Stupid? Like a Turkey
Ten Pin Alley 2 is like going to a one-dish buffet. You expect to get stuffed off several different types of food, but after you pay the entrance fee, you realize that only cold meat loaf is available. There are no options or fun within this game.
This game features a very weak, four-click style of control. The first click is where you want to stand on the lane as an arrow bounces back and forth. The next click sets the power while the fourth controls the spin. That is it. There are no other options. You do not get to set the weight of your ball. You do not get to adjust the oil on the lanes. You only get to choose from eight different, poorly drawn characters. Each bowler bowls differently but the game does not tell you this. The only way to know how each character bowls (curve type, righty/lefty, etc…) is to look it up in the instructions booklet. This is completely unacceptable.
After about four frames, the player will probably hit his first pin. The four-click control scheme is so poorly developed, it seems that every type of roll is random. Once you do manage to hit a few pins, it is easily seen that the ball physics aren’t exactly what you would call accurate. Strangely, once the ball travels down the lane and is about to come in contact with the pins, the camera changes to an overhead view. This view distorts the spin and collision of the pins. The ball and pins spin and roll in ways that just should not happen. Because of this, pins will sometimes pass through other pins without any type of collision detection. Plus, the computer even suffers from the same horrible game play problems as the player.
Besides not giving the player any type of game play options, there are only two modes of play: practice and a tournament mode. This game can be played with up to four players with one GBA (just pass the GBA to the next bowler). While this is a good idea, this game is so bad I couldn’t possibly see four players playing a complete ten frame game without turning off the power and smashing the GBA cartridge to bits. The game features no save function either.
I find it very hard to believe that a bowling game would be released without any type of trick shot practice mode. Practicing complicated splits and playing mini games make video game bowling fun. But then again, even if you did hit a 7-10 split, there would be no way to save a replay due to lack of save function.
Besides from the funky looking pins, the rest of the graphics in this game suffer as well. There are four different lanes to pick from, but the differences are only subtle in the background and the music will want to make you pull your own ears off. There has been no effort put into any of the game’s audio capabilities.
I could go on and on about how horrible this game is, but I do not want it to see any more recognition. I don’t understand how a bowling game can be made without changing the weight of the ball, the type of lanes, or different styles of play. It can be clearly seen that this game was made on a very strict budget, but it is disappointing to see a bowling title that is completely designed around bowling to be far inferior to Super Monkey Ball Jr’s mini bowling game. It is very sad to see a game be completely left in the dust by a competitor’s mini game. To honor this game’s horribleness, I’m giving it two awards: the worst bowling game I’ve ever played, and one of the worst games on GBA. The GBA’s start up screen is way more fun than playing this game. Please stay away from this game and play Monkey Ball instead.