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Ultimate Bowling Fighter Review

Developer: Gamazura Publisher: Astraware
Release Date: October 5, 2005 Also On: None

Astraware has released a new game and it is not another puzzle game! If that does not already get you excited, then maybe the fact that it is a really good game will. How good exactly? Well, read on to find out. Ultimate Bowling Fighter is a bowling game. That by itself is not very special; there are many bowling games for Palm OS. What makes it interesting is that it actually feels like bowling. That might sound like a given to you, but not many games actually manage to do it.

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UBF is controlled with the stylus. You swing your stylus across the play field and the game interprets your movement and translates it into a ball movement. For example drawing a curve gives the ball some spin. The great thing about it is that it is a very intuitive way to control the game and that the interpretation works very well. There is an alternative gauge control if you really do not like the touchscreen, but it takes longer to play and is not half as much fun.

A problem in other bowling games is that the same situations repeat often because there is a limited set of things that can happen; this is not a problem in UBF. Situations do repeat sometimes but there is so much variation that you hardly notice it. Many different things can happen depending on your stylus skill, as well as on luck, which results in addicting and motivating gameplay.

UBF features five different characters. Often those are just skins and do not play any different but not in this game. Every character uses a ball with a different weight and you can “feel” it. There is a single game mode which is nice but the real flesh of the game is the tournament. Here you choose a character and then visit all the other four, animated with a Street Fighter-style world map. Every character has its own home location adding a little graphical variety to the game.

The sounds of the rolling ball and the falling pins are good enough to create a real bowling atmosphere. Further adding to that are the funny animations on a small display in the upper right of the screen. For every strike, spare and miss, a little animation is played. These can get a little repetitive after a while but it is still satisfying to see a pin getting his head cut off when you have thrown a strike. If you want to let children play the game there is a menu option to turn off the animations not suited for them and if you want to you can also turn them off entirely.

The game also features some music that is not very special but does get the job done. Long-term motivation is accomplished with unlockable features such as the fifth character and different locations. I played the game for at least 10 hours and still was not able to unlock all of the features. That is quite a lot for a casual game. And even after that there are still high scores to improve and the game is as addicting as ever.

Ultimate Bowling Fighter is a high-quality bowling game that has everything a bowling game needs. The bottom line is that it is still a simple bowling game but that should not put you off; give the demo a try. If you like the demo, you can be sure that the full game really is worth buying.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.5
Written by Ortwin Review Guide