Yes, SGN has done it again with the release of one of the most downloaded free application on Apple’s iPhone. The game is iBowl, and in tandem with its predecessor, iGolf, has become the cause of the new aerial addition to the iPhone: At least for those that don’t know their own strength.
As with the Wii-like iGolf game, SGN has made use of the iPhone’s built in accelerometer, but this time with a bowling game (similar to that on Nintendo’s Wii-Sports). However, unlike iGolf, iBowl incorporates new nuances to the accelerometer control. Like its predecessor, iBowl waits for the player to press “Bowl” on the touch screen and then, essentially, bowls their iPhone (holding on is optional). The difference is iBowl picks up the twisting of the wrist and correspondingly adds spin to your ball.
The game is certainly fun to play for a few rounds if you don’t mind looking a little bit silly to on lookers and passers by. In fact, the only real problem with the game is the twisting sensitivity is a little low, but there is little doubt that this will be an issue quickly resolved in SGN’s next release.
Another feature of the game is the ability to invite a friend to play. Unfortunately, this amounts to little more than sending them an email to check out the game. However, when the launch of Facebook Connect finally occurs, it is doubtful that SGN will not capitalize on opportunity. In fact, the integration of social features for all future iPhone games should become significantly easier.
Even with the lack of social features, you have to ask yourself: Does it really need them? SGN and its games are quickly becoming the “Wii” of the iPhone. Statistics on the number of Wii sales indicate a staggering dominance over the mainstream game space. Why? Because of the intuitive and fun nature behind the use of the controls, and the fact that the iPhone is in and of itself a physical controller, it takes the strongest feature of the Wii into the mobile market.
With over 1,000,000 downloads already for iBowl alone, there is no doubt that SGN may soon find itself with a new gaming niche.