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Goal Bingo

Soccer – or football, depending on where you are when you’re talking about it – is the world’s most popular sport. The most popular leagues see their matches broadcast worldwide, and the World Cup is the premier international sporting event around, rivaled only by the Olympic Games. For much of the world, football isn’t just a game: it’s a way of life.

Goal Bingo, an online bingo game developed by Patagonia Entertainment, is an attempt to pair the world’s game with some rather solid, straightforward gambling action. Like many of Patagonia’s bingo-based games, this offers a variety of prizes based on the patterns you make on your cards. But it also utilizes the theme in a fun bonus round that will put you in the middle of a tense penalty shootout.

Kicking Off

Goal Bingo is a game that presents you with a pretty simple objective: make as many lines and other patterns as possible on up to four cards in order to win prizes. In this game, you’ll be playing with miniaturized tickets: each one featuring 15 numbers between 1 and 90, arranged in three rows of five numbers each.

At the beginning of each round, you’ll need to set your bet. You can change the number of tickets you are playing by clicking on any of the four on screen, which will toggle them on and off. You can then set your total bet at the bottom of the screen. Generally speaking, Patagonia sets the credit value at 0.25 units of whatever currency you’re playing in, though you may want to verify this before you start making wagers.

Once you’re happy with your bets, it is time to get the game started! By clicking on the play button, you’ll trigger the release of 34 soccer balls into the lower part of the game area, each of which comes with a number on it. These numbers are those being drawn for the round, and as they are revealed, they will be marked off anywhere they appear on your cards.

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Goal Bingo

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As the numbers fall, you’ll be alerted if any winning combinations occur on your cards. There are varying prize levels based on the different possible ways to score a win. The payout structure is as follows:

  • One Line: 4x
  • Cup: 10x
  • Goal: 50x
  • Two Lines: 100x
  • Bingo (Full Card): 1,000x

There is also an additional “Field” pattern that will take you into a special bonus round. If any of these names seem confusing to you, don’t worry: all patterns are displayed in the upper-right portion of the screen, letting you know exactly what you’re looking for on your cards.

Once this main portion of the action is over with, you’ll be able to take any winnings you have earned so far, but you’ll also have the chance to continue playing in an attempt to win more or bigger prizes. This can be done by hitting the extra ball button. Each extra ball you ask for costs you a number of credits that varies depending both on the amount you’re playing for and the current situation developing on your tickets. If you don’t have any immediate paths to a big prize, your next ball may be quite cheap; if you’re one spot away from a bingo, however, you’ll pay heavily for the chance to get it.

You always have the option to accept extra balls or say no and end the game immediately, and each decision is for one ball only, after which you can choose again. Whenever you’re ready to stop, you’ll simply need to hit the “no” button, which ends the round and collects all of your prizes.

That’s about all there is to the basic gameplay of this title. If you’d ever like to change the numbers you’re playing with, the new tickets button will generate entirely new cards for you. There’s also a turbo option in the settings menu in case you want the action to go along at a faster rate.

Going for Goal

While the main game provides plenty of ways to win, there’s even more in store in the special penalty kick bonus round. In order to make your way into this feature, you’ll need to complete the “Field” pattern on any one of your cards – essentially, completing the entire outside border of the ticket, or 12 spots in total.

When this occurs, you’ll be taken into the two-part bonus round. First, you’ll need to choose between one of the three teams that you want to represent. This choice will result in you being assigned a multiplier on your future wins. After that, you’ll simulate taking five penalties, as if your team were contesting a shootout at the end of a game. You’ll get credits for each goal you score. That total will then be altered by the multiplier, resulting in your total earnings for this special feature.

There’s one other feature worthy of note: the jackpot. You are only eligible to win the jackpot amount if you play all four cards, and you play for at least three credits per card. If you’ve met this minimum, then you’ll take home the jackpot if you can complete a bingo using only the initial 34 balls, with no extras. Any other bingo will still result in the standard 1,000x prize.

Tactics Take a Back Seat to Luck

Football may be a game that’s all about strategy and tactics, but Goal Bingo is ultimately all about getting lucky. You’ll have no control over what balls are drawn, making the results all about chance. There’s also little information available about the return to player or house edge, so we can’t say just how lucky you’d have to get in order to come out on top.

However, there is one area of the game where players make decisions: the option to take extra balls in order to take more shots at winning prizes. From what we can tell, the game always uses its dynamic pricing model in order to ensure that the price is tempting, but not quite fair. This is hardly surprising: most games of this type will always ensure the casino has the advantage when offering special extras like this, and many Patagonia bingo games use this same pricing structure. In any case, from a strategic perspective, we can’t recommend buying balls: in the long run, doing so will only cost you more money.

A Solid Strike

Like many of the similar offerings from Patagonia, Goal Bingo is a solid product that will appeal to those who enjoy bingo-themed action. As always, the extra ball buying feature is a nice twist that can make for some interesting decisions, especially if you’re someone who likes to take a gamble for a shot at a huge prize even if the odds don’t quite make it the “correct” play.

In terms of presentation and graphics, this isn’t the most impressive of the games in this line. However, we do have to give it a lot of credit for how it incorporates the theme: soccer works really well, both in terms of graphical touches (the balls can actually be balls!), and in the way that the bonus feature is actually supported by the theme. It’s a small touch, but one that makes the game just a bit more immersive and exciting.

All-in-all, this is a solid game, though one that isn’t likely to attract or entertain players who don’t normally enjoy this sort of gaming experience. If bingo and similar specialty games are up your alley, then this is a fine choice; if you prefer more complex or strategically challenging fare, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

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