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Bingo Bingo Bingo

Score: 50%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Wizard Works
Developer: Varcon System
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Board Games/ Family/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in Bingo Bingo Bingo are passable, and in fact, show that a little effort was put into the gameís presentation. You can have from one to six cards on the screen, and you can pick the color and shape of your dauber. When youíre actually playing Bingo, the balls that have yet to be chosen are shown in the bottom corner in the bin, and it is accurate -- if you see a particular ball get blown up, thatís the one that shows up. This is nice. The menus and whatnot are clean and understandable as well.

The sound effects, such as they are, are all right, with a clear and understandable announcer for the numbers and a variety of ďBingoĒ voices for when bingo is called. Near the top of the screen is a display that shows just what you need to get to have a bingo in the particular game that youíre playing, which is a nice reminder. The presentation is pretty simplistic, but thereís not really that much that you can do with bingo to make it exciting-looking.


Gameplay:

Unfortunately, thereís not much you can do with bingo to make it exciting to play either, and although the developers of Bingo tried, thereís just not enough here to warrant a purchase or play. When you first set up the game, itís set up so that you arenít playing against anyone, ďso you can get used to Bingo.Ē All right. The game works just like real Bingo -- you have cards that you mark, you listen to the announcer as he calls the various numbers, and once you have a pattern that matches whatever youíre going after, you call ďBingo.Ē

You can play against from 1 to 100 computer opponents, which makes it a good bit more interesting, but it still doesnít have much game appeal. You can also play on the Internet, but that grows old just as fast. The game offers more than 100 different board configurations and variations on gameplay, which is nice, but the strategic difference between Bingo Bugle and Star and Crescent escapes me. Youíre still putting dots on cards.

Now, credit must be given where credit is due. The developers did the best they could with what they had, and as it is, Bingo Bingo Bingo is a respectable computerized version of the real thing. The problem lies in the fact that no one really needed a computer version of Bingo. Part of the fun of the game is in the fact that you play it, especially at church fairs, at a social event, talking to your friends and the game being something of a secondary thing. Bingo forces you to concentrate fully on the bingo game itself, and itís just not fun.

You can print out the cards and play that way, but thatís much more of a bother than itís worth.

Vascon packed in two other games with Bingo: a Keno game and a Solitaire card game. The Keno game is just as lifeless as Bingo, but the Solitaire game is actually a pretty solid implementation of Klondike, Freecell, and whatnot. However, itís not enough to redeem the package.


Difficulty:

Depends on the number of opponents. With as many as 100 of them, donít expect to win but, well, 1/100th of the time. By yourself, only patience stands between you and victory... and passing out from boredom.

Game Mechanics:

The game plays simply enough, and the interface never gets in the way of the game, so Bingo is probably as close as you can get to the ďvideo game essence of bingo,Ē whatever that is. However, the program has some serious stability problems, at least on my computer. It crashed numerous times when I was trying to change characters or game modes; nothing a simple restart of the program didnít fix, but it seemed inordinately buggy for a final version of a game.

After all this, I canít say I can recommend Bingo to much of anyone. Unless you have an absolute hankering for playing Bingo online against other people with strange hankerings like you, donít waste your money on this one. Better times can be had with most any other game out there, or free online versions of the same game.


-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Minimum System Requirements:



P166, 32 MB RAM, Win9x, 15 MB HD Space, DirectX compatible sound & video cards, mouse, 4X CD-ROM
 

Test System:



Windows 98 running on a K6-III 450 w/256MB RAM, 6x24 DVD-ROM drive, SoundBlaster Live!, Creative Labs Riva TNT2 Ultra w/32 MB RAM

Windows 1602 A.D. Sony PSOne Triple Play 2000

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated