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Publisher: Funkitron    Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Min OS X: 10.4

Slingo Quest
December 5, 2007 | Bryan Hooper

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A little bit of background
This is my first review for Inside Mac Games. I have been playing video games since as far back as I can remember. My dad bought one of those old versions of Pong that plugged into your TV from Sears. That was a long time ago - and I've been hooked ever since, playing most of the classic game systems from the Atari 2600 to the Apple II to the PlayStation to the PC and to the Mac, of course! In a way, I've been reviewing games for decades informally for my friends. But, this is my first written review.

Also, you should know that professionally I am a United Methodist Pastor. I feel like I should share this with you because undoubtedly my profession will color my reviews - as is especially the case in this first review.

The first Methodist gathering in the United States was founded in New York City, when Barbara Heck famously caught some of her friends playing cards. Disgusted that they would engage in a game of chance, she tossed the cards into the fire and quickly urged her neighbor Philip Embury to start preaching the gospel lest they “all go to hell!”

Ever since that moment, Methodists have looked askance at all games of chance. Gambling, in particular, has been a concern of the Methodist movement, and the church has worked hard to restrict and limit legalized gambling. Today, the concern about playing cards and other games of chance has lessened considerably. But, as a Methodist Pastor with a bad video game habit, I still tend to dislike games of chance.

Slingo Gameplay: Is it all luck?
My reasons are less noble than Barbara Heck's reasons were. I just tend to find games of chance boring. What's the fun of playing a game where the result is up to pure luck? How do you get better at a game that is completely up to chance? What strategy does one employ or develop when everything is determined by the turn of a wheel or the role of a die?

Unfortunately, much of Slingo Quest is up to pure luck. The Slingo series of games bill themselves as a cross between Bingo and slot machines - hence “Slingo” I assume. [Admittedly, this is not a good combo for a Methodist. Though Catholic churches routinely hold bingo games and raffles for fund raising, we Methodists still frown on those techniques.] Like Bingo, Slingo presents you with a board composed of five rows and five columns. Various random numbers are placed in each column, much like a Bingo card.

The slot machine part comes in when you pull a little lever. Under each column of numbers, a little window reveals another random number in the familiar rolling fashion of slot machines. If that number matches one of the numbers in the column above, you can select that number and score some points.

That's the basic idea. There are two play modes: classic and quest. In classic mode, you get 20 pulls of the lever. After the 17th pull, if you still need additional pulls to clear the board, you are charged a hefty point penalty. You get extra points for clearing all the numbers in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. There are special squares that give you bonus powers when you remove the number, like point multipliers and jokers that let you select any number to remove from the board. You can also get bonuses in the spinner windows. The bonuses provide the only element of strategy, because you are confronted with a choice. If you get a joker, you have to choose which number to remove. Occasionally this is interesting. Usually it's pretty trivial. Even if you make a wise choice, your results will depend on the next pull of the lever.


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