Game: "Elf Bowling 1 & 2"
System: Nintendo DS
Published by: Other
Review: Look, I'm all for holiday-themed games, but I'm also all about people putting a lot of effort into said games. Elf Bowling was a big hit back in 1999 as a free web game and that's pretty much what it should've remained as. It's not a game, it's a novelty that gets forwarded around in emails for a week or two and then quickly fades away. Yet somehow, this novelty was released on the Nintendo DS (and GBA) in a bundle called "Elf Bowling 1 & 2" and some people were foolish enough to shell out $20+ for a copy of it, not realizing what they were getting themselves into.
The concept behind Elf Bowling is something I can easily get behind: Santa's elves are on strike, so he decides to punish them by using them as bowling pins. Great premise for a game... if only the execution were on par with the concept.
Honestly, this would've been better as a quick animation rather than a playable game, because I truly can't play the thing for more than 30 seconds without getting sick of the insanely repetitive gameplay and sound effects. I swear, hearing the elves go "Ahhhhh!" as the bowling ball approaches them followed by Santa's "Ho, ho, ho!" gets stuck in your head like a song you absolutely abhor, yet can't stop thinking about. By nature, bowling isn't the most exciting of sports, but there are plenty o' video games that make it quite entertaining such as Super Monkey Ball. Elf Bowling takes all the fun out of it and gives you bad jokes such as "Elf, Elf Baby" (a spoof on Vanilla Ice) instead.
The sequel is just as bad too, only you're playing shuffleboard instead of bowling - so why not call it Elf Shuffleboard? Brilliant. The only satisfaction you can get in the sequel is, if you shoot an elf too far, it will fall into the ocean and land in the jaws of a bloodthirsty shark. Trust me though, the novelty of that visual is not nearly enough to make it a game worth playing.
With graphics that looked very dated when it was actually released, poor gameplay and sound effects that are as pleasant to listen to as nails scraping a chalkboard, this is one ho-ho-holiday game you should avoid. But don't let my words convince you, just see if you can stand to watch the following gameplay video in its entirety. Trust me, watching the video is just as fun as playing the game itself.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
Please someone confirm this for me. I seem to remember, on the computer version, of elf bowling 2, that there were penguins that marched up the iceberg, in the background, you could shoot them, and I think you got a few points for each one, and if you shot it in the head, youd hear a voice say "headshot!". I see no penguins in the GB version
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