Arcade Air Hockey & Bowling Review– Whowahw
Icon Games Entertainment previously offered us Arcade Darts, a great mini clamped down by a suspicious control scheme. With their Air Hockey And Bowling, the controls are smooth and absolutely fantastic. Add the robust content, I’m not just talking about the fact that this is a 2-in-1 game, this game is hitting the right notes. And I tell you in advance that these are only a couple of things that make this game incredibly awesome.
The in-game graphics is good, the menu interface is better. Several of the minis out there don’t even pay attention to their menu interface but this game in particular implements an edgy and modern one. Opening the game for the first time, you’ll be asked to create a profile and choose one among a number of varied avatars to represent yourself, and after that it will be all fun.
The background music of the game is good, but there is something wrong. Some people may not pay attention to this however for me the music sets the mood of the game and if I hear a track fade and restart again in an awkward fashion it breaks my suspension of disbelief.
There is no Arcade mode, but you’ll have Practice, Season, Multiplayer and Exhibition. Multiplayer, as we all know, is a hotseat mode which can cater up to 4 participants. Practice, unlike Arcade Darts, is highly recommended. Well, the Exhibition mode can give you a low-level AI (for bowling) if you want to practice but it will waste your time waiting for its turn to finish. I’m recommending Practice vehemently because you’ll need to learn how to control your throw and manipulate the spin of the bowling ball.
For bowling, there are three variables to consider. First the position of the bowling ball, do you want it in the middle of the lane or the far corner beside the gutter? We all know in real life that throwing the ball in the middle of the lane does not necessarily warrant a strike, the game sees to it that it emulates that. After you place the ball, you’ll have to lock it in what direction you would like to follow (by pressing X you stop a fast swinging pointer). It doesn’t stop there since you’ll have to control your throw by pulling and pushing the joystick. The joystick phase will judge the speed and the spin of the bowling ball.
For Air Hockey, you can choose up to three sizes of mallets: Small, Medium, Large. You can press X for fast speed and O to block the puck away. The latter instantly transports your mallet to defend the goal. Sounds like it will break the game? No, the mallet will be front of the goal, not totally blocking it. And in some cases you’ll be scoring for your opponent if you are too late or too early in blocking. There is a bug in the game when the puck is stuck in the corner. Four out of five, I can unstuck the puck but the AI, they can’t get the puck out of there.
Oh yeah, the AI. Part of the reason why I asked you to play Practice first is the AI is amazing. The low-level AIs are ridiculous, but the mid-level up is fantastic you must master the controls first. During my first event in Season mode (an air hockey event) I was pitted against a good opponent in the first round and followed by incompetent AIs in the succeeding rounds. The championship round, however, was a classic streetfight, it came down to the wire, 6-6 tied, race to 7 for the clincher. And I lost, and I accepted it, it was really a match not outright AI cheating. In the Season mode both Air Hockey and Bowling events are offered, the two are not separated, so you’re both an Air Hockey player and Bowler. By the way, the bowling part has INSTANT REPLAY. How cool is that? How I wish the air hockey do have instant replay also.
There are lot of trophies to earn, not just by winning the event or taking over the rankings, but also by completing achievements (like winning 3 matches in a row). There are also several bowling balls, air hockey tables etc. etc. to unlock as well. I can’t really say anything else but whowahw-who-wo-wawaw-who-waw-wo-wo-wah-wahw(this is how one of the air hockey’s background music sounds like and it’s stuck in my head).