Elf Bowling 1 & 2
Ready to get "bowled" over by elves? Don't look at Elf Bowling, all you'll find is a gutter ball.
You know what? Gaming inspiration can come from the least likely of places. Take the Internet, for example. A spawned Flash-animated game could very well be the next big thing for the industry. Remember Alien Hominid for the GameCube and PlayStation 2? Well, that little bundle of joy became one of the bigger sleeper hits for last year, and still remains a delightful little game to own- and for $20, no less.
But that doesn't mean every Flash game on the Internet would make an ideal game release. Ignition Entertainment apparently thought otherwise and felt that Elf Bowling 1 & 2 deserved a release for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance, especially when you consider it's the Christmas season and, surprise, knocking over elves with a bowling ball is fulfilling Christmas needs. Or something, I dunno. So here it is, a release for your DS, and I'm trying to figure out what idiot thought this would be joyful.
Obviously, being based on a Flash game, you run the risk of losing interest after only a few plays, in which Elf Bowling is most certainly guilty. Sure, there's both the original and the sequel thrown on one cartridge, but they both play about the same and play rather blandly. You can't add any spin to your ball or go for any trick shots, you just aim and bowl. Repeat. Aim and bowl. Repeat. Even trained chimpanzees who can't figure out a channel change will more than likely adapt to the game formula from the first two frames. Without any characteristics or actual bowling control, the game formula runs flatter than a pancake in the middle of a highway.
Worse yet is the presentation. It's like Ignition actually implanted the Flash code directly onto the game cartridge and decided not to spruce it up to give it any kind of flashy appearance. The game animates poorly and doesn't have much action going for it, aside from some cute elf animations here and there. Variety is pretty much zip, and Elf Bowling insults you further, literally. These high-pitched idiots can't shut up for five minutes, hurling stupid comments and ridiculously awful elf-themed jokes at you. When they burst out into song, I swear, I wanted to go back to the Media Play store, talk to the clerk who promised it contained "holiday joy", and slug him right in the face.
Elf Bowling 1 & 2 is enjoyable, yes...on the Internet. And it's free there as well. Dropping $20 on the DS or Game Boy cartridge would be a complete waste on your part, as you find yourself hosed by a game promising holiday cheer and instead visiting the reindeer stalls and giving you the content. If you really want to see elves get what they deserve, buy a box of Keebler's cookies and chow down. You'll feel better.
What's Hot: Based on the hit Flash games; you get to knock over elves.
What's Not: Painful gameplay, horrid presentation, unwithstandable elf voices.