Elf Bowling 1 & 2 is a Bowling video game developed by Black Lantern Studios and published by NStorm and released on December of 2005. This game is a compilation of the games, Elf Bowling and Elf Bowling 2, hence the name.
The game was ported to the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance, and was universally panned upon release.
The game follows the same basic rules as bowling (the game is called Elf Bowling, after all), where you play as Santa Claus and the elves act as the pins.
This section lacks a 2-player mode, unlike the other games.
Elf Bowling 2 - Elves in Paradise
The player grabs the thong bathing suit that the elf is wearing, then snaps it to propel the elf forward. There are 100, 200, and 300 point scoring zones, and a player can score 400 points if their elf slides all the way to the edge of the board without falling into the ocean; elves falling into the ocean get eaten by sharks or crushed by a falling Moai.
There is also the possibility of an elf not advancing far enough to score, which happens if a player does not get enough power behind the snap. Only elves that are on the board after Santa and Dingle have taken their turns count towards the score, and it is possible for an elf to be knocked off the board by another elf.
This section has a 2-player mode, unlike the first game.
Why it Sucks
- Poor graphics, which were ported straight from the PC version.
- Messy controls and mechanics.
- While this game costs money, the PC version is free.
- The second game is a shuffleboarding game, despite the title.
- Shameful attempts at crude humor (for example, the elves mooning Santa).
- The game is surprisingly violent, as in the first game, the elves visibly bleed after being hit and at one point, the mechanism for lowering the elves malfunctions on one of them and rips off his head (this game was rated T, by the way).
- Dreadful sound effects and lack of music.
- After the game's release, it made enough money to produce a direct-to-video movie spin-off about 2 years later.
- In the second game, Dingle has unfair AI.
- In the first game, there is barely any interactivity with the game, as you need just to press the left mouse button (PC version), touch the screen (NDS version) or press A (GBA version) to throw a ball.
- Despite the game being almost universally panned, a software house named Cybiko had the nerve to produce a mobile spin-off based on the original game, which was also panned.
Elf Bowling 1 and 2 were universally panned by critics and are considered two of the worst games ever made. They have a 2.22 rating on GameFAQs and the GBA versions have been rated the 7th worst GBA sports games and the 59th worst GBA games. They rank as some of the worst scoring games on GameSpot and Metacritic, with 1.4 on GameSpot and 12/100 on Metacritic.
The Nintendo DS version of both games has been so poorly received, that it was pulled from stores only a week after it was released.