bingo: Occasionally, I wonder why

I don’t believe every game and every real-life experience deserves an analogue in the digital world. In my humble opinion, some things just don’t translate well — like bingo.


I will assume you know the basic format of the real-life game, where a caller announces the letter and number of a randomly selected cell, and the audience marks their cards where they match. Line up or arrange corresponding marks on a card, shout “Bingo!” and perhaps win money.

Where this ancient digital version falls down is … well, everywhere. :\ You’re given a single randomized “card,” and the computer plays the role of caller. Mark your card with the down arrow in the interval while a correct number is visible, and press the up arrow when you have a bingo. The computer will check, and that’s the end.

I have to wonder … why? There’s no interaction in this electronic version. There’s no payout. There’s no margin for error by mistakenly covering the wrong number. And unless you really test your number-checking skills by setting the calling interval to a second or two, there’s no real activity aside from pressing the down arrow.

This might be a contender for the worst game I’ve seen in the past two years. 😐

I think I could understand if the author wanted to build a bingo randomizing tool, or perhaps a tracking utility for real-life callers. I might have understood a bingo assistant for players with disabilities. Or perhaps some sort of multi-card tracking application, but as it is, this is just. … 😕

Anyway. It’s available and perhaps it will be of some use to someone. I won’t deny it works, only deny that it’s much of a game. :\

1 thought on “bingo: Occasionally, I wonder why

  1. trophyninjashrub

    One of my earliest ventures into programming was creating a bingo game. It wasn’t obvious what the interaction should be, so I decided that you would push a button when the number was caleld and the computer would place the chip. Then it would call out a new number.

    Then it occurred to me that there’s no particular reason why you have to push that button. I made a small tweak and introduced the “turbo” version. You specify the names of the players (it was hotseat), it would flicker the boards at you (scrolling text) and then announce the winner.

    This experience turned me against bingo in general. I don’t play it in real life, either, because this proved to me just how little game there is.

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