Life in the ten-pin lane

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 May, 1997, 12:00am

PBA Bowling For PC CD-ROMs Get your ball and rack up the pins - a favourite sport makes its Windows 95 debut in PBA Bowling.

It is the official computer bowling game of the Professional Bowlers Association.

If you know how to play real ten-pin bowling, you should not have any problem understanding PBA Bowling.

A game has 10 frames. A bowler bowls two balls for each of the first nine frames unless a strike - knocking all 10 pins over - is scored.

In the 10th frame, the bowler gets two balls unless a strike or a spare is scored, in which case he or she gets three balls.

Bowlers take turns until each has completed frame one, then the first bowler bowls again for frame two.

In team games, the first team-one bowler starts, followed by the first from team-two, then the second from team one and the second team two bowler.

PBA Bowling offers different skill levels, which means it is not too difficult to enjoy. There are Practice, Beginner, Novice and Pro modes to suit different needs.

The game supports up to eight players. If individual games are too boring, try team and league games.

Multi-player mode is also available.

One of the advantages of this game is that you can control a lot of things, from the spin you put on the ball, to the power of your throw, and select male and female players who can be right- or left-handed.

You can change the colour of players' clothes, adjust lane conditions and customise the weight and colour of your ball.

The controls are straightforward and easy to use. The graphics are nicely produced, but sound effects are shoddy.

To run PBA Bowling, you need at least a 486DX/33 MHz IBM PC or compatible running Windows 3.1 or later, with 4 MB of RAM, 14 MB of hard-disk space and a Super VGA graphics card (640 x 480, 256 colours).

For better performance, a minimum of a 486DX/66 MHz IBM PC or compatible running Windows 95, with 8 MB of RAM and Windows compatible Sound Card is best.

PBA Bowling, which is a 32-bit game, will run best under Windows 95 or Windows NT. It will not perform to its fullest under the 16-bit operating system of Windows 3.1 or Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

MEGAHINT: Start by playing as a beginner and practise rolling straight balls. Concentrate on throwing with the same power, swing and release every time. Work on one variable at a time until you are satisfied that you are doing it properly and consistently.

MEGAHINT: Whether you are working on strikes, spares, straight balls or hooks, always change one factor at a time and see how that affects your throw. If you work on more than one aspect at a time, it will be very difficult to pin down.