Bowling Bonanza 3D

Published by Enjoy Gaming, Developed by -

Genres: Sports (1-4 players)

US release date: May 16th, 2013 | EU release date: Oct 24th, 2013

Prices: $5.99 (US) | £3.30 (UK) | €3.67 (EUR)

Bowling Bonanza 3D review

Bowling for Quality.

Jared Ettinger wrote this game review.

Review written by
Jared Ettinger

May 29th, 2013

Bowling games have been a staple on Nintendo consoles for some time. Games like Super Bowling on the Super Nintendo and Milo's Astro Lanes have always been there for fans, but stayed on the sidelines. It wasn't until the unprecedented success of Wii Sports that bowling in a video game became a notable genre. Enter Bowling Bonanza 3D, the first dedicated bowling title to come out worldwide on 3DS. How well does it bring the experience of being at the lanes to this handheld? Read on and find out.

The presentation is clean and takes advantage of the hardware's graphics. I was particularly impressed with some of the lighting effects- the shininess of the ball, the reflection of the pins on the lane, etc. The varied environments, from traditional sport alleys to neon night lanes, are displayed well.

Bowling Bonanza 3D screenshotGameplay is as simple as whipping out your stylus, and flicking it forward to hurl the ball at the pins. To help adjust its trajectory, you can push the two directional arrows on either side of the ball. The angle at which you flick the ball also affects where it rolls. These, and the spot-on physics, give something as simple as throwing a ball at some pins a good deal of depth.

The biggest downside I found with this game was the use of 3D. When working ideally, it is just fine and gives a bit more depth to the action. But put it at even a slightly off angle, and it can be a literal eyesore. On top of that, ghosting effects are a common occurrence regardless of how you position the system. Do your eyes a favor and play this game with the 3D slider off.

Something that disappointed me was the lack of wireless multiplayer, online or local. Here, multiplayer is done via a 'hot seat' mode- up to four players can alternate on the same system. This is nice, but makes things kind of cramped having everyone share one screen. Otherwise, the only people you have to compete with here are computer players like A. Yamazaki and T. Robertson. I think a bowling game with online multiplayer could be a lot of fun, but that still has yet to happen.

Bowling Bonanza 3D screenshotThe music is decent and energetic at first, but later on becomes repetitive, loud, and frankly, kind of droning. You can use all of these options in the 5 different modes- Arcade, League, Quick Play, and Knockout. Unfortunately, they all feel the same, because you're not doing anything different in any of them. The matches themselves seem to play out very slowly (even in the quick play mode), making Bowling Bonanza 3D not a very good pick-up-and-play kind of game.

There's a substantial amount of content for the asking price. There are over 30 balls to choose from, with most of them being unlockable. There are several pin types to unlock, too. There are plenty of bowling alleys to play at as well. If you want to customize your experience even more, you can alter the size and weight of the ball to your liking.

I don't think Bowling Bonanza 3D is an outstanding game, but I don't think it's something terrible. In a word, it's standard. If you enjoy bowling games, you'll probably enjoy this, but there's no addictive arcade quality to draw players not so invested in the genre in. There's plenty of bowling here, but as far as I'm concerned, it's not a bonanza.


Gameplay: Gameplay score: 5

Graphics: Graphics score: 6

Sound: Sound score: 2

Lifespan: Lifespan score: 2

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