Head out to the lanes for a little fun with Rocka Bowling for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
What is it?
Rocka Bowling uses 3D graphics and some fairly realistic “physics” to give a relatively accurate bowling experience. You won’t need to worry about holding the device level because Rocka Bowling doesn’t use the accelerometers for anything; making the ball behave is all in the wrist (or in this case, the finger). The graphics are pretty good, except for the pins which are a bit angular when seen in the close up shots. The lane looks well oiled so you can see reflections of the scoreboard and bowling ball, etc. The lanes even have ceiling fans to help you stay cool while you play.
How does it work?
Basically, touch the screen near the ball and move your finger forward in a line along which you at the ball to travel. The game says to pull back then swipe forward; this imitates the basic movements used in bowling, but it’s not strictly necessary.
If you want to try to put some spin on the ball, hook your shot near the release point. Be careful with this because if you get it wrong you’ll be getting used to gutter balls (I can’t get a good hook on a bowling ball in the real world, either). When the ball is spinning the game will add some nifty contrails. The faster the ball spins, the tighter the contrails twist.
One thing to be aware of when you swipe to throw the ball is that the game does not necessarily start the ball in the center of the lane. You can adjust your starting point (left or right) by dragging the ball before you pull back.
There is also the ubiquitous earning of points you can use to purchase upgrades like new bowling balls, decorated pins, even a new look for the building.
Is it contagious?
I think the iPhone/iPod Touch screen is a bit on the small side to get the best control, but it’s still a fun game. It’s all the fun of bowling without the funny smelling shoes. The game play is straightforward and fairly intuitive. The physics of the game are accurate enough to be frustrating and fun (see the aforementioned spin factor). The banner advertisements are bit annoying, but for a free game it’s a fair trade.