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Midnight Bowling - WiiWare review

Straight into the gutter


  • Ker-razy 'personalities'
  • Story mode! Whoohoo!
  • Playing with the family!


  • Less accurate than Wii Sports
  • Not easy to use
  • Stupid character stereotypes

We’ll tell you what the Wii needs: a bowling game. Imagine that, eh? One that somehow used the remote to simulate the underarm motion, maybe mapped the release to the B button, and got it right. Imagine if it was classily presented with easy instructions. Man, you’d play that with granny at Christmas. It might even convince the parents that this videogaming lark is worth a go.

You can see where we’re heading. Let’s stop beating around this particular bush and just whack it: the controls in Midnight Bowling are not as accurate, easy to use or painstakingly refined as those in Wii Sports Bowling. Which was a freebie. Why Gameloft imagined people will pay actual money for this is totally beyond us.

There’s the usual assortment of celebrity-lite losers that stretch the definition of the term ‘character’ to its fullest, and various venues with a different neon sign in the corner. The one thing this does have over Wii Bowling is a story mode, although this is only really necessary if you want to play virtual bowling on your own. It continues Gameloft’s habit of featuring stereotypes that want to ‘prove themselves’ through a sport their social class would never deign to touch in real life. Aspirational, yeah? Imagine someone swinging a bowling ball but not letting go. Several kilos of colored granite smash into their teeth, leaving them a pulped and bloody mess. That person is the unfortunate purchaser of Midnight Bowling.

Nov 5, 2008

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A cheap (in more ways than one) dowload that is quite a lot worse than Wii Sports bowling, offering no reason to buy it when compared to what came with the system.

US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating3+
Release date6 October 2008 (US), 4 October 2008 (UK)