Get ready for crazy artic bowling with PB the polar bear and his butler friend J the penguin (get it, PB & J?). Polar Bowler, downloadable on Android and iOS devices (reviewed on iPad here), takes the knock down the pins approach of bowling and ices it over with lots of obstacles and courses to navigate. This isn’t your standard straight lane, ten frame bowling game here!
In each level, you pull back a slingshot with the touch screen to send PB in an inner tube scooting across the ice-covered levels. You can also press left and right on the touch screen to aim where he goes. After being flung, you can then control PB and his tube left and right by tapping on those sides of the screen. You’ll have to steer towards groups of pins as well as avoid obstacles that can stop you. You have a certain number of chances to knock down as many pins as you can, and this number varies per level. You must hit a certain number of pins per level in order to move onto the next. The more you hit, the higher your score will be and you’ll even earn stars. Get all the pins to earn three stars per level. And that’s all there is to it, really.
Before you use the slingshot, you have an option to equip different tubes and costumes that give you abilities to help you knock over pins. The circus tube lets you blow an explosive balloon that can knock over nearby pins when popped. The cowboy tube lets you throw horseshoes to hit long distance pins. And the jet tube gives you a burst of speed to help keep you in the game. You can find these tube/costumes in crates scattered about the levels, or you can buy them in the in-game shop. Once you use a costume, though, it’ll get depleted from your inventory until you get a new one, so use them wisely! Also, be mindful of different types of ice and snow, as they can affect your speed and control as you coast about the levels. Overall, Polar Bowler is a fun and simple little diversion. Not the best in the world, but entertaining for a bit.
No violence whatsoever, but reading skill is helpful for the text. Younger gamers may need help with the tougher, later levels and parental supervision is recommended for the in-game purchases.