Downhill Bowling in Review – Mario-Kart meets Bowling

downhillbowling1Being from New Jersey, there’s something about bowling that stirs the soul. The sights, the smells, the horrifically colored shoes… they all appeal to he suburban part of my heart. The App Store has given us a few good games that seek to emulate this experience. They seek to translate the feel of the ‘lanes’ to a mobile experience. Downhill Bowling, though, strives for something far grander.

This is without a doubt one of the most inventive games I have ever played for the iTouch. GameResort LLC has transcended the classic bowling experience and created something new, fresh, and original. With the addition of a Mario-Kart-esque gameplay mechanic, bowling is not the same.

downhillbowling2Downhill bowling includes 9 levels and one unlockable level. Each course you navigate through has 10 sets of pins lined up. As you make your way downhill, you must be careful not to miss them as that would be counted as a gutterball. While this may sound simple enough, there are increasing levels of difficulty aligning yourself for the next set right after you make a sharp turn.

The gameplay itself is along the same lines as some of the other Kart games currently available. You steer the bowling ball using the accelerometer. Unfortunately, you have no control over the speed. Even more unfortunate is the fact that you can’t easily go backwards to pick up that spare.

downhillbowling3Another thing that helps in the uniqueness of Downhill Bowling is its points system. There are coins frequently scattered throughout the course. Collecting all of them gives you a higher score. This is similar to other games within the Kart racing genre. The inclusion of power-up items such as bombs, hovering, jumping, and speed help create more of a Mario-Kart experience. Also, there are certain obstacles such as pipe-logs, cannons, and speed strips that make each course unique.

downhillbowling4The game can also be played in two modes. One mode keeps track of the points you scored per course. The other keeps a record of how long it took you to finish a course. Each mode has a leaderboard for both the local iDevice, but there is also the inclusion of a Global Leaderboard. Unfortunately, this is an area that does need improvement. You are able to see the scores and times, but there are no names. No one can truly take credit for their downhill bowling mastery. There is no incentive for excellence except to defeat some anonymous user until you yourself become king of the anonymous.

Overall, Downhill Bowling is a great inventive game. It honestly did have moments where I found myself smiling (i.e. The first time I saw the raccoon…). It continues to be a reminder of the standard of ingenuity, gameplay, and just sheer fun that the App Store can provide.

If you love bowling, love Kart racing, and love inventiveness, check out this game. If you’re hesitant with the price tag, try out the lite version first.


App Summary
Title: Downhill Bowling Developer: GameResort LLC
Price: $2.99 App Size: 21.3 mb
  • Inventive
  • Responsive Controls
  • Good Replayability Value
  • Anonymous Leaderboards
  • Not Able To Play iDevice Music
  • 10 Levels May Not Seem Enough


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