Release Date: 1978
Publisher: Atari
Controller: Joystick
Players: 1 – 2
Genre: Sports
Alternate Title: N/A
Model #: CX2628
Rarity: 2
Programmer: Larry Kaplan

This is a simple yet effective digital version of the sport of bowling.

For the one person out there who is unfamiliar with the game of bowling, the concept is a simple one. Basically you stand at the end of a long lane with gutters on either side of it, grab a large heavy ball and roll it towards a group of ten pins. The goal is to knock them all down with a single throw, but if you fail on your first attempt you get another opportunity to pick up the stragglers and earn a spare. This goes on for ten frames and the person with the highest score at the end wins (the scoring is complicated, with variables given for consecutive strikes, spares, etc). Depending on where you are in the country/world there are local customs, usually involving drinking beer on certain frames.

As for the 2600 version, you have three different skill settings. The straight ball setting is the closest approximation to the real game for most of us, since unless you have spent years perfecting your throw the ball will typically only go in a straight line. The curve ball setting is a fair representation of the pro game, since it gives you the opportunity to make the ball curve into the pins. This makes strikes easier to come by.

Now for those of you who have ever wondered what bowling would be like with telekinetic powers, the steerable ball game setting is the one for you. Once you roll the ball you will have full control over it as it screams down the lane. With a flick of the controller the ball will move up then down then back up again, allowing you to perfectly place the ball’s entry into the pin set, giving you the greatest chance for a strike. While this is totally unrealistic, it is a lot of fun to mess around with.

The only other things of note are the ability to play against a friend one on one, and a nice little flashing animation celebration when you get a spare or a strike.





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Derek Slaton Derek Slaton (61 Posts)

Derek began playing video games in the early 80s, cutting his teeth on every Atari 2600 game he could get his hands on. This kickstarted a lifelong love of games, which continues to this day. No matter how advanced the systems and games become, the love for Atari remains supreme, which is why the Atari 2600 Encyclopedia project was done. With this massive project completed, Derek looks to begin work on another system encyclopedia, hoping to pay tribute to the games that shaped his childhood.