iPad App of the Week: PBA Bowling Challenge

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Who doesn’t like great iPad apps? At iPad Insight we definitely do. With that in mind, we offer up a quick review of an excellent iPad app, or a few great iPad apps, here each week.

Our weekly picks for Best iPad App of the Week are published here every Saturday. Check out all out picks below and you’ll soon have a collection of stellar apps for your favorite tablet.

This week’s pick is PBA Bowling Challenge.

If bowling brings back happy memories of the scent of spilled beer and Aqua-Net in a beehive hairdo, or memories involving league night and funny shirts, PBA Bowling Challenge may be for you. PBA Challenge is a great bowling simulator. The basic premise is exactly what you would expect: throw your ball down the lane and hit as many pins as possible. If you want to knock it up a level, then join a league of eight people and compete against them. The game is astoundingly realistic, with sounds of the ball rolling down the alley and pins clacking against each other, just like in a real bowling alley. The only thing missing is the built-in ashtray.

The gameplay is smooth and super-easy to figure out. You drag the ball left and right to position it, and flick it down the lane to throw, the aim of your finger determines the direction of the ball, and the aim of the ball behaves just like real life. The quicker you flick your finger, the harder your throw, and the faster the ball flies down the lane. Harder throws generate more pin action and more pins knocked down. The only unrealistic part of the game is that, while in real life, if we want the ball to curve after it has left our hand, we move our body in that direction in that weird bowling dance, with no affect. But in this game, you can tilt your iPad to get the ball to curve. It took me a while to master aiming, and even after a few hours, my high game is only just above 200.

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The graphics and sound are very slick. The ball travel and pin action are quite realistic, and I never experienced any video jerkiness on my original iPad Air. The only bug I encountered was that PBA Challenge wouldn’t connect to my Game Center account. I checked on my connection: I was logged in, and other games were connecting fine. I asked a friend to try it and she experienced the same problem. Hopefully this will be fixed in an update.

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The only real downside to PBA Challenge is the same in-app-purchase disease that afflicts so many games in the App store these days. As you accumulate spares and strikes, you accumulate credits, which can be used to “buy” better balls, energy, and pro player abilities, all which help increase your score. While it’s theoretically possible to buy these items with credits you earn during play, if you want to use anything but the basics, you’re going to have to reach for your wallet. And to be fair, PBA Challenge doesn’t interrupt you with constant shilling for upgrade cash as do so many other games: you can play for hours with the basics and never give purchases another thought. And even at the basic level it’s a fun half-hour fun boost, without much brain boost, and worth a free download.

Here’s an App Store link for PBA Bowling Challenge; it’s free to play with plentiful in-app purchases.

If you’re interested in more great iPad apps, check out our Best iPad Apps section!


Marc Luoma

I'm an iPad, and iPhone enthusiast, Mac user since '84, world traveler, dog and cat lover, living in Kigali Rwanda for a year.

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One thought on “iPad App of the Week: PBA Bowling Challenge”

  1. Nice to see another great bowling game for iPad.

    Though I’m a racing fan and currently impatient for the guys from Kolos Wheel to launch their kickstarter campaign. I’ll be happy if iPad Insight support them in one way or another.

    Great review, Marc!

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