Lost City Lanes: A Place Where Striking Out is Good!
Talk about taking Gourmet Club Bowls to the next level, right? In this new game you play as a first person bowler so you get to bowl on your own instead of having that lovely Cybunny do it for you (not to say that she isn’t talented). Anywho, this game puts a new spin on bowling so let’s get started so you can go on and play yourself!
You have 7 levels to bowl 10 frames. In each frame you are given 2 tries to knock down all the pins. The more pins you knock down, the higher your score will be! You are the game player here, so all you can see is the bowling ball in front of you. In order to get the ball rolling (heehee), you left click your mouse to pick it up. Then, while still holding the left click button on your mouse, you swiftly and quickly glide your mouse forward and release the left click button to send the bowling ball down the lane. There is a bar up at the top of your screen to help guide you when you are throwing your ball down the lane.
If the bar is in the green zone, it means you didn’t throw it very hard and it probably won’t make it to the end (or, if it does, it will take its sweet time). If the bar is maxed out in the red it means you’ve thrown it at full force and you have a better chance of getting a strike (more on that later). Once you have released your ball (if you’ve done it properly), it will start its way down the lane. You then want to guide it by moving your mouse left and right to help it end up in the spot that you are aiming for and knock down the pins. You must reach at least 100 points by the end of each level in order to continue on.
There are 10 pins at the end of the lane, which is what you are aiming for to increase your score! Each pin that you knock down is worth 1 point, but there are opportunities to increase your score even more depending on how good of a bowler you are. ;)
To start, let's say that if you knock down 3 pins in your first frame, you will get 3 points. If, in your second try for that frame (remember you get 2 tries per frame), you knock down another 3, your total score for that frame will be 6 points. However, here’s where it gets tricky (but you’ll want to stick around since this will help increase your score!). In bowling, there are game plays called Strikes and Spares.
In order to get a Strike, you must knock down all 10 pins in one try. Don’t fret, it can be done! Especially with your mouse as a guide for your ball, you’ll be getting strikes in no time! A Strike is very special because it gives you a great opportunity to get tons of points in your next few frames. If you manage a strike, you will not only get 10 points but your next two balls that you roll will count toward your Strike score as well! Let’s give an example to better explain. Let’s say that you get a strike in your first frame, level 1. On your score board this will show up as an ‘X’ since your score is technically not calculated yet. Then, on your next bowl let’s say you knock down 5 pins. After that, you knock down another 3 pins. This 5+3 will be added to your Strike score of 10 points which will bring you to 18 points just for one frame. Then, your 8 points for your second frame that you just earned will be counted again (for the second frame individually) giving you 18+8 equaling 26 points for two frames! In all, Strikes are very beneficial and a good way to rack up some points!
A Spare is like Strike’s younger brother. To get a Spare, you must knock down all 10 pins, but you do so in two tries instead of one. This would happen if you knocked down 5 pins on your first try and then the remaining 5 on your second try, for example. A Spare shows up as a ‘/’ on the score board and includes the next score for your next single bowl. To give you another example: if you get a spare in one frame (worth 10 points since you knocked down all 10 pins) and then in your next frame first try you knock down 5 pins, your spare is worth 10+5, so 15 points total. Spares are not as point worthy as Strikes, but they are still a great way to increase your score!
Now that the confusing stuff is out of the way, we can move on to other ways to gain points in this game! Other than the pins you can also get points from:
Green Diamonds: These are worth 10 points each and can be picked up on your way down the lane if you happen to bowl over one!
Locks: These sweet things not only give you 10 points but block off the gutters temporarily for you on your next frame!
Red Spiky Balls: These give you 10 points and morph your ball into a super ball! When activated, your ball will break up the crates that are in your path but only if you hit them on the way down the lane. This is the one time that you will want to hit the crates since it will break them up and make your future endeavors much easier!
Note: The bonus points are added to the ‘Bonus’ section of the scoreboard and are also added to your total level score at the end of the level. If you only score 50 points in the game during a level but you earn 50 bonus points, then you will still continue on since those together equal 100 points. :)
Other Good Items (no points involved, though):
Green Arrow Pads: These will speed up your ball if you pass over them. Very helpful in guiding you to get a Strike or Spare!
Red Flag: Sounds bad, but it’s really not! This power-up will give your ball a huge gust of wind to power down the lane very quickly and give you an auto Strike or Spare. Sweet!
Green/Red Arrow Switch: These can be good if you are trying to change a Red Arrow Pad to a green one. However, use caution and make sure you don’t change a Green Arrow Pad to a red one!
Bomb: If you collect these, they will blow up whatever crates are around them. This is extremely useful for your future bowls!
Note: ALL power-ups are activated on the following turn, so use them wisely.
And now, what to avoid:
Red arrows on the lane: If you pass over these, they will slow your ball down! Avoid these at all costs!
Boulders (both moving and still): These will stop your ball dead in its tracks. :( It will most certainly come to a complete stop after hitting one of these, so you want to guide your ball away from these.
Gutters: These will also stop your ball and will give you an automatic 0 for that frame. Boo. You don’t want a gutterball!
Tips & Strategies
The best way to get a Strike is to aim for the middle of the pins if you are going full force down the lane. If you’re moving at a bit of a slower pace I have found that coming at the pins from an angle and a bit off from the center works the best in getting a Strike.
With each level, there are more and more obstacles for you to pass through and avoid in order to get through to the end of the lane. It will take much patience and sometimes luck in order to pass through everything, but the more you play, the better you’ll become!
If you come to a level that seems impossible (some of the later ones really do), don’t give up! If your first ball is a dud, then you might get some good power-ups in the next frame. The power-ups come and go and change throughout each level, so you’ll want to stick it out and see if you get something good. If you’re lucky, you could get a Red Spiky Ball, which would allow you to break all the crates in your way!
On the previous tip, try to time your bowl so that you will hit some of the power-ups. They sway back and forth from left to right, so if you time it right, you could plan out hitting the ones worth points or the ones you need to continue on in the level.
I hope my guide has helped you a bit and convinced you to give this game a try! Who knows, even if you are no good at bowling in real life, you may find yourself a pro at Lost City Lanes!