What happens when bingo and lottery scratch tickets collide? The answer is Lottso! Deluxe, a new downloadable version of one of the most popular games on the online gaming portal, Pogo.com.
Unless I just don’t “get” the appeal for a game that requires very little skill, or perhaps it would be much more fun if there was real money to be won, but Lottso! Deluxe is a mediocre digital diversion at best.
The player is presented with a half-dozen scratch tickets, not unlike the lottery cards you buy at a convenience store and scratch off with a coin to see how much you’ve won. In the middle of the board is six holes, which fills up with balls with random numbers from 1 to 12 and other symbols, which we’ll get to in a moment. If you see the same numbers on your scratch tickets, such as 7 or 10, then you click that number. If more than one card has the same number you’ll need to choose which card to scratch.
When an entire card is filled in you can win bonus points by scratching it, though there are slightly different rules between the different cards. One lets you scratch off numbers to win the exposed value and you can keep going to see how much more you can get before the revealing a spoiler card. Another game has you match values to win the amount (such as matching two 150 point values out of six) and special cards, such as Lottso!, which are basically progressive jackpots that could award a lot of points. In total, the game offers three dozen different cards throughout the course of the game and you can see many of them from the main menu.
While you play through different Lottso! parlors, each with a slightly different look, you’re continuously playing against other characters listed along the left-hand side of the screen. By gaining more points you’ll climb the ranks towards the top position. Players will also get power-up balls every once in a while that will mess with your opponents’ scratch cards in some way, such as mixing up the numbers or swapping their cards around. Interesting, your opponents never unleashed a power-up on you.
Speaking of opponents, many websites that let you download Lottso! Deluxe say you can play online with up to 20 people and chat, too, although this option is only available if the game is downloaded through Club Pogo.
Graphics are colorful and retro, but the music grows annoying after a while so you might find yourself turning it off after a few minutes.
Like other games of chance, Lottso! Deluxe can get boring pretty quick. Sure, you can try to get new power-ups, collect bonus charms and badges by playing well or unlocking new parlors (though it doesn’t really feel much different), but this game didn’t grab me like so many other games have. Another problem is that each game match is 10 rounds, so you can’t exit and save your progress unless you finish the entire match.
Lottso! Deluxe will undoubtedly have its followers, perhaps those who want the thrill of gambling without anything to lose. But the lack of skill required to play and advance through the game makes it feel like a pointless diversion – to this game reviewer, anyway – especially when there’s so many good games out there to choose from.