Genre: Eeeeeee Sports
Release DatE: 7/18/13
Showing that there’s no genre that zombies can’t find their way into, G-STYLE games brings Undead Bowling to the Nintendo 3DS eShop. In Undead Bowling, zombies replace the pins, and you mow down hordes with a bowling ball. It’s this simple premise that the entire game revolves around.
In Undead Bowling, there are different types of zombie enemies, and three different modes to clear from each of those types in order to progress. The game starts you off with the basic zombie type and advances from there. In Survival the game drops a bunch of zombies onto the lane. You bowl with the goal being to crush as many zombies as you can. The player can take direct control of the bowling ball, moving it to the left and right to sweep zombies out of the way. Holding down the A button allows the player to quickly make sharper movements with the ball as it travels down the lane. Each turn, any remaining zombies will shuffle forward, and the game will drop some more fresh undead onto the screen. The goal is to kills as many zombies as possible and prevent them from shambling all the way up the bowling lane.
There’s also Hunt, where the goal isn’t to survive a set amount of rounds, but to kill a number of zombies. Both this mode and the Survival mode allow the ability to activate two different powerups. One is a giant spiked deathball, the other lets you trigger spiked flippers to impale zombies. Conversely, not using these powerups will give you a better score at the end.
Combo is the last mode, and the hardest as well. No powerups allowed. There is a set number of zombies to kill, however, you have to kill that number in one roll of the ball. There’s a life bar which drains with each miss, until it’s game over.
You start off killing basic zombies, and then there is a tier of fat Hulk-green zombies, and then there are the headbanger zombies that split in two and the torso remains behind to crawl up the lane. Then there is a tier to clear all of the modes described above with a mix of all three zombies. If that can be accomplished, a boss battle is unlocked. Beat the boss and the next difficulty unlocks, at which point you get to do it all over again.
Graphically the game looks fine. There are only a few types of zombies, but everything looks decent and the 3D works well with this style of game. The audio is well done. Presentation-wise, the menu is great and well laid out.
The game is fairly simple. All of the modes play out about the same way. You roll the ball and try to sweep it back and forth to crunch zombies. Combo requires a little more attention to how you manually manipulate the path of the ball, otherwise it’s all about zipping it back and forth in the middle of the lane. The game mostly controls with the A button and the circle pad. A throws the ball and the the circle pad moves it, and holding A while using the circle pad sharply changes the direction the ball is moving in.
One of the bigger problems with the game is that it feels repetitive quickly.
That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable. There is something fun about squishing the zombies with a bowling ball, but there’s not enough of a difference between how you play with the different modes or difficulties to keep the experience feeling fresh instead of feeling slightly tedious. It’s the kind of game that is great for when you want to play something for just a few minutes and not for an extended period of time. However, at $6.99 on the eShop, it’s hard to recommend, considering that there are many cheaper alternative ‘quick fix’ type of games available on the eShop, or the thousands of games on other portable devices that are either a $1 or free to play. While enjoyable in short spurts, every mode plays too similarly, and once you beat the game, you just get the option of doing it all over again on a harder difficulty. The game records your highest score, but there’s no option of entering initials to compete with friends locally, or any way to compare your score to other people playing online.
Short Attention Span Summary:
Undead Bowling is simple and enjoyable, however, there’s not enough meat dangling from this zombie to make it stand out from the horde, or make it worth your $6.99. If you’re interested, I’d wait for a sale at least.