If there’s one sport that lends itself to motion control in video games it’s bowling. And yet for some reason, most mobile bowling games tend to go the touchscreen flick-to-play route.

This approach can be fun, but it lacks both authenticity and depth. I-play Bowling fully embraces motion control and it’s all the better for it.

Don’t let go

It’s plays a little something like this: you set the starting point of your ball by touching and dragging it left or right.

Once that’s set, you drag an arrow to determine the direction of your throw. Then you simply draw your phone back and mimic a real bowling swing (tilting left or right to apply spin), making sure not to complete the fantasy by releasing £400 worth of phone out of your living room window.

It works surprisingly well, and it seems to be the most effective way of playing the game. Many games of this type can be played the cheats way, simply flicking your wrist to initiate the move, rendering the whole motion control side of things pointless. That’s not the case here – not consistently anyway.

Of course, the fact that you play the game this way does raise questions as to its portability. Are you really going to stand on a busy bus and swing your arm like an Elvis impersonator?


But while it nails the mechanics of play, I-play Bowling is slightly lightweight elsewhere. There’s a tournament mode, but it feels a bit rushed and half-hearted, with little effort made to jazz it up with flashy presentation or colourful opposition.

The design-a-bowler feature is similarly low-key, enabling you to change a few broad parameters such as hair cut and gender from a limited and fairly bland selection. It’s hardly worth the effort.

Still, I-play Bowling hits the pins dead on with its solid reproduction of the bowling action. If physical interation in games is your sort of thing, or you’re just hankering for a decent bowling game on Android, look no further.