Chances are that if you're bowling on the Nintendo Wii, you're most likely still playing the bowling game bundled in Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. It's straightforward and to the point, but if you're looking for something more unusual to spice up your bowling life, then Alien Monster Bowling League might have something that suits your fancy. It's the first bowling game that lets you play simultaneously with a partner, which is a nice change because bowling games often feel like they take forever because you spend most of your time waiting. We had a chance to check out the game briefly when publisher Destineer came by our office. We started off with a traditional bowling lane, except we were playing as a couple of hulking creatures that would turn their heads and sneer at us when we took too long. After our first game, we switched to a lane that was an intriguing combination of skeeball and bowling.
Being able to bowl at the same time as your partner is a cool feature, and to give the game a competitive edge, you can unleash whammies, also known as fun ways to mess with your opponent's lane. You can twist their lane, block their pins, shoot lasers, or cause an earthquake, which works best if you time it right, because they can always wait until the chaos settles before taking their turn. Using the B button and swinging the Wii Remote is all you need to do to get things started, and you can add some spin to the ball by rotating the remote after the ball leaves your hands. If you're really lazy, there's a couch potato option involving the nunchuk, where you can use the analog stick to throw the ball instead. Your power bar will build up as you go through the frames, which allows you to pick what kind of extra feature you'd like for your ball, whether it be cloning it or splitting it into three balls.
We played on two lanes: one was a run-of-the-mill bowling lane, and the other was set up like a skeeball ramp, with three holes for you to toss your ball into. If you can manage to get your ball into the opening that isn't ablaze, the ball is funneled down a long ramp where it eventually reaches the pins. The environmental hazards add a unique touch, turning the usual mundane game of bowling into something a bit more exciting. There are normal lanes too, with human characters to play as if you're not keen on the idea of aliens from outer space taking up your lane.
With 14 characters and bowling lanes to choose from, you should find something that suits your play style. The Campaign mode will pit you against the best alien bowlers in the galaxy, and your goal is to win in order to save your planet. It sounds intense, but if you'd rather just face off against a friend in your living room, you can jump into Quick Play mode.
Get ready to get off the couch (or not) when Alien Monster Bowling League ships in late November.