The game ‘Premium Bowling’ was released on the Oculus Quest on May 21st. It costs $9.99 to purchase the game from the store, but it may be a limited time offer. There’s a 1-week trial version which you can get by going through the tutorial section of Bait! Other than that, there aren’t any other free versions of Premium Bowling yet. You can play it in single-player mode against bots or online multiplayer*. In addition to bowling pins at the end of a lane, there are environmental obstacles such as ramps that you can use to increase your score. There are also power-ups like missiles, tornado strikes, and extra balls that may help or hinder your game (depending on which side of the path they’re on).
You aim the bowling ball by aiming the Oculus controller. You get a short tutorial at the beginning of each game before it starts so if you’ve never played before you’ll be fine.
Multiplayer mode occurs in real-time with people all over the world (thousands) who are also playing ‘Premium Bowling’ at this time! To prepare for multiplayer matches, there is an option in single-player for bots to fill up empty spots while waiting for human players to join online matches. Bots will play just like humans would but are usually not as good.
When you play in multiplayer mode, it’s basically like bowling with real people! At the end of each game when you get your match results, they’ll show your opponent’s avatar next to their score which is a nice touch. You can then challenge them again or look at their profile to see what other games they’ve played.
You have the option to mute other players if they’re being loud or annoying during matches. Some people may abuse this feature though so be careful about who you choose to play with online! If someone is being problematic, just hit ‘back’ on the controller until it brings up two options: mute/unmute and exit the match. There are also bots that will automatically join the match if you’re waiting for a while.
*You have to wait until one person has joined the game before it starts, so be patient!
If you want to play with friends or family members/significant others who are also on Oculus, use your Oculus account email address to search for them via their username. They’ll have to accept your request before being able to join online matches though.
The controls in single-player mode can take some getting used to and aren’t as intuitive as using a controller (which looks like you’re holding an Xbox controller in the game). But after only a minute or two of playing, you get used to aiming your ball (the Oculus button on the right controller is where it releases the ball). Some people will prefer playing this way though since it helps train muscle memory for bowling in real life.
When it comes to graphics, Premium Bowling has what I would call ‘good enough’ graphics. There are better-looking games out there with more detail but considering that it’s multiplayer and doesn’t require any extra hardware beyond just buying the game, ‘Premium Bowling’ is certainly not bad by any means! It’s especially nice if you enjoy playing bowling in real life too! The sense of immersion when looking down at pins while playing feels almost like you’re really there at a bowling center.
It’s also worth noting that the game always runs in landscape mode (you can’t change it) which is nice for people who use multiple VR headsets to play games on other platforms too, unlike some 360-degree games that shout at you if you try playing them on Odyssey or GearVR while holding the controller sideways. If you do own two different VR systems though, just rotate your phone’s orientation when opening ‘Premium Bowling’ so that it’ll open up in portrait mode rather than landscape despite how your phone is physically oriented!
The multiplayer aspect of this game makes it extremely addicting and easy to lose track of time since you won’t want to stop once you get started! At the end of each game, I usually want to play one more round before quitting which always leads to playing multiple rounds in a row. Multiplayer is definitely what makes this game so addictive and you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth in that regard if not much else.
It’s worth noting that although the online multiplayer mode doesn’t require any extra internet-connected devices or hardware other than just buying the game itself, it does use data while connected online. If you have limited data or are worried about high data usage while playing this game online( especially if you don’t have unlimited data!), make sure to check your phone’s settings beforehand. Even though Premium Bowling is pretty lightweight with its graphics when compared to bigger games like BeatSaber or Superhot VR, it still uses a decent amount of data in online mode so be careful about how long you play for if you have a data cap!
The single-player mode is good practice and helps improve muscle memory for real-life bowling so it’s definitely worth playing through at least once. But the multiplayer aspect is what truly makes this game stand out from other bowling games on the market. The online multiplayer community seems pretty solid too! There are usually enough players to join matches not just when it comes to US time zones but also European ones as well.
If you enjoy bowling in real life or want something to play with your friends or family members/significant others who are also on Oculus, use your Oculus account email address to search for them via their username. They’ll have to accept your request before being able to join online matches though.
This game’s lack of customizability may turn some people off but considering that it doesn’t cost anything more than just the base price, there isn’t much room for complaints! Overall, this is a great game and definitely one of the best games for multiplayer on Quest so far!