BOWLING CROSS: FINAL FRAME has you bouncing bowling balls off of slimes, robots, and other creatures. Hopefully without getting in the gutter.
As a roaming adventurer, you’re going to be tangling with all sorts of oddball creatures that just want to give you a hard time. Dying can come at a high price (this is a “Roguelike-ish” game, after all), but you haven’t let that deter you from using bowling skills to do battle. Setting up your aim and power level takes a bit of practice. Your aiming reticule swings back and forth, and your power bar fills up on its own as well, so you’ll need to time your button presses to hit what you want. Luckily, none of the enemies do anything until your ball is moving. You’ve got time to try to get your ball going in the right direction.
Once the ball is rolling, it will damage anything it makes contact with. Some foes and objects will take a few hits, though. If you aim just right, though, the ball will bounce off walls and objects, landing further hits until it bounces all the way off the end of the screen. If it bounces back your way, though, you’re going to want to catch it. If you don’t, you’ll take damage. You’ll also get hurt if your enemies shoot or hit you while the ball is moving, too, so be sure to keep your bowler on the move. I got clobbered a few times while admiring how well my shot was doing.
BOWLING CROSS: FINAL FRAME is probably the first bowling game that I’ve ever felt genuinely invested in. I guess the sport just needed more killer trees and deadly robots for it to appeal to me, I guess.
BOWLING CROSS: FINAL FRAME is available now on itch.io.
Joel has been covering indie games for various sites including IndieGames.com, Siliconera, Gamasutra, Warp Door, CG Magazine, and more over the past seven years, and has written book-length studies on Undertale and P.T.. Joel is constantly on the lookout for digital experiences that push the boundaries of what games can be, and seeks to delve into the creative process, meanings, and emotion labor that goes into the work of artists worldwide.