Game: The Simpsons Bowling
Release: 2000
Platforms: Arcade
Publisher: Konami/Fox Interactive
Developer: Konami
Players: 1 to 4
Play: eBay, Aurcade

Imagine the thrill of bowling... Simpsons-style! The Simpsons Bowling is a one-of-a-kind arcade game where the player chooses one of eight characters from Springfield (each with unique strengths and weaknesses) with the goal of bowling a perfect 300 game. The player has the option of playing regular frames or strictly spares bowling.

Bowling Fan

Check out this photo of a lucky fan at an expo during the release of The Simpsons Bowling.

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            The FAQ/GUIDE for THE SIMPSONS BOWLING, v0.9

                 Written and maintained by SubSane
                  Last Updated on  August 1, 2004



     1.1 About the Guide
     1.2 About the Game

     2.1 Game Modes
     2.2 Controls
     2.3 The Bowlers
     2.4 The Basics of Bowling

     3.1 Choosing the Right Character
     3.2 The Curve
     3.3 Character Position
     3.4 Hitting the Green Mark
     3.5 Roll in the Right Direction
     3.6 Speed of the Ball
     3.7 Special Balls

     4.1 Hit the Lead Pin
     4.2 The Evil Splits

     5.1 Version History
     5.2 Guide Credits
     5.3 Contact Information
     5.4 Legal Stuff


===== 1.0 INTRODUCTION =============================================

                        1.1  About the Guide

And then, there was Simpsons Bowling. This little arcade game never
really hit big with the average arcade-goer, but it's a great find
for any Simpsons fans.

The guide has pretty basic coverage and strategies for bowling a
good game. Of course, getting a good score in this game is about
100 times easier than getting one in reality.

                         1.2  About the Game

It's bowling... Simpsons-style! Play as one of the many Springfield
citizens to beat the competition and get a perfect 300 game!

It was released in 2000 by Konami and Fox Interactive. I'm sure
many people were hoping for another Simpsons Arcade, but what're you
going to do.


===== 2.0 BASICS ===================================================

                          2.1  Game Modes

1 - 4 player game
There isn't much difference between the mode you choose. There will
just be more people taking turns.

Normal/Spares Bowling
Here you can choose between normal and spares bowling. Normal
bowling is your average 10-frame bowling where you knock over the
pins, while spares bowling is simply ten frames of bowling spares
for cash.

                            2.2  Controls

Control Modes
There's normal controls and easy controls. The normal controls are
for those who want to control the speed and power of the roll,
while easy controls are for those who just want to roll the ball
and hit the pins.

Normal Controls
It's not that complicated. You just set the curve of the ball, then
the character's position, and finally you start the approach and
roll the ball ONLY when it's in the green part of the circle. The
ball will not make it if you roll in red.

Easy Controls
Much like normal controls, except the player doesn't have to roll
the ball when it's in green to control the speed and power of the
roll. Real simple.

                           2.3  The Bowlers

Homer may have lost his job at Barney's Bowl-A-Rama, but he still
finds time to knock out a few frames.

Power rating: 8.5/10
Straight rating: 9.5/10
Curve rating: 5/10

Marge and her sordid love affair with bowling still continue to
this day. No French men involved.

Power rating: 6.5/10
Straight rating: 9/10
Curve rating: 6.5/10

It's mischief and mayhem when Bart visits a bowling alley. He makes
up for small muscles by making fart noises to distract other players.

Power rating: 4/10
Straight rating: 7.5/10
Curve rating: 8.5/10

Lisa uses her smarts to win a game, not her weak bowling skills.

Power rating: 7.5/10
Straight rating: 8/10
Curve rating: 8.5/10

Mr. Burns
Burns can now bowl with the best of them thanks to his new hip.

Power rating: 4/10
Straight rating: 5.5/10
Curve rating: 9.5/10

Krusty is a fat drunk, so he of course he's a natural bowler.

Power rating: 7/10
Straight rating: 6.5/10
Curve rating: 8.5/10

The caber toss has turned Willie into the ultimate throwing
machine. Now if only he can remember to throw the ball forward
instead of up.

Power rating: 9.5/10
Straight rating: 9.5/10
Curve rating: 4/10

Apu runs away to the bowling alley every time he sees a chance.
Anybody would if they had to deal with octuplets every day.

Power rating: 8/10
Straight rating: 8/10
Curve rating: 8/10

                      2.4  The Basics of Bowling

Well then, spare me a frame of your time while I approach the basics
of bowling. I hope my descriptions aren't so foul that they strike
out and send your attention into the gutter. :)

Overview of the game
Players can roll the ball twice in one frame to knock down the ten
pins. If the ten pins are knocked over in one roll it is called a
strike, but getting a strike means the scores of the next two rolls
are added to the strike. Not too shabby. If it takes two rolls
to knock down ten pins it is called a spare. The player gets ten
points plus extra points from the next roll.

