Developer: Zapak Digital Entertainment
Publisher: Zapak Digital Entertainment
I'll start off this review with an honest admission that it's difficult for someone like me to comprehend the fuss behind casual gaming. I'm an old-school gamer from an era when the only kind of gaming was the hardcore kind. Gaming, for me, is an escape - a means to do things that would be either impossible or downright felonious in real life. I mean, why be content kicking a virtual ball, when you can plough through a swarm of zombies with a chainsaw?! Considering the above, playing what is essentially an online version of Housie
makes little sense.
Tambola bribes you with free coins to become a regular.
Anyone conversant with Housie (or Bingo, as it's called elsewhere)
knows that there's absolutely no skill involved, because the game is based purely only luck. All you do is tick the numbers on a ticket as they are called out by the host. How does all this translate into a rewarding gameplay experience then? However, my indifference was soon overshadowed by intrigue. What is it about the seemingly daft Tambola
Facebook app that makes scores of boys and girls gravitate towards it? Before we figure that out, let's have a look at the game.
Gameplay, Or The Lack Of It
The premise is just like any other game on the social networking platform. Tambola allows you to play with strangers or friends, while incorporating its own microeconomy powered by Facebook Credits
. Yep, that means you have to spend real cash to buy TCash
required to customise your in-game avatar with hairstyles, costumes, accessories, as well as purchase TCoins
, needed to buy Tambola tickets. The exchange rate is $1 for 20 TCash, which translates into roughly Rs 2.25 per unit. However, TCoins are available for free as well in the form of prize winnings, or a fixed daily amount allocated for either Liking
the game or visiting it on consecutive days. The freebies ensure that you can play without having to shell out real dough.
Standard Housie rules apply.
Once you're done wasting hard-earned cash customising your avatar, you can proceed to the lobby where you'll find rooms segregated by prize money. The better the bounty, pricier the ticket. Once you purchase a ticket or two (more tickets equals better odds), the numbers that have been already called out by the host in the live session come pre-crossed. Thereafter, you have to cross out the numbers manually in your ticket, but that is also done automatically in certain rooms. As soon as you cross out five numbers, you have to click the Claim
button to bag the Fastest Five
prize, which gets you TCoins as a reward. You get even more coins for being the first to cross out the top, middle, or bottom rows, while the one to cross out the entire ticket wins the round. That's classic Housie rules for you.
The app, which is still in the beta stage, gets new features added regularly. The latest update lets the host vocalise numbers. This may sound like a good idea at first, but the monotonous voice drawling out numbers, followed by the stupid phrases accompanying them, slowly pecks away at your sanity. Thankfully, the game allows you to turn the sound and music off.
It starts with her sinking into your arms and ends with her arms in the sink.
A Method To The Madness
So what's the hook of the game? To understand this, we need to delve into the mindset of the social networking demographic. A vast majority approaches Facebook and Orkut
as online dating portals, and the same logic carries onto such games as well. To cite an example, a friend of mine used to spend an inordinate amount of time on FarmVille
. Eventually, I found out that he was actually watering his girlfriend's farm all the while. They are married now.
Similarly, Tambola's focus is more on player interaction than traditional gaming mechanics. It's deliberate. Entering a game room with auto mode does the work of keeping track of the numbers, leaving you free to play Romeo
to the sizeable number of wimmen populating the chat window embedded in the game. Outrageous costumes and accessories are on sale for your peacocking needs
. Even the levelling mechanics deliberately include POP
(popularity points) in addition to XP
(experience points). The game forces you to send and receive gifts in order to grow.
So how do
you get these gifts? To put it bluntly: by being a total whore. After not receiving a single POP point despite sending many gifts, I decided to test my theory. No sooner did I type "18/f/Delhi
" in the chat window than gifts started pouring in by the truckload. I had levelled up handsomely within no time; albeit with the minor annoyance of several Romeos pestering me to "do da frandships \ loveships"
with them. All this, using only an account bearing the TechTree India
handle. Just imagine the kind of attention a Katrina, Sophia
, or Natasha
As long as the game offers enough women, there will never be a dearth of desperate Romeos logging in to score one. Which shouldn't be a problem since Tambola doesn't require any skill or effort, thereby making it the perfect casual game for the fairer sex.
If you intend to play Tambola, click here log on
and get started. Just remember: on the internet, men are men, women are men, and children are FBI agents.
Social networking at its best!
Gameplay And Design: