Review: Bingo Blitz

At a Glance

ESRB Rating: E - Everyone
My Rating: Ages 13 and up
Genre: Gambling Simulation
License: Free to Play
Release Year: 2017
Review Published On: May 26th, 2021
Played on: Thaddeus & Giles

Available from:

Windows Store

Save System:

Your progress is saved as you play, though if you leave a game in progress you're basically forfeiting that round.

Rounds of bingo are typically short, though they might last as long as ten minutes.

Summary of
Major Issues:

This game contains various forms of virtual gambling, mostly bingo and slot machines. Other types of gambling, such as scratch cards, are only available part of the time.

This can all be played without spending money, but players are given the option to purchase items with real money.

Screenshots

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Off to a good start

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Bingo in Austrialia

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Bon appetit!



Game Overview

If you've been playing ad-supported games from the Windows Store, you've probably seen some ads for Bingo Blitz. It's a surprisingly popular game, considering how it looks like yet another bog-standard bingo simulation. After trying it myself, I think the ads don't really do a good job of explaining what you're getting into, and that's a shame.

Before I expand on that opinion, there's something else that needs to be clarified. Since this game's story (or what passes for a story) is about exploring the "Bingo World", some of the usual jargon has been set aside for new terms that fit the theme. So rather than logging into a specific "channel" or "room" to play bingo, you'll "visit a city".

That point also highlights something important about Bingo Blitz: it's not a single player game. Whenever you're playing bingo, you'll be competing with everybody else who is currently visiting that city. To make things a little more interesting, there are a limited number of bingos allowed per round, so you're not only trying to get a winning card, you're trying to score a bingo before your opponents claim them all. The good news here is that there are various mechanics in play that encourage players to stick around cities that are around their own skill level. Thus, the early cities are home to novice players, while later areas belong to the experts.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this isn't exactly normal bingo. You (and your opponents) have the ability to use various powerups to tip things more in your favor. Fortunately, nobody can just use a powerup whenever they want. Instead, which powerup is available is chosen at random from your inventory, and before you can use it, you'll need to charge it up by stamping numbers on your card(s). Each powerup can only be used once, so plan accordingly.

As you play, you'll notice chests and other tokens on your cards. These can be collected by stamping the number they're resting on, and they're usually worth watching for. Chests can contain a number of different prizes, such as coins, credits, or powerups, while the other tokens are used to access whatever minigames are available. Depending on your current goal, these might be more important than scoring a bingo!

Speaking of the minigames, there are generally two going on at any one moment, and they typically involve Blitzy the cat (the game's mascot) or one of his friends. The most common (and longest running) of these are Chef Events, which revolve around Blitzy fixing fancy dishes to serve to guests, friends, or as part of a catering job. You see, while Blitzy enjoys bingo, he's actually a trained professional chef! Your task in these adventures is to locate or grow the ingredients he'll need, and every time you complete a dish, you'll earn Chef Points and extra credits for the bingo games.

Speaking of credits, you'll use those to purchase the bingo cards you'll be playing with. You can purchase up to four cards per round, and how many credits it costs varies according to the city you're visiting. The general rule of thumb is the farther along a city is in the game, the more expensive the cards are. On the plus side, there's a million and one ways to earn credits, including a daily allowance you get just for logging in, so you don't need to purchase them with real money. That option is available, but considering how few credits you get for each dollar you spend, it's a bad idea even if you do have the money to burn.

Now, I have just one issue with this game. Or rather, I don't approve of its ESRB rating. Like many other games with colorful cartoon animals and cheerful non-threatening graphics, Bingo Blitz is rated E. The E rating is meant to indicate content that is appropriate for everybody, including very young children.

Like most E rated games, there's nothing scary or violent to be seen in Bingo Blitz. But, you need to spend credits to play, and when you combine that limitation with frequent prompts to purchase more, you're asking for trouble. Young children don't have the best impulse control, so this looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

So, in my opinion, this game is best left for the 13+ crowd. I wouldn't absolutely forbid younger players from playing it, but there are plenty of other games out there that don't require them to practice self control every time they play.

Points of Interest

Tons of collectables
Each city has at least six souvenirs for you to collect. These can be won by scoring a bingo on a "shadow" card, by finding them in chests, or by trading them with friends. This isn't optional either, as you need to find about half of the items from a city to unlock the next one.

While playing, you'll also find tokens that let you play the minigames and ingredients for the chef events. Both of these are optional, but can be fun too. Note however that you need to be playing in Atlantic City or beyond in order to win ingredients.
Customization
Don’t like the way your avatar or stamps look? No problem: there are a large number of ways you can customize both of them. Certain stamp designs need to be purchased with a small amount of credits, but colors are generally free. Additionally, some of the frames that go around your avatar need to be unlocked by completing various tasks.
Additional minigames
There is often a simple minigame available to help you earn credits and ingredients. These can range from scratch cards, to board games, to a card based game where you try to fill an apartment building with Blitzy's family and friends. The main catch is that you need to find tokens of some sort in the bingo games to play these other games.

Also, if you have more coins than you know what to do with, there's an entire "map" featuring slot machines that you can play whenever you want. These also have collectable items and other goodies, but since there's no skill involved, they aren't as interesting as the bingo games.
VIP features
For a monthly fee, you can purchase VIP features that give you early access to new rooms and other VIP perks. This game is also connected to the Playtika and Caesar's Rewards family of games, which give you additional perks across all of their games and casinos.
Achievements
There are over 150 achievements to earn while you play. Many of these revolve around completing entire souvenir collections, but there are exceptions. For example, a handful of these achievements are earned by earning crowns in tournaments, sending gifts to friends, or just playing a lot of bingo.
Poor investment
Although I'm not dead set against in-game purchases, the ones available here are particularly bad deals. To give you an idea of how bad they are, consider this: At my level of progress in the game, I receive 72 credits per day just for logging in. This is roughly $6 worth of credits if I had purchased them from the in-game store. Considering that a single round of bingo can cost more than 40 credits, that's a horrible exchange rate.

Concerns and Issues

Gambling
Bingo has much lower stakes than most forms of gambling, but it's gambling all the same. Now, there are different viewpoints on whether or not gambling should be considered a sin, but gambling addiction is a real problem. If you have trouble with gambling, thing you should probably avoid even simulations like the ones found here.

Also, there's no way to "cash out" your credits or other winnings. This means you can't "earn it back" if you spend money on credits.
Fairy tale characters
The world of Bingo Blitz is full of friendly, talking animal characters. Blitzy and his family are the prime examples, though you'll also encounter characters like Mitzy the Mouse and some resident elves and dragons. Most of the cast tends to remain in the background or appear as part of certain minigames, so the player's interactions with them are limited.
Slot machines are noticeably less friendly looking
Most of this game features a cute and cuddly cartoon design that would fit in a television show aimed at young children. However, the slot machines use a very different art style that's more realistic, and this tends to make them appear a little spooky. We aren't talking horror movie material here, but it's a big contrast from the rest of the game.