Here’s a chance to relive the glory days. Yes, that’s right the classic HyperBowl arcade game first introduced for use on PCs in the early 2,000′s has risen from the dead and made it’s way to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. HyperBowl, created by Technicat LLC, offers everything that the original did but now offers an interactive multitouch game-play experience along with the ability to play on the go.
What makes HyperBowl different from other bowling games? HyperBowl is a multidimensional experience where lanes are far from ordinary, offering historical, scenic, and other world like backgrounds, and meandering, obstacle filled scenic thoroughfares. Gutters at times can be dramatic drop offs from which there is no return as opposed to shallow depressions that quietly guide your ball to the end of the lane. There’s also a time limit, so instead of taking your sweet time to unleash a perfect bowl, you’ve only got 24 seconds to get the ball to the pins before you lose a turn.
Just getting the ball to the pins is a totally different experience than you might be used to. You don’t just line the ball up and flick it toward the target. Instead you’ve got to continuously swipe the ball until it hits the pins which introduces the need to stay focussed well beyond the point in which the ball starts rolling. In addition to continuous swiping, players are required to look down the lane and locate any obsticles, curves, bumps and depressions that lie in their path and need to quickly alter the direction of their swipe to avoid them. When balls make contact with obstacles or their surroundings they can do anything from slow down to a crawl, come to a complete stop, or can ricochet out of control and in into oblivion.
Standard game-play supports up to 4 players, but when in multiplayer mode everybody plays on the same device. It doesn’t support play via WiFi or Bluetooth. The app also includes Scoreloop which serves as the global leaderboard, and social community for the game. In Scoreloop you can challenge other players for coins; the highest score wins. This isn’t a real-time format though. You essentially post a challenge, play the game to completion and then wait for someone to accept the challenge and post a score to find out who wins.
So now that you know what makes HyperBowl stand out from other bowling apps, it’s time to find out how it fares. One thing’s for sure, HyperBowl definitely portrays a retro arcade feel that’s consistent with the original, and offers a uniquely different game-play that other traditional bowling apps simply do not offer. The levels themselves have unique sounds and details that certainly generate interest while playing. For example, ancient artifacts move realistically when you hit them, and in one of the levels shooting starts randomly shoot across the night sky from time to time. The sounds within the game are both futuristic and hollow sounding, adding a feel of mystery to the game. As much as these aspects of the game help to make it unique and different, I didn’t seem to find the game-play as engaging and addicting as I originally expected it to be. After half a dozen games I found it to be a bit monotonous. I can’t see myself going back to play it over and over again.
Ideally for me to be more excited about this game I would need it to be faster paced and more engaging. The pace of play currently is too slow for my taste and the inability to challenge other players for online tournament style game-play makes it feel a bit empty. I’d also like to see more levels included in the game. Currently HyperBowl offers 2 preloaded levels and 3 more that you can download from within the app for free (Classic, Rome, and Forest). Overall I think the graphics are pretty good, the concept of the game is unique and different, and HyperBowl loyalists will probably enjoy it, but unfortunately for most to be on the bandwagon I think the game requires a few upgrades before it’ll really sing.
Version Reviewed: 1.5
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad; iPhone OS 3.0 or later
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