“America’s fastest action game.”
Released by Schaper in 1969, Shake Bingo delivered the anticipation and excitement of the classic game of chance right into homes.
The Schaper version of Bingo followed a similar play pattern to a traditional game of Bingo that was often played in community centres and church basements. A few adjustments were made for home players. In place of Bingo cards, the Schaper game used a moulded plastic tray with built-in numbered cubes; Bingo balls were replaced with dice to call the numbers; and, the columns of the Bingo cards were not marked with the letters B, I, N, G, O. The object of the game remained the same: complete a row of six numbers in a single horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line.
Players each rolled a die. The high roll started the game and got first choice of the colour of chips they wished to use during the game.
Players rolled both dice during their turn. They then placed two chips — one for each number rolled on the dice — on the cubes with the corresponding pips on the playing board. The absence of the columns marked B, I, N, G, O meant that the chips could be placed in any column with a pip match. If the cubes of any given number were all claimed by the opponent, the player lost the ability to place the chip. Two chips could not sit on the same cube.
Rolling a one in the combination was considered “wild”. This allowed players to place one chip anywhere on the tray, a move that offered a strategic advantage. Because players could not have chips on the same cube, rolling a player who rolled a “wild” could make the game more challenging by blocking their opponent’s ability to form a straight line. Alternatively, the player could remove an opponent’s chip from anywhere on the field and replace it with their own.
The first player to form a straight line won the game.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included the playing field with a dedicated area for the chips and dice embedded at the top of the tray, red chips, blue chips, and two dice. Instructions were printed inside the box top.
Shake Bingo is an excellent addition to a collection of bingo games produced for the home market. Games published over the decades take different approaches to the components. Milton Bradley published a game in 1939 that used wooden tokens instead of balls. Kohner included its pop-o-matic bubble in 1973 as a mechanism to “roll” the dice, Pressman used a round plastic cage with a hand crank in 1980, and Cardinal’s 1981 version used a cylindrical bingo machine to dispense the numbers.
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