As noticed by numerous SL-related blogs (here and here, for starters), the game by Kermitt Quirk that stormed Second Life is now available for the Game Boy Advance, hitting store shelves on April 24th. Satchmo Prototype perceptively points out that the GBA version doesn't come with a multiplayer mode, undercutting one of the key traits that made it so popular in Second Life. (Tringo would have worked better on the wireless Nintendo DS.)
With no multiplayer function, another essential mechanic goes missing from the Game Boy port: no gambling! In Second Life Tringo, each game typically begins with the players betting Linden Dollars into a group pot, with the highest scorer getting to scoop the winnings. This creates a great social mechanic (as Cory Linden first observed) where Second Life Tringo players jockey and bluff each other before each match, to keep people betting, and betting more and more, increasing the pot size by thousands of Linden Dollars. (The largest single pot I've personally heard of came to $125 worth of Linden Dollars.)
This form of socially competitive betting is what makes traditional gambling games like Poker so addictive-- and it's really what made Tringo, in my opinion, so successful in Second Life. In there, Tringo isn't just Bingo meets Tetris-- it's Bingo meets Tetris meets Texas Hold 'Em. (And winning large Tringo pots of virtual currency that could be converted into cash didn't hurt, either. Rumor has it that some top Tringo players can make $50-100 a day, or more.) So Tringo comes to the rest of the world via the Game Boy without its two main virtues. (But having played solo games in SL, I can say it's still a fun time-passer, so here's hoping it sells well on the GBA, anyway.)
All that said, my story on Tringo from last year-- creating the game, the design and business model behind its success, and the social impact it had, when it became a phenomenon-- is here.