Slingo-2-Go Hands-On

We tried our luck at Slingo-2-Go in this hands-on impression of the game.

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Slingo-2-Go brings two versions of classic Slingo gameplay to the mobile phone and facilitates single-player, online multiplayer, and chat. The result is shaping up to be a solid portable Slingo experience that matches the popular Web game pretty closely.

Cool kids know what CSMB means.
Cool kids know what CSMB means.

Slingo is a cross between bingo and casino slots (hence the name), where you're given a traditional bingo-style card with a 5x5 grid of randomly generated numbers on it. You have a possible total of 20 turns spinning five numbers, and if you spin a number that matches one on your grid, then you can cross it off. The objective is to get as many points as possible, most of which come from crossing off a line of five squares horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. If you can manage during the course of 20 turns to cross off every number on the grid, you get a "full-card" point bonus as well. Other items that will pop up during your spins might help or hinder you. The jokers let you cross off a number of your choice (with some restriction, depending on the joker's color), and the "darn devil" will steal away half of your points. Even though the game is heavily steeped in luck, using jokers involves a little bit of strategy in some cases.

The numbers that you spin are completely random, which means that they might repeat, or, in most cases, they won't match up with those on your board. To shake things up, only the first 16 of your 20 turns are automatically given to you. If you think you're close to getting a full card or a high score, then you have the opportunity to use either free spins, if you've acquired them throughout the game, or to use your points to purchase the additional four spins. Each spin gets progressively more expensive to buy, so if you think you're going to get them all, then you should save your free spins to use later.

A secondary version of Slingo, called 5-Card Slingo-2-Go is also available, and instead of numbers, you're placing playing cards onto the 5x5 grid. The objective is to create viable poker hands along the vertical, horizontal, and diagonal rows of the board, although the easiest thing to do is to always situate the cards so that they're positioned for a flush. Nevertheless, having a version of the game that is similar in some respects but mostly different from the original is quite nice.

Now you can shout SLINGO! in front of other people.
Now you can shout SLINGO! in front of other people.

The PC version of Slingo, which can be played for free, has a pretty heavy following, largely because of the social dynamic of the game. Multiplayer means that you're comparing your Slingo scores against others from one turn to the next, until the game is over and someone is declared a winner. In the meantime, between spins, you're left to your own devices and can chat with other Slingo players. The mobile game has incorporated this with two-player online multiplayer competition and the ability to chat while playing. Because the mobile format isn't as conducive to communication (by text at least) as a PC is, there are hot keys that can be programmed with text. By default, they consist of a number of common Internet acronyms, such as g2g, lol, and wtg, as well as a few not-so-common ones like gmta (Great Minds Think Alike).

Slingo looks pretty good on the LG VX7000, and it features all of the same visual effects as the PC version. The sounds are equally presentable, from the sound of the shuffling spinner to the little bells that indicate you've marked off a card. From what we can tell so far, Slingo-2-Go is turning out to be a faithful adaptation of the popular PC game, and fanatics will really enjoy being able to take their Slingo addiction on the go.

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