Bowling isn’t about scoring a perfect game. It’s about the experience: the sound of clattering pins, the unification of the players, the rented fungus-farm shoes that turn dignified bowlers into Ronald McDonald, and the fried rat tails–er, onion rings. But if you don’t want to hang out at a venue that will smell like tobacco smoke until the end of time, you can count on Flick Bowling 2 for a fun and lighthearted bowling experience.
“Lighthearted” is the best word for Flick Bowling 2′s story, though you can skip it and opt for free play or multiplayer if you prefer. When the heroes Jen and Jim go bowling (you can play as either one), the evil Baron von Schtopwatch kidnaps the other. The remaining bowler must head back in time and challenge famous historical figures at bowling.
No, sir, it is not a skirt!
Epic story made short, you’ll be bowling against Cleopatra, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, and some surprise guests. Cheer up: these ladies and gentlemen were pretty okay at dominating entire continents, but they’re not infallible in the alley. To bowl, you select your ball, slide your player into position, tap, then draw a line to let the ball fly. You can even draw a curved line to put a bit of a spin on your ball.
But getting your ball to curve is one of a few physics problems you’ll encounter in Flick Bowling 2. For the majority of the game the physics are well done: the pins topple accurately, and the ball moves as it should if you throw it straight. But if you want your ball to curve one way, chances are it will go in the opposite direction and gravitate toward the gutter. Moreover, it’s not wholly clear how speed works. The speed at which you draw your throw-line doesn’t seem to determine how fast your ball will roll down the lane. Even using a differently weighted ball doesn’t seem to have much effect on gameplay.
A little-known historical fact.
The characters in Flick Bowling 2 definitely move like they’ve never bowled in their life, but the background graphics look great. Each alley is suited to its time period with some creative touches–like Napoleon’s bowling pins, which are done up as a platoon of British Redcoats. The music is unremarkable, but the sound of the pins falling is comforting for any fan of the sport. There are occasional needless voice clips, but they’re blessedly non-invasive.
The problems in Flick Bowling 2 sound like they’re a lot to get around, but the good points about the game outweigh the bad points by a stack of bowling balls. If you don’t mind a little (false) history in your bowling, pick it up.