Game Reviews

365 Bowling HD

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| 365 Bowling
365 Bowling HD
| 365 Bowling

365 Bowling HD circumvents the age-old problem of recreating a physical sport for handhelds in a unique way: it removes any pretence that you’re physically bowling.

Instead, all actions are replaced with a repetitive sequence of tedious tap menus. And there’s no effort to replicate real word physics, either: you'll spend a lot of time watching balls and pins fly through each other, like ghosts.

Connect2Media’s 365 Bowling HD looks more like an average Java sports sim than a game lovingly crafted for top-end Android smartphones.

Everything from its upscaled ‘HD’ visuals to its pixelated player faces and robotic animations scream cheap and cheerful mobile port. Except at £1.99 it's not very cheap.

Amateur league

After customising your player from a simple menu of grim face types, play styles (by spending points on skills like spin and power), and ball sizes (stop giggling at the back), 365 Bowling HD wastes no time getting to the dramatic lane action.

Control relies entirely on a simple, painful repetitive four-tap system. After positioning your player, you have to time your taps from a relatively fast moving sequence of scrolling icons to adjust the spin, power, and aiming of your roll.

It's not exactly heart-pounding stuff the first time you do it, and once you hit on a solid combo of taps you'll rarely deviate from your winning strategy unless you're trying to clear a really tricky split.

Careering off track

Although you have to earn licences to enter the four different levels of tournaments by scoring a certain number of points over ten frames, after you’ve won the Amateur and Junior contests without breaking a sweat you’ll likely be weary enough of the tedious gameplay to abandon any hopes of bagging the Master trophy.

There are other modes to explore, though, including ‘thrilling’ solo Practice games, pass-the-handset multiplayer, and mildly compelling Challenges where you have to clear specific objectives.

Sadly, 365 Bowling is simply too dry and dull to inspire you to spend time improving your skills. You’d be better off rolling your cash down Galaxy Bowl’s lane – at least it has controls that try to recreate the sport in question.

365 Bowling HD

A tedious tap-fest that does little to capture the feel, or tension, of the sport it simulates