iBowl: For those Can-your-Phone-do-this-ers, and that’s it

From the makers of iGolf comes iBowl, the game that promises that you can “take the lanes with you wherever you go.” But before you hang up your real bowling shoes, there are a few things you should know.
I myself got excited when doing my daily browse of the Top 25 Free applications in Apple’s App Store. After reading through several raving reviews, and considering its #2 position on the Top 25, I decided to give it a go.

The first thing you see when the application is loaded is a set of very simple instructions. Select what side of the lane you wish to throw from, and hold down the “bowl” button strategically placed in the middle of the screen (so you can cradle your phone in your hand) and bowl. Let go (of the button, not your phone), and watch your ball soar rather randomly down the lane and knock over pins. Their description on the App Store claimed it detected spinning your iPhone to spin the ball but I have yet to experience it.

Now, some of you might be thinking, it’s free what did you expect. Well, I didn’t really expect anything, after all, I wasn’t a fan of iGolf when it was released. I have to admit this game does have a few nice features such as the ability to play a full 10 frames, and a high score board to keep track of the ‘king pin’. But don’t let the “challenge a friend” option fool you, it just opens a new email with an inserted link to download iBowl.

A few suggestions from this lowly iPhone gamer would be to tighten up the acuracy on the ball movement down the lane, or even to explore other options like using touch instead of the accelorometer. Some realistic physics, or at least random pin action would help out.

Also, SGN could consider selling cases with adjustable wrist straps to lower the amount of iBowl related damaged iPhones. Changing the fake “challenge a friend” option into at least 2 player mode just goes without saying.

So although it is a descent presentation and a neat idea, this thing is about as useful as the apps iLighter and iBeer, mostly for those “hey can your phone do this”ers. I found that this application sat unused on the springboard unless I was showing it to people, and even then could only muster up a few frames before it got tiresome.

SGN seems to have some great ideas going with these iSports apps, and I’m excited to see what updates and future apps they bring us.