10th Frame
Copyright/Publisher: Access Software, Created by: Roger & Bruce Carver,
Release Year: 1986, Genre: Bowling, Number Of Players: 1 to 8

From the green, green grass of the highlyg successful golf simulation Leader Board, to the polished and shining alleys. From frilly to two-tone shoes. From a six iron to a fifteem pound ball. These are the changes Access have gone through with their latest program Tenth Frame, a ten-pin bowling simulation.

Before play can begin an options screen is presented, firstly offering the choice between league or open bowling. If the former is chosen you then have to input the name of the playing teams, numbers of players on each team (up to four) and the number of games to play (from one to three). The latter option delivers a screen asking the user to input the number of players (from one to eight) their names, the ability level (either kids, amateur or professional) and the number of games to play. Once this information has been input the bowling can begin.

The screen displays a natural 3D view of the bowling alley from a position above and behind the bowler. The bowler appears at the end of the alley and is completely joystick controlled. Pushing forward on the joystick activates a marker which appears halfway down the alley. Left and right moves it in those directions and using the marker you can aim where the ball is going to go (it crosses the marker as it travels down the alley).

Once the marker is in positions it can be deactivated by pulling back on the joystick, the bowler himself can then be moved left or right to aim the ball at the desired section of the pins. Once everything is primed the bowler can be made to bowl the ball by pressing the fire button.

A 'speed and hook' gague at the bottomof the screen is used to control the strength and curve of each players bowl. As the fire button is depressed the speed indicator increases towards the speed zone. When it reaches this the fire button has to be released (otherwise an error will be incurred) and upon release the hook gauge comes into action, the indicator sliding downwards towards the hook zone. When it reaches this the fire button should be pressed, again the timing is critical - too much hook either side of the hook zone could mean the ball missing the pins altogether.

Each player has two attempts at each set of ten pins, a score is given and the next player bowls. The game continues in this fashion, the score sheet being shown after every player has had their turn. The score is kept automatically, and incorporates all the differen types of score, including spares, strikes and extras.

Gary Penn
Superb presentation, suitable graphics and realistic spot FX are all part and parcel of this highly accurate and addictive simulation of ten-pin bowling. Tenth Frame is simplicity in itself to pick up and get into, however it does lack any great lasting appeal - unless, like me, you enjoy the real thing. I found Tenth Frame immensely playable, especially against an opponent (or two) and can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in the sport.
Julian Rignall
This is yet another high quality sports simulation from Access which features a superbly animated main character and excellent playability. However, there's a lot less variety in its gameplay than Leader Board and consequently it doesn't have as much lasting appeal. Nevertheless, it's still very enjoyable to play and requires a fair bit of practice before any proficiency at the game is achieved. The game is extremely well presented with three skill levels and multi-player and team options. If you're after an unusual, slick and highly playable sports simulation then look this up.
P.S.
Tenth Frame is so realistic that you can almost imagine the hordes of boring posers and screaming children that usually inhabit the nation's bowling alleys. The skills necessary to master Tenth Frame are almost exactly the same as those needed in the real thing, and you must always be on your toes, as one careless shot can really mess up your whole game.

As in the real thing, this is best enjoyed when played among a group of friends - well, friends at the beginning anyway. The sound is adjustable, and at its loudest is very impressive. The animation is excellent and the use of colour cannot be faulted. All in all, this is the next best thing to a night out in the local alley.


INTRO SCREEN

PRESENTATION 93%
Comprehensive option system with a multi-player/team challenge facility.
GRAPHICS 81%
Superbly animated bowler and highly believable pin dropping sequences.
SOUND 78%
Sparse, but suits the game perfectly.
HOOKABILITY 95%
A touch tricky to get into, but very addictive from the very first ball.
LASTABILITY 79%
The repetitive nature of the game might mean that non-bowlers may become bored.
VALUE 82%
A touch expensive, but still an essential purchase for bowling fans.
OVERALL 70%
Another slick and extremely well programmed Access sports simulation.


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