A hand-held animated bowling game did not sound exciting to me until I discovered Downhill Bowling for the iPhone. Released by Game Resort LLC as an alternative to the free Downhill Bowling Lite, this iPhone app is a clever, addictive game that is appealing and fun for all ages.
Downhill Bowling is so much more than bowling. The tilt controls provide precision handling of the direction of the ball as it careens through canyons, ricochets off rocks, flies off ramps, and of course, knocks down bowling pins. Similar to a driving or racing game, Downhill Bowling requires good hand-eye coordination. However, the ball has neither brakes nor variable acceleration.
There are ten levels and two modes, regular and timed. Each level offers a different terrain with varying doo-dads you can pick up like random raccoons who hide in trees and accompany the bowling ball when it is shot out of a cannon. You can gather bombs or growing devices which help increase your chances of getting a strike. Poisonous mushrooms, on the other hand, slow you down and make your ball wobbly.
Levels One and Two are simpler, and luckily for uncoordinated me, the ball can’t “die” in these levels. Higher levels are more challenging with difficult-to-avoid pitfalls. In Level Eight, if the ball falls off the edge of a cliff, it burns up in a fiery canyon. For extra points, Level Two has sheep you can run into, and Level Four has snowmen that you can eagerly knock over.
Downhill Bowling is hard to put down. After playing the game for even a few minutes, its perky tune sticks in your head and when you stand up from your chair, you still feel like you are still racing downhill at breakneck speed.
Game Resort LLC recommends restarting your iPhone after installing Downhill Bowling; this step seems to fix the crashing problem reported by some new users.
The only other problem with this iPhone app is that it is addictive and it will eat up your time. If you are fond of games, Downhill Bowling is an entertaining winner.