League Bowling – SNK (1990)

Bowling is a pretty simple sport.  Basically you just roll a ball down a greased lane and attempt to knock over 10 pins.  There is no strategy, no teamwork.  You don’t have to memorize plays or try to understand lots of different rules.  All you have to do is knock over as many pins as possible in two shots.  Why then is it so hard to get a bowling video game right?  I have played lots of so-so bowling games that just weren’t much fun to play.  Thankfully SNK got it perfect!

The first thing you will notice are the graphics.  They are crisp, bright and colorful, exactly what you would expect from a Neo Geo game.  The bowlers are well drawn giving it a really cartoon look.  I don’t have any complaints about the graphics at all as I think they are perfectly represent bowling.

The sound is spot on.  When you hear the ball rolling down the alley and smacking the pins you almost feel like you are there.  Along with the graphics, the sound perfectly replicates the bowling experience.

Even with great sound and graphics if the game doesn’t play well then all is lost.  Again SNK got this perfect.  You have really good control over the game.  First you set your character where you want them to bowl from.  Once you have that done then you must choose what kind of spin you want to put on the ball (if any) buy press the button when it is over the spin left, spin right or center marks on the meter.  Then the power meter starts fluctuating so you press the button again to set power.  Once that is done your bowler with throw the ball and hope for the best!

This is a great party game.  Up to 4 players can play so there should be lots of good competition.  If you get tired of the regular rules for bowling you can mix it up a bit.  Strike 90 gives you more points for strikes and spares, 90 points and 60 points respectively.  This mode is okay but Flash is what you will probably play if you don’t play regulation.  There is a point bar that highlights a certain point value for a strike or a spare every second.  If you get a strike or spare you get the amount of points displayed.  This adds a lot of strategy because you have to throw the ball before it gets to the point value you want as it registers as it hits the pins, not when you release the ball.

I found this to be the best bowling game I have ever played.It is a ton of fun with friends or even if playing solo.  Picking this game up would be the best decision you made this year!

Reviewed by Jason

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