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Strike! Ten Pin Bowling review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Touch Mechanics
Developer: Touch Mechanics
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No
ESRB: E

Here’s my big problem with Strike! Ten Pin Bowling: it’s $10 on the Switch, and free in the iTunes store.

I know, I know: there’s not really any such thing as a free mobile game, and Strike! is no different. You need to pay about $10 if you want to unlock everything the game has to offer in the mobile version (all of which comes included in the Switch version), which means the difference between the two versions is arguably negligible when you get right down to it.

But still, even if you’re not getting everything in that free version — going by the names of the in-app purchases, it seems like you’re paying for different balls, as well as a couple of minigames — you’re still getting most of what Strike! has to offer, including the parts that are the most worth playing.

That said, if you don’t mind paying a Switch Tax, there’s a lot to like about Strike! It’s more or less a straightforward bowling game with a couple of minigames thrown in to pad out the game, but that doesn’t make it any less fun — especially if, like me, you’re playing it solo in handheld mode. It’s there that you see the game as it was designed to be played, with touch controls on a vertical screen, and it’s really easy to get sucked in to game after game. It’s intuitive and it’s addictive, which are two very good qualities for a game like this to have.

(Note: I’ll admit I didn’t even touch the multiplayer Joy-Con mode, since neither playing with others nor with motion controls appeals to me at all.)

As for the mini-games, I can’t say they add much to the game, but they at least throw in some variety. Modes where you have to avoid certain pins or pull off difficult splits offer, if nothing else, opportunities to practice your game outside of the classic 10-pin game, and the duck pin version, with its smaller balls, smaller pins, and increased throws per frame will probably give you a bit of a nostalgic blast. None of them are essential, but they’re there if you want them.

But again, it’s really hard to say you should buy Strike! Ten Pin Bowling on the Switch when you can download it for free on your phone right this second. It’s not the worst purchase imaginable, on account of the fact that it’s fairly well made, but that mark-up still makes it tough to swallow.

Touch Mechanics provided us with a Strike! Ten Pin Bowling Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B+