AMF Bowling Deluxe 3D
Decent arcade bowling action, but what's with not being able to interrupt play?
The concept of bowling games always confused me. The sport itself never looked that fun, so how much would a game based on that be? That was my mentality going into 3D AMF Bowling Deluxe but I was proven wrong. First off, the game takes away the boredom of bowling by approaching the sport in a more arcade-like manner. In short, it's not very realistic, which is what makes it good.
If you want to play through tournaments, the game first lets you pick from a handful of characters all with varying stats which dictates how much power they have, how easily they can control the ball, and so on. After that, you enter your first match and are subjected to some trash talking by your opponent. Each opponent's style of speaking and slang differs. It's a nice touch.
The actual bowling part is separated into three stages. First is the direction stage: moving your character left or right at the head of the lane. Then there's the power stage: your character's arm swings back with the ball and you must press 'OK' when the arm reaches the desired power level. Be careful though, because pressing 'OK' too late can cause your character to step over the line and fault. Lastly, there's the spin stage, which takes any ounce of realism away from this bowling game -- not that it's a bad thing. The spin stage occurs after the ball has left your character's hand. For a few seconds, you can control which way the ball spins, but you better act fast because this stage only lasts a few seconds and after that, the fate of the ball is out of your hands.
I like that this game doesn't take itself too seriously. While the ball is rolling in the lane, bright sparks fly out of it. The game also contains super-moves which launches characters into a cartoonish sequence of moves before throwing some powerball and hitting a perfect strike. The characters' facial expressions are also worth a laugh.
For a 3D game on a mobile device whose primary function is not games, the graphics are commendable. Instead of striving for realism, characters have cartoonish faces and expressions. The only problem I had with the graphics was in the spin stage; they were a bit choppy, which made it hard to figure out what type of spin I should put on the ball before the ball rolled out of my control.
The intuitive controls were also a plus in my book. As soon as I started the game, I knew which buttons to press and how each stage worked. For a mobile game, this is a big deal because no one wants to be stuck reading instructions while waiting for the bus. One thing I thought should have been added to help out mobile players is the option to save during a match. Bowling matches that last 9 or 10 sets per player start to get long and while there's a pause function, it doesn't help when you have to immediately put the phone away and you don't want to start the match over. Getting four strikes the first five sets and then having to start over would be frustrating.
Despite those minor flaws, the game is still enjoyable. It may not make me want to pick up a real bowling ball and throw it at some pins, but it's still satisfying to pull off a spare from two pins on opposite sides of the lane.
What's Hot: 3D graphics, funny facial expressions, arcade bowling action
What's Not: Frame-rate drops during ball spinning stage, no option to pause or save mid-game