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Bouncy ball bowling ball video game! December 1, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Smiley, Toys, Video.
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You’re reading this post’s title right: I’m writing about a bouncy ball, which functions as a bowling ball, inside a video game.

That is just layers of awesome!

The other day, I was poking around Apple’s Mac App store for free games to try out on my MacBook, and I found this bolwing game called Gutterball — Golden Pin Bowling. I tend to stick to card games (solitaire, blackjack) and word games (TextTwist, Scrabble, crosswords) for simple leisure games on my computers, but something about this bowling game made me think of my old Ten Pin Alley game on my now-antique PS1. The games aren’t at all the same, really, but I did remember how much I enjoyed blowing hours and hours playing computer bowling, so I figured I’d give this game a shot.

Turns out, this isn’t a standard bowling game. It can be, if you play it straight, but the designers give you all sorts of fun options to jazz up the game, including a “steering wheel” to direct your ball down the lanes, bombs that produce exploding strikes, and wild custom balls you can buy by collecting “golden pins” during game play. I skipped to the end of the custom balls list just to see what the priciest options were (a fireball, a disco ball, the earth), and then I worked my way back through the list.

Which is when I discovered the smiley face bowling ball.

My smiley face bowling ball, which serves as my player icon, is in the upper left corner of the load screen.

Here's a close-up of my bowling ball.

The smiley face is only on one side of the ball and faces you when you place the ball on the lane to begin bowling:

Here's my bowling ball on the lane, ready to strike!

A close-up of my bowling ball on the lane.

But here’s the best part: the smiley face bowling ball is also a giant bouncy ball! Seriously — this thing is jumpy, bounding down the lanes and, if you throw it right, ricocheting around inside the pin housing after a strike!

When you win the game (which I always do, because right now I’m playing solo), the game shows the winner’s ball rotating across the score screen, which gives me my best view of my giant smiley face bouncy ball bowling ball!

Every winner deserves a smiley face!

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