Sawbuck Gamer

Zynga Slingo

April 4, 2012: Zynga Slingo

Can this slots-bingo hybrid steer clear of the usual Zynga ickiness?

By Samantha Nelson • April 4, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer, our ongoing roundup of free and cheap games, has made the jump from The A.V. Club to Gameological. Rather than a massive compilation every few weeks where we destroy your entire workday with instant-gratification gaming, Sawbuck Gamer will now be a daily feature (Monday through Thursday), chipping away at your productivity little by little.


Slingo, the fusion of slot machines and bingo, began in the ’90s as one of the best perks to being an AOL member. Since then, it has spawned dozens of versions, letting you try your luck on the PC, cellphones, the Nintendo DS, and casino machines. It’s a natural fit for Facebook, but the best thing about Zynga Slingo may be how little it feels like other Zynga games. There’s no constant push to spend money or spam your friends list with invites in order to advance. The power-ups you need for really high scores are all purchased with coins you earn by playing. Having friends play with you is merely a bonus. They can send you gifts and increase the likelihood of jokers popping up on your card, and you can keep track of their relative progress on a leaderboard. Sure, it’s mindless and almost entirely luck-based, but it’s a great mental break, and the limited energy system prevents you from losing too much time to the game.

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184 Responses to “April 4, 2012: Zynga Slingo

  1. ElDan_says_Fuck_Disqus says:

    Title looks too ethnic. Didn’t play.

  2. trilobiter says:

    …and I just remembered that Slingo was a thing.

  3. LimeadeYouth says:

    Oh, it still asks you to send crap to your friends and it still wants you to buy stuff, but it’s nowhere near the psychotic level of Farmville. It doesn’t happen every time, but occasionally you’ll miss filling your board by *that* much causing you to end up with a crappy score, and spending a couple Slingo Bucks can make all the difference. I’ve already seen a couple FB friends who I’m pretty sure are spending money to get their consistently high scores.

    Probably the best thing about this game is if you decide not to play for a few days, you don’t have crops die or active missions fail.

    One last note: had I already not known about the game play, this review would be found wanting. Compare to the game play description in the Axon review.

  4. The_Misanthrope says:

    Yahtzee’s new game is available for your perusal:

    I’ve only played about 5% of it at this point, but I do like a lot of the ideas at play here.  It supports joystick and Xbox 360 controller input, which I should try out because my fingers get cramped trying to play it with my netbook’s tiny keyboard.

  5. i hit 11 million on checkered stage 5. what a score! why no big reward for that?