Bowling to Beyonce's "Naughty Girl" at the trendy "Star Light" alley? Sign us up.
Having bowled a few games in my life (in between all that illegal cockfighting), I have never heard Miss Beyonce's Naughty Girl at the local alley and I hope I never do. But for some bizarre reason it fits in Gameloft's saucy sports title, Midnight Bowling, a wonderful game that's about as hot as my homemade salsa and just as sweet as ripe mango.
What Gameloft's essentially done is create a fantastic bowling game and surrounded it with its trademark Midnight presentation, and everything that bombards the senses, from the MIDI Naughty Girl track to the alleys decorated with all sorts of neon totally immerse the player. This isn't some retarded bowling game where you square off against the AI for fish and chips. These are the cream of the proverbial crop (rises to the top...holla back), young strapping lads and hot vixens of the night who raise the stakes and bet all they've got, and unless you've got a steady hand and just the slightest bit of bowling sense (as well as some confidence-Ole!), you're going to be manipulated and appropriately hustled.
Thankfully, the game's remarkably easy to play and control, so if you screw up you have no one to blame but yourself. The screen displays a 2D image of the pins, the lane, and the bowling ball, which is positioned at the bottom of the screen. You position the ball by either pressing 4 and 6 or left and right. After deciding on an angle you tap OK (HOME) or 5, then the power meter appears. Select just the right amount of juice and your on screen persona (either a man or woman) will let her rip, and to add some spice (as if this game needed more seasoning), you can control the spin of the ball using Left and Right.
In theory, the entire game can be played with the directional arrows and the HOME key, so there's no need to fumble about with the rest of the keypad. But regardless of which control scheme you adopt, Midnight Bowling is a very user friendly. Again, if you're losing, you aren't fit to shine my gold teeth.
The game does feature Instant Play, which allows you to just hop right into a quick game instead of messing with the locals, but if you've got some serious time on your hands you can enter the Midnight Bar, where you'll visit various alleys and compete against a series of opponents. The developers have also peppered some skills challenges into the ladder, so, for example, you may have to nail one pin without touching these two boards set up on either side of the lane. And everything in Midnight Bowling revolves around money, so the more you suck, the less green you shove into your lint coated pockets.
Lastly, in addition to Tournament there's also Battle Mode and Challenge, but these games aren't available from the start and will take some time in order to unlock.
One thing this game doesn't lack is style and Gameloft's done a wonderful job with its presentation. The neon, shifty characters, night club atmosphere, the animated marquees that play regardless of whether you knock down pins, and that lovely music really combine to form the type of game that makes me want to bet the mortgage. It just has an exciting Las Vegas quality to it that makes it unique, this raw and exciting Friday night party style.
Having played countless frames of Monkey Bowling in Sega's Super Monkey Ball games (thereby making me an expert), I can say with total confidence that Midnight Bowling is the most accurate representation of the sport that you'll find on a mobile phone. Once again, Gameloft has really impressed me. Next up...Midnight Cock Fighting! Come on Gameloft! We'll make millions!
What's Hot: All that Naughty Girl sass
What's Not: I dunno. This game's pretty sweet