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Slingo, a blending of Slots and Bingo, has been a favorite of casual gamers for more than a decade. A guilty pleasure and addictive game of chance, it debuted online in 1995 and became a successful multiplayer game a year later. As reported to date, more than 3.3 billion games have been played.

While it doesn’t appeal to everyone, Slingo is still one of America’s most played games. If you haven’t tried it, the latest variant, Slingo Quest, could make a convert of you.

What does Slingo Quest bring to the table? Two modes of play for starters, Quest and Classic, served up via a cartoon-style tropical motif. Classic play is pretty much the Slingo you already know and love, while Quest, in contrast, adds a new “spin” to the game, taking you through 50 levels spanning ten islands with an extra Bonus Round per isle.

Regarding presentation, Slingo Quest’s production values are outstanding. Though graphics, music and sound effects tend to be a bit “cutesy,” they’re exceptional nonetheless. Animated backdrops and special number-matching, Slingo-slinging visual effects “pop,” and the tunes never get old.

So, what’s it like to play? Well, addictive is a good descriptor. Slingo Quest is definitely one of those just-one-more-level kinda games. It grabs you and doesn’t easily let go.

As for the basics, a normal level (we’ll discuss variations later) is comprised of a 5×5 grid of squares, the card, with a row of slot-like windows below. Click the spinner and the numbers flash by until they lock into place. Once they do, your goal is to match the digits spun with numbered squares in the columns directly above, building Slingos along the way (five horizontally, vertically or diagonally matched squares). Play ends when you’ve completed the card or run out of spins. It sounds simple, I know. However, Slingo Quest is a bit more complex than that.

Numbers spun can only be matched with those in the column directly above…with one exception. If you spin a Joker, it can be used to match any number in its own column. But, if you acquire a Super Joker, it can be used in any column, especially helpful on the squares that form a pattern on each card. Occasionally, a Super Joker is your only recourse to match these squares and, in so doing, advance to the next round.

In addition to number-matching, Slingo-building and pattern-completion goals, other objectives need to be attained. Every level, or round, has five individual goals to accomplish, each rewarding you with a star. To collect all five stars, you need to acquire a set number of points, uncover a secret, finish within a preset time, locate all Butterflies and complete the card.

Fortunately, power ups are plentiful. These include Slingo Vision, which shows you all matches on the board; Devil Protection, to shield against a Devil when it appears; Multipliers, which increase your score; Free Spins, to use in place of buying spins; Cell Super Jokers, which gives you another match; and Secret Keys, to unlock Bonus Rounds.

Other bonuses are available, too, in Slingo Quest. Work quickly enough and you’ll get extra points per match. Slingos that line up with Butterflies and Frogs increase your points, as well. Accomplish something really cool, like getting four Slingos in a single move or scoring ten million points in an individual round, and you’ll be rewarded with one of twelve special Slingo Stamps.

Of course, it’s not all power ups and bonuses. Several “adversaries” thwart your success. The biggest challenge is only having 20 spins per level (though, Free Spins help). Due to the element of chance, it’s not uncommon to have several spins per round come up matchless (I’ve had as many as nine). Apart from this, Devils, mentioned above, frequently rear their ugly heads. When one appears, it steals your points if not scared away by a Cherub, unless you have a Devil Protection power up. Buying spins is also a downer. At some juncture, you’ll need to pony up points for them.

Earlier I mentioned there were variations to the usual 5×5 grid. In Quest, you’ll also come across 7×7 Slingo, featuring a 7×7 card; MultiCard, offering play on two, three or even four cards at once; and Pirate’s Fortune, where you take turns playing Slingo against a Pirate. Arr!

As it stands, this near-final version of Slingo Quest seems poised for success, at least with those who already consider themselves Slingo fanatics. It’s stable, attractive, entertaining and highly addictive. That adds up to a whole lot of number-matching fun. And, with Slingo’s presence already felt strongly in the casual game market, Slingo Quest, when released, may just spin out of control.