PBA Bowling 2 In Review – Can You Handle Your Balls As Well As The Pros?

There is certainly no shortage of sports games in the App Store nowadays. Everything from ping pong to hockey can be enjoyed on your iDevice; you name it and as the proverbial line goes, “there’s an app for that”. Recently I was given to opportunity to review Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling 2, a bowling game that features some of the biggest stars in the PBA. Seeing how I haven’t hit the bowling alley in years, I was eager to check it out. Read on to see if PBA Bowling 2 delivers the strikes, or wound up in the gutter.

Playing the game is pretty simple. To bowl, swipe your finger up the screen and tilt your device if you want to add some curve to your ball. Adding to the realism, bowling balls come in various weights and even lanes will have different oil patterns. These two factors will affect how your ball rolls down the lane to strike the pins.

There are 3 types of game modes available. Single game, Tournament and Spare Challenge. The first 2 modes are exactly what you’d expect, and the challenge mode will have you trying to knock pins down in various configurations (ie. making the spare).

If you’re looking for a quick game, then the single mode is what you want. You can select the alley, your ball and your opponent (against the CPU, a friend or yourself). It’s a great place to work on your skills. The tournament mode is where you pit your skills against actual professional bowlers. You compete one at a time against different real life pros, increasing in difficulty as you progress further.

All the game modes are enjoyable and offers something different depending on your mood, with Spare Challenge making for a nice change of pace from “normal” bowling. One thing I do find lacking though is online multiplayer. After playing against the CPU (or friends on the same device) for a while, it would have made it even more challenging and fun to bowl against other players from around the globe.  One feature that is rather cool is the ability to customize your ball. You can choose the weight, as well as the design of the bowling ball. In addition, you have the ability to add a special effect to the ball that affects how it goes down the lane. You start out with limited options but more are unlocked as you progress in the game.

Visually the game is not too bad, though it could certainly be better. That said, it still looks better than a lot of other sports games I’ve seen. My main issues are that some of the lines aren’t as clean as I would’ve have liked and I did notice a bit of graphical clipping and glitches (e.g. When the arm comes to sweep pins away, you can see some of the pins coming through the bar).

Overall, I feel that PBA Bowling 2 is a solid effort by Concrete Software. It’s a good bowling game that could be even better if the graphics were kicked up a notch and online multiplayer implemented via subsequent updates. If you are a bowling fan, chances are you’ll enjoy this one. The added realism of actual pros will put fans right beside some of their favourite PBA players. And even if you’re not a big fan of the sport, you can still enjoy the game for what it is. While it may not be visually stunning, the gameplay is fun and it’s still one of the better bowling titles I’ve come across at the App Store.

App Summary
Title: PBA Bowling 2Developer: Concrete Software, Inc.
Reviewed Ver:2.0.3Min OS Req:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. 3.0
Price:$2.99App Size:19.4 MB
  • Enjoyable game play
  • Play against real life pros
  • Customization of ball
  • Graphics need work
  • No online play

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