Modern ten-pin bowling is among the simpler games to emanate from North America. You won’t find any silly offside rules, and it’s not frowned upon to drink while playing.
But how does it fare in video game form? Well, exactly as you’d expect it to. PBA Bowling 2 is about as plain and simple as you can get.
There isn't much variety on offer in terms of game modes. A single frame against PBA's star opponents is the bread and butter here, with the computer characters ranging from incredibly precise to rather sloppy, depending on the difficulty setting. You also have the ability to play against a human in turn-based, pass-the-handset fashion.
A PBA Tournament throws you into a long competition, while the Spare Challenge mode presents you with a series of spare combinations that you have to tackle in one shot.
The PBA Bowling 2 controls have only been marginally tweaked (from the Android version) to take advantage of the Xperia Play's physical buttons. You can adjust the position of the ball using the left and right D-pad, but you still have to flick the ball using the touchscreen. This makes the gamepad a little awkward to handle.
The ball control itself is weighty, well designed, and feels fairly faithful to real life. You can add spin to your throw by jolting the phone either left or right, which is useful for last-minute tweaks to your shot.
Once you complete certain challenges and record certain wins, you unlock a range of ball properties, allowing you to customise your set of bowling balls. For instance, you can make a super heavy ‘Gargantuan’ ball for immediate strikes, or a particularly spin-happy ‘Tornado’ ball.
Each lane possesses its own oil pattern and name in lights above the alley. Of course, these are only really noticeable if you look out for them. Otherwise, the game follows the same old routine - flick, spin, flick, spin.
It’s that repetitiveness and simplicity that makes PBA Bowling 2 both an accurate representation of bowling and, ultimately, a shallow and fairly short-lived game.