I’m guessing the name “Skee Ball” is a trademark that could get Skyworks sued right out of the iTunes App Store, so that’s probably why this slick little game is called Arcade Bowling (also a pretty clever name in it’s own right).
Just about everyone in the industrialized world has played Arcade Bowling for real at some point, and if you haven’t then this is your big chance! It’s a game where you roll a baseball-sized ball up a ramp and score points based on what hole the ball lands in.
Arcade Bowling is a nicely polished and very faithful reproduction of this 100-year old game, and it throws in bonus opportunities where you can earn 5x the points if you get your ball into a hole that’s marked with a flashing color highlight. Skyworks also built in some accelerometer action so you can tilt your iPhone to affect the direction of your ball while it’s in the air! Nice. This feature really comes in handy when you’re trying to hit the 100 point hole fox a 5x bonus.
There are two game modes, Classic and Progressive. Classic is just like the real thing… you get eight balls which you roll with a flick of the thumb, and when you’re out you’re out. Progressive is where you’ll find the bonus scoring, and you keep playing until you fail to reach your ever-increasing point quota.
One real-world game component that Arcade Bowling seems to be missing is a slot that spits out tickets to be redeemed for prizes from a fat guy sitting behind a glass display case. This may seem like a huge stretch, but I would LOVE to see this feature built in! I could do without the fat carnie guarding the loot, but I think it would be awesome to be able to buy virtual prizes and show them off to other Arcade Bowlers.
Generally speaking this is a really high-quality app with nice sound effects and awesome graphics, but other features that I feel are must-haves in nearly all iPhone games are a global high score board and the ability to play while listening to iPod music. Right now Arcade Bowling lacks both of these functions which I hope will be remedied in a future update.
If you loved playing Skee Ball as a kid or just need something fun to pass the time on your daily commute, get this app. $1.99 is a fair asking price, and if Skyworks can fit in a global score board and virtual prizes it’ll be even more addicting than it already is.