Since its initial release, Windows 8 already has its throng of detractors and critics. People don’t like the radically-new user interface, the ads that seem to pop up everywhere (even inside “built-in” apps!), and the idea that this brand-new sparkly OS was something very different from past Windows ecosystems.
Microsoft has been trying to sweeten things up though. First it released Windows 8.1, an update that would bring back the Start button that was removed from the first Windows 8 iteration. And now it has been releasing a slew of new games that make the most out of Windows 8’s fluid Metro interface.
On Christmas Day this year, Microsoft quietly released the Microsoft Bingo app. The game is made exclusively for the Windows 8 ecosystem, whether it’s on a desktop computer or a touch-based device. It can be downloaded for free from the Windows App Store.
Microsoft Bingo is not your run-of-the-mill bingo app. Microsoft has put a lot of thought and effort into the development of this game, and it shows. There are a lot extra features that you couldn’t find in any other bingo app, paid or otherwise.
Here’s a brief rundown of what to expect when you first play Microsoft Bingo:
Microsoft Bingo Overview
The game takes you on a trip around the world. All the bingo “rooms” are themed around the concept of travel; they are designed after popular tourist destinations such as the cafes of Paris or the white sand beaches of Thailand. Overall, there are ten locations to be discovered in the game, and you get to unlock more sights as you play along.
And to spice everything up, Microsoft Bingo also has a lot of special rewards, in-game souvenirs, and power-ups which you can use or collect during gameplay. The power-ups usually do things such as doubling your rewards or highlighting drawn numbers; you also get the chance to win more by participating in the Powerball bets.
Microsoft Bingo is not a single-player game. You can play and chat with bingo fanatics from all over the world and recreate the feel of playing in a real-life bingo hall right from the comfort of your own home.
But the highlight of Microsoft Bingo is its Xbox support. While you could opt to play as a Guest, accessing the game with an Xbox account gives you access to Xbox-only special features, plus the opportunity to join Community Challenges.
Overall Impression: Five out of Five Stars
Microsoft Studios certainly exceeded themselves when they released Microsoft Bingo. This is a game that will surely take its rightful place among classic Windows time-wasters such as Minesweeper and Solitaire. It offers a fresh new take on bingo: it’s addictive, innovative, and best of all- it’s FREE!
Note: As of this writing, there seems to be a problem with people not being able to access the Microsoft Bingo download page on the Windows App Store. This issue can be remedied by changing your location/region to Canada and then downloading the app again.