Bingo Charms is not our grandmother’s Bingo
When I was a kid, my sister would take me to the local VFW hall to play Bingo with all the blue hairs. It was a hazy cloud of cigarette smoke and old lady perfume mixed with the not-so sweet smell of hot dogs and nachos. Bingo Charms gives you all the fun of a bingo parlor without the risk of nasty carcinogens.
Your host through this bingo trip is a leprechaun hat wearing rabbit named B. Crosby. He takes players through the tutorial and teaches players the ins and outs of the game. Instead of a the one-armed bingo caller that I grew up with, the game uses a number tree.
Players start out with yellow cards and the tree bears yellow fruit. When they pick the fruit, it reveals a number that may or may not be on the bingo card. If it is, then it lights up and the player is one step closer to yelling “BINGO.” If not, then nothing happens, and players move on to the next fruit.
Once a full row of number is acquired, the player wins a bingo and is awarded ladybugs, which is the in-game currency, and experience. Ladybugs can be used to purchase more bingo cards as well as power-ups. The other form of currency is leprechaun gold, which can be purchased with real world money or earned through leveling. Yes folks, players can actually level in a bingo game. It threw me for a loop as well. There are also “quests” to be completed for money and experience.
At first, players are only able to access yellow bingo cards, yellow fruit and have fifty moves to make a bingo. There is a set number of fruit and once players have picked one, it takes a few seconds for a new one to grow. When players reach level two, they gain access to blue bingo cards, which have less moves to complete a bingo and the fruit take longer to grow back. The higher the level means the more types of cards the players have access to as well as more power-ups.
The power-ups begin to play an important part as the number of moves to get bingo decreases. There are two main types of power-ups called charms. Card charms are played on the bingo card itself and involves the chance to increase turns or possibly lose turns. Table charms involve bonuses when certain numbers are called. For example, Golden Horseshoe gives players 50 experience points if the number 55 is picked.
Power-ups require players to use a portion of their luck meter. This meter gradually refills or power-ups can be used to refill the luck meter. There is also a social aspect of the game with players able to visit their friends bingo halls and choose fruit from their trees and choose power-ups.
Bingo Charms goes far beyond the standard game of bingo and requires players to use a bit of strategy as they gain levels and go deeper into the game. The number of moves continues to decrease and players have to decide what power-ups would be best to use.
The graphics are vibrant and do a good job of portraying the playful and lighthearted mood of the game including the use of B. Cosby.
The only issue I had with the game was that it was little difficult to get used to the fruit concept. Maybe its all the years of second hand smoke from the bingo parlor, but is just didn’t feel the same and lost a little sparkle for me.
Bingo Charms may not leave that nagging smoke smell on my clothes or the lightheadedness from bingo daubers, but its does an excellent job in creating some new twists on an old game.