With revenues in excess of £150 million in the UK alone, the online bingo industry is showing no signs of decline. With this in mind, you might well expect that video game developers would be keen to leverage the pastime’s popularity in console title form.
There’s certainly no shortage of sites for fans of the game to play online bingo, with different operators tailoring their offerings to almost every type of player. Somewhat surprisingly, however, it’s proved harder than expected to chronicle the history of bingo video games. With no current or next-gen bingo games believed to be in the pipeline, join us as we explore the efforts to bring the popular game onto our screens in the years past.
1. TV Bingo (RCA Studio II, 1977)
Possibly the oldest bingo video game, TV Bingo for the obscure RCA Studio II console also happens to be one of the rarest video games of all time. With a release believed to have been limited to the RCA employees in Philadelphia area, only three known copies are known to be in the wild, with one cart selling on eBay back in 2016 for a cool $3500. The very basic title even came complete with 20 bingo cards and 150 marker chips.
2. Bing Bing Bingo! (SNES, 1993)
From a very basic bingo game to one of the more fully realised, 1993 saw the release of Bing Bing Bingo! on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Essentially a bingo-themed mini-game compilation, the title featured a fun recreation of the hobby alongside other frenetic titles, including whack a mole and a bizarre Santa-themed puzzler.
3. Panel Action Bingo (GameBoy, 1993)
An action/adventure take on bingo, Panel Action Bingo was developed by Locus and released for the Nintendo GameBoy in 1993. The jaunty title featured a cat and a bird competing for space on a giant bingo board, and took many liberties recreating the game for the handheld console market. The title received middling reviews, but did at least feature link cable support, allowing for multiplayer action.
4. PlayStation Home: Paradise Bingo (PS3, 2012)
Sony’s rather shortlived 3D open-world social network acquired somewhat of a cult following during the lifespan of the PlayStation 3. One of the more fun additions to PlayStation Home came in 2012, when a Las Vegas-esque casino was added as a public space in the network, allowing players, in their avatar form, to play a number of classic table games as they chatted with their friends. It wasn’t long before a bingo hall was added to the mix, with Paradise Bingo proving to be one of the most fun representations of the game in console title form – and probably the latest to date.
Have we missed any bingo console games out, or do you want to see the popular hobby brought back by the time the PS5 and Xbox Series X release? Sound off in the comments below.