Bowling Superstars : A New Java Games

Bowling Superstars How can a game as simple as bowling have such a complicated scoring system? It’s like the whole thing was designed ...

Bowling Superstars
How can a game as simple as bowling have such a complicated scoring system?

It’s like the whole thing was designed to be processed by a computer, with strikes and spares lining up to create seemingly impossible jumps in score once a player is good enough not to roll the ball into the gutter.

Like the game it’s based upon, Bowling Superstars is as simple to play as throwing a round ball down a well-polished wooden lane, but scoring big requires a canny eye, a steady hand, and some disappointingly involved number-crunching.

Trophy going spare

Bowling Superstars tries to make things a little more interesting than its competitors by putting the player in charge of one of six cartoon characters, ranging from a football-mad Brazilian boy Lil’ Ze to lumbering Mohawked Swede Bodger.

Each player comes with a range of stats that determine his power, ability to spin the ball, and accuracy down the lanes. The stats don’t have an overwhelming impact on play, but the difference between characters is just about enough to be noticeable.

The choice of opposing character also determines the type of lane used during the main mode, ‘World Cup’, although this is purely a cosmetic touch.


Bowling is handled through a ‘three click’ system that allows you to set the direction, spin, and power. Pressing the ‘5’ key locks the moving arrows for each individual segment.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds , not least because each arrow moves at a frighteningly fast pace, making it incredibly tricky to keep two shots exactly the same.

There’s no way of going back after selecting a bad throw, either, so if the direction is all over the shop you’ll have to rely on spin to keep the ball out of the gutter.

This system means that while it’s still a lot harder than in real life to completely mess up a shot, it’s surprisingly tricky to score consistent strikes.

Carry the zero

Over time things do become easier, not least because practising the Precision mini-game can raise the character’s accuracy stat, but overall getting a strike remains a satisfying experience.

The main issue with the game is the long processing times after lining up the shot. While on the one hand it shows the title is number-crunching hard to work out the results, it does break up the flow of the game quite considerably.

If waiting for the computer to process the mathematics isn’t something that’ll put you off your run-up though, Bowling Superstars is an enjoyable and tricky simulation of the sport.

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