Weeklies

Game: "Elf Bowling 1 & 2"
System: Nintendo DS
Genre: Sports
Published by: Other

Reviewer: -RoG-
Posted: 12/16/2009

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.

Overall rating: Half
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
Dec 16th, 2009, 12:00 PM
I remember when I was but a lad in the year 1999 and I had the free web game on my computer. Oh what fun I would have as I was only 11 at the time and didn't know any better. I would spend a whole 15 minutes of my life, trying to kill every animal, sure that there was some hidden prize for doing so (I think there was a deer, a frog, and a rabbit if I remember correctly).
Forum Virgin
Dec 16th, 2009, 01:19 PM
There's a movie too.

Yes. A movie.
Pickled Patriarch
Dec 16th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Mechareaper - yeah you can hit a reindeer with the bowling ball when it walks up. No rewards that I know of for hitting all of 'em... and let's face it, based on the complete lack of quality of every other aspect of the game, the rewards wouldn't be worth the effort at all.

Brolita - Wow, you're right. Talk about milking something for far more than it's possibly worth. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460811/
Riot Control
Dec 17th, 2009, 12:39 AM
My eyes hurt... And not because I'm feeling sleepy.
Magic squirrel
Dec 17th, 2009, 12:48 AM
Sadly I have seen the movie...bad animation...bad voice acting...bad plot...
Member
Dec 17th, 2009, 05:16 AM
I do recall when this first circulated and then I remember the hooderah about how it had a virus embedded in it and that you shouldn't download it. And sadly, I think I remember seeing the release of both game and movie and thinking what a waste they both were.
Retardedly Handsome
Dec 17th, 2009, 10:48 AM
I heard they are going to release "frog in a blender" early 2010...I'm so excited!
pickled
Dec 17th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Naughty children should receive this in their stockings instead of coal.
SKATASTIC
Dec 19th, 2009, 07:43 PM
I remember the virus that wiped out the world. That was the real Y2K.
Forum Virgin
Dec 20th, 2009, 11:04 PM
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
fungineer
Dec 24th, 2009, 02:48 AM
i watched that video in its entirety for some reason, and even though i've never played the game, i feel like i just did... and i hated every second of it. i feel like this game should have earned a zero pickle rating-- a half pickle seems too generous, even though that's the worst rating something is supposed to be able to get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drow View Post
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
it seems unlikely that you can shoot anything since you're playing a lame version of shuffleboard. however, there is a game called "conquer antarctica" in which you have a team of penguins that shoots at another team of penguins. the voice effects sound oddly similar:

http://www.freeonlinegames.com/shoot...ntarctica.html