Lucky Strike Bowling Looks Great, But Plays Simple

There is always a balance to be kept in game development. One must weigh the values of design, story, community, presentation, and whatever else is applicable to the game genre. In a perfect world, developers would be able to produce games of near perfect value in all of these categories, but in reality, this is just not possible. The resources going into a game must be balanced and focus on what is most important for the game being created. To increase the value of one part of the game usually means that another part must be sacrificed. However, there is one aspect to all games that should never, ever be sacrificed in any way: Design.

Lucky Strike Bowling is easily the most beautiful looking game on Facebook. The graphics are incredible, the sound is flawless, the lighting is phenomenal, and the overall look and feel is truly top notch. It is perfectly clear where Large Animal Games incorporated most of their resources. Unfortunately, as fantastic as the game looks, it doesn’t offer much significant new game play beyond the eye candy.

Lucky Strike plays like any standard bowling game. You move the ball into position, click for the power meter, click again for the spin and release. Now, repeat this for 10 frames. After the initial awe from the graphics wears off, the game becomes a bit boring.

There are other features to the game. You can challenge friends like most other Facebook applications – but the game play is still the same. You can also attempt to earn trophies and awards for achievements such as “Play 50 Games.”

The developers also saw fit to include a means to earn credits and purchase new bowling balls. Each ball has its own unique style and costs a decent number of credits. You earn a few by playing solo, but acquire significantly more by challenging and defeating your friends. This does serve in stimulating some social play, but beyond a re-skinned graphic (or maybe collection purposes if you are a PackRat kind of person), there doesn’t seem to be any real change to game play, thus there is no actual point to purchasing them.

Overall, the fact that Large Animal Games spent such a large amount of time on the design of Lucky Strike is impressive, and the effort shows. The game is something that rivals the production value of many desktop games. Successful bowling games have had to find new means and controls to emulate the bowling feel, and the closer developers come to that goal, the more successful the game becomes. However, Lucky Strike sticks with the point and click method and almost rolls a gutter ball.