So, players continue playing for ten frames. The one who knocks out
the most pins has the highest score, and therefore wins the game.

Several terms will pop up throughout the game. Here are the more
technical ones.

Frame: A frame is like your turn. You get two chances to knock down
the ten pins, but if you score a strike in the first roll you'll
get two bonus rolls to win more points.

Gutter: That groove on the left and right sides of the lane where
the ball goes if you suck.

Spares: Worth 10 plus the score of your next roll.

Strikes: Worth 10 plus the scores of your next two rolls.

Double: Two strikes in a row.

Turkey: Three strikes in a row.

Scoring table
I'll be honest, I've never bowled in my life. I was always more of
a weight-lifter, and I really sucked at math. So, one look at that
scoring table and I was ready to chuck this FAQ into the Recycle

Fortunately I know people who actually enjoy the game. Here's what
I've gathered about the score system in bowling (and all the funny
symbols in there that could easily be a damn number).

 ------- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----------
a   1   |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |    10    |
 ------- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----------
b  7| 0 |  | X|  | X| 3| /| 0| /| 0| 8|  | X| 9| /| 7| 2|  8| / | 9|
 ------- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----------
c   7   |     |     | 60  | 70  | 78  | 98  | 115 | 124 |   143    |
 ------- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----------- ----- ----- ----------

a = Frame number.
b = Numbers of pins knocked down per frame.
c = Score.

Check out the scoring chart above of ten frames of bowling I played
in the game. Here's a pretty good breakdown of this oddball scoring
system, courtesy of this dude called Dan:

So the first strike was worth 23 (10 + 10 + 3), the second was worth
20 (10 + 3 + 7), and the spare was worth 10 (10 + 0). So, you have 7
in the first, 30 in the second, 50 in the third, and 60 in the fourth

Just remember that a strike (X) is worth 10 pins plus the number of
pins knocked down on the next two rolls, and a spare (/) is worth 10
pins plus the number of pins knocked down on the next roll. A strike
on the first roll of the tenth frame will get two extra rolls, and
a spare on the first two rolls of the tenth frame will get one extra

Pin layout
The ten pins are laid out in a triangular fashion, starting with
one row of pins and each subsequent row having one more than the
last. Here, this'll explain it all:

    7   8   9   10
      4   5   6 
        2   3

Those numbers are used to reference specific pins, and I use it
pretty often throughout the guide.


===== 3.0 NORMAL BOWLING ===========================================

                  3.1  Choosing the Right Character

Bowling is quite the complex game. It's more than simply throwing
the ball straight down the lane, and much of it depends on the
player's skills. Simpsons Bowling may not be as difficult to play as
an actual game of bowling, but each character definitely has his or
her own advantages.

Power determines how fast the ball will roll down the lane. Although
a slow ball can get the job done, there's a chance the ball will be
so slow that it rolls into the gutter.

If you want to use a character with curve, you will definitely want
a character with high power as well. The power will keep the ball
from going into the gutter at the peak of the curve.

This should be high if you plan to use straight rolls often, or if
you want a character who can easily pick up a spare. The higher the
straight rating, the less chance there is for the ball to roll
to the sides (or for missed roll).

The curve is a tricky move to master. Although it's great for
hitting pins 1-2 or 1-3, a slow curve rarely makes it to the spot
where you aimed it. So, it's very important that your character
have a good power rating to get the ball all the way across.

The curves also build momentum, so those characters with a high
curve rating will roll the balls with some additional power
behind them.

Best Character
The list of good characters to use is pretty short. You have Apu
for those of you that want a well-rounded character, Willie kicks
ass if you want to stick to straight rolls, and Mr. Burns rules
in the curve department. They aren't exactly THAT much better than
the other characters, but they're up there.

And naturally I recommend trying every character if you simply
want to have some fun with the game. Those in-game comments are
pretty damn funny.

                           3.2  The Curve

Once you begin the game and start a frame, the curve setting will
appear. Here you can adjust your curve from a straight line to a
wide arc across the lane.

The curve is most effective when it hits the right spot. If all
the pins are there, the right spot is usually between pins 1 and 3
for right-handed characters, or pins 1 and 2 for left-handed
characters. Use this diagram as a guide:

    7   8   9   10
      4   5   6 
        2   3

Once your curve is set, make sure to roll the trackball straight.
This will ensure that the ball follows the curve you set and scores
a strike. Messing up a curved shot may sometimes set up a nasty

                       3.3  Character Position

The best position to roll a strike is usually in a spot that will
help you hit between pins 1 and 2 or 1 and 3. If you're picking up
a spare you will definitely need to move to the most advantageous

                     3.4  Hitting the Green Mark

This is only for the cool people that don't wimp out with easy
controls. If you're in normal, a circle will appear on the left.
This circle will be mostly red, but on the right side there will be
a small green section.

