This VR Game Made Me Finally Enjoy Bowling
ForeVR’s over-the-top VR bowling experience takes everything you love about the sport and turns it up to 11.
I’ve always had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with bowling. On one hand, I love getting together with friends for a night of laidback fun while struggling through pitchers of cheap domestic beer. On the other hand, I’m absolutely terrible at the game; trust me when I tell you there are few things more shameful than asking your adult friends to raise the bowling bumper at the age of 29.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve developed a deep appreciation for ForeVR Bowl. Brought us by first-time developer ForeVR, this VR bowling simulator takes the sport to the next level, offering an over-the-top bowling experience that has you toppling pins everywhere from an exotic tiki bar to the surface of the moon. The ForeVR team spared no expense creating a captivating VR sports experience brought to life by colorful environments, tons of unique collectibles, and engaging gameplay guaranteed to please veteran bowlers.
Despite my terrible scores, ForeVR’s bowling mechanics feel great in VR. You can feel a genuine difference between the weight and spin of each ball and the outlandish environments do a fantastic job at making the relatively monotonous sport (sorry bowling fans) feel just the opposite. The game itself features several game modes at launch: Single Player, Golden Pin (earn additional coins by knocking over glowing pins), Online Multiplayer, and Local Multiplayer (pass your headset to other players). As you continue to progress you’ll unlock additional oil patterns which affect how each lane plays. Boosting the overall difficulty can earn you additional experience and credits; perfect for those looking to rank up quickly.
Including the aforementioned Tiki Hall and Lunar Lanes, ForeVR Bowling features a total of six dynamic bowling alleys to play: Champions Hall (inspired by the world series), ForeVR Hall (a retro 90’s paradise), Palm Springs (your own private lane), and Studio 300 (a disco-era location complete with a light-up dance floor). Each of these locations features its own unique layout and properties to help set it apart from the others. ForeVR Hall, for instance, features a killer soundtrack composed of instantly recognizable songs from the ’90s, whereas Lunar Lanes has its own jaw-dropping visuals, such as an orbiting Planet Earth and satellite. No matter what bowling alley you choose, however, you’ll be surrounded by fellow non-playable characters. Sometimes they’ll be enjoying a drink at the bar, other times they’ll be right beside you splitting lanes.
As you bowl you’ll unlock additional credits which can be spent on over 100 custom-made bowling balls, each of which features its own unique throwing style, spin properties, and—in some cases—special effects. Most of these are split up into different categories. You can unlock abstract bowling balls, animated bowling balls, animal-themed bowling balls; the list goes on. When you actually sit back and cycle through the vast amount of options available, it’s a tad overwhelming—in a good way, that is. As if that weren’t enough in terms of customization, ForeVR Bowl is one of the first multiplayer games on Quest to support Facebook’s new 2.0 Avatars.
According to the developer, the game is stacked with easter eggs, such as the ability to perform special trick shots, unlock hidden dance moves by interacting with non-playable avatars, and create music using glitter balls. Moving forward, ForeVR has a variety of updates planned, including an in-game YouTube player (yes, please), premium ball upgrades, smooth locomotion, and various Oculus Avatar improvements just to name a few. That being said, the game is an absolute must-play as is, whether you’re a longtime veteran of the lanes or a struggling amateur such as myself.
“Who doesn’t love bowling? It was a lot of fun to imagine and create this alternative bowling universe,” said Mike Pagano Doom, ForeVR’s co-founder and chief creative officer, in an official release. “We took one of America’s favorite and most popular pastimes and adapted it for a VR experience that people of all ages, geographies and abilities can enjoy together,” added CEO and co-founder Marcus Segal.
ForeVR Bowl is available now for $19.99 on Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 headsets.
Feature Image Credit: ForeVR