Commodore User


Author: Ferdy Hamilton
Publisher: Mastertronic Added Dimension
Machine: Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #45


Ten-pin bowling has now hit our computer screens in a big way, we had the version on Indoor Sports, the Access 10th Frame, and now Mastertronic release the first (Cue fanfare!) ever budget version, but can cheapo bowling possibly work? Hang on while I put on those shoes that never fit and I'll tell you.

You can either play against the computer or against a human opponent (or the Editor!) For those of you who have been too busy attending Cynthia Payne's seedy parties over the last five years and have missed out on the bowling craze, here is a run down of the sport in which you have to wear those ugly shoes! The basic idea of the game is to stand at the end of an alley, usually with a friend named Brad, and roll a ball down a wooden alley and attempt to knock down ten pins (which is Yankie dialect for skittles).

You control your player and must first choose where he should start his run up from. You must then 'press fire' to begin the throw and then it's up to your good judgement to release the ball.


Scoring in bowling always looks mathematically impossible, but it's quite simple really. You are allowed ten goes per match, and are allowed to throw two balls every go. You score one point for every pin you knock down, except when you 'Strike!' which is knocking down all the pins on your first of the two balls; this way you get to add your next go's scores to the go before. Told you it was simple. There is just one other piece of bowling terminology I think it would be most useful for you all to learn and that is a 'Gutterball'; this is when you roll the ball rather poorly so it ends up in one of the two gutters on either side of the alley.

Strike is a fun game but its fault definitely lies in the computer vs. player mode, this is due to the fact that for a guy with a memory of 64K he sure is a nerd. On the first ever game I gained a score that was over five times greater than his. I mean hardly surprising that I beat anyone that dares to challenge me, but after one game it's slightly ridiculous. The two player game however is good fun and can get extremely frustrating.

This game has definitely reassured me than ten pin bowling does work on the computer. Strike is not an immortal classic but definitely better value for money than the Hoddle and Waddle single.

Ferdy Hamilton

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