By Mastertronic Added Dimension
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2

Published in Crash #41


We're back to the Ten-Pin bowling lanes again, and, similar to the 'real thing', the key to success in this simulation is correctly timing the ball's release. If this is done too soon the ball's dropped, too late and your foot's flattened!

The bowler moves left and right along the 'top' of the alley (screen left actually), and pressing fire releases the ball. The alley threshold must not be crossed, doing so constitutes a foot fault and no points are scored.

You have two balls with which to knock down the ten pins in a 'frame', with a point scored per toppled pin. Pins still standing after a delivery are displayed on an inset top left of the screen. A 'strike ' is scored when all ten are felled with the first ball of a frame. This earns ten points, plus a bonus of the score from your next two balls. Demolishing all ten pins with both balls is a 'spare', earning a bonus of the score from your next ball.


The score per frame and a running total over all frames is displayed at the bottom of the screen, the winner being the bowler who accumulates the most points at the end of ten frames.


Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Use of colour: restricted; brown, black and white
Graphics: good bowler sprite, otherwise uniformly simple
Sound: nothing inspiring
Skill levels: one
Screens: one (plus inset)


'Strike can hardly be described as a masterpiece, the gameplay is simple to the point of being tedious and high scores are achieved much too easily. Your character shuffles around fairly well and the view of the pins is a nice touch, but the graphics are fairly bland. The major problem is that the simulation is unrealistic - the pins don't fall logically and more often than not they fall in the same pattern no matter where your ball strikes. This would be a nice addition to a compilation package, but I wouldn't recommend it as a game in its own right.'


'To say that I disliked Strike is an understatement. The whole impression of the game is very bare - the graphics show poor perspective and little imagination. Using the one-screen format is a bad choice - it removes the worry of whether you've put on enough spin or not - but there isn't any spin option so that detracts even more. The computer's a strange opponent too, varying from four or five strikes in a row and then missing the pins completely for the rest of the frames.'


'This is the third Ten-Pin bowling simulation to appear on the Spectrum. I don't particularly like the way in which the action is viewed - everything happens on one screen which means the pins are displayed in a scrunched up box at the top. Controlling the player proves awkward, however positions are soon learned and some degree of control can then be accomplished. A program for dedicated Ten-Pin fans only.'

Ben StonePaul SumnerRichard Eddy

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