While video games in general have been gravitating towards a hyper-realistic, gritty and brooding aesthetic recently, the App Store remains a refuge of color and wackiness, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s not to say that titles such as The Room: Old Sins ($4.99) and Inside (Free) are not fantastically engrossing experiences, but when I reach for my iPhone, I’m normally on the lookout for that lighthearted arcade romp that makes me forget about the depressing realities of 2018. The Frosty Pop Corps have been experts of the craft over the past few years, with games like High Dive (Free), Sprnkls (Free) and most recently Ninja Attack! (Free) lighting up the App Store with luscious production values and finely tuned gameplay mechanics. Kingpin Bowling looks like yet another strike from the prolific developers, as its spin (or roll?) on the endless runner formula looks full of charm and challenge.
My experience with bowling essentially starts and ends with Wii Sports, so I’m not best placed to comment whether the intended ‘pseudo-Mexican theme’ is accurate in Kingpin Bowling or not. However, the inspiration from the latest Pixar classic Coco is immediately evident, and the beautifully drawn graphical style gives even the most sedentary obstacles a life of their own. Unlockable balls (including the dreaded crying laughing emoji), achievements and high scores will give you purpose in your endless bowling quest, and the ability to share gifs is always a nice touch for those of us too lazy to create them ourselves. However, it’s the promise of one-touch controls that are most appealing to me. If these can work seamlessly with the randomly generated levels, Kingpin Bowling could be another essential release while standing on a packed train – after all, the bowling should never stop.
With a tentative release date of March, and a gamer-friendly free-to-play monetisation with a one-off IAP to remove ads, Kingpin Bowling is definitely one to watch for any fans of The Frosty Pop Corps’ previous titles. Keep an eye on our forum thread for more details on the release of Kingpin Bowling, and let us know your impressions on our Discord server.