Top 8 Bingo Lookalikes

Background of yellow balls with bingo numbers used to randomly select lucky numbers during a bingo game

You might be a bingo die-hard who would like to try something different that doesn’t stray too far from your favourite game. Or you’re looking for ways to while away long summer evenings with friends or the short chillier ones with family. We’ve put together a selection of eight games that have a few things in common with your favourite game.

1.  NMBR 9

NMBR 9 challenges players to stack number tiles that match cards drawn from a deck. The taller your stack, the more points you score. But this isn’t as simple as it sounds. As you place each tile, you must follow the rules of placement.

The similarity is that players take their turn together so there is minimum downtime between turns. The game accommodates up to four people, but you can include as many as you like if you buy more than one set.

In more detail, the set has 20 cards that are numbered naught to nine twice, and 80 tiles also numbered naught to nine. The tiles have various arrangements of squares on them. When the first card is revealed, players draw a number tile matching the card and it is placed on the table. The challenge is to stack the tiles so that each touches at least one other tile on one side of an already-stacked square. Players are allowed to place a new tile on top of existing tiles but no part of the new tile can protrude from the tiles below it.

The game ends when all the cards have been drawn and players tally their scores. Not counting the bottom level, the number on the tile on the first level kicks off your score, then a tile on the second level counts for twice the number on the tile, and so on. Of course, the player with the highest score wins.

2.  20 Express

If you haven’t already guessed, this is a numbers game with a train theme and you’ll recognise a few rules as you go about playing 20 Express.

There is no limit to how many players can take part in a game. A player has a sheet with a train that has 20 carriages. The aim is to make chains of ascending numbers, left to right. The draw bag has 40 tiles numbered one to 30, with some doubles. At each draw, participants must assign the number to a carriage on their sheet. The longer the chain, the more points scored. When you play any game, you need Lady Luck on your side, clever playing does pay off in the end, and it’s the same with a game of 20 Express.

3.  Take it Easy!

The ancient board game of Ludo (Take it Easy)

Take it Easy! is one of the most popular group games and the winner of several awards including the 2008 UK Games Expo Special Award.

The game begins when the caller draws a tile and reveals one of 27 tiles. Each tile has lines crossing in three directions numbered from one to nine, so a tile has three numbers. Now each player selects the empty place on their own board where they will play the three revealed numbers. The game’s boards are all hexagon-shaped with a place for 19 hexagonal tiles which must be filled as the caller reveals tile numbers.

The aim is to fill the same-numbered lines across your board. Once done, final scores are reached by multiplying the number on the tile with the number of tiles in a filled line. So, a complete column of three sevens scores 21, for instance.

4.  Karuba

Italian "tómbola" (bingo-like game played at Christmas) - "Living number" at his place on the board during a "living tombola"

If you’re into tile-laying race games, you’ll enjoy Karuba.

The game’s story goes like this. You have journeyed by boat to the island of Karuba. As a player, you must lead a team of four adventurers by finding your way through thick jungle to various temples along the way. There are a number of dead ends as well as opportunities to collect gold nuggets and crystals along the path. If you are the first player to find a temple, its treasure is yours. Treasure, of course, equals points and the game ends when either a player gets all his or her explorers to their temples or the last tile is drawn. In which case, the player with the highest score wins.

5.  Rolling America

This game was originally released as Rolling Japan in 2014 and is now available on as Rolling America. Each player has a map of America divided into fifty states then into six collective areas, each a different colour. Players fill in their maps with the numbers revealed by a roll of the dice. Your goal is to fill in as many states as possible with numbers, but this simple game comes with a twist – neighbouring states may not have numbers that differ from each other by more than one.

In more detail, on each turn, a player draws from a bag, two regular six-sided dice. There are seven dice in the bag – six match the colour areas of the map while the seventh is a clear dice. Once the dice have been rolled, players write down the number on any state that matches that colour. So, for instance, if the green dice displays four and the orange shows five, you would write three in one green state and five in an orange state. When a clear dice is selected and rolled, players can write the number in any state of their choice.

There are a number of additional rules like being able to choose a colour dice as any colour three times in a game. If you place a number in a neighbouring state that differs by more than one, you will have to write an X in a state with a matching colour. If you have no open states left in the area, you can choose to ignore the dice or use one of three opportunities to change the colour of the dice so you can place the number elsewhere.

The game ends after eight rounds, and the player with the fewest Xs on the map is the winner.

6.  Micro Robots

Kegs of lotto laid out in order next to cards lying in a pile on a wooden table, like a background

Micro Robots is a game in which players must decide how to move a robot from one place on a grid to another – and they need to do this quickly because play happens simultaneously.

There are four game boards, each showing nine dice. The completed grid shows 36 dice that are numbered from one to six, each a different colour. With players seated around a table, the game starts with the roll of two dice – one is rolled to determine colour, the other for a number. This will decide your starting position for the transparent robot which is marked with a transparent token.

Each round consists of rolling two dice to decide the target space which is marked with a transparent token. Players must work out, simultaneously, how to move the robot to the target space. The robot must move at right angles to either the colour or number that corresponds with its current location. Once a player finds a way to do this, they can shout out the number of moves before moving the robot to demonstrate the solution. If their solution works, the player earns a victory token or yields one of their victory tokens if they fail. Now the target space is the new starting block for the next round. Five victory tokens gets you a win but if all 25 victory tokens are distributed before someone accumulates five, then the player with the most tokens wins.

7.  Slingo Supreme

If you play slots online, you’ll love Slingo Supreme. This video game can be played with friends or you could hook up with other online players, and it’s supported by both Android and iOS.

Play begins by pressing “spin”. Numbers and icons will appear in a column on your screen. See if any of these match the number at the bottom. If a joker appears, you can choose any space in the column above, while a yellow joker allows you to select a space anywhere on the game board. The aim is to fill all the spaces on your board before you run out of spins.

Look out for a devil that will appear from time to time and challenge you to a wager. Keep in mind when choosing how much to risk in this wager, that you will lose points if the devil gets the better of you in a mini-game.

8.  1010!

1010! app in PlayStore. Close-up on the laptop screen.

1010! block puzzle game is a great alternative to online bingo. The challenge is to combine puzzle blocks to build full vertical and horizontal lines on a 10×10 screen. There are no time limits, colour matching or match-three repetition. You simply fill the grid with shapes to form a line, and there are a number of game themes to keep things interesting. You can play on your own or challenge friends to beat your score.

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