PBA Bowling [Model 3333]

A 38-year-old Mattel Intellivision Game by Mattel Electronics

PBA Bowling [Model 3333] screenshot

Emulated in MAME !

Information for the following ROM(s): bowling


PBA Bowling © 1980 Mattel Electronics.

At these electronic lanes you pick your ball weight according to your own bowling style, set the amount of alley slickness, then you're up! Aim your ball carefully and select the amount of curve and loft and go for the pocket! Strike! This is a game of high precision that will test your skill to the limit. Regulation 10-frame bowling or 'Pick-up Spare' for practice with the tough set-ups. Ready? There's a big fanfare if you beat 200!

One to four players control an electronic bowler to knock down as many pins as possible. Standard Bowling Scoring: a strike (all pins on first ball) gives you 10 pins plus pins on following 2 balls, a spare (all pins knocked down in two attempts) gives you 10 pins plus pins on following ball. In Pick-Up Spares, bowler faces 10 frames of spare setups randomly presented from 32 possibilities; scoring according to difficulty.


Model 3333

ALL KEYS: Set slickness, bowling hand, ball weight
KEYS NO. 5 AND 6: Select game
LEFT BUTTONS: Move bowler at starting line
BOTTOM RIGHT BUTTON: Aim, then release ball
DISC: Set amount of curve and pick up ball


PBA Bowling was the first Intellivision game actually programmed by Mattel employees: Mike Minkoff and Rick Levine from the handheld-games department. Since Mattel didn't have development equipment yet (1980), Mike and Rick commuted from Mattel in Hawthorne to APh in Pasadena three days a week. Mike gives Rick, an avid bowler, credit for the many realistic details in the game.


* Intellivision Bowling simulates the normal ball-curving action of the real game: if you are bowling right-handed, the ball will curve to the left--if left-handed, the ball will curve to the right.

Bear that in mind when you decide where to start your bowler. You will knock down more pins when your ball curves into the pocket between the head pin and the #2 or #3 pin. If you visualize the whole length of the alley this way, you should try for this kind of ball movement.

* Bear in mind that your bowler's approach from the starting line to the foul line is STRAIGHT, so your aim depends completely on when you release the lower right button. The white "spotter ball" determines the direction of your roll one-third of the way down the alley. Any change in the ball's direction after it passes over that location depends on the amount of curve you set with the DISC.

* There are, as you know, several variables to control. As you try to adjust your aiming and curve to find the best combination, ALTER ONE VARIABLE AT A TIME. The pre-game variables (alley slickness and ball weight) also have definite effects, and if you find the right combination of spotting (aiming) and curve, it may not work on a different alley condition or with a lighter or
heavier ball. When you discover the best combination of variables, stick with it. Then you can refine you timing and placement and work on getting some really good scores.


Program, graphics: Rick Levine, Mike Minkoff
Sound: John Sohl

Game's ROM.