Most of the time, when an operator releases a new bingo game, it’s some kind of enhancement of 90 ball bingo with a feature game, bonus round or other extra. Battle Royale, on the other hand, is something completely different – it’s a form of elimination bingo.
In elimination bingo, the aim is NOT to mark off all your numbers and previous versions of it that have been run at UK bingo sites have tended to be quite complex and confusing for players. The Foxy game avoids this by being simple to understand and play but not so simple that players stop paying attention to the game.
Battle Royale Bingo runs in a mini lobby of its own which currently contains 4 rooms corresponding to different stake levels – 50p, 25p, 10p and free. The free room has obviously been included to encourage players to give it a try and this seems to be working as it was always full; the other rooms weren’t at capacity (and yes, there’s a hard limit on the number of players per room, as we shall see).
The first step is to decide which room you want to play in. You can still go into a room if it’s full but you won’t be able to buy into the next game (you will need to wait until it finishes then buy into the following game before it fills up). In the 10p, 25p and 50p rooms you can buy up to 3 numbers and in the free one, just 1 number. Press the SELECT button to see which numbers are available and choose your favourites (but be quick to Buy and Confirm, because selecting them doesn’t reserve them) or use the Lucky Dip button to buy the maximum numbers allowed with a random selection. Your three numbers will appear bottom left of the play area under a countdown timer showing when the game’s going to start. Once all 90 numbers have been bought by players, the game’s full and no-one else can buy in.
As you’d expect from the the aim in Battle Royale Bingo is to be the “last fox standing” – the last person left in the game with a number that hasn’t been called – and in a game that is at capacity because all 90 numbers have been bought by players this will happen after call number 89, when there’s just one number left. It might be earlier (but not usually very much earlier) in a game where not all of the numbers are in play.
To make it a bit more interesting, there’s the Insurance feature which can pop up any time and is visible to everyone. Insurance is tied to a particular number (and the player that has that number) and lasts for 5 calls. When insurance is active, the number is displayed with a lock icon on it (as seen with the number 2 in the screenshot) and if that number is called, it still gets marked off but the player gets their stake back (for that number only) as a consolation prize.
While the game is playing, a player leaderboard is displayed on the right hand side of the play area. You’ll see your own name at the top and the rest in alphabetical order. As players get eliminated, their name appears crossed out and they move to the bottom of the list. When there are only three players left, the door in the middle of the play area opens to reveal what numbers they still have in play and the game plays on until the end.
Battle Royale Bingo has a tabbed lobby enabling players to have three of the four rooms open at a time and switch between them quickly. So if you’ve been knocked out of a game, it’s easy to check on the progress of a different game before returning to buy numbers for the next game.
One of the really great things about Battle Royale Bingo is how good it looks on a phone screen, with just three numbers instead of multiple bingo tickets to watch – it’s clearly been designed with mobile phone play in mind and it works a treat.
An engaging new bingo game, then, that offers something a bit different while still having its roots in good old 90 ball bingo – Entain could be on to a winner with this one!
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