Review: Bowling (Atari 2600)

This review covers the Atari 2600 game Bowling. We find out if this game is worth a try.

This game was released in 1979.

The game is pretty straight forward. You are playing 10 pin bowling. You can position the player with up and down. You can also “curve” the ball after release at any point by pressing up or down, though once you curved the ball, you couldn’t curve it anymore. You can keep track with a very basic score card that appears along the top of the screen.

A strategy I ended up employing was just rolling the ball along the bottom and listening for the number of “rolls” before curving. While I wasn’t all that great at nailing the timing, I could usually pick up a spare after knocking down all but one or two pins.

Graphically, this game was decent enough. One thing I found odd was that you have a birds eye view of the pins, but you also have a side view of the bowler in the same image. I thought the small dances for spares and the longer dances for strikes were entertaining as parts of the screen flashed. It was interesting that the ball retrieve was animated though.

There was hardly anything for audio. There was no music and the sound effects consisted of the sound of the ball rolling, the pins getting hit and the dancing effect. Nothing much more then that. So, average sound there.

Overall, this game certainly strives to deliver an “exactly what it says on the tin”. It more or less offered a basic package of what bowling is (kind of) like. It does provide some entertainment, but gets old after a while. A decent game at first though.


Highest score: 182

General gameplay: 17/25
Replay value: 5/10
Graphics: 6/10
Audio: 3/5

Overall rating: 62%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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