Back before Christmas, Tombola introduced a new game called Winter Spotlight. One of the things that was new and different about this games was that it was a seasonal special, designed to have a limited run. Now, Tombola have launched another seasonal special game – Bloom.
When Winter Spotlight ended its run at the beginning of February, I predicted that Tombola’s next game (which they had already teased as being a spring special) would be a spring themed version of Winter Spotlight. So is it?
Well, it is and it isn’t. Or more accurately it isn’t, but it is really. Isn’t, because it LOOKS completely different. Is really, because under the hood is the same game engine – a single ticket multi stake bingo game with 45 balls, 15 numbers, prizes for coverall and for a specific group of 4.
Bloom is themed on a spring garden where 15 numbered plots have been sown with seed. The calls come in the form of a bird throwing numbered balls out of a birdhouse into the compost heap and when you match a number, either a carrot or a flowering plant pops up in the corresponding plot. There are prizes for growing 4 carrots (corresponding to the four corner pieces of the puzzle in Winter Spotlight) and for growing something in all 15 plots.
One of the really cool things about Winter Spotlight was that you could interact with the parts of the puzzle you had completed – shake the trees, make the skier crash and so on. Bloom has this too and you don’t need to wait until you have collected the requisite puzzle piece; you can click on the fence to summon a bee or purple floating feathers, on the background to make it rain or on the compost heap to throw out a carrot, attracting a bunny that digs a hole and disappears down it.
There’s also a bit of just-for-fun interaction on the countdown screen in the form of a reaction game which appears after you buy your ticket and before the game starts. There’s no prizes for this but it’s a fun way to pass the time.
The stake levels for Bloom are 10p, 25p, 50p, £1 and £2 and the prizes – including the jackpot for winning in 28 or fewer calls – adjusts automatically to take stake level into account. The jackpot is fixed at 500x stake and the other two prizes are also relative to stake but are determined by ticket sales; like most of Tombola’s games Bloom is guaranteed to have Return To Player of 80% or more (more than most bingo games).
Bloom is currently running in one room with chat and no limits on the number of players. Just as happens every single time when Tombola launches a new game, there’s been a huge rush to try it out; at lunchtime on the day of launch each game had around 1700 players. As you’d expect with so many tickets in play, prizes are substantial, the chance of winning is remote and games are over quickly – so you may want to wait for things to die down a bit before giving it a go.
Tombola are clearly on to a winner with this series of games and Bloom has generally gone down well with players (apart from the usual gripes caused by the room being so busy). We expect Bloom to be around for a couple of months just as Winter Spotlight was, and after that, maybe a summer themed game using the same engine?
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