Review: Bingo Blitz
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||E - Everyone|
|My Rating:||Ages 13 and up|
|License:||Free to Play|
|Review Published On:||May 26th, 2021|
|Played on:||Thaddeus & Giles|
Your progress is saved as you play, though if you leave a game in progress you're basically forfeiting that round.
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.
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
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.
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.
Concerns and Issues
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.