This game is not to be confused with the similarly titled Animaniacs: Ten Pin Alley and its sequel Animaniacs: Ten Pin Alley 2, which were developed by Saffire.

Ten Pin Alley is a ten-pin bowling simulation game released by American Softworks in 1996 and developed internally at Adrenalin Entertainment.

The game was released on November 30, 1996 in North America, and eventually released in February 1998 in the United Kingdom. Just before its North American release, Sony selected the game's demo to be included on its PS1 sampler disc.

A sequel to the game entitled Ten Pin Alley 2, developed by an unknown developer, was mooted for a release on the PlayStation 2, but for unknown reasons was shelved. Despite this, the sequel, developed by Pronto Games and published by XS Games was released on the Game Boy Advance to dismal reviews.

Ten Pin Alley should not be confused with an audio game with the same title made by PCS Games.


The game contained considerable depth and allowed the player to participate in a number of various game play modes, including single player, multi player, tournament and a practice mode. The original game, which put the series on the map, was perhaps best remembered for being the first bowling game to offer real ball and pin physics, combined with a memorable loungy style achieved through its original score and goofy characters and corresponding animations.

Each shot was controlled in a similar fashion to many of the golf games of the era with an accuracy based pendulum system. With this the player decided the power, accuracy and hook for each shot.

The game found originality in the comedic slant it added to each character. For example, hitting a turkey (three strikes in a row) with one particular character would force him to flex his muscles uncontrollably. Scoring a perfect game of 300, a rare occurrence in real bowling, resulted in another character growing wings and taking flight around the entire bowling alley. Failing to release the ball in time would cause the default character to do a back-flip with ball in hand. This added much needed comic relief to the game and gave it the character which made it memorable and accounted to its unexpectedly high sales figures.

Critical response

Response to the game was favourable. Gaming website Game Spot was particularly enamored with the game, calling it "more fun that real bowling."[1] They went on to praise its attention to detail and light hearted graphics.

Review scores
Publication Score
GamePro 4.5/5[2]
GameSpot 7.9/10[3]
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 3/5[4]


  • While in Multi Player mode, holding down all four shoulder buttons of the PlayStation controller while pressing one of the four main buttons, would allow a player to scream a barrage of insults at his or her opponent. for example "You Suck" or the alley favourite "Miss".
  • Two of the Tournament Mode teams are named after the companies who made the game—Team ASC (after American Softworks Corporation) and Adrenalin Rush (after the developer, Adrenalin Entertainment, and a play on the phrase "adrenaline rush").

See also

External links