Review of Flash Game: Binga

Games like Binga always confuse me because I can never figure out their target market. They have casual features which appeal to bored housewives, they are also simple and user friendly which appeals to the children's market and they have high scores and timed sections which appeal to the competitive element of more hardcore gamers. At first this makes it sound like a super new game which anyone can play. That is unless you start realising that it is a prime example of the phrase "Jack of all trades, master of none".

Binga is at heart a point and click puzzle game. You are presented with one screen after the other with various objectives you need to complete to move onto the next level. Some of the puzzles are easy whilst others are slightly more obscure and require you to do some investigation to figure out. If you get stuck on any puzzle you always have the option of reverting to the tried and tested method of clicking everywhere on the screen until something happens. A technique made famous by the old fashioned point and click adventure games which had puzzles so obscure and removed from reality that this brute force approach to puzzle solving was your only sensible choice at times (I'm looking at you Monkey Island!)

The competitive element comes in the form of a timer which counts the entire length it takes you to complete all the puzzles which is designed to give the game some replayability. Certain things such as the combination locks change each time you play so you have to re-solve each screen as oppose to just remembering the answer from last time. However once you've figured out the strategy for finding the answer the challenge becomes more about being able to move your mouse fast rather than any sort of cognitive action.

The game is presented in a clean and crisp way with nice images and good background music that shows the game was made by a studio as oppose to a bedroom developer. This makes it seem like even more of a shame that the game is so short. The shortness was probably intended however as the game is never shy to point out that the developers have a range of other games for you to play.

In summary this is a well put together little puzzle game that you can pick up if you have 10 minutes spare in your afternoon. It will distract you enough to take your mind away from whatever work you're avoiding but don't expect to remember much about it later on that same day.

Hints and Tips:

  • If you get stuck on a puzzle try clicking on all items on the screen to see if any of them react.
  • Look out for the small differences between objects that otherwise look identical.
  • Try re-reading the instructions. You may have been doing the wrong thing all along.

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