I love to go bowling, but unfortunately the prices at my local bowlplex seem to be getting higher and higher by the day, so I don't go as often as I like.
However, as with most pastimes, there are bowling games that you can play without even having to step outside your front door. Bowling PC is one such game, allowing you to take to the allies at one of four virtual bowling clubs.
In terms of its depth, Bowling PC is pretty impressive. You can choose from six different characters, four different clubs and pick from four different types of bowling ball.
What's more, there are four different control methods for the game, each radically changing the way you play. Some are more intuitive than others, such as the 'Sim' mode, where you roll your mouse back and forward to control the flight of the ball (you can even make it bounce high in the air!
) The Arcade modes are trickier to master and require you to stop power and direction gauges at the right time. It's nice to have these options though, because it keeps your interest in the game alive.
Graphically, the game is well presented, with slick looking menu systems and excellent 3D recreations of the bowling clubs. The animation is fluid enough and you can even change the camera angle using the A, S, Z and X keys.
Despite its wealth of options and plush graphics, there is still something that doesn't feel complete about Bowling PC. Perhaps it's the fact that you don't see the characters bowling the ball, or the lack of satisfying pin-smacking sound effects or cheers when you hit them.
Fair enough, you do get a bit of music played when you get a strike, but I didn't feel this was satisfying enough to get me excited about scoring big points. In terms of its graphics and the number of game modes, Bowling PC is a class act. Unfortunately, it lacks that bit of character and fun that would've turned it from a good game into a great one.