Japanese mobile gaming giant GREE International has just released Jackpot Bingo – developed by their in-house Casino Studio - exclusively for Android devices. Jackpot Bingo is a sequel of sorts to Jackpot Slots, which came out earlier this year. A host of game types and social features make Jackpot Bingo one of the better online Bingo titles around.
...and Bingo was its name-o!
Bingo is most popular in the U.S. and Canada, but thanks to online play it has gained quite a following worldwide. It’s a simple game that kids or adults can enjoy – I always looked forward to classroom Bingo in grade school.
In Bingo games, each player gets a card with a grid of 25 numbers on it. A Bingo dealer calls out randomly selected numbers to the group. When a number appearing on your card is called, you mark it. The first player(s) to complete a row, column, or diagonal set of five numbers calls out “Bingo.” Assuming they called it accurately, they win the game.
Since it doesn’t take long to play a round of Bingo, GREE’s version needs some good design to keep players coming back for more. To start with, Jackpot Bingo has a leveling up system tying the whole thing together. The more games you play, the further you progress towards leveling up. By gaining levels, players can new bingo play styles, new rooms, and special rewards.
Of course Jackpot Bingo offers the standard game of Bingo. But it also has several special Bingo rooms for players to enter.
- Bingo Game Show: a fun room where you get to spin the reward wheel for every two bingo daubs (marks) to get prizes. But the wheel has its risks, too. Get too many Jinxes and you can lose your rewards.
- Speed Bingo: This variant has a faster calling time, making the game more challenging for advanced players.
Virtual cash and prizes
In real life, part of the fun of winning a game of Bingo is receiving prizes or money. Well, you don’t win real green in Jackpot Bingo, but it does have three types of currency for players to win, earn, or buy:
- Chips: This main currency is used to join in all types of Bingo games. Players earn free chips every day they log in. The higher the level you are, the more free chips you get.
- Coins: Buy or win these to buy Lucky Balls.
- Gems: These can only be won through gameplay. Spend Gems on premium Lucky Balls.
The In-App Purchase price points on chips and coins range from $1.99-$19.99.
Lucky Balls are prize balls that can be opened with coins or gems and reward players with boosts and charms. Boosts will give extra XP, coins and chips instantly. Charms do things like provide XP increases, more instant Bingo opportunities, and faster currency gain.
The other key aspect of enjoying Bingo is socialization. Thankfully Jackpot Bingo has some pretty good social features. Players can meet up and play with friends in the various theme rooms, find and send friend requests to other players, and write on each other’s walls. Jackpot Bingo also connects with Facebook, making it easier for Bingo fans to join up.
The one missed opportunity I see with Jackpot Bingo is it doesn’t integrate with Jackpot Slots. Since both games share the same developer and ‘Jackpot’ label, it makes sense for them to connect with each other. At the least, the friends lists could connect so Bingo and Slots players could see and message each other. But it would also be fun if winnings transferred between the two games, much as they would in a real life casino.
More Jackpots to come?
We asked Alex Rosen, GREE Casino Studio’s Director of Product about future plans for the Jackpot series. After all, there are plenty more casino games left for them to adapt. His response:
“We’re always discussing new title opportunities and the casino space is one GREE is really interested in continuing to invest in. [And as for Jackpot Bingo,] we’re constantly looking for new ways to innovate on the social features in the game, so stay tuned for new and exciting developments.”
Me, I'm hoping Blackjack and Texas Hold 'em will join the Jackpot line next.