Roxy Racoon’s Bowling Bash Review

A different take on ten pin bowling, Roxy Racoon's Bowling Bash features a rolling racoon, multiple obstacles and customisations (have you have seen a racoon in a fez?).

Roxy Racoon’s Bowling Bash? Ten pin bowling? Bor-ing! How dare you! I’m quite fond of the fat man sport as it’s a nice way to be relatively good at something without breaking a sweat, but maybe a fingernail or two. Do they work in video games, though?

That’s not a topic I’m prepared to debate, but I will say that Sinomod Games did make an effort to make it as feature-packed as possible. If you’re buying a bowling game expecting not to play bowling, then you need to re-evaluate your buying habits. That said, it’s nice to have some variety.

Rather than explain the concept of bowling, Roxy Racoon’s Bowling Bash puts your racoon in a series of setpieces (in the story mode, that is). Instead of darting down an alley, you have to navigate a 3D open world (ish) and knock down the pins. The problem, however, is the environmental hazards. You’re locked into it in the very first stage until you hit a particular score.

Roxy Racoon's Bowling Bash Review - Gambler
A gamble. Source: Steam

You must dash down the middle from a starting position, avoiding gem pendulums. If you hit them, you won’t die, but it’ll slow you down and… the stages are timed. There are ten frames, and you have to aim for a minimum of a spare as far as I’m concerned. On the rare occasion you go straight down the middle unscathed, there’s no guarantee you’ll hit the pins the right way. Sure, you can go down the side, but then you have to backtrack, get enough speed and line up for the shot. Did I mention the timer?

You can play the game with a controller or a mouse and keyboard. Opting for the latter, you control the speed with W and S, left and right with A and D, and camera management with the mouse. Sometimes you can charge your run and jump, giving you a little bit more autonomy. Presentation-wise, it’s an indie game alright, and it’s pleasing to the eye – particularly the colours. The voiceover is a mixture – some of it is in English, other times it’s not. Fortunately, there are subtitles, but between loading screens where there aren’t those, I had no idea what was being said other than “bullseye”.

Roxy Racoon’s Bowling Bash isn’t ridiculously hard, but for a game that rewards you with cute costumes as you progress, you’d think the target market might appreciate something a tad easier. So, after collecting all the gems on the level but still can’t get through? Exit the story mode, head into the arcade, and practice getting a high score.

Roxy Racoon's Bowling Bash Review - Custom
Custom. Source: Steam

As for the totem tracker mode, you can select the levels you’ve unlocked and knock down a series of pins. You have to knock them all down, though. On first inspection, I moved swiftly, but not seeing a timer; I thought I’d take my time. Boom: end of the run as your time is up. Wait… what? Where’s the timer then? Suffice to say, we didn’t go back to that mode. Shame really, as I’d love to have unlocked more costumes and poses for my character…

Roxy Racoon’s Bowling Bash is an interesting take on the sport and maintains some interest with unique settings, the jumping ability and customisations. Of course, you can climb the leaderboards if that’s your thing. For me, it’s not a game I could get into as I was expecting something a little more casual. Even the no-frills bowling alley – without any obstacles – became monotonous about halfway through, so it’s not one I’ll be returning to. However, if bowling’s your thing, and you reckon you’d be consistent with your scores, have a look-see on Steam.

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