I never could understand arcade games that are based upon gambling games. Games that are skill based like video poker and so on works well as video games, but even game shows, where most of the thrill involve winning a load of money and prizes, comes off as pointless when made into a video game. Lottso! Deluxe is a gambling game that plays like a game show with Bingo and scratch cards; unfortunately, it falls into the pointless category no matter how many power-ups and pretty cards it tries to throw my way.

Each game consists of 10 rounds. At the beginning of each round, the 6 holes in the middle of your board will fill up with 6 different numbered balls. You have to take these balls and match the numbers you have in the 6 cards you would have. These are all drawn at random. Imagine playing Bingo, where you get 6 numbers called instead of 1, where you can only use each number once instead of multiple times, and where the cards are scratch cards with numbers on them instead of Bingo cards. At the same time, you “compete” with 4 other players who are doing the same thing to their cards. I use the word “compete” loosely, as I will show you here, it is not a fair competition.

Every time you fill up a card with numbers completely, you can play the game on the card. There are four types of cards: Match, Scratch, Trade-in, and High Bar. Respectively, that would be; scratch until you match; scratch until you uncover the spoiler; scratch, and if you’re not happy with the number, trade it in by scratching again; lastly, scratch 1 icons out of three and see how far your bar goes. On top of those four, there are the Lottso cards. These are basically progressive Jackpot cards. If you empty 3 cards on one side at the same time, you activate a Super Lottso card that gives you tons of points when you fill it all in.

Once in a while, you can get “power-up” balls that you can use to confuse, swap cards, hit all the numbers off your opponent’s cards, and so on. Here’s the unfair part – while you can use a power-up against an opponent in this competition mode, they never use anything against you. In other words, it’s not really much of a competition. You can also get a “charm” bonus where, if your chosen “charm” displayed at the bottom of the screen matches any of the balls, you get a bonus. Your opponents don’t seem to get this, at least not as far as I can see.

There are a set of goals that you can achieve in Lottso! Deluxe in each level. They are superfluous though, since you really only need to accumulate enough points to get to the next section of the map. The rest are just there for your own bragging rights. Since there doesn’t seem to be an online leader board, there isn’t much point in having bragging rights either. Speaking of going to another point on the map, there doesn’t seem to be any difference between one location and another except for new cards. The background for each location is green. That’s it. Green.

Graphics in Lottso! Deluxe can be described as retro and colorful, and it does the job for this game. The cards are all very well designed and it does lend a casino feel to the game. Music is the same for every level, and honestly after a very short while you’ll find yourself turning it off. The sound effects are appropriate and the character interactions are a lot of fun to watch, but predictable and repetitive as well.

Like traditional gambling, Lottso! Deluxe can be extremely addictive. However, in a game of mostly chance and very little skill, it could get boring really quick. By the time I got to the third casino I wished the game was over. It’s still a lot of fun for an hour though, mainly because the rules are so well laid out. The only problem is that you HAVE To finish off 10 rounds or you lose your progress, and that definitely takes more than a few minutes, given that you can’t skip to the end of the rounds when you’re done, and the score screens in between rounds. Try it – maybe I’m just not the gambling type.

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