You'll have to roll the ball when the meter hits the green section
or the ball will miss. You can also roll in the yellow part, but
it's a risk .An early or late roll will lose you that roll in the

                   3.5  Roll in the Right Direction

This one isn't to hard to figure out: roll straight! This has
nothing to do with the ratings and is a simple matter of rolling
the trackball straight ahead. If you roll the trackball to the left
or right it will most likely lead to a gutter ball.

                        3.6  Speed of the Ball

Another simple thing that will help score a strike is to roll the
ball fast. Don't just rub your palm across the trackball. Start
from the bottom and rip it as if you were rubbing your hands
together really quickly. This will quite literally launch the ball
to the pins at the other end.

                          3.7  Special Balls

Ah, special balls. You'll get one after scoring three strikes in a
row, and although you don't get any extra points for using one,
they look pretty bad-ass when you get one.

The specials balls are:

Fire ball: A flaming bowling ball.
Maggie ball: Launch Maggie down the lane.
Nuclear ball: Throw a ball full of nuclear sludge.
Bomb ball: A BIG explosion. This is the most fun to watch.


===== 4.0 SPARES BOWLING ===========================================

                        4.1  Hit the Lead Pin

When picking up a spare it is always important to hit the lead pin.
You can shoot for one of the pins behind it, but then how will the
lead pin fall?

There are times when the pins behind the lead pin will be off to
one side. Say you have the pins like this:

    7   8

Obviously you would want to hit pin 2 on the right side to make it
go to the left and hit the pins behind it. If there pins on both
sides then it may be best to hit the lead pin the middle so it will
head straight back and hit both sides.

Sometimes there will be two lead pins, like this:

    7   8   9
      4   5

Pins 4 and 5 are both in front, so you would have to hit both of
them at the same time. Simply aim the ball for the space in the
center and hopefully it will hit both, which will then hit the ones
in the back.

                        4.2  The Evil Splits

I hate splits. Really. No foolin'.

A split occurs when pins are not grouped together. Take this
scenario, for example:

      4       6 

Pins 1, 3, and 6 are good to go, but what about poor number 4
all alone on the left? You still want to hit the lead pin, but now
you have to hit it so pin 1 goes left and pin 3 goes right. A
straight roll between 1 and 3 would probably get the best results.

The worst kind of split is probably the 7-10 split. It looks like

    7           10

The two pins that are furthest apart, and they're both in the same
row to boot. Here you would have to hit pin 7 on the left side or
pin 10 on the right side to make them fly in the opposite direction.
Say you decide to hit pin 7. You would probably need to curve the
ball to the right and aim it so that ball hits pin 7 on the left,
launching it to the right side.

It's all about hitting the sweet spot, and if you can hit that
spot and send the pins where you want, then splits won't be that
big of a deal.


===== 6.0 LEGAL / MISC. ============================================

                        6.1  Version History

August 2: Version 0.9
- - - - - - - - - - -
Well, I'll be kippered! The FAQ's done.

                         6.2  Guide Credits

Thanks to:

1. Matt Groening. The man created The Simpsons, which has been on 
   the air for 15 years and is still going strong. Shine on you crazy 
   bearded bastard!

2. If I thank Matt Groening, then I also have to praise the hundreds 
   of individuals who are involved with the show. To the writers, 
   voice actors, animators, producers, gofers, and every other person 
   involved... thank you!

3. Wilson Lau, whose 'Bart vs. the Space Mutants' guide inspired
   me to write FAQs.

4. Fox Interactive and Konami for creating the game.

5. Dan, for hooking it up with a decent explanation on the scoring
   system in bowling. He rocks it quite well.

6. Thank YOU for reading. After all, I didn't write this for my own 

                      6.3  Contact Information

The address is:

The issue of too many e-mails isn't a problem, so I'll most likely 
respond to any questions (for now). But, I do delete e-mails without 
a subject. Put 'Simpsons Bowling' or something similar in the 
subject line.

                          6.4  Legal Stuff

1. "The Simpsons Bowling" is copyright © 2000 Fox Interactive and
   Konami. The Simpsons and any related Simpsons characters are
   property of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

2. This guide copyright © 2004 SubSane. This guide may be distributed 
   freely as long as it remains in it's ORIGINAL and UNALTERED form. 
   It is only for private use and may not be reproduced for commercial

   If I discover that this guide has been altered in any way and is 
   being displayed publicly, I reserve the right to have the guide 
   removed from that location.

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