Strike! Ten Pin Bowling (Switch) | Review

Wii Sports might not be making its way onto the Switch anytime soon, but at least we have the next best thing. Well, moreso if you’re a bowling fan. It isn’t surprising in the slightest that Strike! Ten Pin Bowling, an eShop title by TouchMechanics, is yet another port of an iOS game that’s been popped onto the Switch. At least it’s good to see the team did an exceptional job with porting it.  

Firstly, let’s all sigh with relief knowing that there aren’t any ugly avatars, shoehorned story lines, corny music (aside from one stock track that can be muted), or – heaven forbid – irritatingly cheerful announcers spewing out commentary in this one. There’s nothing noteworthy to mention in terms of its visuals and sound design, though. The main thing is that it certainly looks and runs a lot better on a Nintendo console than a phone.

You can pick from a huge number of bowling balls. The only difference is the appearance.

There’s a sizeable amount of game modes on offer here. There’s the traditional game of bowling, plus a triple batch of matches for extended plays and a short taster session for quick games. On top of that, there are numerous challenge modes that require you to knock down all the pins with limited balls (i.e. splits, spares, ones hidden behind red pins that you musn’t knock down, etc.). There’s even a trio of modes that change the shape of the bowling pins, which affect how bouncy they are, and how many shots you get before they’re reset.

Honestly, it’s easy to feel skeptical of indie titles making sport games that rely on motion controls. Here, it’s actually pretty accurate when it comes to registering your swings, even if it does struggle to pick up when you’re throwing a curveball. Oddly, , you need to hold down the X button to pick up the ball, but ZR must be pressed at the right time in order to toss it. It’s an odd design choice and may take a bit of finnicking around to get used to, though it does become second-nature soon enough. 

Loading times are lightning fast, and the replay footage can be skipped quickly. Good for those who don’t like waiting around.

There’s no need to play on the TV if you’re not inclined. In fact, it can even be played in handheld mode with the touch-screen. It’s great for solo play, and it doesn’t hiccup quite as much when you’re swinging to the sides. The icing on the cake is that it doesn’t suffer from any lag or slow-down this way, either. Very nice, indeed!

If you feel like a hotshot, you’ll be pleased to hear that the game does indeed keep track of the highest score in each game mode. There’s also a short list of achievements to pick from, though you can’t see what they are until you unlock them. There’s no grand reward for beating these, not even extra bowling ball patterns, of which there are plenty to pick from already. Still, where’s the harm in merely showing what needs to be done to unlock them?

Ran out of balls in a mini game? You get a few continues, which is good for casual players. These are optional, thankfully.

Strike! Ten Pin Bowling is a cracking title, thanks to its multitude of games modes and solid motion controls. Being able to play on the go really does sweeten the deal, as well. It’s an enjoyable party game if you want to let the good times roll with friends or family, especially if they still feel a bit nostalgic about the time when Wii Sports Bowling was still a thing. All in all, this title is well worth any ‘spare’ change you might have.

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