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Genre: Bowling :: Players: 1 :: Released: 22/6/08

I-Play Bowling Review

Developer: Iplay


Game Features


Great motion sensing for compatible handsets


Not too great on standard handsets

Save Option
Bus/Tube Friendly
See Compatible Handsets












Review Details
Handset Nokia N81 8Gb
Time Played 2 hours
Game Progress Silver Cup

Costas Stephanides’s Review

Review Date: 10/7/08

Don’t let your phone fly out of your hand.

Think mobile, think casual, think bowling. Bowling games are probably one of the most common games on the mobile after cards and 3 in-a-row block matchers. It's a great game that's well suited to mobile devices. Simple graphics, easy controls and a format that everyone knows should make bowling games big sellers. There is hardly a developer that hasn't realised this and almost every has tried their hand to it.

To differentiate themselves from the pack, I-play have upped the ante and created their bowling game and added motion sensing to the mix. As great as the idea is, accelerometers are only included on a few handsets at present (one easy way to check is by rotating the phone in camera mode from portrait to landscape - if the image adjusts accordingly, then you have motion sensing capabilities). The game plays great on the K850 and newer Nokias, just remember that you don't need a full swing to play. How does the game play for the remaining 300 or so handsets?

To put it simply, it's ok. All the fundamentals are there. The graphics are clean and sharp although lacking a few sparkling special effects. One small complaint though is that you can't see both player's scores on the screen at the same time. The control system works really well; choose your starting point and angle of attack. Then stop the moving power bar to select power and finally add a little spin if you want (you can add spin quite late). The animation is a little basic and fallen pins will drift over standing pins without actually knocking them down.

There is no multiplayer option and the game centres around the tournament mode. Practice mode is thrown in for good measure but accomplishes little. The tournament sees you battle your way through a bunch of players through a bunch of different cups. While the challengers get progressively harder, you are only ever fighting yourself. If you can manage to score one strike, you just need lots of practice to score a strike on every throw. That is the ultimate aim of any bowling sim. To add a little bit of a side challenge, trophies are awarded for beating opponents by 100 points or scoring 6 strikes in a row and other amazing feats. At least these are something else to work towards in addition to the dream 300 tally.

Naturally, games using motion sensors are going to use up a lot of memory on this aspect. Certain other features are bound to suffer and you would hope that people would understand and accept the limitations of the mobile processing power. The problem comes when non-accelerometer high end handsets also have the same shortcomings. Designing two distinct and separate games for each group is unfeasible for the developers but will the consumer see that? As if anyone was unaware, but at least it does show that the motion sensor has a place in mobile gaming and maybe we can expect more Wii inspired games on the mobile.