a digital form, as it allows you to choose how many cards to play at once (up to six) and pick a themed room (Vegas, Pirate and FarmVille themes, for instance), and then challenges you to make a simple Bingo line (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) by daubing numbers as they are called at the top of the screen. Special patterns also apply in some of the game's advanced rooms, like card blackouts, four-corners and even some letter patterns. Via Nicole Opas, Senior Producer of Zynga Bingo, we were able to take a look at the fine details of Zynga Bingo, and learn about some of the features that will hopefully set the game apart from the rest.
One of the biggest features that helps the gameplay feel fresh is the power-up system. Each card has special symbols resting underneath random numbers, and if you're able to daub them, you'll claim Mystery Crates, Keys and more, and also have the ability to charge up power-ups that can be used at any time thereafter. These power-ups may add piles of coins to the board, or automatically daub different numbers for you, if you're struggling to achieve a Bingo on your own.
"One of our favorite power-ups is the Friend Boost power-up," says Opas. "You'll be asking your friends through Facebook to give you a boost. When they give you that boost, you'll charge it up like you would another power-up, but as many friends' boosts that you have, you'll be able to daub squares with your friends' pictures on them. It's pretty fun; it lets you play with your friends even when your friends aren't online at the same time."
As each game progresses, you'll see those lucky players who have already called Bingo in a small top-three leaderboard at the bottom of the screen, but you'll be able to keep claiming Bingos after that, up to the limit shown at the top of the screen. Additionally, if you happen to come into a game late, you won't need to worry about rushing to fill up your cards with the numbers that you've already missed, as the game will do that for you. Even if lady luck isn't on your side, and you fail to claim a Bingo in time, you'll still claim the Mystery Crates and other rewards you earned along the way.
Even when you're not playing with your friends, you'll still be able to interact with them via collectibles that can be sent back and forth. Completing these collections gives you coins or new rooms to play in, and by simply playing more and more of the game, you'll earn experience points to level up, will earn the ability to purchase more cards to play at once and will earn more Tickets, the cost for purchasing cards themselves.
Just like in Zynga Poker, Zynga Bingo is a synchronous multiplayer experience, giving you a chance to talk to other players, as you'll be able to congratulate those winners, wish everyone good luck or just chat about other topics in real time. Of course, you can also invite your friends to play in a room with you directly, if they also happen to be online. There's a huge social focus with Zynga Bingo, as Opas says "we hope that... just like with Zynga Poker, you'll play along with your friends and meet new friends along the way. It's that type of experience; connecting with the people that you love to play with and people who are going to keep your edge up and have a good time with, no matter what mood you're in or what time of the day or where you are... that we're excited to add to Zynga Poker and have this Zynga Casino franchise."
Zynga Bingo has launched in Closed Beta today, and will launch for the general public very soon. We'll make sure to let you know when you can pick up a dauber just as soon as we know more.
Are you excited to try out Zynga Bingo on Facebook? What other games would you like to see created in the Zynga Casino franchise? Sound off in the comments.